Intestinal dysbiosis is common to nearly all kids with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Living in our intestinal tract are trillions of cells of microbial organisms such as bacteria, yeast and viruses (called "flora"). There are friendly flora that are an asset to gut function and there are unfriendly flora that are harmful to the gut. Under normal conditions all these organisms live in competitive balance and synergy. Problems occur when something happens to upset the normal balance between friendly and unfriendly flora (e.g., antibiotics).
Antibiotics kill friendly bacteria in the gut but do not kill “unfriendly” bacteria such as yeast. With the friendly bacteria compromised, the yeast flourishes. Thus we have dysbiosis. Dysbiosis leads to leaky gut wherein undigested food, toxins, microbes and all kinds of things we really don't care to know about are leaked into the blood stream. Leaky gut is involved in numerous health conditions. We are most interested in food allergies, common to kids on the autism spectrum.
History and symptoms questionnaires give good clues into the possible presence of dysbiosis. The following is a yeast questionnaire. Complete the questionnaire. The scoring is at the end.
Write down the score number of each question to which your answer is "yes":
1. Are your youngster's symptoms worse on damp days or in damp or moldy places? 20
2. Do you feel that your youngster isn't well, yet diagnostic tests and studies haven't revealed the cause? 10
3. Does exposure to perfume, insecticides, gas or other chemicals provoke moderate to severe symptoms? 30
4. Does tobacco smoke really bother your youngster? 20
5. Does your youngster crave sweets? 10
6. Does your youngster have a short attention span? 10
7. During infancy, was your youngster bothered by colic and irritability lasting over three months? If "yes" circle mild 10 or severe 20.
8. During the two years before your youngster was born, were you bothered by recurrent vaginitis, menstrual irregularities, premenstrual tension, fatigue, headache, depression, digestive disorders or "feeling bad all over"? 30
9. Has he/she been bothered by persistent nasal congestion, cough and/or wheezing? 10
10. Has used youngster received:
- 4 or more courses of antibiotic drugs during the past year? Or has he/she received continuous prophylactic courses of antibiotic drugs? 80
- 8 or more courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics such as amoxocillin, Keflex, Septra, Bactrim, or Ceclor during the past three years? 50
11. Has your youngster been bothered by persistent or recurring digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, bloating or excessive gas? mild 10, moderate 20 or severe 30
12. Has your youngster been bothered by recurrent headaches, abdominal pain, or muscle aches? mild 10 severe 20
13. Has your youngster been bothered by recurrent hives, eczema or other skin problems? 10
14. Has your youngster been bothered by recurrent or persistent athletes foot or chronic fungus infections of the skin or nails? 30
15. Has your youngster been labeled hyperactive? If "yes" circle mild 10, moderate 20 or severe 30.
16. Has your youngster experienced recurring ear problems? 10
17. Has your youngster had tubes inserted in his/her ears? 10
18. Is your youngster bothered by learning problems even though his/her early development history was normal? 10
19. Is your youngster persistently irritable, unhappy and hard to please? 10
20. Is your youngster unusually tired or unhappy or depressed? mild 10 severe 20
21. Was your youngster bothered by frequent diaper rashes in infancy? If "yes", circle Mild 10 or severe 20.
22. Was your youngster bothered by thrush? If "yes" circle mild 10 or severe 20.
Scoring Your Questionnaire—
- 60 to 99 - low (child may not have intestinal dysbiosis)
- 100 to 139 - moderate (child may have intestinal dysbiosis)
- 140 and above - high (child probably has intestinal dysbiosis)
The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook