Tag Archive | "autism action plan"

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Autism Treatment–Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

Posted on 17 October 2011 by admin

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Some children, particularly those with inflammatory bowel conditions, very weak immune systems, or the inability to eradicate opportunistic bacteria and yeast from their digestive system, often times will receive benefit from a more detailed autism treatment dietary program than just the gluten and casein-free diet. One such autism treatment program is called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) as promoted by the late Elaine Gottschall, author of a groundbreaking book titled “Breaking the Vicious Cycle.” This diet is an extension of the gluten/casein-free diet (and soy-free diet) and has been a big boost health wise for many children on the autismspectrum.

I have seen the Specific Carbohydrate Diet work miracles with patients with digestive conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis or Chron’s Disease. Many children on the autism spectrum are suffering with a similar condition called Autistic Entereocolitis as described by Andrew Wakefield, M.D. Many more kids are suffering with undiagnosed bowel disorders that benefit from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is not just a low carbohydrate diet, but instead is focused on removing certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye (same as the GF/CF diet), as well as rice, corn and other offending foods. The theory is that certain digestive enzymes that breakdown disaccharides (complex sugars) are missing (or are being blocked from reaching the food in the digestive system by excessive layers of intestinal mucus) in the child’s digestive system, making it difficult to digest these additional food sources. The lack of digestive function leads to chronic inflammation in the digestive system leading to gut wall deterioration. With the breakdown of the gut wall, food absorption is compromised leading to mineral, amino acid and vitamin imbalances, as well as immune dysfunction and the overgrowth of opportunistic infections such as yeast and bacteria.

The digestive system is the largest immune organ in the body and acts as the first line ofimmune defense against pathogens such as parasites, yeast, bacteria and intestinal exposed viruses. The loss of this immune response and the eventually breakdown of the gut wall can lead to systemic immune dysfunction and leaky gut. “Leaky gut” is analogous to a screen door on a submarine – “everything and anything can get through.” This means you lose the ability to keep the bad stuff from entering your blood stream. Increased toxins filtering into your child’s blood stream can activate systemic immune responses leading to local and systemic inflammation – including the brain. Celiac disease (which is a genetic disorder evidenced by the inability to digest gluten – specifically gliadin – containing grains) is an example of this where gluten proteins from food can adversely affect the brain.

To learn more about this autism treatment approach – the Specific Carbohydrate Diet -and the benefits it may have for your child visit – www.breakingtheviciouscycle.com

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

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Autism Treatment – Using Methylation Chemistry for Autism Treatment

Posted on 02 October 2011 by admin

Methylation is a vital biochemical reaction in the body that supports the cardiovascular, hormone, immune, and detoxification systems, DNA/RNA structure and function, and other key metabolic system controlling energy production. It is commonly a problem in many autistic-spectrum individuals. There are some effective therapies, namely methylcobolamin therapy (injection, oral, sublingual), as well as other methylation supplements such as DMG and TMG.

The two most referenced chemical reactions in this methylation system are Re-methylation and Trans-Sulfuration.

Re-Methylation (or methylation) – this pathway involves the conversion of Homocysteine to Methionine. Methionine is a rate-limiting step for the production of other necessary chemicals which affect the heart and blood vessels, muscle tissue, immune and nervous system. The conversion of homocysteine to methionine can occur by direct transference of a methyl (CH3) groups from Methylcobalamin (B12) or betaine (trimethylglycine or TMG).

Homocysteine sits at a junction of two different biochemical reactions. Because of its position in this biochemical matrix it has the capacity to impact all methylation and sulfur group transference metabolic processes in the body. The most recognized impact of homocysteine is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. However, in individuals with autism its impact affects other functions as well particularly cognition including concentration, attention, and language.

Trans-Sulfuration – this pathway involves degrading homocysteine to two different amino acids – taurine and cysteine. Taurine is most commonly known for cardiac support and liver support, detoxification, bile acid formation and cholesterol excretion. Cysteine has direct influence on glutathione production. Glutathione is a potent anti-oxidant and has broad reaching effects on the DNA/RNA protection, heavy metal detoxification, and immune function. Many children on the autistic-spectrum have deficiencies of both taurine and cysteine.

There are many intermediary steps involved in these two important biochemical reactions. Envision a wheel that is constantly spinning in a clockwise fashion. Homocysteine is at 6 o’clock and Methionine is at 12 o’clock. The goal is to get from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock, and then from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock. This keeps the wheel spinning in the right direction. Certain other chemicals will impact upon this wheel at specific points. If any one of these intermediary steps is blocked than the wheel slows down or stops. This causes a backlog of chemical information that has deleterious effects on our overall health.

Methylcobolamin, activated Folic Acid (called methyl-folate), and Betaine (TMG) are responsible for taking homocysteine from 6 o’clock to methionine at 12 o’clock. If one system is faulty (methylcobolamin/Folic acid) than betaine (TMG) can help out. SAMe (s-adenosylmethionine) the body’s “universal methyl donor” helps take methionine from 12 o’clock to homocysteine at 6 o’clock. Along the way other important chemicals are being spun off in different directions to support the many dependent biochemical reactions in the body.

The problem with many autistic individuals is that this system does not operate properly severely compromising their immune, nervous, and detoxification systems. The impact can be enormous including increased chronic infections, inability to detoxify their body of chemicals and heavy metal toxins, and neuro-cognitive problems such as language processing, attention, focusing, and concentration. There appears to be a genetic component with many autistic individuals for having a problem with this methylation and trans-sulfuration chemisty. However, for many the problem does not become manifest until their system is negatively impacted upon from nutritional deficiencies, digestive problems from yeast, bacteria, parasites, malabsorption from digestive imbalances, heavy metal toxins from vaccines or environmental exposures.

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Autism Treatment – How Music Therapy Helps In Treating Autism

Posted on 11 September 2011 by admin

Musical therapy is gaining acceptance in the field of treatments for autism. Individuals on the autism-spectrum who receive music therapy will often have improvement in overall temperament and learning abilities. I recently saw a young boy who loved the Beatles. Hearing their music has helped with his behavior and willingness to communicate. Other individuals have responded in similar ways to other types of music. Music makes connections to the non-verbal part of our brain making it a perfect therapy for disorders in which the person has trouble communicating. This is why it is a perfect fit for autism.

Music therapy has been used in conjunction to help with learning skills. Classical music often playing in the background has been shown to help with mental processing for math and complex problems, but more importantly in autism music in general provides a non-threatening medium for people while playing games that help to improve social and behavior skills. For example, by encouraging eye contact while singing or using musical instruments that need to be held close to the face musical therapy can help autistic individuals break social barriers. In short, music is fun and engaging.

The main thing that music therapy has been shown to help with is the development of speech and communication skills. Music has the ability to connect the verbal and non-verbal functions in the brain. This is critical in autism as speech difficulties are so significant. In the beginning certain individuals may be only able to hum, grunt or make non-word noises while others will babble phrases of verses. The little boy who was a Beatles fan learned to pronounce the famous line “we all live in a Yellow Submarine…” Autistic individuals will often gain the capability to put phrases and sentences together in attempts to communicate with other people. No matter how skilled the individual is with speech, they can participate in musical therapy by clapping to the beat of the song, humming along, or doing simple echoing sounds. It doesn’t really matter just getting them involved in music can make powerful transformations.

Individuals on the autism spectrum are commonly found to be good at music. Some people have perfect pitch, while others may play a particular instrument very well. Even if they show no genius musical ability by common standards you may find that a particularly person has abilities in music that exceed his or her other abilities. A musical therapist can use music as a way to link this kind of learning with other kinds of learning skills such as communicating emotions or improving memory. Trained professionals can use music to teach children and others how to communicate in nonverbal ways, making it easier for patients to learn.

However, music doesn’t need to be reserved for a therapy or a classroom setting. Play music in the home and/or car as a way to introduce new sounds, instruments, and voices into the auditory world for an autistic individual. Break out those Beatles albums and you never know what might emerge for a person on the spectrum. They too may find their favorite Beatles song and learn to sign and communicate in a way they never have before.

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Autism Treatment – Is Autism Curable?

Posted on 06 September 2011 by admin

“Autism is curable.” This is a statement some people use to indicate that autism is a disease or health condition that can be overcome. Others have vehemently argued that autism is not a disease process at all, and therefore there is nothing to be cured from. The traditional medical community viewpoint is that there is no cure for autism and only supportive treatment such behavioral modification and drug therapies are options worth pursuing.

To fully understand the concept of cure we need to make a distinction between what is commonly called ‘cured’ (a return to a previous state of health before a change had occurred) and ‘recovery’ (the act of regaining health that was previously lost). Traditional medicine, and even those in the autism medical community realize that there is no known cure for autism, although there are different treatments available including biomedical autism interventions that can help individuals on the autism-spectrum such as diet, i.e. gluten-free and casein-free diet and/or the specific carbohydrate diet, nutritional supplement intervention (including multivitamin/minerals), Methyl-B12 therapy, Respen-A, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, detoxification, anti-fungal treatment, and much more, as well as non-biomedical therapies including applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech and occupational intervention. Traditional medicine even has treatments which are mostly drugs such as Risperdal to suppress aberrant behavior. However, none of these treatments are curative.

I do not use the word ‘cure’ in my consultations, internet postings, lectures, or writings when discussing the various treatments available for individuals on the autism-spectrum. Instead, the more appropriate word I like to use is ‘recover.’ Here is an analogy. If you have an accident and break your arm, and overtime your broken arm heals to the point that movement is restored and it appears indistinguishable from before the accident this would indicate a recovery from your injury. However, your arm would still have suffered the injury and therefore an absolute cure from the accident (and subsequent broken arm) is not possible. You still had the broken arm. However, normal function in your arm has been regained…you recovered!

A similar concept applies to autism. Children (as well as teenagers or adults) are not cured from their autism. However, some individuals can recover, losing their diagnosis, and appear indistinguishable from their peers. In these cases their autism was reversed, most or all symptoms of their disorder have disappeared, and they now function typical of other people, but they will always have had what is classified as autism. So what do you think? is autism curable?

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Chronic Yeast Toxicity and Autism

Posted on 06 September 2011 by admin

The organic acid test is essential to analyze for yeast, and bacterial overgrowth. It is also helpful to assess the level of oxalate excretion, and other factors related to glutathione and antioxidant status, serotonin metabolism, quinolinic acid production (a marker for potential brain toxicity) as well as markers for in-born errors of metabolism including oxalate and amino acid dysfunction.

Case History Yeast and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS)

Mark was one of my first ASD cases back in 1998. He was a 2 year old boy diagnosed with PPD-NOS (not otherwise specified). His development was typical of the history listed above. Multiple ear infections had led to repeated antibiotics for months on end. Loose stools were the norm as he struggled to maintain eye contact and learn in school. I ordered an Organic Acid Test (OAT) from Great Plains laboratory and discovered a massive amount of yeast metabolites – arabinose being the most common and quite elevated in Mark. Being new to biomedicine for autism all I knew (back in 1998) to do was make a recommendation for a gluten/casein-free diet and antifungal therapy. The anti-fungal medication was called Nystatin. Mark’s mother also implemented some basic supplements including a multi-vitamin and mineral, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.

After 18 months of continuous use of Nystatin, dietary modification and general nutritional support Mark was mainstreamed into regular school and continued to do well. His repeat OAT finally showed no yeast overgrowth. This case illustrated for me the powerful changes that could happen for an ASD child with basic dietary intervention and prolonged antifungal therapy.

Yeast has a tremendous effect on health. What are common in children with yeast overgrowth are behaviors that suggest dissociation, withdrawal, and aloofness. The most common behaviors that I see most commonly attributable to a yeast overgrowth problem are the following:

Poor eye contact.
Increased self-stimulatory behavior – fixating on spinning objects, odd hand movements including and finger-flicking in front of eyes.
Toe-walking.
Becoming withdrawn.
“Silly, goofy and/or giddy” – but this is not a behavior that involves other people. The child becomes silly, goofy and/or giddy to themselves. Parents will often describe that their child appears drunk.
Increased sugar craving.
Overall increased sensory seeking behavior, i.e. pressure

Other parents can describe more subtle differences, but those listed above are fairly common manifestations. What is most prevalent with “yeasty” behavior is a giddiness that mimics drugged or drunk behavior. When they are put on medications such as Nystatin or natural remedies, i.e. oregano oil, and/or grapefruit seed extract these behaviors improve.

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Autism Treatment – Chronic Stress and Autism

Posted on 06 September 2011 by admin

Everyone experiences stress in their lives. What separates one person from the next is how their body adapts to stress. Not all stress is bad, as stress can have its benefits in helping the body react, grow and adapt such as building a vibrant immune system. However, chronic stress can lead to long-term health consequences. Stress can come in many forms. Environmental changes such as cold, heat and extreme weather is a form of stress. Foods and food allergies are a form of stress. Mental and emotional factors are a major cause of stress in many people. Parents of autistic children experience a tremendous amount of mental and emotional stress in having to take care of a special needs child.

Vaccines are a form of stress that pushes the immune system to produce protective immune chemicals against vaccine related illnesses. Unfortunately, at times these reactions go array and lead to biochemical imbalances in the body and brain. Hormone imbalances, digestive problems, immune system dysfunction, metabolic disorders can all occur from a chronic burden of stress. Even children respond to stress in similar ways as adults with many of them experiencing mental/emotional changes such as depression, anxiety, and fear.

Children on the autism-spectrum experience stress in a profound way. Cognitive decline, lack of speech, anxiety, lack of social connections, and other behavioral manifestations are a form of mental/emotional stress. In my experience autism-spectrum children are dealing with a lot of physical challenges as well, many of which contribute and worsen their already declining cognitive abilities. Digestive disorders like diarrhea, constipation, yeast and bacterial infections cause a tremendous amount of toxicity in the body. This can cause pain, headaches and a feeling of overall sickness. Immune dysfunction in many children predisposes them to opportunistic infections such as viral, bacterial and yeast imbalances.

Food allergies and sensitivities play a big role in chronic illness. With autism many individuals are burdened with multiple food sensitivities. This leads to bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and malabsorption – all common in autism. Malabsorption (difficulty in absorbing nutrients from the digestive tract into the blood stream) leads partly to the epidemic of nutritional deficiencies seen often in autistic children. Some of these nutritional deficiencies like iron and B-vitamins can lead to anemia causing fatigue, blood cell abnormalities and immune problems. In short, most autism-spectrum children are dealing with various forms of stress in their lives, and much of this stress is interfering with their ability to get well.

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What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome and How Does It Relate to Treating Autism?

Posted on 06 September 2011 by admin

Leaky gut syndrome is a phenomenon in which micro-particles, i.e. food fragments, viruses, bacteria and yeast proteins, and other bio-toxic material are leeched into the blood stream from a breakdown of the intestinal mucosal barrier. With respect to autism, leaky gut is thought to contribute to unwanted molecules (food, bacteria, yeast, etc.) permeating through the intestinal wall and cross-reacting with the immune system (leading to increased susceptibility for allergies) and the brain (leading to problems in cognitive function, language, and behavior), as well as leading to brain inflammation.

Leaky gut syndrome is detrimental for a person’s health because toxic substances which are normally bound in the fecal matter making its way through the digestive system for eventual elimination, now has access through a permeable mucosal membrane leading to physical stress throughout the body. For example, a food protein like gliadin (found in wheat) may trigger brain chemical reactions altering attention, mood, sleep and pain response. If the substance is from an intestinal pathogen such as a bacteria it can trigger immune reactions leading to autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune is the process of the body’s immune system attacking itself and it is known that various infectious proteins can trigger this response, i.e. bacterial toxins leading to reactive arthritis (formally called Reiter’s Syndrome) or PANDAS – a autoimmune post-streptococcal infection condition triggered by group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus.

What causes leaky gut syndrome is not entirely known. In autism, part of the issue could be gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a protein found in wheat that certain individuals have a difficult time digesting. With the inability to breakdown gluten in the gut an inflammatory reaction is created which weakens the gut wall. Inside the gut wall are millions of tiny cells that are responsible for absorbing nutrients from our diet, as well as releasing enzymes to help breakdown the food stuff in the gut. The spaces between cells are vulnerable through something called a tight junction. A tight junction is material that holds cells together. Think of it like mortar between bricks in a wall. If the mortar breaks down than overtime the bricks collapse and the wall falls over. The same thing can happen in the digestive system with the tight junctions breaking down and the space between cells becoming more “leaky.”

Other potential contributing factors to leaky gut are alcohol, caffeine, certain drugs like ibuprofen and diets high in carbohydrates. In autism, a diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is used to eliminate the build-up of inflammation in the gut from hard to digest carbohydrates, i.e. corn, potatoes, rice. The results with this diet can be remarkable in helping autism-spectrum individuals improve their health and overall cognitive abilities. For parents with autistic children, as well as doctors and researchers looking at the role of leaky gut in autism, there is always more to understand with respects to causes and treatment. Simply understanding that leaky gut exists in autism is important and will help everyone involved in the care of an autistic individual better understand some of the reasons behind their health and cognitive challenges.

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Biomedical Autism Intervention Website Membership – Free!

Posted on 19 October 2009 by admin

www.AutismActionPlan.org is the first and only biomedical autism treatment & recovery site, created and run by a biomedical autism specialist physician. AutismActionPlan.org is the only doctor driven biomedical autism intervention site with direct interaction with a biomed doctor. On Saturday, October 24th, 2009, AutismActionPlan.org is having a FREE open house. Come to the website on that day and you can register for a 24 hour free membership that gives you access to all of Dr. Woeller’s Video Presentations & Lectures, Biomed Troubleshooting advice, Biomedical Protocols, Biomedical Test interpretations, PLUS – access to renowned biomedical autism specialist, Dr. Kurt Woeller, through his Parent Forum and LIVE Video Chats, throughout the day. In addition, there will also be Live Video Chats given by Feeding and Speech pathologist, Dawn Winkelmann, and Terri Hirning, autism blogger and the parent of a child successfully treated using biomedical autism intervention.

Don’t miss this opportunity for a free membership and test drive of www.AutismActionPlan.org. This is free, but you must register on Saturday, October 24th, 2009.

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