There's no (one) cure for Autism...

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There's no (one) cure for Autism...

Postby catbirdsteed » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:05 am

because there is no one cause.

The most cogent beginning approach may be, however, to curtail the excessive production of blood glucose and insulin. The excessive production and vicissitudes of both are key in the development of numerous, perhaps most of the common degenerative physiological and neurologic ailments that are so very common.

Essential Fatty Acids, Lorenzo's Oil and Beyond

©Copyright 1997 by Patricia Kane, Ph.D., Millville, New Jersey, U.S.A.
(Explore Issue: Volume 7, Number 6)

The biochemical basis for the success of the ketogenic diet is simple. The cessation of eating stimulates the beta oxidation of very long chain fatty acids that not only occurs in adrenoleukodystrophy but in epilepsy, autism and developmental delay. The ingestion of carbohydrate also stimulates the release of insulin which depresses delta 6 desaturase and stimulates inflammatory prostaglandin two series and ultimately causes derangement of the fatty acid metabolism. Excess carbohydrate ingestion, which is so common in our present American diet, diverts and compromises the synthesis of prostaglandin series one. The modulation of fatty acid metabolism, however, is quite complicated and the lack of knowledge in regard to the coenzymes, the individual child's metabolism, the balance of electrolytes and the recent addition of hydrogenated fats to the ketogenic diet makes the outcome of this treatment shaky at best.

The corresponding info regarding mineral status is of the utmost import, also. it may, in many cases, make a significant difference without any ketogenic therapy.

Annie, thanks for the Asperger thread in the General Disc. I have been wanting to get going on the Health board for a while and I was inspired to do so by that.
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Postby annie aronburg » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:10 pm

So this is part of the Grass Kingdom's plan for Global Domination?

Michael Pollan: The omnivore's next dilemma

What if human consciousness isn't the end-all and be-all of Darwinism? What if we are all just pawns in corn's clever strategy game, the ultimate prize of which is world domination? Author Michael Pollan asks us to see things from a plant's-eye view -- to consider the possibility that nature isn't opposed to culture, that biochemistry rivals intellect as a survival tool.
it's all in me
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The Gall Bladder and Autism

Postby catbirdsteed » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:09 am

The Gall Bladder and Autism

I will start with one of the least likley organt most would consider as a major player in this. If autism is a metabolic disorder largely based on a lipid imbalance, then the GB may be a primary culprit. In fact, the gall bladder often needs to be treated prior to, or at least concurrently with treatment of the liver.

This is because the GB is the primary eliminative pathway for the liver.
The majority of the toxins eliminated by the liver are channeled through the GB.

The GB is a conduit in a cyclic pathway with inputs that- basically-begins when we eat. Lipids in the upper GI tract exhibit CSK (cholecystechinen) which in turn excites the GB to contract, squeezing out bile. The bile is needed for the emulsification of fats in the small intestine. Emulsified fat can then be assimilated into the bloodstream.

The liver is the first organ that recieves blood from the mid and lower GI tract, and the liver needs the lipids, in particular cholesterol, to complete many enzyme functions, and ultimatly, to create more bile.

Low quality, insufficent fat intake will often be a culprit in breakdown of this process, resulting in poor lipid metabolism. This will typically incline an individual to lean towards a carbohydrate heavy diet. Carbs will gaurantee energy to the cells in the creation of ATP in the mitochondria. They will often, when eaten in excess, create a serious problem with blood sugar and insulin.

More specifically, the lack of adequit amounts of proper blood lipids supplied to the liver will create poor quality bile that will back up in the GB, often leading to crystalization and gallstones.

Of course, not all GB stagnation will lead to stones, as not all cases of poor lipid metabolism will lead to autism. This is a spectrum disorder, not a monolithic disease. Normalization of GB function will not cure autism, but I suspect there would be a few cases where this alone could achive some discernable results.

Care of the gallbladder, and the normalization of its function, is not as difficult as convention medical dogma would have us believe. There is very little allopathic treatment of the GB at all. Usually the course is to let it complain enough until it needs to be removed. Cases of GB pain and even stones can be dealt with somewhat readily through diet and nutrition. A ruptured GB however, is strictly a medical emergency and a very severe one, requiring immediate surgical intervention.

While the GB is not considered an endocrine organ, its role as a gatekeeper for bile has tremendous impact on the overall endocrein system health. There are several other metabolic organs that can be addressed to help with mitigating the harmful manifestations of atuism (I suppose there may be some positive ones, but that is a different topic), and I will discuss them in further posts.

I am a Certified Nutritional Theapist, a DSP level caregiver for disabled children and adults with about six years experience-both day program and residential- and am currently partaking in respite work for a child with severe autism and an adult with a generalized DD diagnosis.

annie, I have the Pollan interview in my itunes and look foreward to listening. I have read ...dilemma" and liked it, but i don't fully agree with his latest tack.
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Adrenal glands and Autism

Postby catbirdsteed » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:22 am

Thanks to all of you who have looked into the thread so far.

Adrenal glands and Autism: this is a long post and it is almost done. Thought I would have it done tonight, but not so. Any questions or comments on the first two posts yet? CBSt
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Adrenals and Autism

Postby catbirdsteed » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:39 am

Adrenals and Autism

Adrenal glands and Autism: The adrenal glands are truly one of the primary organs sets of the endocrine system. In Chinese medicine, the pituitary and pineal glands are truly the "master glands" due to their extensive number of hormone-regulating hormones, and they do have a major impact on the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands however are patently able to pick up production of certain other hormones in the event of a particular endocrine gland failure.

Case in point, and one by design: female sexual hormones estrogen and progesterone, typically generated by the ovaries after the onset of puberty, do not cease to exist in an individual after menopause. The adrenal glands pick up the slack and generate it themselves. Conversely, prior to the onset of puberty, the adrenals will be generating some quantity of the same hormones. They will typically cease to do so between puberty and menopause. One issue that can manifest at menopause is the weakened state of the adreanals, which will lead to the usual array of mood and body temperature regulating swings. The better the state of the adreanal glands at the onset of menopause, the lesser the symptoms

Stress hormones: Glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids are the main hormones that are secreted on response to stress, whereas adrenalin is typically released to INDUCE stress. it is not the input itself that is stressful, but our response to it. Observationally, autism is a condition that is fraught with stress.
Adrenaline is certain to be at work in almost any case of pain, the attempt to induce pain, the stiffening of the body (toe walking) arm/hand shaking, even profound glee, wild laughter and such similar excitement that many autistics experience. Severe autistics can relax for very limited amounts of time. It becomes necessary for such an individual to, quite soon after settling down, get up again, wander off to another activity, throw themselves on the floor, commence to hitting, rubbing or biting or any other of a number of stress-response type activities.

Literature on the adrenal glands and autism is limited, and like all research on autism, controversial and conflicting, but it stands to inference that the episodes listed above, which I observe numerous times weekly, are being mitigated in part by the adrenal glands. And the same glands are called to respond emotional and physiological stress will incite the stress response hormones listed above, sending the body into repeated cellular hyperactivity to produce and combat inflammation, swelling, tissue damage and pain.

Sugar handling and the adrenal glands: First a point for clarity’s sake. “Sugar handling” refers to blood glucose, not the ingestion of table sugar, fruit, or any particularly sweet foodstuff. An individual can in fact have a blood sugar problem without consuming any refined or concentrated sugar. Simply eating an excess of carbohydrates, especially in an absence of adequate fats to slow absorption, can lead to an excess of blood glucose and the following insulin spike, as long as the pancreas is still producing insulin.
First, though, what do the adrenal glands have to do with blood sugar regulation? Much. For starters, when the blood sugar is elevated, there is serious potential for numerous types of physiological stress to develop. Microvascular damage, so common in diabetes is really only the beginning, and it alone can be life threatening. Kidney failure, eyesight loss and lower extremity necrosis are the most common. However a host of digestive and circulatory inflammatory conditions can follow.

When the blood sugar is low the adrenal glands have the major role in bringing it back up. Epinephrine (adrenaline) is the hormone that is released when blood sugar is too low for comfort. This incites the glucagon stored in the liver and muscle tissues to be liberated into the bloodstream. When adrenal health is solid, this can be sustained for an extended period of time. When it is compromised, there is only enough epinephrine for emergencies, or when the emotional and/or physical stake becomes severe. For general maintenance of stable mood, we are otherwise inclined to eat something either patently sugary or easily converted to blood sugar.
We can, when endocrine health is normalized, keep our blood sugar at a sustainable rate without the continual need to snack.

Do autistic children have issues with blood sugar?

Again, one "simple" question, a million possible answers. The allopathic community in general may not even bother to ask the question, but community and family based situation-response treatment often suggests that, yes, there is a relationship. On a comparative basis, there is evidence to suggest that children have very different responses to the blood sugar spike/crash cycle. Adults have a more developed ability to utilize epinephrine to keep blood sugar stable after a sugar spike. Children are more likely to experience hypoglycemic periods after such an episode. Besides the other observations listed above, there are numerous studies that indicate that the blood glucose cycle is more erratic in autistic children. The other variety of metabolic and endocrine issues, similarly differentiated from non-autistic persons.

Here we hint back to the opening post in the thread, the ketogenic diet. Even though ketogenic diets are often highly medicinalized, to the extent that a dietitian is called in to weigh and measure most of the portions, and a phys-tech will be available to observe numerous aspects of the patient/client, there is a growing body of literature concerning modified ”soft” ketogenics wherein the diet has a bit more carbs that a traditional keto diet, is moved into somewhat gradually and is regulated primarily in the home and community setting. In this diet, the blood sugar is given less opportunity to spike severely and the pancreas is given a rest from producing so much insulin over and over again. And the cellular machinery is given a reprieve from the stress of dealing with excesses of both of those blood borne substances.

Another recent personal observation: One young autistic person I work with, in the midst of being fed less sweetened food by his primary caretaker, was sprinting for the sugar jar being kept on the counter in the family’s kitchen. It is not unusual for this person to lead me to the snack cabinet, or to reach for any carbo-laden snack or food that may be out, but this sugar grab was new to me. Curiously, that very day, after a week of less sugar, the child was noticeably less prone to hitting himself. He did seem to crave the stimulation that can be garnered from a quick handful of sugar.

The liver has a major role in blood sugar issues, largely due to its storage of large amounts of glucagon. With the overwhelmingly likely- yet still controversial- notion that toxicity is a factor in autism as well, we have another link in the sugar handling chain to understand, but more (perhaps much more) about the liver and autism in another post.
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Quick Index to the Theories of Autism

Postby catbirdsteed » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:15 pm ... erview.htm

Theories of Autism

The above link is an overview of 18 or so of the prevailing theories of autism. The following is the first on the list.

Opioid Excess Theories

The opioid excess theory of autism says that autistic children are symptomatic due to excess opioid-like substances, whose effects on the brain produce the symptoms of autism.

Opioids and opioid-like substances, especially when in excess, have many effects upon hormones and hormonal regulation.

Among humans, opioids stimulate diminish both ACTH and corticosterone 1. Naloxone, an opiate antagonist, stimulates the release of ACTH. Both types of action are probably mediated within the hypothalamus. Lutenizing Hormone (LH), important in reproduction, is decreased by opioids, while opiate antagonists stimulate LH, both apparently by modulating LHRH release. Opioids affect the regulation of other gonadotropins (sex hormones). Exogenous opiates potently stimulate prolactin and gonadotropin hormone secretion. Opiate antagonists do not affect these hormones.

In rats, opiate antagonists decrease basal and stress-induced secretion of prolactin. Data regarding Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) are quite contradictory. Both inhibitory and stimulatory effects have been described.

Oxytocin and vasopressin release are inhibited by opioids at the posterior pituitary level. There is good evidence for an opioid inhibition of suckling-induced oxytocin release. Opioids also seem to play a role in the regulation of vasopressin under some conditions of water balance. The pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon, are elevated by opioids apparently by an action at the islet cells. Somatostatin, on the contrary, is inhibited. An effect of naloxone on pancreatic hormone release has been observed after meals which contain opiate active substances.
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Postby catbirdsteed » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:39 am

Autism and Liver Function. That forthcoming post can become HUGE. I need to cite some more sources in these posts, and be concise, besides. The following is a teaser for the next in the series: ... sues02.htm

The Hidden Health Issues in Autism
Spectrum Disorders; Part 2
By Julie Priola

Having liver function tests done on our children is something that I consider to be very important because most people with ASD’s have compromised liver function. When something, anything, is going awry in the liver, other systems are affected and the liver is left far more vulnerable to toxicity by many substances; including meds….prescription and OTC. Before our appointment with his new doctor for absorption testing, I took my son to a traditional GP for liver function tests and found an enzyme that his liver is supposed to produce to regulate bilirubin levels was very low. Sometimes jaundice isn’t a symptom in compromised liver function, but we would find his liver had other problems too.

Two of the vast jobs of Metallothionein (MT) Proteins are liver cell development and enzyme production. The liver filters toxins from the blood and metabolizes old red blood cells, converts carbohydrates, as well as manufactures, stores and releases glucose as needed. In all, the liver performs some 500 function’s, it is a very valuable and hard-working organ. Jaundice occurs when the bilirubin count is too high, and when dramatically elevated, a condition called Kernicterus occurs which can cause brain damage (2). Most problems with the liver are very serious and can cause severe, permanent damage if not addressed; so my recommendation is for all people with ASD’s to get a comprehensive liver function test.

All of these issues got worse and worse until at age 20, living on his own, he found himself locked in a mental health ward on a court ordered commitment. His behaviors were exactly like a severe and persistent mental illness…..two of them actually. He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. But in my heart I knew it wasn’t true. I had spent years studying and researching this and had finally found a doctor who would listen to me and prove that there was something internal causing all of these problems. So I got a lawyer, got my son out of that hospital and started getting the absorption testing he needed to find what was going on inside of him.(1) That is when I discovered all of the studies and research I had read were correct, there are serious hidden health issues in ASD’s that directly choreograph our children’s behaviors and exacerbate the issues in Autism.

The liver is directly involved in glucose metabolism also. We discovered my son’s symptoms of metal illness were from a malfunctioning glucose metabolism system that created a rollercoaster of reactive hypoglycemia. Thirty-six hours after having ALL sugars and high glycemic foods taken out of his diet he no longer had hypoglycemia and no longer displayed disordered thinking, no sleep disturbances, no mania or hyperactivity, no paranoia, no anger or rage, no repeating himself, his severe obsessions that controlled his life became normal interests, no extreme mood swings and he became a pleasure to be around. And for the first time in months, my husband and I were able to sleep a full 8 hours, rather than the usual two!

There are only two things which cause hypoglycemia; (3, 4)
1. Diabetic meds and/or insulin that are not properly regulated.
2. Sugars and other high glycemic foods in people with a glucose metabolism malfunction or other metabolic disorder, and improper enzyme production to process foods (this is called reactive hypoglycemia). *
Without one of those two things, there can be no hypoglycemia. People will often make the mistake of eating a high carbohydrate food like sugars or juices to alleviate hypoglycemia, but what that does is keep the hypoglycemia rollercoaster going and never ending.

Here is the cycle:

1. First, a sugar or high glycemic food is consumed.
2. Then the pancreas gets the signal that high amounts of sugars have entered the system and over-responds by dumping too much insulin.
3. This is when blood sugars plummet and hypoglycemia occurs.
4. The adrenals then emit cortisol and adrenalin/ephedrine to stimulate more glucose release from the liver (the fight or flight response).
5. But the liver is not functioning properly and does not respond.
6. The body is signaling that it needs more glucose and the person is in a “starving” mode, reaching for sugars and high glycemic foods to quickly raise blood sugars.
7. The pancreas again gets the signal that high amounts of sugar have entered the system and again over responds by dumping too much insulin.
8. Blood sugars once more plummet and hypoglycemia occurs again.
9. The adrenals release more cortisol and adrenalin/ephedrine in the “fight or flight” response.
10. The compromised liver does not respond to the signal from the adrenals to release more glucose…..and so on.
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