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I homeschool and have a health ministry for friends, family, and health lovers world-wide. I'm totally into all-natural and avoid chemicals, food additives, etc. even in my cosmetics. I am working toward eating Vegan, Organic, and raw as much as possible (my family too). I'm married, and have two small kids and two grown step kids. Optimal Health - God's Way ".....and the fruit thereof shall be for meat (FOOD), and the leaf for MEDICINE." Ezekiel 47:12 KJV

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Help! Autism stole Johnny! (one of the best articles on healing autism I've ever read!)

Written by: Micheal Donaldson First off, I want to say thank you to all of you parents who have bravely stood against misinformation, your own fears, much resistance, and through the darkest hours of your lives to come through for your own children and bring them back from the clutches of autism. And thank you Dr. Bernard Rimland for giving your tireless efforts for these children. Though you are gone, your legacy goes on. I am not the father of an autistic child. I have been spared, but not by genetic providence. I have seen neurodevelopmental problems (language difficulties, mild learning disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome, and ADHD) in my siblings’ children, so I know the susceptible genes are not far away. It could have been one of my children, but for a gentle midwife lending my wife and I a copy of A Shot in the Dark, plus our own interest in nutrition. Prevention is easier than recovery. In the USA, the CDC tells us that one of every 95 boys has an autistic spectrum disorder; one of every 400 girls is likewise struck. One of every nine boys is diagnosed ADHD, as well as one of every 23 girls. Many more have subtle, less well-defined problems. These brain disorders are related and have similar underlying dysfunctional biology. If you can understand and reverse autism, you have the key to every other chronic disease that afflicts mankind. Causes for autism and every other chronic disease are quite similar, but are expressed differently depending on a person’s genetic weaknesses and specific environmental exposures. Some are more severe, some are mild, some are sooner, some are later. But they all have the same roots: toxicity and deficiency. Gut Microbial Imbalance What has gone wrong to produce autism in our children? Though every child is a puzzle and fits together a little bit different, there are some things that are almost always present. First, the gut has a horrible imbalance of bacteria and yeast. Often there is bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, which usually has very few beneficial bacteria. Why does this matter? About 80% of our immune system lies right within the gut, and our gut has its own nervous system, connected to our brain. That’s right. About 90% of the serotonin in us is produced by our gut, and all other classes of neurotransmitters found in our brain are also in our gut.1 What is wrong in our gut has a huge impact on what is wrong in our head. Can I Bring Him Home Again? This gut imbalance has to be corrected for any healing to occur. Candida and pathogenic bacteria must not be fed (change of diet required). Refined sugar has to be eliminated. Inflammation has to be reduced. Fruits, vegetable juice, and omega-3 fats are all anti-inflammatory foods. For autistic children, even complex carbohydrates can cause trouble, which has given rise to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet limited in carbohydrates except fruit but rich in animal products. This may lead to healing, yet the vast weight of science indicates that long-term health requires a plant-based diet, so animal products eventually must be minimized. “The most dazzling experiences I have had observing the healing of problems in cognition, language, and human interaction in autistic children over the past 30 years have come from steps aimed at modifying gut flora.” –Sidney Baker, MD Baker SM. Canaries and miners. Altern Ther Health Med. 14(6):24-6. Overwhelmed Detoxification Pathways Second, the autistic child usually has difficulty detoxifying all of the pesticides, fungicides, insecticides (which are neurotoxins), bacterial and fungal toxins, and heavy metals. Often there is a weakness, a single nucleotide polymorphism, in one or more genes that make some enzyme work not as effectively as it should. This results in accumulation of poison within the body. Mercury, the second most toxic element on earth, is especially pernicious. It tends to accumulate in the central nervous system as a neurotoxin. Almost always there is mercury exposure somewhere, either from mom’s shots in utero (RhoGam, flu shots), mom’s amalgams, coal-fired electricity plants, ore mines, and yes, pediatric vaccines. Our autistic children get the same exposures as everyone else, but they aren’t able to detoxify it, and so suffer tremendously. Do vaccines cause autism? No, not directly. It is a web of interactions that finally plummets a child into full-blown autism. But they have often been the final trigger that broke the child’s brain. The good news is that even vaccine damage is reversible. A doctor can prescribe chelating agents specific for mercury or lead, or a product such as NDF made from micronized chlorella and cilantro can be used to gently and effectively chelate a wide variety of pollutants, including heavy metals. Detoxification pathways need support as well. Cruciferous vegetables are great for this. Paul Talalay’s research group at John Hopkins has found that broccoli sprouts are an excellent way to upregulate production of glutathione.2 Food Allergies Third, there are food allergies. These are caused by the microbial imbalance, lack of omega-3 fats, too much sugar, and probably many other factors that lead to a leaky gut (food allergies in most everybody are just symptoms of a leaky gut). Partially digested proteins from casein (a dairy protein), and gluten (a protein from wheat, rye, barley, triticale, kamut, and spelt) form caseomorphins and gluteomorphins, which are chemical substances which have opium-like activity in the brain. In other words, your autistic child could be on a drug trip induced by his diet. For a time, perhaps a lifetime, these gluten and dairy products must be avoided. Inflammation Autopsies of autistic children’s brains revealed that inflammatory cytokines, produced by microglia and astroglia, the immune cells of the brain, were present in a pattern that is consistent with chronic, sustained inflammation.3 The inflammation could be from chronic infections, virus particles in the brain (live measles virus used for vaccinations), from toxic elements, or from a combination of several insults. Cleaning up chronic infections and toxins and adding effective doses of anti-inflammatory nutrients (cod liver oil and vitamin D would be great for this) could allow the brain to function right.4 Mitochondrial Damage Fifth, the energy power plants of the cells have been damaged. This is common in most chronic diseases. Cellular energy is low, and oxidative stress is overwhelming at the subcellular level. Glutathione, the body’s central antioxidant, is depleted in autism (see pages 12-13). Poor methylation can be part of the problem. Many autistic children have responded to higher levels of vitamin B6, folate, and methylcobalamin (B12), which overcome gene weaknesses in the folate and methylation cycles, which ultimately produce glutathione.5 “We need to move beyond asking what drug will treat the symptoms, and instead ask what mechanism creates altered neurochemical or neurobiological function or systemic physiological change.” –Jeffrey Bland, PhD Bland. Functional Medicine: The Way to Treat Autism Now. Autism Advocate. 2008;(First Edition):26-31. In the middle of all the mess of autism stands glutathione. This sticky, sulfur-containing molecule links together detoxification, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Most effective interventions end up boosting levels of glutathione. Rather than seeing autism defined as a disorder manifested by behavior, socialization, and communication (as if autism caused these things), we need to see that impaired detoxification, overwhelming oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation are the central issues that lead to what we call autism. Heal the body and the brain will get well, too! It isn’t enough to just do one intervention. Your children need to have you address all of the underlying biological dysfunctions before they will be well. But the results can be fantastic. Defeat Autism Now! (autism.com) has shown that recovery from autism is possible, and has testimonies and videos to prove it. It isn’t so much a cure as it is recovery—recovery of function, recovery of health, recovery of relationships. Yes, you can! With God’s help, by His empowering grace, (you will likely need all you can get), you can bring your Johnny home again! References: Hyman MM. The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First. 1st ed. Scribner; 2008. Dinkova-Kostova AT, Fahey JW, Wade KL, et al. Induction of the Phase 2 Response in Mouse and Human Skin by Sulforaphane-containing Broccoli Sprout Extracts. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007;16(4):847-851. Available at: cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/16/4/847. Vargas DL, Nascimbene C, Krishnan C, Zimmerman AW, Pardo CA. Neuroglial activation and neuroinflammation in the brain of patients with autism. Ann Neurol. 2005;57(1):67-81. Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15546155. Autism | Vitamin D and the Brain. Vitamin D Council. Available at: www.vitamindcouncil.org/health/autism/vit-D-and-brain.shtml. Baker SM. Sidney MacDonald Baker, MD: taking a biomedical approach to autism treatment. Interview by Frank Lampe and Suzanne Snyder. Altern Ther Health Med. 14(6):60-9. Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19043940. http://www.hahealthnews.com/health/help-autism-stole-johnny/?utm_source=Weekly%2BTheme&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=2012-04-12&utm_campaign=HATV&utm_term=Text%2BLink