Saturday, September 5, 2009

Treatment strategies for curing autism nutritionally

There are a lot of theories out there on how to treat autistic spectrum kids. Unfortunately, a lot of them sound a little too out there or the results are just not conclusive. There is a lot of snake oil out there and I recommend a good healthy dose of skepticism for parents. But don't let it shut out good, new studies, information and different strategies to try for your own child.

I recently ran across this article by Dr. Mark Hyman in The Huffington Post, titled Why Current Thinking About Autism is Completely Wrong.

His take on autism treatment is interesting.

"The real reason we are seeing increasing rates of autism is simply this: Autism is a systemic body disorder that affects the brain. A toxic environment triggers certain genes in people susceptible to this condition. And research supports this position."

"Dramatic scientific discoveries have taken place during the last 10 to 20 years that reveal the true causes of autism -- and turn conventional thinking on its head. For example, Martha Herbert, MD, a pediatric neurologist from Harvard Medical School has painted a picture of autism that shows how core abnormalities in body systems like immunity, gut function, and detoxification play a central role in causing the behavioral and mood symptoms of autism."

Food allergies, gluten intolerance, toxicity, vitamin and mineral deficiencies; these are the causes of autism according to Dr. Hyman and others. Strategies for treatment were predominantly nutritional; taking gluten out of the diet, reducing the toxins and inflammation in the gut or what he calls the 7 keys to wellness.

In brief, here is Dr. Hyman's strategy to treat autism: Improve nutrition, reduce inflammation, heal the gut, detoxify

Step 1: Fix the Gut and Cool the Inflammation There

This step included a number of different tactics including:

• Taking away gluten and other food allergens

• Getting rid of his yeast with anti-fungals

• Killing off the toxic bacteria in his small intestine with special antibiotics

• Replenishing healthy bacteria with probiotics

• Helping him digest his food with enzymes

Step 2: Replace the Missing Nutrients to Help the Genes Work Better

• Added back zinc, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, B6, B12, and D

• Supported his brain with omega-3 fats

Step 3: Detoxify and Reduce Oxidative Stress

• Once biochemistry and nutrition is tuned up, we detoxify and reduce oxidative stress.

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