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Episode 113 of 175

What Causes Autism and What You Can Do About It

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Autism is called a spectrum disorder because no two people with autism have the same exact symptoms. It’s a long spectrum with one end being those who are higher  functioning and the other end being those who are very low functioning. The meaning behind the word “functioning” depends on their ability to navigate through life. Some symptoms simply make life more challenging.

For example, a very high functioning individual was once referred to as having “Aspergers Syndrome”. This term was first described in 1944 by Austrian physician Hans Asperger.  In 2013,  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5), removed the term Aspergers, and placed this diagnosis under an umbrella of autism spectrum disorders, lesser defining it.

How do health issues contribute to the symptoms of autism?
A study in The Journal of Neuroscience, Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience, found that, “alterations in the gut microbiome may play a pathophysiological role in human brain diseases, including autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain”. The gut directly affects the ability of the brain to function. Bacteria in the gut communicate with the brain, and the neurotransmitters, brain messengers, are made in the gut. The gut also makes up 80% of the immune system. Conclusion: the gut controls the brain and the immune system.

What You Can Do
Many parents ask for my help. I like to begin with the first step in healing the gut, diet. Yes, autism recovery is much more than diet alone and it’s why many parents fall short of optimum results thinking that is all there is. Here we begin with diet then move forward from there.

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