NATUROPATHY, DIET AND MEDICATION
A short paper by Donna Williams
Salicylate occurs in 80% of known foods. Its highest in colorings,
flavourings, preservatives and Monosodium Glutamate (also called Flavour
enhancer). These are especially found in processed foods, sweets, soft
drinks, cordial and snack foods. Its also high in citrus fruits (but not
lemon), berries (like jams and blackcurrent drinks) and stone fruits as
well as curries and chilli and tomato. Salicylate intolerance is known to
effect 60% of people on the autistic spectrum (Waring). It causes a cocaine-like
high, agitation, anxiety, mood swings and visual perceptual fragmentation-
seeing the world in bits.
Salicylate intolerance is kept under control
through diet but also assisted through supplementation that includes Epsom
Salts baths (to absorb the Magnesium Sulphate through the skin (although
this is not the best route for Magnesium or sulphate absorption) and
Glutamine as well as fish oils to reduce the inflammatory effects on the
When a child develops an acute anxiety state the high stress levels turn
the environment of the stomach alkaline. An alkaline stomach is one with
insufficient stomach acid to properly digest food.Lemon juice before meals
helps improve levels of stomach acid. The hardest foods to digest are
dairy/gluten. 80% of people on the autistic spectrum cannot properly
digest dairy/gluten (Shattock). The effects of this dairy/gluten intolerance on
the brain is like being on drugs. It mimics the effect of opium and are
called ‘opiate-like’ effects.
An alkaline stomach is one where the messengers to recognise food
substances-what is called secretory IgA- is impaired so many foods are
left undigested. This means that in spite of adequate diet, the child becomes
malnourished. This is why multivitamin/minerals and amino acids are used
to help people with autism and compensate for this functional malnutrition.
80% of people with autism are found to have abnormal brain electrical activity
and as many as 30% are formally diagnosed with epilepsy (including absence
and partial seizures in which the child does not collapse or convulse) and
most of these people are found deficient in Magnesium, Zinc and Maganese
(Danczak). Lack of IgA in the gut will mean the body won’t fight
infections which enter the gut, including the fungal infection, Candida.
Candida (which is opportunistic) lives off the sugar in a child’s diet so the Candida
often makes the child crave sugar but it also robs the child’s body of that
sugar, causing mood swings and increasing likelihood of seizure activity
(including absence seizures) when the brain becomes intermittently starved of blood. glucose levels. The only sensible way to kill off Candida is to improve
gut immunity, often by treating the underlying nutritional and anxiety conditions, and stop feeding the Candida with sugar (which also exacerbates the loss of zinc via the kidney).
There are supplements to fight Candida including Garlic capsules,
Caprylic acid capsules (Calcium Ascorbate and lots of water is needed to detox
during such a program as Candida is killed off)as well as replacements for the
beneficial bacteria which fights the bad bacteria- probiotics called
Acidophilus. Fish oils are also found to be good.
When Candida can’t rob the body of sugar, it will rob the body of
vitamin B. This starves the brain of this important vitamin- one which is
important to processing and keeping up with incoming information. This is why some children take a mega B complex supplement.
In people with failed immunity, Candida contributes to ‘leaky gut’ by
making the holes in the gut too big so undigested foods and bad gut
bacteria get through into the bloodstream, effectively poisoning the brain. (this
is part of the mettalothionine story) High stress levels lower the integrity
of the blood brain barrier- a membrane in the brain which normally would stop
the brain from being poisoned by such things in the blood.
There is a supplement which helps the blood brain barrier- called Glutamine. When
undigested foods get into the blood stream, the person often develops food
allergies which can effect the brain in some individuals and common
cerebral allergies include, among others, those to dairy and wheat, putting the
person in a drugged state when they eat these, often craved, substances.
Medications such as low doses of Risperdal (ie 0.5mgs) are used to treat
those with chronic anxiety conditions to stop the kind of fight/flight
responses which cause involuntary avoidance, diversion and retaliation
responses. These medications stabilise neurotransmitters- the messengers
in the brain involved in fight/flight responses and impulse control.
Risperdal is also thought to work as an anticonvulsant in people with mild seizures, including absence seizures probably through brain transmitter
The Risperdal has a positive impact on the gut because by treating the
chronic anxiety the Risperdal, used regularly, will help the body
stabilise and reduce the alkaline state of the gut, restore
the production of stomach acid and indirectly raise gut immunity so the
person can progressively recover from leaky gut. This would be
particularly effective when used in conjunction with natural medicine approaches such as the correct diet and supplementation in order to recover from the
imbalances which has progressively caused or exacerbated the autism.