Tag Archive | "Biomedical autism treatment"

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Biomedical Autism Treatment – Take Supplements With Caution

Posted on 04 September 2012 by admin

If you are about to start supplements with your child who is on the Autism spectrum, take my word of advice, don’t start everything at once. If you’ve got a list of supplements from your doctor, whether it is 3 items, 5, 10, my recommendation and my clinical experience in years of practice is start one thing at a time, particularly in the beginning of any type of biomedical program. And the reason is, many kids on the Autism spectrum are very, very sensitive, physically, mentally, emotionally to therapy. If you start everything at one time you’re not necessarily going to know what is working or what may be causing a problem. Not that we’re talking about serious side effects from supplement therapy but you want to be able to know how well they’re adjusting, how well they are progressing to a particular therapy.

Now what is going to happen over time is your kids are going to be on multiple things. They are going to be doing dietary intervention, they will be on supplement therapy, maybe they’re treating for yeast, maybe you’re doing Methyl B-12, whatever it may be. But in the beginning I always try to isolate down and start one thing at a time. B-12 for example, Methyl B-12 injections is a perfect example of this. We would like to start this for at least 5 to 6 weeks, ideally 6 weeks, without starting any other therapy. If I am going to start supplements and I have 5 or 6 things, I will typically tell the parent and give them a list of where I want them to start and they start at the top of the list and work our way down. Typically introducing a new supplement every 1 to 2 days because I want to know and I want them to give me feedback on positive changes as well as negative changes. I also have parents get a little notebook calendar where they can mark down what day they started a therapy or a supplement and make a little note as to what they observed. So, again if you rush into it and you start too many things at once and your child has a negative reaction you’re not going to know did it. Be patient, start one thing at a time and you will have much greater success long term in doing supplement therapy and other biomedical therapies for your child.

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Autism Treatment – Behavior Changes in Treating Autism

Posted on 12 December 2011 by admin

Behavior Changes

A number of factors can impact behavior in children with Autism, and working on resolving behavior changes means isolating some factors of the behavior. When is the behavior issue occurring? Is it occurring before going to school or in the morning or happening when your child gets home from school? Is it happening at school? In the therapy sessions? Before bedtime? Has there been some type of change in their daily routine?

I’ve often had kids who’ve had behavior changes because they’re in a classroom and a new child comes into the classroom that they either don’t like or they’re not getting along with or there is some type of conflict. It can even be a result of a new therapist or a new teacher.

Behavior changes can break down to something in their daily routine. Has there been some sort of change in their diet? Eating new foods or taking certain foods away that your child likes certainly can contribute to behavioral problems. Have you added a new supplement? Often times, changes in behavior occur when new supplements are added. Often times people will add too many supplements at one time instead of spacing them out every two to three days when introducing a new thing. Supplements sometimes can cause problems.

So you really have to be a detective in what is actually happening with your child and how long has that behavior change been occurring. Keep a journal on your child’s behavior changes to help you establish patterns. Has it been over a couple days or a couple weeks? Really try to piece together what may be going on, and keep in mind it may not be biomedical. It could be situational.

By the way, if it is something that might be tied to supplements, generally what I do is isolate which supplements have been added since the behavioral change started. Then, I recommend taking all of those new supplements out. Wait four to five days and see if the behavioral change shifts. Reintroduce those supplements one at a time, maybe sometimes at half a dose, and take implementation slower because just that change alone may be enough for your child to handle whatever new program you are putting them on.

Behavior Changes

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Autism Treatment – How to Successfully Work With a Biomedical Autism Doctor

Posted on 07 November 2011 by admin

Autism Treatment

These suggestions have been acquired over the years in my practice and have helped me assist my patients greatly. Also, in talking with many other doctors working with families of a loved one with autism these recommendations often hold true as well.

Autism Treatment Journal – keep a running journal of your observations and timeline of therapies you are implementing.

Keep a spreadsheet of therapies.

Keep dates of when new therapies such as when supplements were started, stopped, and what reactions you see (good or bad).

Recognize your child’s patterns – situational, seasonal, time of day.

If you add new therapies new problems occur, then cut out the therapies implemented after the reactions occurred, then reintroduce each therapy one at a time and slowly to isolate which one was the potential culprit. Notify your doctor of these changes.

You will need to become a detective of your child’s particular autism condition.

You know your child better than anyone – be involved 100%.

You are ultimately responsible for your own health and your child’s health care, and by keeping an Autism Treatment Journal, you can help your doctors to treat your child effectively. Be prepared for your consultations with questions, concerns, and important topics you want to cover. Ask whether your practitioner receives faxes, emails, or voice mail regarding questions.Send these to your doctor via fax or email prior to your consult.
Be prepared to pay for extra time. Most doctors will answer questions that are related to a new therapy introduced or quick follow-up questions to a recent visit.

Partnering with your practitioner also means having a relationship with the office staff. Treat them with respect. They are there to help. Do not assume your doctor remembers every detail about your child – keep them informed. If you change supplements by either removing or adding them, let your practitioner know in writing via fax or email. This way they can keep a copy for their records.

Come prepared with your latest observations about your child. Let your doctor know what different therapies, testing, etc. you want to explore. Keep a running list of supplements, medications, calendar of therapy implementation and observed reactions to therapies.

Let your doctor know when you have sent off tests or if you are having problems getting tests samples collected. Some offices track follow-up appointments based on incoming tests results.

Autism Treatment

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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 Treatment – Exercise and Autism

Posted on 06 June 2010 by admin

Let me tell you a little bit about exercise and Autism. There has been some recent information that’s come out about exercise and depression. What they are finding is that individuals who are on an exercise program, at least 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 times per week, have a significant reduction, up to 45%, in their depressive issues. That is quite significant when you think of depression in this country being treated primarily with anti-depressive medication. So this simple aerobic exercise of 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 times per week can have a significant effect on depression.

One of the things I have seen over the years too is with kids on the spectrum functioning more appropriately, whether it is behavior, attention, focusing, anxiety, etc. when they actually get exercise. It could be going to the park and letting the child run around on the play gym, working out things that way. The child can ride a bike certainly, just being physically active. Swimming for example is a great activity. So I really encourage parents particularly now as the summer months are coming along, the days are getting longer, to get their kids outside in the fresh air and the natural sunlight, and let them run, let them play, let them explore if your child is inclined to do that.

So many kids now are trapped inside, they are either inside stuck to the computer, or stuck to video games, or movies. I know kids certainly a lot of kids are in therapy sessions all day long and they get out of those therapy sessions and they tend to be agitated, or hyper, they are anxious, they have difficulty sleeping. So simple lifestyle changes like that can make a world of difference. Maybe it is going on a walk after dinner at night because it is not all about medication, it is not all about a diet, it is not all about supplementation. Sometimes just pure good physical exertion, physical activity can really set the tone for a better attitude and a better mental state with your child on the spectrum.

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Autism Recovery – Nutritional Lithium, Mood, & Behavior

Posted on 02 December 2009 by admin

One of the things I have seen help a lot of kids who have mood issues, behavioral problems, temper tantrums, very irritable most of the time is something called nutritional lithium,. It is interesting because lithium has been around a long time as a medication, specifically something called lithium carbonate. Lithium carbonate has been generally used in people with bi-polar, depression, manic issues and in some cases can be quite helpful for that.

A lot people don’t realize though that lithium is actually a nutritional element that we get through our diet, not in really high amounts but it is important to help stabilize brain chemistry. There have been studies where they have looked at various communities and one thing they have recognized is that as the lower the rate of lithium in the water supply in particular communities, the higher the rate of crime, sometimes violent crime. So in this study, it has been repeated in various communities around the United States as well as around the world.

One thing lithium helps to do is stabilize a particular receptor in the brain called NMDA. NMDA is very much associated with the electrical or excitatory activity within the brain and certain substances like glutamate, glutamate is amino acid and helps to stimulate NMDA receptors, and lithium helps to stabilize that receptor. Which basically means lithium helps make that receptor site not so sensitive, not so easy to activate. That is very important because in a lot of neurological disorders, Alzheimer’s for example or other types of neurological conditions, and for Autism as well, NMDA receptor activity or over excitability of the NMDA receptor can lead to premature cellular damage and can lead to many neurological problems.

So lithium as a particular nutritional supplement, in low doses, we are talking sometimes 500 mcg to 1000 mcg maybe upwards of 5000 mcg in some individuals, can be very helpful for brain support and I have seen lithium be very helpful to stabilize their mood, decrease some of the irritability and agitation that kids can have. We also know this can be helpful in adults as well. So think about nutritional lithium as a potential supplement for your child if they deal with mood disorders, irritability, agitation, even aggression as well. New Beginnings Nutritionals, www.nbnus.com, carries a very good form of nutritional lithium.

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Biomedical Autism Treatment – Bowel Pain, Posturing, and Odd Behavior

Posted on 01 December 2009 by admin

We know that bowel problems are a big, big issue in Autism. It is almost universal from my experience that small child, slightly older child, teenager, etc. is going to have some sort of bowel issue and there can be a lot of reasons for that. A child can have a hard time having a bowel movement because just they lack the sensation of feeling the need to go to the bathroom. You can have kids who have inflammatory bowel problems which you know can be a problem. On the other end of that they can be severely constipated and there can be a lot of behavioral things tied up in that.

One thing I want to point out real quickly to you is the issue of your child posturing themselves over the furniture. By posturing I mean leaning over the edge of the chair or leaning over the edge of the couch, trying to leverage themselves in some respect and trying to bring some relief essentially to their abdominal area. This isn’t just a playful thing where they do it for a couple of seconds and then go away. I have some kids where they literally lean over the edge of the coffee table for example and be there for 2, 3, 4 minutes it just looks like what they are trying to do is find a comfortable position. That maybe in some cases where it is a clear sign of an underlying bowel problem.

It could be constipation where they have so much stool building up in their abdomen and they are not going everyday and it is causing cramping and discomfort and they are trying to find a relief point for that. Typically in small kids, they don’t have enough strength in their arms and their hands in order to push on their abdomen to relieve the pain. It can also be an indication of underlying inflammation. So we know that small bowel inflammation can be very, very painful and kids will actually try to leverage themselves over the furniture to try and relieve that pain. So if you see that type of behavior, recognize it as potentially an underlying medical problem and seek medical attention.

A very simple thing to do with your pediatrician or your family doctor is to get an abdominal x-ray to see how much stool they have built up in their bowel. It may be that your child has a bowel movement everyday but if you are looking at a bowel movement that is several inches long, which is actually pretty big for a small child, they may have a whole lot left in their belly that needs to come out. So unless you take a look you won’t know.

So again, this posturing behavior over furniture, over a couch, over a chair, over a coffee table, even a child who is laying on the ground on their tummy and trying to roll their tummy back and forth can be an indication of an underlying bowel problem. Make sure you check it out with your doctor. There are a number of things you can do to help relieve that. If they have constipation then doing some things to help relieve that with magnesium or some other types of laxatives. If they have diarrhea and they are doing that type of thing then you are probably looking at some underlying type of inflammatory problem, or maybe an infection. Doing a stool test or what not can be important. You are always looking for clues for these types of things and posturing is a real important one with respects to underlying bowel problems.

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Autism Recovery – Non-blood vs. Blood testing and Autism

Posted on 30 November 2009 by admin

Testing is a very important part of what we do from a biomedical approach. And there are a lot of different lab tests. Now I have talked about this before with respects to a particular test called an organic acid test (OAT), particularly an organic acid test from Great Plains Laboratory which I use quite a bit. What I wanted to discuss regarding testing is when you are considering testing for your child you have to break things down into non-blood testing and blood testing. In my practice I always ask parents whether their child has had blood testing before.

If they have, one of the things I want to know is how they did with the testing. Some kids do fine with blood testing where it is not a big struggle, not a big problem. With other kids testing is a very, very traumatic situation. I have had some situations where certain kids have had to be held down with 3 or 4 adults because it is so stressful. But we realize that a blood test is an essential part in what we do and that we need to do blood testing at times with your child to get specific data. However, when you are starting off with a biomedical approach, blood testing up front is not always necessary. I am not saying it is not necessary in some cases but in many cases you can actually implement various treatments like dietary interventions or treatment for yeast and bacterial problems based on non-blood tests.

One of the first tests I run is an organic acid test in my practice. It is a urine test so it is generally fairly easy to get, non-traumatic and it does give a lot of good information with respects to yeast and bacterial toxins as well as other metabolic issues that can be supported supplementally. Stool testing as well is one of the first things I do. You are looking at bacteria, yeast, parasitic infections, markers of inflammation off of some of the comprehensive digestive stool analysis that are offered through the biomedical community.

Those are two things that can be done up front that don’t require any blood testing and you can implement a lot of treatment from those. So when you are looking at testing, blood testing does become important down the road whether it is looking at cholesterol levels or liver function or kidney function or mineral assessments. There is a wide variety of blood tests but it doesn’t have to be done right up front initially with your child because you can get some very, very good information off some of the non-blood tests, specifically the organic acid test and comprehensive stool analysis in order to start initial treatment from a biomedical approach.

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