The organic acid test is a urinary profile that is run from a lab called Great Plains Labs. It is one of the first things I do in my practice to help assess yeast and bacterial problems. The organic acid test also evaluates other metabolic issues, what are called inborn errors of metabolism, or can also pick up on function vitamin and nutrient deficiencies so it is an important test to run. Since the organic acid test is a urine test, it is easier to run than other tests. The two markers that are very important to evaluate in children with Autism are yeast and bacteria. Yeast is a very common problem for kids with Autism. Children with Autism can be greatly affected neurologically by yeast markers on an organic acid test. One in particular is called arabinose which is a byproduct of candida. Arabinose can greatly impact neurological function particularly manipulation of various chemicals in the brain that can affect attention, focusing, it can create problems behaviorally, where kids become more agitated or irritable, sometimes can cause silly, goofy, giddy, behavior or inappropriate laughter. Many kids with Autism who have elevated yeast markers on an Organic Acid test can become more stimmy. Whether it’s visual stimming, physical stimming or just higher sensory needs, becoming more sensitive to sounds, light, or need more pressure, whatever it may be, yeast can be a factor. Bacteria markers on an organic acid test can also be problematic. And we are talking about intestinal yeast and intestinal bacteria. One particular type of bacteria that is evaluated on the organic acid test is called Clostridia. There are many types of clostridia and the specific marker on the organic acid test, called the HPHPA marker, helps to identify the presence of clostridia bacteria. Many kids who have problems with clostridia have the opposite issues as with yeast. Many kids who have high clostridia markers on the organic acid test can be more irritable, agitated, can be aggressive and sometimes self injurious. They are just more agitated whereas yeasty kids tend to be goofy, giddy or silly. Once in a while you can have a child with a real bad yeast issue who can be irritable. The issue is when you have both markers present on the organic acid test. When you have both yeast and bacteria the picture can get a little blurry and it is not a real text book case presentation. The organic acid test is important to delineate between the two. It also becomes important in determining how to treat, whether you are going to treat with anti-fungals, herbs, supplements, or go after clostridia with antibiotics and more specialized probiotics. The organic acid test should be considered a first line diagnostic tool. It is generally easy to obtain because it is a urine test. And I think you will find it to be a very important tool in the overall biomedical assessment of your child.
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