By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
Autism is a mental condition of self-centered subjective
mental activity (daydreams, fantasies, delusions, hallucinations, etc.) often accompanied by a marked withdrawal
Two theories link autism and vaccines. The first theory suggests that the MMR (Mumps-Measles-Rubella) vaccine may cause intestinal problems leading to the development of autism. The second theory suggests that a mercury based preservative called thimerosal, used in some vaccines, could be connected to autism. The medical community has soundly refuted these theories, but a very passionate group of parents and researchers continue to disagree, based on anecdotal evidence.
There is some evidence that autism is linked to problems in the immune system. Autistic individuals often have other physical issues related to immune deficiency. Some researchers say they have developed effective treatments based on boosting the immune system.
There is also evidence that allergies to certain foods could contribute to autistic symptoms. Most people who hold to this theory feel that gluten (a wheat product) and casein (dairy) are the most significant culprits.
Finally, research also suggests several genetic factors. Autistic children have differences in the shape and structure of their brain. Because of the complexity and seriousness of this condition, professional assistance and support should be sought. The following may be helpful in getting started.
First, improve the diet in general so children are getting the nutrients they need. For starters, avoid refined carbohydrates (simple sugars and starches) and using more fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure the child is getting high quality fats and proteins. Use the Eliminate Allergy-Causing Foods therapy. Dairy products and grains are often major contributing factors to this condition. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the GAPS diet have been successful for many children.
Heal the intestinal tract, as intestinal inflammation is often a major issue. See the information under Leaky Gut Syndrome. Immune overactivity, specifically antibodies to certain brain proteins have been found in several small studies. Many children with ASD also have other autoimmune disorders including celiac and eczema. A general approach of balancing the immune system through diet, nutritional supplements and herbs has been helpful in many children. Astragalus, codonopsis and medicinal mushrooms have a balancing action on the immune system and should play a role in natural ASD treatment.
Gently supporting the body's own detoxification pathways by increasing the nutrient density in the diet and
supplementing With N-acetyl-cystine, Co-Q1O, B-complex vitamins, methyl B 12, and methyl folate can be very beneficial.
Some specific nutritional deficiencies that are common with autism include B12, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A and
vitamin D. For more information see Thomas Easley's class Working with Aurism available at modernherbalmedicine.com.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
Herbs: Astragalus, Ginkgo Biloba and St. John's Wort
Herbal Extracts: Green Tea Extract
Nutraceuticals: GABA plus, Heavy Metal Detox, Sunshine Heroes Whole Foods Papayazyme and Target P-14
Essential Oils: Frankincense, Lavender and Myrrh
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