Ayurveda Remedies To Treat Autism In Children

Treatment of Autism in Ayurveda

Treatment / June 10, 2018

The incidence of autism in the United States and Canada continues to increase at rates never before observed in recorded history. Diagnosis of autism and autism spectrum disorder conditions has increased nearly 50 fold over the last 40 years. While western medicine and research has seemingly stalled in respect to treatment or management of autism, Ayurvedic medicine has proven very effective in treating and assisting those with conditions identified as being on the autism spectrum

Ayurvedic medicine is respected as one of the world’s oldest and original organized study of medicine. Considered alternative and complementary medicine by western medical professionals, Ayurvedic medicine utilizes a combination of specialized diets, herbs, yoga and massage to assist with the management of autism.

Specifically, patients afflicted with autism have demonstrated significant improvements through a series of treatments, including food elimination, sensitivity testing, herbal supplementation, yoga and social normalization. As a cure for autism has yet to be determined, management of the condition using Ayurvedic practices has demonstrated to be effective in supporting autistic patients in becoming functional in managing various symptoms of this condition.

Nutritional Practices to Manage Autism

There are many factors contributing to the development of autism and autism spectrum disorders, one of these factors is thought to be a condition of impaired serotonin metabolism in the brain and central nervous system. Specifically Hoshino, et al. (2008) found that autistic patients contain significantly higher amounts of blood serotonin than normal patients; indicating the presence of a metabolic issue with serotonin.

Autistic patients tend to demonstrate increased digestive issues and food sensitivities. IgG and IgE-mediated testing for food sensitivities and allergies is recommended, although it is not the only we can test hypersensitivities. In severe cases, where IgG or IgE-mediated testing is not a feasible option, specific elimination diets to determine offending foods is recommended.

While many types of foods are thought to contribute to the worsening of symptoms associated with autism, specific types are demonstrating a more significant impact, these include:

  • Dairy Products
  • Night Shade Vegetables, including tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers.
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Peanuts
  • Preservatives, colors, food additives, insecticides, pesticides and heavy metals

The exact reason these foods worsen the symptoms associated with autism is unknown, but various theories indicate that the nutritional compounds of the foods may impede serotonin metabolism or that these foods contribute to gastrointestinal interruptions and discomfort so severe that behavior in autistic patients worsens.

Some, or all, of these digestive issues may be reduced or even avoided by eliminating certain offending, or combination of offending, foods. Additional digestive support for autistic children can be found in a variety of digestive herbs, including:

  • Ginger
  • Long Pepper
  • Black Pepper
  • Trikatu, a combination of ginger, long pepper and black pepper used to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and promote the absorption of essential nutrients.

Autistic children also are more likely to suffer from food sensitivities resulting from improper digestion of foods, often a result of weakened digestive and immune systems. This often causes partially digested food to move into the bloodstream, causing an autoimmune attack and a response similar to an allergic reaction.

In addition to incorporating herbs for digestion, autistic children’s digestive disorders may be further prevented through the use of naturally occurring probiotic flora; most often found in raw organic foods, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi or through a high-quality, all natural multi-strain probiotic supplements.

Probiotics, or healthy bacteria, have demonstrated the ability to promote healthy digestion and strong immune system function. Current research has found that low levels of probiotics in the digestive system, specifically the intestinal tract, is associated with over 170 diseases and health conditions; these include leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and food allergies.

A healthy, normally functioning digestive system contains over 100 trillion bacteria. Best practice for optimal digestive and immune system function recommends maintaining a ratio of 9:1 probiotic to harmful bacteria. This ratio has demonstrated to provide appropriate immune function and reduce incidence of food sensitivity, including digestive disruption and food allergies.

While several different types of bacteria provide beneficial support and are classified as “probiotics”, any multi-strain probiotic source should provide a minimum of three key probiotics, these include:

  • Bifidobacterium lactis for relief of leaky gut, constipation inflamed bowels and inflammation resulting from food sensitivities.
  • Lactobacillus salivarius, proven through research to dramatically decrease the level of harmful bacteria forming in the mouth, throat and digestive tract reducing gum sensitivity and a host of digestive disorders.
  • Saccharomyces boulardii for immune system support, including a significant increase in average blood cell count and a decrease overall inflammation, even during periods of high stress.

Findings by Critchfield (2011) support the use of probiotics to restore the microbial balance in the intestine, to relieve gastrointestinal problems and to reduce immunological abnormalities.

Most food sources of probiotics, including yogurts and fermented vegetables, contain between one and two billion colony forming units, or CFUs, of probiotics per serving. Quality probiotic supplements typically provide between 25 and 50 billion cfus per serving. Health practitioners recommend consuming higher amount of probiotics to ensure proper colonization of healthy bacteria throughout the digestive system.

Immune System Support for Children with Autism

In addition to providing digestive support, probiotics demonstrate key support of immune system function. This is essential to the autistic population as many have demonstrated the likelihood to suffer from a compromised, or generally weakened, immune system.

Source: ayurvedicscience.com