Natural Health Solution for Asperger’s & ASD
Of all the healing modalities I have studied and tried for Lauris, the Functional Medicine therapeutic approach to Asperger’s and ASD has been the best approach.
As I was trying to find natural help for Asperger’s and autism, I learned about a medical discipline called Functional Medicine. I was very impressed with the logic they presented in these books as to why brain function is so sensitive in those with Asperger’s or ASD.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is based on the knowledge that in order for health to occur, you must have healthy digestion, and your body must be able to cleanse and detox in a healthy and effective way. Without good digestion, you will not get the nutrient building blocks that are essential for life; you will have compromised immune health; and you will lack energy and mental clarity.
Without healthy detox and cleansing channels, your body will accumulate the toxic residues of metabolism and life. These toxins clog your circulatory system, impede the function of other organ systems and will eventually cause a variety of diseases.
You support your digestion and detox channels through:
- Better digestion and assimilation of foods through the use of probiotics and enzymes. This is essential for those with ASD due to their food sensitivities and poor gut health
- Supporting detox and cleansing channels with increased protection against free radical damage (oxidative stress) with antioxidants. This is particularly important because people with Asperger’s or ASD do not have normal detox and cleansing channels
- Better brain and immune function through the use of specific brain-enhancing supplements and foods. Immune health is intricately linked to brain function; support one, and you naturally support the other
Why does Functional Medicine work?
Here is why you should address the health of the gastrointestinal tract first, even though most people think of autism as a brain function problem:
“…new information on the dynamics of the body make it clear that conditions in the digestive tract affect the entire system…degradation of the gastrointestinal environment is one of the primary points at which health is lost. What we now know is that the same toxins associated with GI dysfunction are frequently absorbed and distributed to other parts of the body including the brain….
Often, it’s a weak link in the system that will be hit by the damage – an organ that can be anywhere in the body that is most likely to be vulnerable. The vulnerability may be inherited, caused by physical injury, toxic exposure, or poor diet”. Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., How Problems with Digestion Can Cause Illness Anywhere
Recent studies show that autism has a strong link to poor digestive health. Studies also show that people with ASD do not have normal detoxification channels. The reason for this may be a genetic weakness, an environmental toxin exposure, or a bit of both. The problems with digestion and detox combine and exacerbate already sensitive brain function. Therefore, using the Functional Medicine health model is most beneficial.
My experience is that it was only after I began to use this health model that I saw ongoing, lasting improvement in Lauris’ ability to tolerate the stress of social situations. He also lost weight, felt happier and was able to communicate better.
Jerry Stine, M.D., in How Digestion Works, explains that the gastrointestinal tract is the largest immune organ in our body. Eighty percent of all our protective immunoglobulins are produced in the digestive tract.
When this large, strategically placed immune system element isn’t working well, several stresses are set in motion.
- First, there is the increased production of toxic byproducts called free radicals. The assault of free radicals, also referred to as oxidative stress, stimulates the liver, causing it to send out signals that can confuse the immune system. These signals often trigger inappropriate reactions in both the immune and neurological systems, leading to inflammation. It is my opinion that on one level, ASD can be described as a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the brain.
2. Oxidative stress from free radicals also causes problems by depleting essential nutrients. This can short-circuit immune function, and cause problems in nervous system function. This link is the reason that certain foods can offer such amazing results for anyone with ASD.
A Health Model That Makes Sense
If your goal is to find a natural treatment for Aspergers or ASD, I recommend that you follow this healing model.
Support better digestion and assimilation of foods through the use of probiotics and enzyme supplements.
Nourish through food-based supplements (consuming nutrient rich foods such as wheat grass, bee pollen, organic micro algae…etc.)
Protect against free radical damage (oxidative stress) through the use of whole food antioxidant supplements (wheat sprouts, red algae, wheat grass, etc.)
Renew by feeding the health of your brain and renewal systems with targeted whole food formulas designed to maximize the health of the brain and nervous system.
With the use of whole food supplements you can improve your GI tract environment, decrease the burden of the toxins and thereby take the stress off the brain. With less toxins there is less need for a constant high level defense effort and everything in the body just starts to work better.
To learn more about the specific recommended supplements click on the following: