Front page articles on MSN and Yahoo this week read "Gut Bacteria Offers New Hope for Autism". The articles explain that changing gut bacteria alleviates not just stomach problems for children with autism but also behavioral issues. In a new trial, researchers gave 18 autistic children a 10-week treatment of fecal microbial transplants, transferring live gut bacteria from healthy people to the patients. The children experienced 20-25% improved behavioral symptoms and an 80% reduction in stomach issues.
Wow! Finally the conventional medical community is catching up to what holistic doctors have been saying for decades. Ten years ago, conventional doctors were convinced that autism was incurable. Today, they are saying that 'spontaneous recovery' is possible. There is nothing spontaneous about it - miraculous yes, spontaneous, no. Parents across the world are attesting to the fact that their children have completely recovered or are partially recovered from autism after implementing diet changes, alternative treatments, and heavy metal detoxification.
Healthy gut microbiota is essential for a well functioning brain. In fact, in my book "The Kosher Gut Plan-Reboot Your Digestive System Naturally" I describe how the gut is actually called the 'second brain'. Many important neurotransmitters found in the brain are also manufactured in the gut, such as glutamate, norepinephrine, nitric oxide, serotonin and dopamine. For example, 95% of the body's production of serotonin occurs in the bowels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates feelings of happiness. It regulates sleep, appetite and body temperature." Since the gut is our 'second brain', it would make sense that what we eat can greatly affect mood and behavior, especially when it comes to children.
Our gut is populated by good and bad bacteria. Multiple doses of antibiotics can literally obliterate a child's good bacteria (probiotics) in his gut terrain. Autistic children are known to have altered gut microbiota and gastrointestinal problems. However, the idea of transferring fecal matter from one person to another is highly unappealing and unnecessary. By changing one's diet, we can alter our gut terrain naturally. Since bad bacteria feed off of sugar, avoiding white and brown sugar and high fructose corn syrup is necessary. Foods made with refined flour which includes most processed cakes, cereals, and breads should be avoided since white flour converts quickly to sugar in the body.
A diet high in organic green vegetables, vegetable juicing, organic fruits, and chicken stock soup (chicken bone marrow soothes the gut), will go a long way to restoring healthy gut bacteria. A probiotic supplement first thing in the morning and evening, and digestive enzymes along with meals, will also help to promote healthy gut microflora. Almond Flour is a good replacement for wheat flour. Stone Ground Bread, organic brown rice, and quinoa can be incorporated into the diet as well.
Resouces: The GAPS diet- A diet that has shown to be beneficial for children with Autism website: www.gapsdiet.com , TACA (Talk about Curing Autism) is an organization that provides support for parents of children with autism- their website has a list of alternative biomedical therapies. www.tacanow.org
Leah M. is the author of "The Kosher Gut Plan- Reboot Your Digestive System Naturally". The book describes in detail alternative treatments, healing foods and recipes for IBS, Colitis, and Crohns. Her book is available for sale on Amazon.