By: Gleason Center Editors, Dr. Daniel Gleason DC
Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder occur when the nervous system has become overly sensitive and thus is overstimulated by normal, everyday actions. To understand the underlying causes we recommend looking at the three contributing factors:
Dysbiosis translates as “bad bugs”. This is a condition where the normal intestinal flora has become disturbed. Common causes are:
The problem with dysbiosis is that the immune system and nervous system are totally dependent on the relationship humans have with their intestinal bacteria. Dysbiosis can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). Those with Sensory Processing Disorder or Autism may respond to a challenge of oral herbal antimicrobials and/or probiotics thus illustrating the connection between gut flora and neural inflammation.
The second major factor that contributes to these conditions is Mitochondrial Dysfunction. Mitochondria are the “power plants” of our cells. Brain cells have some of the highest concentrations of these work-horses. The causes of mitochondrial malfunction fall basically into two categories: toxic exposure and nutritional deficiency.
In addition to the environmental toxins that we are all familiar with, dysbiotic compounds from the intestines are major sources of mitochondrial damage. These include hydrogen sulfide, d-Lactate and lipopolysaccharides. Typical symptoms of these toxins include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain as well as the atypical symptoms of Autism. Mitochondria require nutrition for optimal function. They require Coenzyme Q10, Carnitine, essential fatty acids as well as normal insulin and glucose function.
The third contributing factor for autism is neural inflammation. Certain nerves become activated leading to up-regulation of the glutamate receptors. Chemically-altered glutamate in the form of MSG and aspartame are known as excitotoxins. Many parents note that consumption of foods spiked with these “flavor enhancers” often lead to worsening of autistic symptoms.
The author of The Feingold Diet also notes that a group of chemicals in foods called salicylates may provoke problems of hyperkinesia. These nerves can be responsible for hypersensitivity. This excess glutamate can be converted to the “good” neurotransmitter GABA supplementing with P5P (the natural form of Vitamin B6) along with magnesium and Vitamin B2.
Physical measures can also be helpful with Sensory Processing Disorders and Autism. Some physical and occupational therapists receive special training. Sometimes massage can help but many of those afflicted are initially too sensitive to tolerate that much touch. Chiropractic adjustments can help balance the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems (fight or flight vs. calm and sleep). Cold laser therapy applied to specific areas of the cranium reduce inflammation and improve neural function. We would refer you to The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge, M.D., Chapter 4 entitled “Rewiring a Brain with Light.”
Each individual with these conditions is just that, an individual. They come to their condition in their own unique way. Testing to determine, quantify and set a baseline is the foundation for developing a specific treatment protocol. Comprehensive tool testing is the best way to see what is going on in the gut. Functional medicine blood and urine testing are essential to discover what deficiencies and toxins are related to mitochondrial dysfunction and neural inflammation. This testing can also help discover genetic predispositions, hidden infections, detoxification defects and food sensitivities.
The general, comprehensive treatment includes:
For Dysbiosis add:
For Mitochondrial Dysfunction add:
For Neuro Inflammation add:
If you like this post, you might also enjoy: Healing Your Gut Naturally
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