How Gut Bugs May Be Aggravating Your Child's Autism Symptoms
Why do these "bad bugs" cause so many problems? Certain pathogenic gut flora such as clostridium difficile and candida albicans produce harmful toxins that can get into your child's blood stream and cause all kinds of neurological and inflammatory damage. Toxins released by clostridia in particular can damage certain signaling proteins in the brain, leading to changes in behavior and brain development.
In addition, harmful gut bacteria and yeast are often triggers for digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, gas, and bloating. Issues with digestion are a common in kids with autism and can cause a great deal of discomfort and stress.
Antifungals and Antibiotics
So why does this happen?
The problem is that once the antibiotic or antifungal medication clears out pathogenic bugs from the intestine, the empty "real estate" that remains can be re-populated by the same pathogens that were causing issues in the first place. This can often be prevented by the introduction and co-treatment with probiotics and dietary changes to help heal the damaged intestinal lining.
Achieving Overall Gut Health
Healing a "Leaky Gut"
There are a lot of ways we can help heal and seal the gut in kids with autism. Specific nutrients nourish the cells that line the interior of the intestines, while others can damage cells and encourage more inflammation in the gut. In addition, certain GI insults such as artificial preservatives, heavy metals, food allergens, pesticides and herbicides can lead to increased permeability with widespread negative effects. Getting the right foods in and getting wrong foods and environmental toxins out can have huge impacts on the health and function of the gut.