Autism and Bowel Flora.
The bowel flora consists of millions of micro-organisms living on the walls of the gut. Many of these carry out essential functions within the body, primarily assisting the digestive process, controlling the proliferation of “unfriendly” organisms and are also integral to the efficient functioning of the immune system.
There are many theories as to the causes of Autism but two factors predominate. Autistic children invariably have some sort of digestive abnormalities and a compromised immune system. But what have digestive abnormalities got to do with autism and behaviour problems? Clinical experience and recent research shows that a person’s digestive system is intimately linked to their mental development.
A leading practitioner, Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, has termed it GAP syndrome (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), but the principle has been researched and worked on over the last two centuries.
The gut is the largest organ in the immune system, the system that protects the developing child from infections and toxins. The gut flora are integral in this, being the catalysts for the manufacturing of some components of the immune system as well as actively attacking pathogens.
An imbalance in the gut flora can therefore lead to an easily overwhelmed immune system, a proliferation of pathogenic microbes in the intestines that release mood altering chemicals, an inflamed gut wall, leading to digestive disorders and poor absorption of essential nutrients of all sorts.
The calming of the inflammation in the intestines, the use of probiotics to restore a healthy gut flora and an improvement in the diet to promote healthy digestion , can all lead to an immediate improvement in the behaviour and mood of autistic children and adults. Over the long term the use of nutrition, natural remedies and a controlled diet can lead to a sustained improvement.