What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that involves abnormal development and function of the brain. Children and adults with autism show poor social communication skills and a difficulty in relating to others. Often, they demonstrate repetitive patterns of behaviors or interests.
Autism symptoms usually start before a child is 3 years old. Usually, parents first notice that their toddler has not started talking yet and is not interacting like other children the same age. But it is not unusual for a child to start to talk at the same time as other children the same age, then lose his or her language skills.
Autism is believed to be genetic, but environmental factors are also thought to play a role.
Today, one out of every 100 children is affected with autism or a related disorder. Thus, it is more prevalent than breast cancer or childhood diabetes. The recurrence rate for having a second child with autism if one already exists within a family is thought to be 15-20%.
What are the Symptoms of Autism?
- A delay in learning to talk, or not talking at all. A child may seem to be deaf, even though hearing tests are normal.
- Repeated and overused types of behavior, interests, and play. Examples include repeated body rocking, and unusual attachments to objects.
- Difficult transitions in routines.
- Avoiding eye contact.
Children with Autism also tend to have:
- Dysbiosis, leaky gut, candida, parasite infections, constipation
- Impaired detoxification/heavy metal toxicity
- Multiple food sensitivities
- Abnormalities in fatty acids
Diet Changes for Children with Austim
The common physical symptoms of children with autism often include diarrhea, constipation, bloating and GI pain, frequent infections, and inflammation/pain. For many, food sensitivities or food intolerances, imbalanced biochemistry, and digestive problems are at the core of these symptoms.
We recommend the following:
• Remove foods that inflame the gut. Gluten, casein, sugars, soy, refined oils and eggs are common offenders. The exact foods to remove will depend on the individual; however, gluten- and casein-free diets are among the most popular and effective.
• Add foods that heal the gut. Foods such as ginger and turmeric reduce inflammation. Fish oil, flax seeds and walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties. Fermented foods help heal the gut.
• Include foods with beneficial bacteria. Fermented foods, such as non-dairy yogurt, young coconut kefir and cultured vegetables, help supply good bacteria that reduce inflammation and create an environment that is healing.
• Add foods that increase beneficial bacteria levels. Prebiotics are foods, often high in soluble fiber, that support good bacteria and increase levels in the gut.
Natural Supplements for Autism
An imbalance in healthy gut flora is commonly seen in children with autism. Therefore, a probiotic supplement is recommended for children with autims. Pathway CHILDREN’S ACIDOPHILUS is a high potency, multiple species, children's specific probiotic provides the most beneficial bacteria in the amounts that help to establish an excellent digestive environment. Each capsule is microencapsulated to protect the good bacteria against the destruction normally caused by the harsh acidic environment of the stomach.
Glutamine is an amino acid that plays an important role in digestive health by nourishing the cells that line the intestine and the stomach. It also supports immune health and muscle health. Pathway GLUTAMINE POWDER can easily be mixed with water or other liquids.
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is a polyunsaturated omega-3 essential fatty acid found throughout the body. It is a major structural fat in the brain and retina accounting for up to 97% of the omega-3 fats in the brain and up to 93% of the omega-3 fats in the retina. It is also a key component of the heart and an important building block for nerve tissue. Pathway NEUROMINS DHA™ is an excellent all-natural, vegetarian source of DHA.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant has been found to lower irritability in children with autism as well as reduce the children’s repetitive behaviors in a small pilot study. While further, larger studies are necessary; NAC could provide promising support for addressing repetitive behavior in autism. Currently, there is no medication to treat repetitive behavior.
Irritability affects about 70% of children with autism and can hinder learning, as well as other activities and therapies. Currently, irritability, mood swings and aggression, are mostly treated with medication that can have significant side effects such as weight gain, involuntary motor movements and metabolic syndrome. The side effects of NAC are generally mild, with gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, nausea, diarrhea and decreased appetite being the most commonly experienced.
Because candida is a common problem seen in autistic children, Pathway CANDIDA RESCUE can help to rebalance your child’s digestive environment. Candida Rescue is a powerful liquid formula that contains anti-fungal herbs to address candida overgrowth. This comprehensive blend of botanicals supports intestinal flora balance. It makes an excellent adjunct to eating an anti-candida diet (the elimination of refined carbohydrates and sugars).
Holistic Treatment for Autism
At Village Green Apothecary, our nutritionists and doctors work with patients to create optimal health by using natural remedies, such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, and homeopathic treatments. They also recommend tailored diet plans, exercise routines, lifestyle tips, and specialized testing to address the root cause(s) of autism symptoms. Integrative therapies have shown to be very successful for helping children with autism spectrum disorder.
Schedule a consultation with one of Village Green’s naturopathic doctors or certified nutritionists for a personal assessment of your child’s unique situation. During your appointment (either by phone or in-person), our professionals will:
- Review your child’s autism symptoms and health history
- Examine your child’s diet and lifestyle
- Recommend specialized testing
- Assess possible drug-nutrient interactions or depletions
- Answer any questions you may have
- Evaluate treatment options
- Create a customized plan that includes natural solutions, diet and lifestyle recommendations, and custom compounding.
Contact a Village Green nutritionist by calling 800-869-9159.
Learn more about our nutrition counseling and wellness services.