Autism is a biological disorder which is characterized by speech difficulties, posture abnormalities, unable to understand feelings & emotions, sensory and visual mis perceptions, fear and anxious behavior, compulsive and obsessive behavior.
Continuous studies proves that nutritional intervention is remarkably effective in treating autism.
Below are some of the major issues faced in autistic people which can be corrected through proper nutrition therapy.
1. To improve digestion : Because of continuous antibiotic therapy, both good and bad bacteria in gut are affected , which may cause bowel irregularities. So to improve you can provide a daily dose of digestive enzymes & probiotics which can heal the gut.
2. To balance blood sugar : Autistics shows increase incidence of hyperactivity, which requires sugar in appropriate amount. So a control on what form of sugar is consumed and in what amount , is to be monitored. Cut down snacking on refined carbs, sweets, cold drinks, fruit juices, ice creams & bakery items. Because of less fiber in these foods, they can trigger fluctuations in the level of activity.
3. To increase essential fats : There are increase incidence of essential fat deficiencies in autistics. Supplementing them slows the activity of defective enzymes & improve behavior,mood,imagination, sleep patterns and focus. Try to eat sea fishes 2-3 times a week, nuts and seeds daily and also take fish oil supplementation. Proper ratio of omega 3 : omega 6 ,4:1 should be maintained.
4. To increase vitamins & minerals : Some of the important vitamins & minerals are vit. A ,vit. C, vit.B6, Vit.B12,magnesium,zinc and calcium. Good amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, eggs to be included in diet daily. Supplementation may be required in initial stages& can be lowered with balanced nutritional support.
5. To avoid food allergies : The most common problem faced by autistic are the sensitivity to certain foods & chemicals that reacts to brain due to faulty digestion and absorption. The strongest and direct evidence linked to autism are the protein- Gluten & Casein ,found in wheat, rye, barley, oats and dairy products. They are difficult to digest and result in allergies. So how does they affect Autism?? The byproducts of these proteins called peptides,impact the brain by binding to opioid receptors or by deactivating the enzymes that break natural compounds. In any case there is an increase in opioid activity leading to symptoms like sleepiness,giddiness,aggressive and self abusive behavior. Also lack of Zinc & Vit. B6 contribute as they are important for proper acid production in stomach and protein digestion. Gradual withdrawal is recommended. First month remove dairy products and next month exclude wheat and other gluten foods.
Removal of these foods should be replaced by healthier alternatives to complete the nutritional profile. Following list includes Gluten free casein free foods:
- Rice and rice products
- Pearl millet ( bajra)
- Finger millet ( ragi)
- Lentils & legumes
- Buckwheat (kuttu)
- Amaranth (rajgira/ramdana)
- Water chestnut (singhada)
- Fox nuts( makhana)
- Soy and soy products
Autism is a very complex disorder, involving many genetic and environmental factors .
By following the guidelines outlined above, many individuals can improve to some degree, usually slowly and gradually over months and years. The cumulative effect of multiple treatments has proven to be substantial.
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