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Autism, Part IV: Intestinal Toxins

Intestinal toxins

If we looked at autism as a tree, the roots would be genetic changes, the branches – intestinal diseases, incorrect diet, bacteria, inflammation, imbalanced or weakened immune system, and the trunk, the bottleneck, would be toxins, which constitute the biggest problem in autism.

The brain of autistic children is flooded by neurotoxins, e.g.: ammonia, endomorphin, and false neurotransmitter, changing brain signals and causing various disorders of consciousness. One of such false neurotransmitters is alcohol. These toxins may severely alter perceptions of a person, in much the same way as alcohol abuse does.

Increased level of ammonia may pose a mortal danger. It is present in, among others, a well-known disease: hepatic encephalopathy. The symptoms of this disease, present often in people older than 40 and having a damaged liver, include: loss of consciousness, mental confusion, disorientation, drowsiness, or the so-called flapping hands, often seen in children with autism. Until recently, encephalopathy used to be measured by psychometric tests. This raises the question: is it still autism, or is it liver encephalopathy?

The excess ammonia may be caused by congenital genetic defects, such as urea cycle dysfunctions in mitochondria, most prominently in the liver. Liver is the organ responsible for body detoxification. With this congenital defect, the body does not produce enough ammonia-converting enzymes.

Testing for ammonia in the blood should be performed immediately after taking a sample. If the sample is left for an hour or two, the ammonia test result will be invalid.

Another reason for elevated ammonia may be an intestinal dysbiosis: a state in which the beneficial bacteria have been replaced by harmful microorganisms. Intestinal dysbiosis is the cause of increased intestinal fermentation, which creates such substances as alcohol, petroleum derivatives, acids, and a host of other toxins. Some of harmful bacteria, such as klebsiella oxytoca, citrobacter, proteus, or pseudomonas aeruginosa, excrete urease, which converts proteins to ammonia. In these cases there comes a point where the liver is unable to manage the excessive amount of toxins.

The above-mentioned bacteria show up as antibiotic-resistant in culture tests. Commonly used antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or augmentin only serve to increase their growth by killing other bacteria. They cannot be removed by administering probiotics (beneficial bacteria). Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be likened to a mafia: it is not possible to eliminate the “bad” gangsters by inviting nice and friendly people to their environment.

Intestine treatment consists of:

1. Eradication of harmful microorganisms. This is done by some fantastically-efficient herbal treatments, e.g.: Caprylic Acid, Barberine, and Uva Ursi. Also, non-absorbable antibiotics and antifungal drugs can be used. These antibiotics stop the fermentation in the intestine, and raise immunity instead of weakening it.
2. Eliminating constipation. Constipations are highly toxic and they are often caused by harmful bacteria. They can be treated by, for example, Cascara sagrada or Magnesium citrate.
3. Regulating peristalsis. Peristalsis is the activity in the GI tract, which causes the moving of food towards the anus. It can be normalized by, for example, an ayurvedic herb called Triphala.
4. Sealing the intestine, using intestamine or sodium cromoglicate.
5. Balancing deficiencies using probiotics and digestive enzymes.

One of more effective means of fighting constipation is papaya. It contains anti-inflammatory enzymes, does not strengthen fermentation processes, and it cleanses and heals the inflamed intestinal tissue. Another natural compound is lactulose, which removes ammonia and harmful bacteria by causing a diarrhea. However, lactulose acidifies stool and often causes chafing in children, so it should be used in moderation. Administering magnesium is another method of improving peristalsis, because its deficiency reduces the contractibility of intestines.

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