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Autism spectrum diseases are usually diagnosed by psychologists and psychiatrists. Parents often believe that their children’s problems are of psychological nature or have a genetic origin. The standard “psychological” symptom that autistic spectrum children show are: speech disability, lack of eye contact, no reaction to their name, abnormal social relations, stereotypical and compulsive behaviors (e.g. repeating certain “rituals”, changing which may provoke child’s difficult behavior), movement disorders (e.g. flailing their arms, lack of balance, difficulty holding a crayon), sensory disorders (e.g. hypersensitivity to touch, sound) etc.

However, often the psychological or psychiatric evaluation is not based on detailed medical tests, and medical problems in children with autism are often overlooked.

For many years there continues a discussion on the physical side of autism. Modern science has found evidence that autistic spectrum diseases are often accompanied by digestive system problems, constipation or diarrhea, intestinal dysbiosis (an unchecked growth of disease-causing bacteria and fungi), incorrect immune system function, neurotransmitter dysfunction and many other problems.

The image of autism as a disorder affecting the brain is brilliantly described by Martha Herbert w her articles “Autism: a brain disorder or a disorder that affects the brain?”

What ails these children? Currently many scientists assume a combination of heavy metal poisoning (such as mercury, lead, and aluminum) and bacterial or viral infections. These toxins slow down or stop biochemical changes in the body, leading to psychological and physical changes.

The idea of biochemically treating the brain (presented for example in the book of Jaquelyn McCandless MD, “Children with Starving Brains” (an almost recommended reading before starting treatment) as well as in books by Kenneth Bock MD and others) assumes that removing physical reasons leads to an improvement in child’s psychological condition and, as a result, curing “autism”.

The aim of a biomedical intervention is the removal of toxins from child’s body and, subsequently, repairing the damage they caused. Currently there is a wide array of interventions, which broaden the possibilities of treatment and give a parent a choice of methods.

Each time, the intervention should only follow minute diagnostic tests, which aim to narrow the diagnosis.

Determining the roots of autism symptoms is the basis of the intervention. If they are caused by toxins, it is also important to determine the kind of toxins.

In children with gastro-intestinal problems these toxins come from the intestines: the intestinal barrier and the liver barrier are damaged, causing problems with detoxication of highly biologically active toxins. Additionally there is a problem with environment toxin detoxication, which then accumulates in the body causing damage.

Some endogenous toxins (originating from inside of the body) come from dysfunctions of digestion of gluten and casein, others are caused by increased intestinal fermentation.

Therefore stopping this intoxication forms the basis of medical interventions for cases of autism.

Avoiding production of these toxins and eliminating them forms the basis of a biomedical intervention.

In most cases curing children with autism starts from an individually chosen diet: usually diary-free and gluten-restricted.

In all of the cases where autism is comorbid with GI problems (diarrhea, constipation, odorous feces, odorous flatulence, and other symptoms suggesting intestinal inflammation, e.g. sudden onset of unprovoked aggression or posturing, i.e. taking a special pose), an anti-inflammatory therapy of the intestine is required, as well as elimination of disease-causing bacteria and fungi.

At the same time it is also important to support the liver function, since it is the liver that suffers the most due to processes taking place in the intestines, and it can be damaged by a prolonged intestine inflammation.

Other rules for this kind of intervention:

– treatment of comorbid infections, e.g. chronic viral infection (Valtrex protocol, as proposed by Stan Kutrz), treatment of Lyme disease with comorbid nervous system borreliosis, treatment of streptococcal infections if they are comorbid with autism (e.g. PANDAS syndrome)

– repairing dysfunctional metabolic pathways, so called “genetic bypass”

A typical case of a “genetic bypass”, quoted in Styer’s “Biochemistry” is administering L-arginin with genetic defects in the urea cycle. This defect causes the body to have insufficient enzymes for processing a given substance. In the case of urea cycle dysfunction, this substance is ammonia: it floods the brain causing encephalopathy, giving the symptoms of “autism”.

Genetic bypass can also involve particular genetic mutations, e.g. administering 5-formyl tetrahydrofolic acid, vitamin B6 and methylated vitamin B12 in cases of mutation of the MTHFR gene which disrupts the so called methylation processes (this mutation is undetectable by genetic screening)

Another disease that may take the guise of autism is Wilson’s disease, which causes copper levels to build up in the body. In this case a proper treatment is reducing copper absorbtion by administering appropriate forms of zinc. If this is not enough, a chelation of copper needs to be performed at an appropriate facility.

Another example of a genetic disease which manifests as autism is a rare genetic condition known as SLOS (Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome), where the synthesis of cholesterol is disrupted. People suffering from this condition should receive cholesterol as a supplement, even though it is common knowledge that for non-sufferers of this extremely rare genetic disorder, excess of cholesterol is definitely harmful.

A doctor who undertakes “autism treatment” should be knowledgeable in diagnosing all of the above-mentioned conditions and using interventions in treating them, even if some of these interventions can only be performed by specialized clinics.