Autism and Gut Health : What You Can Do
It is truly interesting how gut health is so important when working with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). The prevalence of autism is quoted to be one in 68 children. The Autism Society of Canada reports that ASD is the most common form of any neurological or severe developmental disability in children. If it is so common, and some projections suggest it will be even more prevalent; what can we do to help these kids?
A published article in Nutrients magazine (March 2017), did a twelve month study on nutritional and dietary interventions on ASD children. The treatment used in the study began with vitamin/mineral supplement and sequentially added in treatments including essential fatty acids, Espom salt baths, carnitine, digestive enzymes, and healthy gluten-free, soy-free, casein-free diet. The study found a significant improvement in non-verbal intellectual ability and had significantly greater improvement in autism symptoms and developmental age. The study also found that the treatment group (ASD) had greater increases in EPA, DHA, carnitine, vit A, B2, B4, B6, B12, folic acid and Coenzyme Q10. The results suggest that a nutritional and dietary intervention is effective at improving nutritional status and non-verbal IQ, and autism symptoms in most individuals with ASD. Gut Health is very important!
When dealing with gut health issues it is important to consider diet, supplements, as well as the function of the whole system. Often the best results are when a patient with ASD has a group of health care professionals helping them along the way. This may include a naturopathic doctor, a medical doctor, the physiotherapist or occupational therapist, the chiropractor, the psychologist or behavioral therapist; the list can go on. Find what works best for your child and see how they can flourish with a multi-disciplinary approach to their health.
If you would like more information or are interested in further reading into the topic, please be sure to check out our other autism blog post here.