The Connection Between "Leaky Gut Syndrome" and Autism Spectrum Disorders

“We are concerned that our son with autism (high functioning) may have a leaky gut. How can we know for sure? Is this part of the disorder? What can be done to help with this problem?”

RE: “How can we know for sure?”  

The only way to know for sure is to do an intestinal permeability test, which is the most common test for Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS). Your child will ingest a specified amount of a solution containing lactulose and mannitol (water-soluble sugar molecules). Over a period of six hours, you will test your son’s urine for elevated levels of lactulose and mannitol.

Read the results. Mannitol is absorbed quite easily, while lactulose has larger molecules and is usually only partially absorbed by the intestines. Leaky gut syndrome is very likely if the levels of both sugars in the collected urine are high.

Part of the problems inherent in LGS is that the body is naturally designed to fight off foreign particles. Food particles that leak into the gut are “foreign” and cause the body to put the immune system into overdrive. Here are a few of the specific symptoms that indicate there may be a problem with a permeable intestinal tract:
  • skin rashes
  • shortness of breath
  • recurrent infections
  • bed-wetting
  • asthma
  • poor immunity
  • nervousness
  • diarrhea
  • discomfort in the abdominal area
  • disorientation
  • fatigue
  • gas
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • memory problems
  • mood swings
  • constipation
  • confusion
  • chronic pain
  • bloating
  • anxiety
  • aggressive behavior

RE: “Is it part of the disorder?”  

Some researcher suggests that LGS is a contributing factor to Asperger’s (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA). The digestive tract lining becomes irritated and permeable. Thus, undigested food particles leak into the blood stream, which can lead to disturbances in brain function.

RE: “What can help with this problem?”  

Here are some important tips for your son:
  1. Start a gluten- and casein-free diet.
  2. Avoid spicy foods.
  3. Avoid a diet that is high in carbohydrates, caffeine content, and drugs such as ibuprofen and antacids – all of which work to reduce the impermeable nature of the intestinal walls. 
  4. Vitamins and minerals that can be used in the treatment of LGS include: vitamins A, C, and E; selenium; methyl sulfonyl Mmethane (MSM); glutamine; digestive enzymes; co-enzyme Q10; and beta carotene.
  5. Other dietary supplements to treat LGS include: virgin coconut oil; olive leaf extract; lactoferrin; lactobacillus; Kolorex Intenstical Care capsules; garlic; bovine colostrums; Barley grass powder; and aloe vera juice.
  6. Shark liver oil often tops the lists of supplements that can be used to treat LGS.

Lastly, frequently track your son’s progress, and make sure to use a systematic approach for introducing different elements. After you dial-in the best diet to treat his LGS, the results can be dramatic. However, consult with your pediatrician before starting any new diet plan.

More resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's:

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

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