Autism

AutismWhat is Autism?

Autism is a condition resulting from a neurological disorder that affects the brain functions. This affects a person’s communication, as well as his social interaction skills. Autistics find it hard to concentrate and most of the time would need assistance from other people to do basic daily routines.

 

What Causes Autism?

  • Genes. There are doctors who say that being autistic can be attributed to the genes. In fact, this has been seen as a factor in a lot of cases.
  • Toxic overload. Recent reports have pointed out that autism could be directly related to toxic overload. Some of the causes for toxicity are vaccines (especially measles, mumps, and rubella, more popularly known as MMR), polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, pesticides, heavy metals like lead, mercury, and aluminium. Chemicals in foods are also causes of toxic overload, examples of which are salicylates and phenolic compounds.
  • Incomplete digested food particles. Several researches have found that children who have behavioural problems have higher amounts of incompletely digested particles of dairy and wheat. There has been an acknowledged connection between the neurotoxins found in the brain and autism.
  • Reduced protein-breakdown in milk and gluten. When this element is not broken down properly, it could lead to neurotoxins to enter the brain. This will then disrupt brain chemistry.
  • Large doses of antibiotics. This could trigger gut problems, which could lead to food intolerances and sensitivities.
  • Poor functioning of the immune system. This could contribute to fungal overgrowth.
  • Sluggish liver function. This could also lead to fungal overgrowth which could cause autism.

 

Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Autism

  • Inability to communicate. Autistics often find it hard to express what they want.
  • Difficulty concentrating. Those who suffer from autism find it hard to stay in a single place or focus on a particular subject for a long time.
  • Impaired hearing and language. Autistics find it difficult to understand others and have difficulty listening.
  • Disturbed sleep patterns. Autistic individuals usually have difficulty sleeping soundly.
  • Hyperactivity. These individuals are often full of energy and would indulge in various activities. They seem unstoppable and would continually do what they want to do.
  • Abnormal social relationships. They do not usually act their age when in public. They deal differently with other people.
  • Rituals. They would do one thing over and over again, and in such manner that it would be like seeing everything in “replay” mode.
  • Compulsive behaviour. Autistics would do something without really thinking about it. Whatever would come to their minds, they will immediately do it.

 

Diet for Autism

Foods to Avoid

  • Gluten. Autistic children must not eat foods with gluten. You could usually find this in breads, cereals, and biscuits. Try not to forget that oats, rye, and barley also have gluten content. A lot of doctors at the present are really happy that one can buy gluten-free products from the National Health Service (NHS). Some children however suffered from “withdrawal-like” symptoms, became even much worse, before their parents finally noticed improvements.
  • Foods that the child has some form of intolerance to. Common types of these foods are eggs, fish, soya, chocolate, peanuts and other type of foods.
  • Shellfish. This has been found to be the cause of problems that are associated with allergies/food intolerance or leaky gut.
  • Pre-packaged food. This would include junk types of foods and drinks too. These foods are often packed with sugar, salt, and animal fats.
  • Food additives. These are often found in processed foods and must be avoided since these can actually contain compounds, which could be toxic to the brain if the body would fail in breaking them down properly.
  • Dairy products. Foods that come from cows must be avoided.
  • Foods that are rich in salicylate. Foods that contain salicylate, which is a form of excitotoxin, must be avoided as well. Some common examples of foods rich in salicylate are almonds, apples, oranges, grapes, cherries, cranberries, apricots, nectarines, tangerines, peaches, plums, cucumbers, prunes and raisins among others.

Friendly Foods

  • Organic foods. As much as possible, ensure that your child eats only organic whole food so that you could be assured that no chemicals like harmful pesticides and other toxins are present in the food. You can look for foods that are labeled as “100% organic”. These foods are rich in magnesium, folic acid and Vitamin B6. Include green leafy vegetables, as these are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Give your child beans and liver too.
  • Gluten-free cereals and other nutritious foods like carrots, baked beans, broccoli, parsley, watercress, spinach, and sesame seeds. These foods are rich in calcium and could help in lowering the risk for self-injury. They also have a calming effect which would have the child more relaxed, instead of being hyperactive.
  • Essential fats (Omega 3). This is essential for good brain functioning. Research has shown that autistics children have low Omega-3 fats in the brain, hence increasing the amount of Omega 3 fat intake will help in alleviating the symptoms. Foods rich in Omega 3 are fresh tuna, oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines, unsmoked mackerel, sardines, and anchovies), nuts, and seeds. You can give your child these foods at least twice a week. Other sources include organic pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

 

Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs for Autism

  • Magnesium. The recommended dosage is 15mg/kilo of body weight. 25-1OOmg of Vitamin B6 for children aged 2-6 years.
  • Folic Acid. Children who suffer from autism do not have sufficient amount of folic acid in their body. This is a part of the B-family of vitamins. Giving your child a B-complex daily could help their condition. If they do not like tablets, you can mix liquid B-vitamins in their food.  Many parents have found that giving children folic acid and providing them with essential fats have tremendously helped the conditions of their children.
  • Vitamin C. This boosts the immune function of the child. For children 2-6 years old, 1 gram of Vitamin C daily will do.
  • Probiotics. Taking in a good probiotic daily could help a lot in keeping good bacteria levels in the gut. This helps in supporting digestion and will also squeeze out the yeast.

Some More Tips

  • Remove chemicals from the child’s environment. This would include perfumes, toiletries and other chemical-based cleaning products.
  • Be wary of colourings and flavourings in vitamin supplements since these could cause a reaction.
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