Tag Archive | "Autism"

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Helicobacter Pylori and Autism – What Tests to Perfom

Posted on 20 November 2011 by admin

Helicobacter Pylori

Helicobacter Pylori, or what is called H. Pylori, is a bacteria that has been responsible for the development of stomach ulcers. We know that kids on the Autism spectrum seem to have a lot of gut problems, including bacterial imbalances, yeast problems, and digestive problems in general. Helicobacter Pylori typically tends to aggravate the stomach and alters stomach acid production which can affect digestive enzyme function in the small intestine. It leads to poor digestion and malabsorption, and can also be a trigger for food allergies or sensitivities. It can cause stomach pain, acid reflux, gastritis and overall discomfort in the upper intestinal area, particularly after eating.

There’s a number ways of testing for H. Pylori. The most common test is called an H. Pylori antibody test, where they look at antibodies, which are immune proteins that are generated by our immune system to the presence of an infection, whether it’s a bacteria or a virus. The most common antibody is called an IGG antibody to H. Pylori. The problem is that IGG is only indicative of exposure to H. Pylori, and doesn’t really give you any idea if there is an active infection, so with that test, you still have to correlate it to symptoms. Some labs will also do an IGA and an IGM antibody to H. Pylori, which often times you have to specifically request. Those are important because IGM is actually a marker of active immune activity or immune activity against an active infection. IGA is also part of the complex as well. IGA, IGM and IGG are the common bloodtests that are done for H. Pylori. There is also a breath test that can be done, but it’s difficult to do with kids, so its not frequently used. Some of the labs are doing stool testing for H. Pylori, and are looking for what are called antigen staining or an antigen test.

One of the labs I use is called Biohealth Diagnostics and they have a panel called 401 which is a stool pathogen panel. When you add the H. Pylori component to it, it’s called the 401 H, it not only becomes a great test for parasites, looking for things like giardia, cryptosporidium, blastocystis hominis, entamoeba histolytica, but it also has a stool antigen test for H. Pylori and that if a stool antigen is present, it’s very good evidence that H. Pylori active infection is present. I often will do that, as an add-on stool test for kids on the autism spectrum to look for the presence of H. Pylori and also to look for the presence of other parasites that maybe missed by other stool tests. Those typically are the major tests that are done; the blood testing, the breath testing and the stool testing. The ones that are most common in the autism community would certainly be doing stool testing and the blood testing as well. I realize with some kids, it’s difficult to get blood, so again, if your doctors only gonna run H. Pylori IGG, in my experience that’s not going to be enough. Ask them to at least do the IGM, the IGA antibody and better than that, add a stool H. Pylori antigen test as well.

Helicobacter Pylori

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Common “Typical” Signs of Autism

Posted on 06 September 2011 by admin

Autism as a diagnosis is established based on specific observed behaviors. In addition, there are also various language problems and social interaction issues. No two autistic individuals, whether they are a child, teenager or adult, are exactly the same. Each individual had their own unique wants and desires. Biomedical autism treatments such as dietary changes, supplement therapy and others can help with many of the core autism problems.

Every person with autism has their own unique personality that manifests in a variety of ways. For example, one child can be affectionate, while another appears more aloof. The same thing can be seen with behaviors where one person can be quick to tantrum or be aggressive, while another is calm and non-assertive. There are many interventions that can be utilized to help such as behavioral therapy and autism biomedical treatments.

Language problems, including both receptive and expressive is a major problem in autism. Some individuals are mildly affected, while others have a complete loss of speech. Once again, biomedical autism treatments such as Methyl-B12, folinic acid and Respen-A therapy have helped many with language problems.

Listed below are some core signs of autism that you should be aware of. Even though the severity of symptoms varies from person to person, each person with autism will likely have some issue from each category:

Communication and Language

Lack in speech or limited language development.

Echolalia (as a stereotypical behavior). This sign of autism manifests as repeating something over and over such as a phrase from a video or movie.

Difficulty initiating or maintaining conversation.

Difficulty understanding the nuisances of communication such as humor or concern.

Note: In addition to speech therapy commonly which is commonly implemented for these problems, biomedical autism treatments can help with language development too. I have treated many children in my practice with significant language problems and seen very positive response. One child in particular went from 30 words to over 300 words in 3 weeks with the use of Methyl-B12 therapy.

Social Engagement and Awkwardness

Poor eye contact, poor recognition of facial expressions or body posturing. Lack of social cues recognition

Decreased or absent interest in sharing enjoyment, i.e. playfulness with other people. Lack of humor appropriate for age.

Lack or diminished interest in developing friendships. Overall poor social engagement.
Empathy is lacking. Poor or complete lack of awareness for another person’s pain, desires, or ambitions. Rigid in thinking.

Needs constant order and structure.

Note: Many biomedical autism treatments such as Methyl-B12 therapy and/or the gluten/casein-free diet can help particularly with better eye contact and awareness of others.

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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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Autism Treatment – Heavy Metals, Fecal Metals Test and Treating Autism

Posted on 13 March 2011 by admin

Autism Treatment with Fecal Metals Test

This is video five of this discussion on heavy metal testing. Fecal metal tests is another option for heavy metal assessment. Some people will do a stool test to analyze for heavy metals as one of the autism treatment. I typically don’t, I’ve had a few patients over the years where after a while we’ve noticed a pattern in metal excretion and we’ll use a fecal test to analyze metal excretion over time. I typically don’t do that test as a way to monitor metal detox because fecal metals are too easily influenced by environmental exposure.

You can come in contact with something in the environment whether its through food or water and essentially contaminate the test which means that you could eat something that might have high cadmium or let’s say it has high aluminum and it shows up high in the urine test but it doesn’t necessarily reflect that that metal was absorbed in the body. So there’s too many variables. I have used the fecal metal test in certain circumstances as a screening test to see is this child being exposed to something on a daily basis and I actually had a case a number of years ago where on a fecal metal test found very high levels of arsenic and very high levels of lead. When we went back and did analysis on the home environment it was found that these people lived in an area where they used to do a lot of farming. We know that farming and the herbicides and the pesticides generally tend to have a lot of arsenic and that lead exposure in that area was high as well. So it can be useful with respects to that.

But as far as something to assess and do up front to sit there and determine whether my child has high levels or not have high levels based on a fecal test; it’s too variable, I generally don’t recommend it. As I’ve mentioned before in video one, that’s why I generally up front as a screening tool will do a hair analysis. In video two I talked about porphyrin analysis which is a urine test for heavy metals and combine the hair analysis and the porphyrin analysis as a general screen to help determine what is our likelihood of heavy metal toxicity. And if it is positive what are some of the other testing that we can do in autism treatment and certainly what are some of the therapies that we can implement to help in the process of heavy metal detoxification.

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Autism Treatment – How to Use Supplements to Treat Autism, Part 1

Posted on 20 April 2010 by admin

Let me talk to you a little bit about how to use supplements as a treatment for Autism. Now we know that many individuals on the Autism spectrum have core issues with socialization problems, language problems, behavioral problems, stereotypical behaviors, sensory issues, self stimulatory behavior, etc. There can be a number of ways to intervene, whether it is through behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc. There are a wide variety of supplements obviously that are used and available to help treat some of the core problems. And the way you many times have to decide what to use is certainly to learn about what some of the different types of treatments are.

I have created a website called www.AutismSupplementCenter.com and in this website you can actually research supplements by name so if you are looking for a particular multi-vitamin or if you are looking for a specific amino acid like Gaba or Taurine or a probiotic you can search for it that way. But you can also search for supplements as treatment groups or treatment categories. So let’s say you are looking for supplements that are known to help with hyperactivity or supplements that are known to help with attention and focusing issues. You can search for things on this website in that way as well.

So it is important when you are looking at supplements to understand that many times supplements work synergistically with each other, which means that the more things you use many times the cumulative effect you are going to have. It is not just always about one supplement but about doing a total nutritional program to really get the desired effect. Many of these supplements are encapsulated, there are some liquids and each kid is going to be a little bit different about what they will tolerate. If you have a young child who can’t swallow capsules then many times you have to either open the contents of the capsules in juice or pear sauce, apple sauce or in some sort of food item to get them to take it. Kids who can swallow capsules it is usually not a problem, they can easily swallow them. Some of the liquid supplements can easily be mixed many times in juices of various degrees, pineapple juice or mango juice or other citrus juice.

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Autism Treatment Using Biomedical Therapies

Posted on 19 April 2010 by admin

In a previous video I talked about what are considered to be traditional treatments for Autism such as Risperdal medication, things like behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy. Let me talk a little bit about what are called biomedical therapies. Biomedical therapies are those therapies that are used medically but they are not necessarily commonly recognized by the traditional medical communities. That does not diminish their effectiveness because they can be quite effective. But within the traditional medical world they are not either recognized to a significant degree and many cases not even known about. They really break down into multiple categories.

Supplements, so using various nutritional supplements like multi-vitamins, multi-minerals, folic acid, B-12 can be very helpful for some individuals. As a matter of fact one particular vitamin called vitamin B-6 has actually been very helpful for a number of individuals on the Autism spectrum because it has a bolstering effect on brain chemistry that can help with the eye contact, attention, focusing and in many cases, behavioral problems.

We also have other therapies that deal with the digestive problems that kids have. So looking at yeast and bacterial issues, using things called probiotics or treating for yeast and bacterial problems in the digestive tract either with medications like Nystatin, Diflucan and sometimes antibiotics can help many individuals improve cognitively overall because we know that there is link between digestive toxicity and brain function.

Dietary therapy is another biomedical intervention. The one most commonly known about is the Gluten and Casein free diet. We know that the gluten and casein actually have a chemical effect on the brain. This has even been traced to people with bi-polar, depression, schizophrenia as well. But with individuals on the Autism spectrum, these particular food proteins can actually interfere with brain chemistry and create problems, attention problems, eye contact problems, socialization problems, language problems, behavioral problems, etc.

So when you are looking at biomedical therapies, these are therapies that are used medically, they just sort of fall outside what would be considered the norm of the traditional medical community, supplement therapies, digestive therapies, dietary therapies, etc. They can be incredibly useful and just as powerful in many cases, if not more powerful as the traditional therapies like speech, OT, ABA therapy or medications. So it is important to keep your mind open to other possibilities, to keep searching, to keep learning because there is a world of information out there with respects to treatments for Autism. I have just touched on a few of them in this video.

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Autism & Food Allergy (IgE) and Sensitivity (IgG) Testing – What You Need To Know

Posted on 26 October 2009 by admin

Food allergy and sensitivity testing and what you need to know

Let’s talk about the differences between a food IgE and a food IgG.  Most food allergy tests that are performed look at food reactions through a chemical called IgG.  IgG is the most abundant immune chemical in the body and It reacts with food quite adversity which can lead to low level inflammatory and immune reactions in the body.  These reactions are called IgG delayed hypersensitivity reactions.  They are not life threatening but in the digestive system they can cause bloating, gas, diarrhea.  In the body that can lead to low level inflammation that might lead to joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, brain fog, etc.  With kids on the spectrum many times they have elevated food IgG reactions that can weaken their immune systems over time that makes them more susceptible to things like viruses and bacteria that they are exposed to. So a food IgG reaction, even though sometimes it is called an allergic reaction, it is truly not an allergy but rather a hypersensitivity to those food proteins. So when you do a food IgG panel you are looking at 90 or 96 different foods that your child is eating and measuring that immune chemical against it. Now an IgE reaction is a true allergy.  This is something an allergist can test through the blood for a food, pollen, dust, animal hair, etc.  They can also do this through skin prick testing to look for an IgE reaction.  Most food reactions we come in contact with and are testing for are not IgE reactions but they are more IgG reactions. And an IgE reaction is usually pretty obvious.  It can many times happen within minutes of eating something.  We’ve heard these cases where someone reacts to peanuts or strawberries or pineapples or shell fish.  In a real extreme case they can develop welts on their body, their lips may swell, they get runny eyes or an itchy throat and these are types of reactions that are immediate after having a food.  In severe situations it can lead to anaphylactic reaction or anaphylactic shock. Someone who has a true allergy to bee stings for example can develop and anaphylactic reaction and need to be hospitalized and take medication to short circuit that reaction. So there is a difference.  When you are looking at doing food sensitivity testing for your child, you are primarily looking at doing an IgG food sensitivity testing.  The profile that I tend to use in my practice is from Great Plains Labs and is called the food IgG profile and that is where you are actually looking at these immune chemicals to your child’s diet. Hopefully that clears up some of the confusion surrounding IgG and IgE allergy testing. Just remember that IgE is true allergy and IgG is sensitivity.

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