Role of Nutrition in Autism
Autism is a spectrum disorder of brain involving wide range of behavioral and communication complexities. The complexities include slurred speech, difficulty in standing upright, lack of sensory and visual perception, difficulty in interaction with others, Indifference to others feelings, Hyper activeness or obsessive behavior are few examples of Autism Syndrome.
There is no clinical evidence to show causes of Autism, although genetic and environmental factors are suggested.
It is firstly important to understand the environmental factors to understand behavior of Autistic children. It is paramount importance to check if there are any environmental factors, contributing as trigger to behavioral or tolerance deficiency. Care givers also need to be careful in controlling the trigger factors and in providing Autistic children a congenial environment.
While external factors play a major role in Autism, the role of nutrition in Autism can also not be negated. New studies have shown that nutritional therapy does really make a big difference to children dealing with autism. Autistic children are usually on antibiotics since early stages; therefore they suffer from bowel irregularities. They also suffer from diarrhea, gastroenteritis, constipation, GERD etc. Apart from these various food allergies and nutritional deficiencies are a part of Autism.
WHAT IS BEST DIET FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM?
There is no fixed formula, but controlling certain proteins and giving certain nutritional supplements can relieve the symptoms. For example giving Gluten free diet helps to control the hyper activeness of children. This helps in keeping blood sugar under check.
ASD Children routinely suffer from a weak gut. Therefore restoring a healthy gut is vital. Giving digestive enzymes and Probiotics is a good option. Probiotics have good bacteria that can improve the microflora in the GI tract. ASD children usually have irregular GI flora, and when they routinely intake probiotics, their bowel movement can improve.
Our brain cell membranes need essential fats to function. In Autistic children enzymatic defect depletes these essential fats at a faster rate, so one needs to provide higher dose of essential fats like Omega 3 fatty acids to these children dealing with Autism vis-à-vis other children. It has been found that increasing essential fat intake improves mood swings, behavioral and sleep pattern.
Increasing Vitamins and Minerals like vitamin B6, C and magnesium supplements improves symptoms of Autism.
Caregivers should be mindful of the food allergies specific to each child and try to avoid giving those foods.
Finally, to control nutritional deficiencies it is important to formulate a whole-foods meal plan. This plan is very individual based catering to specific need of each child. It is always advised to stay away from artificial food ingredients, preservatives, limit pesticide exposure and avoid processed foods.
The Bottom line for application of full Nutritional Strategy for Autistic children is to have a balanced wholesome food, intake of proper vitamin and nutritional supplements, avoiding excess sugar and processed food.
APART FROM CONVENTIONAL METHODS IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY TO TREAT AUTISM?
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