Autism is a challenging disease for any family. As a parent, I can tell you it is overwhelming, but there is hope. Research continues to find evidence of imbalances like inflammation and severe deficiencies that are clearly affecting our autistic children.
Here is a case of a teenager (14-year-old) with autism that had pain and swelling on his leg (1). He had bleeding from his nose and gums (mouth). Children with autism are picky about food choices. His only menu was chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese, and milk, in this case.
The physician started doing many expensive tests and procedures to discard other causes of bleeding from his nose, gums, and inflammation on his leg.
Later on, the doctor thought about vitamin C blood levels, and the autistic teenager was severely depleted of vitamin C. After supplementing with vitamin C for eight weeks, the bleeding from the nose and gums, leg pain, and swelling completely resolved. Also, labs revealed that inflammation markers in this blood normalized. But, in addition, they discovered that he was also depleted of vitamin D, which can affect behavior in a significant way.
Research has shown the presence of severe deficiencies of multiple vitamins, minerals, and crucial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids in autism. From my experience, the issue here is that being deficient in critical nutrients like vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids promotes picky eating behavior.
This situation is like a vicious cycle between which issue came first, the restricted food behavior or the multiple deficiencies that will promote lack of variety in their menu.
The time has come for us as parents or health care providers to start thinking about biological issues or imbalances like inflammation before behavioral matters because both are connected. Multiple therapies are necessary for autism but also nutrition. The main idea is to improve the body by optimizing nutrition, and brain function will start to improve.
There is Hope for Autism!
P.S. By the way, if you want to learn more about how nutrition can benefit autism, my book Resilient Brain is available on Amazon. It is a nutrition roadmap for families affected by autism or anybody that would love to have a sharp brain function. Please, share this post with a friend.
Here is the link connected to Amazon: www.nuterel.com
Guo, M., Zhu, J., Yang, T., Lai, X., Lei, Y., Chen, J., & Li, T. (2019). Vitamin A and vitamin D deficiencies exacerbate symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders. Nutritional neuroscience, 22(9), 637-647.
Rafee, Y., Burrell, K., & Cederna-Meko, C. (2019). Lessons in early identification and treatment from a case of disabling vitamin C deficiency in a child with autism spectrum disorder. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 54(1), 64-73.