Over the past 10 years we have carried out literally, hundreds of stool analyses in Autistic children – and not one has been normal - Why?
The arrival of the toxic mineral load seems to trigger a number of simultaneous problems and one of the commonest is the development of inflammation within the ‘small’ and ‘large’ intestine. This is partly because the immune system within the intestine is prevented from doing its job and as a result abnormal colonies of bacteria start to establish themselves and grow.
In so doing these abnormal colonies prevent the normal intestinal bacteria from remaining attached to the lining of the intestine, and we have a condition termed ‘dysbiosis’.
There are approximately 6 kilograms of bacteria in the average adult intestine and without the presence of these we could not survive. The ‘friendly’ bacteria take nutrients from our diet and in return give us things we need – almost all the vitamin K in our bodies is manufactured by friendly bacteria, for example. A number of B-vitamins are also manufactured by bacteria living in our intestines.
Colonies of abnormal or ‘pathogenic’ bacteria on the other hand take nutrients from our diet and in return give us poisonous chemicals (toxins) which undermine our health, damage the immune system further and in some cases can cause direct damage to the brain and central nervous system.
Candida albicans (also known as ‘thrush’) manufactures a toxin which disables one part of our immune system (the T-cells) so that it can spread throughout the body without being attacked by our defensive forces. Another – a bacteria called Prevotella – produces a toxin which signals to the brain to stop making a particular neuro-transmitter, Dopamine which sends messages to the brain cells which allows brain cells to communicate with each other. The toxin from Prevotella therefore ‘switches off’ cell to cell communication and affects the person’s ability to learn and to concentrate.
The bacteria and their toxins also have a damaging effect on the lining of the intestine. They cause an inflammation of the lining (so-called ‘Autistic colitis’) which prevents nutrients from being absorbed and allows some potentially-harmful chemicals to pass through. This situation is what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Leaky gut syndrome’.
Most of the children we test have many nutrient deficiencies and one of the most important things to do is identify these and correct them.
Some children have a considerable degree of inflammation in the intestine and this allows incompletely-digested protein from wheat and dairy products to pass through the intestinal wall and be absorbed into the bloodstream. Once there, they travel to the brain and can cause a condition very similar to drug addiction. Like some drug addicts these children get a ‘fix’ from food and will do almost anything to feed their habit – often restricting their diet to only those foods which give them a ‘high’.
Because these abnormal bacteria can cause so much harm we make it a priority to get a stool analysis done so that from a very early stage the manufacture of toxins can be stopped allowing the intestine, the immune system and the brain to heal and start working more normally.
We also try to identify those children who are gluten or casein-intolerant and put children on a gluten and/or casein-free diet (GF/CF diet) – see below under ‘Urine tests’
The best diet we have found is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which eliminates wheat, grains and almost all dairy products as well as severely limiting the intake of sugars (carbohydrate) which ‘feed’ the bacteria and yeasts.
The stool analysis is very comprehensive and takes about 5 weeks to complete but it gives us a considerable amount of information on which to base therapy.