|A Naturopathic Perspective for the Treatment of Children within the Autistic Spectrum.
Student Name: Diana Oliver
Dissertation Unit 901 - Diploma of Natural Medicine
Introduction Page 2
What is Autism? Page 3
The digestive-immunological behavioural connection Page 5
Implications of vaccinations associated with autism Page 7
Antibiotics Page 8
Candidiasis Page 9
Secretin Page 11
Naturopathic perspective Page 12
Nutritional guidelines Page 14
Herbal medicines Page 18
Acupuncture Page 19
Homoeopathy Page 21
Conclusion Page 23
References Page 24
This dissertation is a naturopathic perspective on how gastrointestinal function affects the brain and the immune system, and the correlation to children with autistic behaviour. Recently children with autism have been given secretin, a hormone secreted by enteroendocrine cells in the small intestine, and after administration they have virtually broken through the autistic syndrome. This confirms that the gastrointestinal function can be implicated in most autistic cases along with consequences of immunisation, antibiotic abuse, diet and genetic constitutions.
This dissertation is to discuss these factors with implementation of an alternative holistic approach.
What is Autism?
Autism is not a single disease entity. Autism and its related spectrum disorders is one of a set of behavioural syndromes varying in severity and even to some extent, in type, with far reaching consequences for prognosis and intervention, but with no assumption of a discrete etiology. The criteria for autism (autistic disorder, childhood autism, autistic syndromes) currently agreed upon by most authorities are: (1) early onset; (2) severe abnormality of reciprocal social relatedness; (3) severe abnormality of communication development (including language); and (4) restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests, activities and imagination. These are the classic psychological symptoms being dictated for decades by experts such as "Asperger and Kanner" for autistic spectrum disorders categorization and treatment has been to manage behavioural aspects to conform with society rather than address biochemical and/or immunological abnormalities. Treatment modalities integrate towards various aspects of sensory integration, visual and auditory training, and behavioural modification. There are no conclusive neurological findings of dysfunction stated, with symptoms of autism alone.
There is now consensus that autistic spectrum disorders are the result of medical, as opposed to psychological, problems. The focus of the following suggestions lies more in the principal of basic biological problems and reflects the recognition that many children with autism have some of the following patterns of clinical and laboratory abnormalities and responses to treatments:
- Immune system difficulties of altered sensitivity to and abnormal processing of immune stimuli, including decreased resistance to infection and increased tendency to autoimmune problems.
- Alimentary system abnormalities with abnormal digestion and excretion, pathological alterations with bowel flora and increased permeability to antigens, peptides, microbial toxins and other biochemically active substances.
- Biochemical peculiarities, such as low levels of sulphur amino acids or such as abnormal cytochrome p450 activity, that reflects an overload or ineffectiveness of detoxification of potentially harmful molecules. Toxic or antigenic molecules may be normal and abnormal products of a child’s own metabolism; toxins and antigens found in food, air and water; and metabolic products of normal and abnormal flora inhabiting the intestinal tract.
- Metabolic defects that demonstrate pathological interrelationships between the chemistry of detoxification and assimilation of substances used for tissue growth and repair, neurotransmission, and immune modulation.
- An effect of the above factors that causes an interference with perception, thinking, and development in certain individuals whose susceptibility may derive from inborn or genetic influence.
Autism is difficult to detect in babies and a growing number of children particularly boys (autism is more prevalent in boys than girls) who seem normal at birth, start to develop autistic features from eighteen to twenty four months of age. When the onset of autism is in this age range, there are often precipitating factors, which include a history of antibiotic use, and in some cases, adverse reactions to vaccinations, and this is the spectrum of autism to which this dissertation pertains to.
The digestive-immunological behavioural connection
The gut is composed of some neurotransmitters and other chemicals that are identical to those found in the brain. Gastrointestinal disturbances coincide with mental acuity and emotional stability. This has been shown to be the case among children along the autistic spectrum. Immune dysfunction and gastrointestinal problems are interrelated, and the treatments that have been shown to be the greatest successes are those that address these two biological systems. Gastrointestinal problems caused by immune dysfunction, which then result in mental and behavioural reactions, or immune dysfunction that causes gastrointestinal problems, which results in mental and behavioural reactions.
The body functions by properly utilizing what it needs and eliminating what it doesn’t need. Survival is dependent on the body’s recognition of what is value for growth and development and what is not. All the biological systems, down to the cellular level, are involved in these processes. Most of us take for granted that the nutrients found in the food that we eat will be properly assimilated and the ingredients that are not nutritious will be excreted. It is also assumed that toxins that invade our bodies from the air we breathe to the water we drink will be eliminated as well. For even relatively healthy adults, however, there are ways in which assimilation and elimination can be compromised, including the aging process. We may experience stomach, diarrhoea or constipation, a general lack of energy, arthritic tendencies and other signs depending on the severity of intestinal disturbance and toxic buildup. Children experience the same discomforts, but because they are still growing, their brains can be affected by nutritional deficiencies, by food allergies and sensitivities, and by toxicity, resulting in cognitive and behavioural problems.
It is extremely important to assess the digestive function of children along the autistic spectrum. Improper digestion leads to immune suppression, making the body more susceptible to infections, and to immune dysfunction, which leads to adverse or allergic reactions to foods and the environment.
One type of digestive disorder that is often found among children with autistic behaviours and learning problems is increased intestinal permeability - ‘leaky gut’. The small intestine is the longest part of the digestive track. It is responsible of absorbing essential nutrients and preventing undesirable substances from entering through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream. The intestinal lining can be damaged by a number of factors including chronic bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, and by repeated use of antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. It can also be damaged by an incompetent disposal system for toxic waste that is accumulated daily by the body. This damage results in tears in the lining, which enable otherwise impassable substances to reach the bloodstream. An increase in damage and tears allows undigested food particles to pass through the intestinal lining, which creates an immune reaction. The body responds as if being attacked by antigens. This immune response in growing children manifests as allergies to foods, which then take a behavioural form. Chronic allergic reactions tax all the biological systems, keep the immune system in alert status, creates bodily discomforts, and ultimately affects behaviour, sleep, mood, and ability to concentrate and learn. If left untreated, ‘leaky gut’ syndrome will overburden the liver’s ability to clean out toxins.
Scenario’s which could cause gastrointestinal dysfunction
Implications of vaccinations associated with autism
There is evidence that two vaccination combinations have precipitated autism in children who had been developing normally. One is the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination, and the other is the diptheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccination (DPT). Vaccines are given to children and adults to prevent the diseases for which they are being immunized. Immunization artificially triggers this defense response so that a person can become immune without actually contracting the disease. The permanent defense system consists of antibodies to these viruses. An individual develops antibodies in either two ways: by contracting a disease or by being vaccinated with the virus itself.
There are several concerns regarding when and how vaccinations are given to children. The standard schedule of immunization is: DPT at two months, four months, six months and then again at age 5 before pre-school. MMR at fifteen months and then again before before pre-school. This schedule of dosages is to assure complete immunity. Many children have mild reactions to both the MMR and DPT vaccines, including headache, slight fever, diarrhoea, lethargy, and redness and soreness at the site of the vaccination. Some children will develop a rash not unlike the measles rash after an MMR vaccine. For some children, the DPT shot will trigger convulsions and seizures, specifically from the pertussis vaccine.
Children who have had severe reactions to either the MMR or DPT vaccinations are at risk for developing symptoms along the autistic spectrum. The timing of the DPT shot is such that the immune systems and fragile microflora population establishment for these children are not strong enough to withstand the impact of the three vaccines given in such short intervals (two months apart) so early in life. There is evidence that the measles part of the MMR vaccination can cause encephalitis in some children who later go on to develop autistic symptoms. It is theorized that these children experience and overload of measles antibodies because their mother’s measles antibodies were high during pregnancy. Studies have shown severe gastrointestinal dysfunction among children given the MMR vaccination who later developed autistic symptoms. It is suggested that those children could not handle the viral load of the vaccinations causing damage to intestinal function, which then resulted in immune dysfunction.
The MMR vaccine also incorporates 25 micrograms of neomycin. Neomycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic, which acts by inhibiting protein synthesis and therefore microbial growth. Neomycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, effective against a wide range of gram-negative bacteria. Neomycin is usually administered orally for bowel sterilization prior to surgery. After administration, diarrhoea is very common owing to an upset in the normal bowel flora. The effect on a child’s gut would be detrimental.
Many children who develop symptoms and behaviours that place them within the autistic spectrum have had a history of ear and upper respiratory infections that have been previously treated by rounds of antibiotics, mostly penicillin. Amoxycillin has an indication of overgrowth of fungus in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract if used for prolonged periods of time. Antibiotics do not treat the underlying reasons for a child’s immune system to be so that it cannot fight the infection in the first place. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of giving the child’s natural defense system time to strengthen. Most paediatricians, however, prescribe antibiotics for ear infections rather than alternative treatments for immune stimulation. Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria as well as helpful bacteria that should coexist in the gut. When intestinal bacteria are unbalanced, a condition known as dysbiosis occurs and imbalance of intestinal bacteria resulting in an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and other microbes like Candida albicans. A vicious cycle comes into being: bacteria leads to ear infections, which lead to antibiotic use, which cause dysbiosis resulting in immune dysfunction, which leads to bacterial invasion, ear infections, and more antibiotic use until the intestinal lining is damaged.
Candida alibicans is one of many fungi that are present in most people’s intestinal tracts, and other places, where it is kept in check and causes no harm. If the intestinal balance is disrupted and healthy bacteria killed, Candida albicans will flourish and release toxic chemicals into the bloodstream. Continual antibiotic use is not the only cause of candidiasis, or yeast overgrowth, in children. An infant born vaginally to a mother who has a vaginal yeast infection can become similarly infected. Severe diaper rash and thrush, which looks like a whitish coating on the tongue and mouth, are signs of candidiasis in babies.
It has been found that children along the autistic spectrum are at greater risk of developing candidiasis. There are several reasons why yeast overgrowth is found among these children. Antibiotic use is one factor. Antibiotics kill bad bacteria as well as good bacteria i.e. lactobacillus and bifidus, that are necessary to keep candida from overpopulating the gut. The affected children may lack something in their digestive secretions that is needed to keep yeast from proliferating. Anything that weakens the immune system can contribute to yeast overgrowth including, environmental toxins and chemicals, such as pesticides, and exposure to lead and heavy metals all of which also burdens detoxification of the system. It may be that children along the autistic spectrum are more sensitive to candida itself than are other children, and that their behaviours are the result of an allergic response. Everyone has organisms in and on their bodies. The problem arises when yeast, fungi, or candida overpopulates the intestinal tract. Candida pushes their way into the intestinal lining, destroying cells and brush borders. This damage allows macromolecules of partially digested food to pass through the lining. The macromolecules are the perfect size for antibodies to respond to. Your immune system then goes on alert for these specific foods so the next time you eat them, your antibodies will be waiting to attack. The result is increased sensitivity to foods and other food substances and the environment. Also the yeast by products - metabolites that are toxic are also passing through the intestinal wall.
One of the major toxins produced by yeast is acetic aldehyde, through conversion by the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase. Its multiple effects can be devastating. It is converted by the liver into alcohol, depleting the body of magnesium and potassium, reducing cell energy, and causing symptoms of intoxication, disorientation, dizziness, or mental confusion. The ‘spaciness’ or ‘mental fog’, often described by , is one of the most frequent symptoms of candidiasis. Children along the autistic spectrum have behaviours that strongly resemble these symptoms. They may also have physical signs of yeast overgrowth that include a distinct ‘yeasty’ smell, and cravings for foods that yeast thrives on, such as sugars and carbohydrates, as well as a whitish coating of the tongue, diaper rash, and/or itching around the anus.
The use of secretin for children with symptoms along the autistic spectrum best illustrates the connection between digestion and brain function.
Secretin is a natural hormone made in the lining of the intestines to aid in digestion by enabling the pancreas to release bicarbonate, which in turn allows digestive enzymes to function properly. When secretin is not properly regulating pancreatic function, its receptor sites in the language areas of the brain may not be activated either.
The "Autism Research Review" published by the Autism Society of America have indicated in several of its publication that children with autistic behaviour and severe digestive problems had undergone endoscopies. An endoscopy evaluates the state and integrity of the mucosal surface of the small intestine. The procedure requires a secretin (from pigs) infusion to test pancreatic function. It was noted that after the procedure, bowel movements were normal, children were calmer and after two weeks language appeared for the first time and this transformation has been attributed to the use of secretin. A number of children changed to such an extent that they were no longer exhibiting behaviours that identified them as autistic.
The success of secretin has a correlation with chymotripsin and enzyme produced by the pancreas. A low level of chymotrypsin indicates and imbalance in pH and consequential digestive dysfunction. Higher chymotrypsin levels were found in the stool samples after secretin infusion.
This shows the correlation between behavioural manifestations of autism and a measurable digestive problem within the autistic person’s system.
The above concept indicate that their is a biological dysfunction in the absorption/assimilation of nutrients in the gastointestinal tract which could manifest the behavioural signs of autism.
Since almost all the digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs in the small intestine a dysfunction or obstruction of the villi particularly the enteroendocrine cells which secrete secretin in the mucosa of the small intestine can impair this function.
The wall of the small intestine is composed of the serosa, muscularis, submucosa and the mucosa. The mucosa forms a series villi which increases the surface area of the epithelium available for absorption and digestion. The epithelium of the mucosa consists of simple columnar eptihelium that contains: absorptive cells which digests and absorbs nutrients; goblet cells which secretes mucous; paneth cells which secretes lysozyme and is capable of phagocytosis and are implicated in regulating the microbial population in the intestines; and enteroendocrine cell which secretes secretin, cholecystokinin, and gastric inhibitory peptide.
Secretin is a hormone which is primarily released in the intestinal phase of digestion and decreases gastric secretions which slows the exit of chyme from the stomach and prevents overloading the duodenum with more chyme than it can handle. Chyme that enters the small intestine stimulates secretion of secretin by enteroendocrine cells in the mucosa of the small intestine which stimulates secretion of pancreatic juice and bile and promotes normal growth and maintenance of the pancreas and enhances the effects of cholecystokinin. Cholecystokinin is secreted by enteroendocrine cells in the small intestine which is stimulated by partially digested proteins and triglycerides entering the small intestines. It stimulates the secretion of pancreatic juice rich in digestive enzymes, causes ejection of bile from the gallbladder and induces satiety. Cholecystokinin also promotes normal growth and maintenance of the pancreas, and enhances the effects of secretin.
If these enteroendocrine cells in the small intestine were destroyed or rendered dysfunctional - through antibiotic abuse destroying the villi rendering the paneth cells function of maintaining needed flora and phagocytic function thus creating an environment of dysbiosis particularly candidiasis as brush borders necessary for cleaving sugars are compromised and the breakdown and assimilation of food would be impaired. Large molecules of improperly digested food could enter the bloodstream causing immune dysfunction and the scenario of behavioural problems associated with autism discussed earlier.
Another scenario for the dysfunction of the enteroendocrine cells is the overgrowth of intestinal flora particularly candida albicans and its ability to overgrow and block the intestinal walls not allowing the secretions from the pancreas, liver, and gall bladder ducts. The important digestive juices from the gallbladder and pancreas enters the intestines where important digestive enzymatic activities should occur to prepare food for proper digestion. When it is covered with mucoid layers of endotoxins excreted by non-commensal flora such as candida albicans or a species of coli etc., the digestive juices remain under the layers and never reach the food.
Overall the gastrointestinal tract particularly the small intestine dysfunction can be correlated and associated with behavioural aspects of autism and the need for intervention to repair and restore the mucosa of the small intestine naturopathically can be achieved without detrimental affects to the body.
The dysfunction of assimilation is not only to repair and restore the small intestine mucosa, but to provide nutritional support in order to aid the healing process and provide the body with much needed nutrients. In the restoration of gut flora, a wholesome diet with reduced simple sugars in combination with stimulation of digestive juices, is essential in order to repopulate with the right flora - if these simple dietary guidelines are not adhered to in the initial stages then the regime will be undermined.
Incorporating a diet of wholefoods, such as fresh vegetables and fruit, complex carbohydrates, simple quality protein (as in fish and nuts) and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is needed to provide quality nutrients for optimal health, the need for further dietary regimes which follows will facilitate restoration and repair of the gut mucosa.
Given the villi of the small intestines are impaired (destroyed or inaccessible) breakdown of fats through lack of bile and pancreatic enzymes will be diminished. Fats are essential for the integrity of every cell and biological function of the body (assimilation of fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K, anti-inflammatory ), as well as for metabolizing nutrients. Poly unsaturated fats are the most important of the three lipid groups as they are the only source of the three essential fatty acids: linoleic, linolenic and arachiodonic acid. Linoleic acid is the most important of the three essential fatty acids as it cannot be produced by the body and must therefore be supplied with diet. The other two essential fatty acids can be synthesised by the body when linoleic acid is regularly obtained with the daily diet. The essential fatty acids found in polyunsaturated fats are required for growth, health and development. DHA (docohexaenoic acid) an omega-3 fatty acid appears to be essential to brain development and growth, ultimately affecting learning ability through the conversion of prostaglandins necessary for proper functioning of the immune system, anti-inflammatory effects, regulation of the action of insulin and regulates brain function and nerve impulses. Therefore it would be essential to provide these fatty acids in a form of supplement such as fish oil (salmon in particular), or flax seed oil containing Omega 3.
Lecithin supplementation (liquid or granules) can help to emulsify fats and is needed given the impairment of bile.
Animal products (milk, cheese, meat etc) are generally high in saturated fats, and therefore need to be reduced, preferably eliminated from the diet until repair and restoration of the small intestines can be achieved. Not only do will they slow transit time and start to putrify in the stomach, but once this food chyme passes into the small intestine it will be absorbed by millions of villi and then pass those harmful toxins of decay indirectly into the bloodstream.
Much preferred sources of protein can be obtained from plant and nut sources. Almonds, brazil nuts and almond milk are a good source of protein, calcium and magnesium, in which the body is easily able to absorb. Simple proteins from nuts, tofu, alfalfa , legumes and fish will facilitate the healing of the villi.
Milk particularly cow’s milk and products requires the enzyme rennin secreted in the stomach from birth to age seven to eight. This enzyme coagulates milk and help in the digestion process. Without rennin secretion, many people are allergic to milk and it should be avoided as lactose and casein found in milk is known to trigger allergic responses and lymphatic congestion which should be avoided to maximize the effectiveness of clearing the gut. Fermented or soured dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese are partially broken down and are easier to absorb if it is necessary for consumption.
Gluten found in wheat, rye, barley and oats forms substance comparable to ‘glue’ which could virtually adhere the villi if not digested sufficiently. Alternatives are rice, corn, millet, spelt and whey flour which do not contain gluten.
Fresh juices given daily will provide the vitamins and minerals without having to stress the digestive system. Minimizing the stress on the digestive system but supplying the body with necessary nutrients is most important for healing of the gastro intestinal tract. If the body is given support whilst trying to repair instead of continually having to breakdown and trying to assimilate, the healing should occur at a faster rate.
Mucilages such as Psyllum husks should be incorporated into the diet to bind, aid repair and remove toxins within the intestines. Aloe vera juice will aid repair and dampen inflammation within the intestines.
Garlic known for its anti-microbial properties of allicin can eliminate unfavourable bacteria including Candida albicans. It promotes healthy intestinal flora, removes mucous and eliminates toxins from the body (including poisonous metals such as lead and cadmium). Garlic can be taken as capsules or 2-3 raw cloves can be incorporated into the diet.
Finally, and most importantly the restoration of a stable micro flora in the intestines. The benefits of a healthy bacterial population in the gut, particularly anaerobic bacteria are shown to be responsible for considerable secondary digestion and to decrease intestinal transit time. The intestinal flora also contributes to non-specific defences against immunological challenge form dietary antigens by helping to reduce their uptake across the mucosal barrier. There are studies showing that fermentation of food with Lactobacilli increases the quantity, availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients. The basis of this conclusion comes from direct measurements of vitamin synthesis. Lactobacillus acidophillus and other lactic acid producing cultures produce increased concentration of B group vitamins. Glutamine, the most abundant protein constituent in the body, is also important. It possess an extra nitrogen atom, which it readily offers for synthesis of other amino acids. Glutamine maintains the structural integrity of the intestines, and its benefit is directed to the small intestine. Therefore, supplementation with colostrum with prebiotics and probiotic cultures and glutamine will aid in the restoration of intestinal flora and repair of the villi. These should be given approximately twenty minutes after food in order to avoid excessive stomach acids acting upon them.
Plant constituents have a unique range of functions. There is a traditional emphasis on normalizing the functions of the digestive system. Many constituents of herbal remedies are likely to interact with chemical mediators and this may provide some mechanism for their effect on the gut function. The use of herbal medicines in aiding treatment of autism is essential. Its actions of restoration of endocrine activity, repair of mucosa and dysbiosis, antibacterial and antifungal properties, elimination of toxins and digestive functions, can be practiced in one prescription without harmful side effects.
Bitter constituents of herbs act on the receptors in the mouth and gut to improve digestion by acting on receptors initially in the mouth and through to the gut to secrete pancreatic juices and bile. Cholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gallbladder and choleretic actions of herbs stimulates the production of bile in the liver.
Mucilages are generally anti-inflammatory and aid in healing, soothing and absorbing toxins from the mucosa of the gut. Plant fructooligosaccharides have recently been claimed to promote the colonization of the bowel with beneficial flora, and to be useful in dysbiotic conditions like candidiasis.
The herbal approach:
Bitter, choleretic and cholagogue herbs to improve digestive function , e.g. Gentian, Globe artichoke, Dandelion root.
Herbs with healing , anti-inflammatory and protective effects on the gut wall, e.g. Meadowsweet, Calendula, Chamomile and Marshmallow root, slippery elm.
Restorative to the mucous membranes of the gut wall and a potential modifier of gut flora - Golden seal.
Improve intestinal flora once established - Globe artichoke
Licorice stimulates the release of secretin.
Antimicrobial activity, e.g. Chamomile, Garlic, Wormwood, Japanese Honeysukle.
Depurative and lymphatic herbs, e.g. Calendula, Burdock, to assist detoxification mechanisms.
Spasmolytic and carmintive herbs will improve gastrointestinal motility, e.g. Fennel, Chamomile, Crampbark.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), "when the stomach and intestines are co-ordinated the 5 yin organs are peaceful, Blood is harmonized and mental activity is stable. The mind derives from the refined essence of water and food".
The mind draws its basis and nourishment form the Pre-heaven Essence (conceived from the mother and father) stored in the kidneys and the Post - heaven Essence (derived from food and air after birth) produced by the Lungs, Stomach and Spleen. Qi is derived from Pre-heaven Essence and nourished by Post - heaven Essence. Therefore, the mind relies on the Essence and Qi as its fundamental basis. If essence and Qi are strong and flourishing the mind will be balanced and alert. If Essence and Qi are depleted, the mind will suffer and may become unhappy, depressed or clouded. The Heart governs the mind and the related organ of the Heart in TCM is the Small Intestine. The mind residing in the Heart is responsible for many different mental activities including thinking, memory, consciousness, insight, cognition, intelligence, wisdom and ideas. The Spleen and the Stomach are responsible for the transformation and transportation of food. Phlegm obstructs the mind and may cause dullness of thought, a fuzzy head, and a confused mind, but does not agitate the mind.
The principle of treatment would be to open the mind’s orifices and calm the mind, resolve phlegm and tonify the Spleen and Stomach, and strengthen the Kidney Qi.
This point selection addresses the overall broad spectrum of Autism and digestive dysfunction - true point selection would be determined following individual signs and symptoms.
St 40 Fenglong - resolves phlegm.
P 7 Daling - resolves phlegm from the Heart and calms the Mind.
P 6 Neiguan - opens the minds orifices.
P 5 Jianshi - resolves phlegm from the Heart.
UB 15 Xinshu, UB 44 Shentang - tonify the Heart and clear the mind.
Du 20 Baihui - clears the mind.
LI 4 Hegu, LU 7 Lieque - regulate the ascending of clear Qi and descending of turbid Qi in the head, thus clearing the mind.
Ren 12 Zhongwan, St 36 Zusanli,, Sp 6 Sanyinjiao - tonify the Spleen and stomach.
St 25 Tianshu - regulate the Stomach and opens the minds orifices.
K 3 Taixi - yuan source pt for kidneys.
Reducing or even method, except for Du 20, Ren 12, St 36, SP 6, UB 44, and K 3 which should be reinforced.
The homoeopathic perspective that "like cures like" must be practiced when dealing with the symptoms of autism. A state of disorders represents its nature to man as ‘signs and symptom’ and these are the thing to be prescribed upon. Autism can be considered a functional nutritional disorder, but the symptoms that are manifested from the syndrome can be many and varied to each individual case. Generally, there is gastric derangement, but these disturbances can manifest as different symptom patterns. There is a fundamental cause to the disease process and the need to work out the beginnings of the disease process by including physical and mental dysfunctions. Signs and symptoms relate to change in state of the internal which needs to be brought back in sync with the vital force. Therefore, when derived from signs and symptoms a drug picture can be determined, but first the fundamental cause needs to be addressed.
Sulphur addresses the fundamental causes of the psoric miasm. Psora produces functional disorders, manifested by hypersensitivity, itching, congestion, inflammation. It affects the ectodermal tissue i.e. nervous system, endocrine system, liver and skin.
When Sulphur is given , it will open up the latent cause, and even if it does not act on a positively curative basis, it gives a better representation of the symptoms. Sulphur is suitable in broken down constitutions and defective assimilation, and is indicated for vaccinations (Thuja and Malandrinum are also indicated for ill effects of vaccinations).
The mentals that are associated with Sulphur from long periods of indigestion, bad assimilation and feeble nutrition in relationship to autism are; withdrawn in a philosophical manner; vitiates his affections driving him to a most marked state of selfishness; mania over the study of strange and abstract things without any basis to figure upon; a state of dullness and confusion of the mind, with inability to collect the thoughts and ideas; lack of concentration - making no effort concentrate his mind upon anything.
Physical attributions of Sulphur are mainly itchiness, congestion and inflammation, and. gastric disturbance, all of which can be signs and symptoms of the autistic spectrum in relation to digestive disturbances.
Once the fundamental cause has been removed and depending on the case being take (each case is treated individually), addressing the signs and symptoms of gastric dysfunction would be appropriate.
Remedies such as Lycopodium for example which focuses more on the intestinal disturbances. It is thought of in ailments developing gradually, functional power weakens, failure of the digestive powers, and when the liver function is seriously disturbed. The mind is extremely sensitive, aversion to undertaking new things, apprehensive, confused thoughts, failing brain power. The Sulphur patient craves sweet foods, has excessive hunger, there is distention in the abdomen after eating, inactive intestinal canal.
Overall, it is essential to obtain the totality of symptoms before administering a ‘similum’. Gastric disturbances would be the main focus, along with mental state, digestion including defecation and excretion (colour, consistency etc.). It may be necessary to again administer Sulphur to regulate homeostatic imbalances after giving Lycopodium or the appropriate similum.
Children with symptoms along the autistic spectrum can be helped, with an understanding of how gastrointestinal function affects the brain. The use and consequences of Secretin has confirmed this.
Autistic spectrum disorders are no longer the domain of psychiatrists and special educators, but should incorporate a holistic approach with nutritional dsyfunctions being addressed and in my perception the most important - you are what your assimilate.
Most important are the efforts of parents to try and commit themselves to diet and lifestyle changes because the commitment for a few months, even years is the immense reward of a functional disorder being corrected and the possibility for a child to grow up and become an independent happy and healthy adult.
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