Healing Autism Begins In The Gut

Dr. Amy Davis

By Dr. Amy Davis, MD

This past month a new U.S. government survey found that 1 in 45 children aged 3 and older have been diagnosed with Autism. Now at more than 2% of the total youth population, the future for these children, their families and their communities will be challenging. We need to focus on solutions now.

Healing Autism begins in the gut. The microbiome – or your intestinal “flora” – comprises healthy and unhealthy bacteria, yeasts, viruses, protozoans and parasites. The gut is so important that it is now referred to as the second brain and the microbiome has been described as the undiscovered organ. The microbiome, or “flora”, is just as vital to your health as your heart, lungs, liver and brain, and your gut supports all these vital organs. Healing the gut directly impacts overall health. Children with Autism routinely have digestive problems, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and increased intestinal permeability which leads to food allergies and intolerances. These dysfunctions may lead to poor growth, developmental delays, diarrhea, constipation, behavioral problems, inattention, poor sleep, hyperactivity, compulsions and more.

What are the roles of a healthy gut?

  • Aids digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Creates a protective barrier against potential invaders – the first line of immune defense
  • Detoxifies by neutralizing and removing toxins in food
  • Profoundly impacts the immune response and can prevent negative autoimmune reactions
  • Produces important enzymes and chemicals for the brain including vitamins and neurotransmitters like serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter)
  • Helps to handle stress
  • Assists in getting restful sleep
  • Helps to control inflammation

What can be done?

  • Improve digestion with enzymes, bile salts, bitter herbs
  • Improve pH and support with vitamins like B’s , D and K which may low because of inadequate healthy bacterial production
  • Prebiotics and Probiotics to support the flora
  • Treat the unhealthy flora with antimicrobials – natural or prescription
  • Nutrients to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and heal a permeable gut
  • Removal of inflammatory foods and food allergens

Healing the gut is absolutely essential for treatment of all children on the Autism Spectrum and most children with developmental delays. Healing the gut lays a solid foundation for significant improvements to begin and provides a stable basis from which to begin detoxification and support the body’s natural healing process. Because everyone has individualized needs, careful evaluation and management is necessary for the best results.

We would like to help!
Dr. Amy Davis M.D.
Crossing Back to Health
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