How a bad gut can influence ASD symptoms?

How a bad gut can influence ASD symptoms?

How a bad gut can influence ASD symptoms?

Did you know that low good microbial colonies can affect your child’s behaviour and development (like speech)? So where are these microbial colonies present? They are present in the large intestine and there are millions of them in our gut.

Our gut and brain have a two-way communication network of which our gut microbiome is a part. Our microbes have a mutual connection with us. We feed them with the type of food we eat and space to live in our gut. These microbes communicate with the gut nervous system to protect us from pathogenic diseases.

There are gut microbes including bacteria, fungi, protozoan, yeast, and mold. Bad bacteria, mold, and yeast overgrowth are said to worsen ASD symptoms.

Dysbiosis or imbalances in the good and bad bacteria I.e., more bad bacterial colonies over good bacterial colonies can give rise to autism-related behavioural symptoms. For example, a particular group of bacterial metabolites (chemicals produced after digestion) is toxic and can cause infection. These chemicals can enter the blood if your child has leaky gut syndrome or IBS. It enters the brain and causes altered behaviour.

A type of bacteria (clostridium bacteria pathogens) found in uncooked foods or foods sitting out for long, cool and then refrigerated produces a chemical substance called propionic acid. This propionic acid is said to cause repetitive interests, atypical social interaction, and unusual body movements according to a research study done on rats. If it were to affect humans, one of the skills that would be affected is their speech.

Bad gut health involves the type of microbes in your child’s gut. It also depends on how your child’s body is affected by the food they eat to cause tummy issues. For example, wheat contains a protein called zonulin. This protein is known to damage the lining of the intestine allowing unwanted substances from food to enter the blood. Sometimes toxins or bacteria from the food enter the blood and cause inflammation or even reaches the brain to worsen ASD symptoms.

This is another reason to avoid wheat products.

When your child has tummy issues like constipation or diarrhoea it can interfere with the way your child learns a new skill and how developmental milestones are achieved. You may notice delayed speech or poor social skills.

Children in the spectrum are four times more likely to have tummy issues. A common underlying cause of tummy issues is dysbiosis (the imbalance of gut bacteria) or yeast overgrowth. Diet plays a role in improving tummy issues.

Stool tests can help us understand the distribution of microbes in your child’s gut and gives us an idea of the possible reasons for gastrointestinal issues. Analyzing metabolises in the urine can also help make necessary changes in diet to see improvements in autism symptoms.

Good gut health has been shown to improve brain functions and social skills since they produce powerful substances (bioactive compounds) which are very important to prevent ASD symptoms.

So, how can you bring a balance of microbes for good gut health?

1. There should be balance in these four pillars: Nutrition, physical activity, deep breathing, and good sleep.

2. Nutrition includes the right foods, prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics.

3. Including antioxidants and phytochemicals as it has brain-protective effects.

4. Heard of sun-charged water? It prevents the growth of some harmful bacteria, has protective effects on the brain, and helps to boost probiotic activity.

5. Breastfeeding over six months can help reduce the chance of showing ASD symptoms and ASD-related gut issues. For older kids, camel milk has slightly similar properties as breastmilk.

Two common homemade probiotics are:

1. Homemade curd- Boil and cool milk. Add 1 tbsp curd and let it set for 8 hours. Use when fresh. Refrigerate immediately. Homemade curds are healthy, nutritious, naturally flavoured, thick and creamy. Hence they do not need food additives or preservatives. This makes homemade curds a better option than commercially available curds.

2. Rice kanji- Soak rice overnight with water. In the morning, grind it, add curds and drink it. You can introduce some amounts initially (1 tsp) and gradually increase them over time (50-100 ml). You can give it twice a week.

The advice mentioned above that can help improve your child’s gut health is not enough to see results. There is more to it. If you find your child facing any gastrointestinal issues and you need help to improve your child’s diet. We are here to help your child.

Contact the admin to book a diet consultation.

Did you know that kids with ASD are 8x more likely to have Gl issues? The most common symptom is constipation, but gut symptoms can range from diarrhoea to acid reflux to bloating. Diet and supplements can restore your child’s gut health. Unfortunately, supplements alone can’t completely heal the tummy.

A suitable diet is a must to help fix it too! Sending your child to play and stay active during the day is equally important. It is also necessary to make sure your child learns how to be calm and stress-free by using meditative techniques. You also need to feed your child food containing prebiotics in food to feed good bacteria.

Suhana Shriyan
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