With Autism Spectrum Disorders on the rise, research into how to improve the quality of life for these neurodevelopmental disadvantaged people.
Often signs and symptoms come to light around the age of 3 years, with the majority of cases recognised by health professionals in children aged 5 to 14 years.
And it's not just social, behavioural, communication and learning problems that affect this group.
ASD children have been shown to have higher incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms and are more likely to suffer from allergies and intolerances.
Some of these symptoms can be due to genetics.
However, often nutritional deficiencies can be a big player in the development of symptoms, with fussy eating a petty much given, in the autism world.
Not just a kid saying 'I hate beans", but intense textural dislikes, reducing the ability of the body to gain valuable nutrients.
Of the food that IS eaten, malabsorption is common, due to dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis is a reduced state of gut bacteria diversity, that disruption the 'normal' process of digestion and prevents absorption of the vital nutrients our body needs for its everyday function and development.
Improving the intake of a variety of foods, and supplementing when required, a personalised approach to determine each persons deficiency, or toxicity level (toxins have long been proposed as one of the causes of ASD), is fundamental.
Sadly, as the gut has a high influence on brain health, we see a continuous roundabout pattern of sensory, anxiety, low communication, attentiveness and learning outcomes, together with diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, allergies and intolerances. A healthy gut microbiome is a key factor in neurodevelopment, with the immune system also being compromised, as the gut contains many immune cells.
Whilst ASD cannot be cured, studies show time and time again, improving nutritional deficiencies bring change and improvements.
Herbal medicine has also been shown to improve gut health and therefore improve the gut-brain connection. This improves behaviour and learning, as well as reducing the day to day impact of chronic constipation and sickness, pain and allergic frustrations.
Small changes are big wins.
One step at a time.
Guidance is here.