Do autistic children have 'starving brains?'

Monday, September 03, 2012 by: Eric L. Zielinski
Tags: autistic children, starving brains, medical treatment

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(NaturalNews) McCandless' position in her book, "Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder," is that ASD is a complex syndrome based on physiological and biochemical disorders that have as a common end-point the cognitive and emotional impairment that we generally associate with autism. In other words, aside from rare genetic cases such as an autism derived from Fragile X syndrome, it has become evident that these are physically ill children who can be greatly helped medically, behaviorally, and cognitively by proper diagnosis and treatment of their underlying medical conditions. This is a vital breakthrough in understanding and one that many practitioners have had a hard time grasping. In the past, autism and other conditions in the autism spectrum were considered "psychiatric" or behavior disorders, with only psychiatric or behavioral approaches considered as appropriate treatments. Consequently, since they are physically ill, affected children require an all-encompassing, natural intervention to maximize their healing potential.

Studies have shown that ASD children, compared to controls with neurotypical children, report higher occurrences of the following nutrient levels:

• Increased serum copper
• Magnesium deficiency
• Increased copper/zinc ratios
• Iron deficiency
• Increased glutamate
• Zinc deficiency
• Decreased vitamin B6
• B12 deficiency
• Decreased plasma sulphate
• Calcium deficiency
• Decreased methionine
• Fatty acid deficiencies
• Decreased glutamine
• Inadequate vitamins A, D, and E
• Decreased amino acids tyrosine, carnosine, lysine, hydroxylysine

Many experts have further noted that several common factors are seen in most ASD patients; namely, impaired immunity, GI inflammation, higher infection rate and subsequent increased use of antibiotics, impaired nutritional status, maldigestion/malabsorption, and decreased ability to metabolize toxins like heavy metals and pathogens. The crux of the all-encompassing, natural intervention model; therefore, is to restore proper brain function by balancing the nutrients above. This can be done in a variety of ways; namely nutrition, supplements, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. This approach, though, has been criticized by the medical model because it apparently takes longer than other modalities and may not be as complete with older children since biochemical abnormalities and toxic conditions have already become a part of their cellular functioning and are therefore harder to change. The "golden window" of opportunity, they contend, has been suggested to be between 18 months and five years of age, though it is never too late to initiate care. Many older children and adults have experienced dramatic results as well.

This criticism from the medical community is false. Research is full of evidence-based, "natural" interventions that have dramatic, rapid results. If you suspect your child has autism, contact your natural health care provider as soon as possible.

Sources for this article include:

McCandless, J. Children with starving brains: a medical treatment guide for autism spectrum disorder 2nd ed. Bramble Books, Putney. 2003.

Guliani K, Rubin D. Improvements in developmental delay, colic, and GERD in a Child Undergoing Chiropractic Care: A Case Report and Review of Literature. J Pediatr Matern & Fam Health Chiropr 2012; 1:online access only (4 pages).

Benach JL, Li E, McGovern MM. A microbial association with autism. MBio. 2012;3(1).
Jyonouchi H, Geng L, Ruby A, Reddy C, Zimmerman-Bier B. Evaluation of an association between gastrointestinal symptoms and cytokine production against common dietary proteins in children with autism spectrum disorders. J Pediatr. 2005;146(5):605-10.

Ibrahim SH, Voigt RG, Katusic SK, Weaver AL, Barbaresi WJ. Incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism: a population-based study. Pediatrics. 2009;124(2):680-6.

Scelfo TA, Chelenyak PL. Resolution of autistic symptoms in a child undergoing chiropractic care to correct vertebral subluxations: A case study: case report. J Pediatr Matern & Fam Health Chiropr 2011; 4:106-110.

About the author:
Health coach, researcher, speaker and writer Eric L. Zielinski has been an avid follower of natural health for over a decade. Zielinski earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Wayne State University in 2002 and is currently wrapping up his Doctorate of Chiropractic at Life University along with a Masters of Public Health at Emory University. Track his work on facebook. Read Eric's other articles.

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