Gut Health and Autism – This article reveals the gut-brain connection in autism, allergies, and other disorders.
As we continue on our path of improvement and development, we join forces to raise awareness about some issues that deserve special attention. World Autism Awareness Day is observed on April 2nd around the world.
This day is all about learning more about Autism and supporting those in our community who are touched by it. This page is an attempt to assist people in identifying and recognising the illness, as well as delving a little more into how it impacts one’s gut health. We also try to mend fences about nutritional issues and symptoms.
Nutrition is important in increasing the quality of life for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Gastrointestinal (GI) problems have a substantial impact on these people’s daily lives and habits.
If we can improve the foods they eat and the allergens they are exposed to, studies have shown a considerable improvement in digestive problems that affect daily behaviours.
So, what precisely can we do at home to assist persons with ASD?
The foods we eat and the environment we are exposed to are two factors over which we have control.
You may wonder how foods and allergens influence behaviour. The enteric nervous system (ENS) is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells that line your gastrointestinal track from the oesophagus to the rectum.
This is where you may have heard the phrase “go with your gut,” implying that you have a “gut feeling” of emotion!
The main role of the ENS is to control digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes. “Enzymes break down food to govern blood flow for nutrient absorption to disposal, i.e. bowel movement,” explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., head of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, whose work on the enteric nervous system has received international recognition.
“The enteric nervous system does not appear to be capable of thought as we know it, yet it connects with our big brain—with dramatic results.” Scientists have continued to successfully advance medicine’s grasp of the connections between digestion, mood, health, and even how the brain functions.
If the foods consumed cause inflammation, such as processed meals, or if the GI system is overloaded with airborne irritants such as mould, this causes “system overload” and symptoms to develop.
Here are a few ideas to get you started at home: (Gut Health and Autism)
- Dust frequently to keep dust mites at bay. Keep your home’s surfaces clean and tidy.
- Once or twice a week, vacuum.
- Change the filters in your air conditioner every 8-12 weeks to prevent pet dander buildup.
- Keep windows and doors locked during these seasons to prevent pollen from entering.
- To avoid mould spores, leave your washer open for ventilation so that it may thoroughly dry out.
- Be conscious of pest control, and use natural approaches to handle pests rather than chemicals.
- Use fragrance-free products and limit personal hygiene chemicals such as laundry detergent, deodorants, soaps, and air fresheners as much as feasible.
- We want as much as possible to live in a chemical-free atmosphere!
Foods to Eat for a Healthy Gut
- Consume filtered water! And there’s a lot of it! Everyone should drink half their body weight in ounces of water each day.
- Remove As much as possible, eat from a box!
- Instead of canned or boxed vegetables, opt for fresh or frozen.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, eggs, and lean meats should all be included.
- Look for the fewest number of ingredients listed.
- To reduce inflammation and limit the “work” the digestive system needs to do, try a “LOW HISTAMINE or ANTI INFLAMMATORY DIET.”
- Eliminate gluten, dairy, sugar, maize, soy, and potentially allergic items for 30 days, then gradually add one at a time once a week.
One of the most common medical issues associated with autism spectrum disorders is gastrointestinal disturbances.
In an article titled Autism Spectrum Disorder as a Brain-Gut-Microbiome Axis Disorder, the scientists write, “If left untreated, these comorbidities can cause greater severity in autism spectrum disorder symptoms, other associated clinical manifestations, and lower quality of life.”
Treatment of gastrointestinal issues in autism spectrum disorder may result in significant changes in autism spectrum disorder behavioural outcomes.”
Simply said, if we can reduce or eliminate processed foods from the diet and keep environmental irritants to a minimal, individuals with ASD symptoms may improve significantly.
Moods can be stabilised, tantrums reduced, high food selectivity and repetitive eating behaviours improved.