Autism is a brain disorder that affects tens of millions of people all over the world. Characterized by an inability to communicate and interact with other people, repetitive behavior and obsessive activities and interests, this condition appears to form during the very early stages of brain development of the individual. However, the most evident signs and symptoms of autism present itself between the ages of 2 and 3 years. Some of the other behaviors exhibited by people with autism include delay in learning language, delay in talking, difficulty holding a conversation, difficulty making eye contact, repeated and overused types of behavior, interests, and play, poor reasoning and planning skills and poor motor skills. People with autism may show different kinds of behaviors, ranging from mild to severe levels of intensity. Early diagnosis along with increased awareness and intervention will help to improve the outcomes significantly.
[bctt tweet=”Combining natural remedies with behavioral autism treatments can provide better results. “]
The main aim of autism treatment is to improve the ability of the individual to function and perform their day to day activities. Since the symptoms may keep on changing or may vary in severity, the methods of treatment have to be tailored to the needs of the individual. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the strategies that will help improve the overall function of a child and reach his/her potential include specialized therapies (physical, speech and occupational), behavioral training and management, community support, training of parents and medicines. There are also a variety of natural treatment methods that help autistic kids recover from the symptoms. Combining natural remedies with behavioral treatments can provide the best results in the treatment of autism. Here you can read about these natural remedies for autism:
Essential fatty acids like omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids play an important role in proper development and functioning of the brain. Fish oil is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids that play an important role in the neurological development of children. According to scientists, the consumption of fish oil will help children with autism, make great improvements. It helps in improving their behavior, character, learning power, social skills, language skills, concentration and sleep patterns.
[Read more about how to get kids grow taller]
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) usually have difficulty falling asleep as well as staying asleep. One of the many reasons for insomnia is the problems associated with the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that control your sleep and wake cycles. The inability to sleep properly may worsen the symptoms of autism such as communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors. It may also affect the daytime behavior, learning skills and memory skills. A regular dose of melatonin supplements have been found to help in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, thus reducing the symptoms of autism. Several studies have shown that taking melatonin supplements at dosages between the ranges of 0.75 mg and 6 mg before bedtime provides considerable help in improving the quality of sleep in children with autism.
Magnesium is a very important mineral essential for staying healthy and required for various biochemical reactions in the body. In children, a low level of magnesium has been found to cause symptoms of autism such as restlessness, poor concentration, irritability, poor attention span, hyper-excitability and aggressiveness. Magnesium is considered an anti-stress mineral that plays a key role in the functioning of the musculoskeletal system and so it allows the muscles to relax. This mineral also provides a relaxing and calming effect, which helps in better sleep and relaxation. In children with autism spectrum disorder, intestinal health is compromised. Since the absorption of this mineral is dependent on the health of the guts, these children are unable to absorb magnesium, leading to magnesium deficiency. Studies indicate that taking magnesium supplements or eating a foods rich in magnesium helps in reversing the symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder.
[Read to know if Cheese is healthy]
Amino acid supplements
Amino acids, referred to as the building blocks of life are used by the body to manufacture enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies and various other important substances. People with autism have digestive problems that makes it difficult for them to digest proteins. This leads to insufficient amounts of amino acids in their body, which may affect their mood and behavior as well as worsen the other symptoms associated with the disorder. According to a study published in the journal Science, the intake of amino acid supplements can be beneficial to individuals with autism. Studies indicate that L-Carnosine, a dipeptide, has the ability to be neuroprotective or enhance the functions of the frontal lobe function. The intake of 800 mg of L-carnosine daily has been found to show significant improvements. Although the mechanism of action of this amino acid is not well known, it is considered to improve neurological functions.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin that plays a major role in various biological processes, including the production of neurotransmitters. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant that offers protection against the dangerous free radicals that cause oxidation stress and DNA mutation, leading to many life threatening diseases. Vitamin C also produces a calming effect on the behavior in humans by affecting the response of the brain to dopamine 6, an important neurotransmitter. Animal studies indicate that treatment with vitamin C helped in reducing stereotyped behavior, one of the characteristics of autism. The antioxidant properties of the nutrient helps in protecting against free radicals that cause damage to the brain and overall health. Vitamin C helps treat behavioral problems in individuals with autism. It also helps in reducing gastrointestinal and sleep problems often seen in children with autism.
Probiotics are supplements that are rich in good bacteria and other healthy microorganisms that grow and multiply in the digestive tract. These microorganisms are essential for proper and healthy digestion. Research evidence suggests that inflammation is one of the factors that cause the symptoms of autism such as the development of social, language, and cognitive skills. Probiotics have been found to reduce inflammation and immune function. Many children with autism suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems, which often worsens the symptoms of the disorder. Research on mice indicates that proboitics helps in balancing the bacteria in the gut and in alleviating the behavioral symptoms associated with autism.
[Read more about benefits of breastfeeding for infant and mother]
Essential oils, with their healing aroma has been used popularly for calming the mind and soul. Several types of essential oils are available that helps in improving both the mental and physical health. However, recent studies have found that these oils can help individuals with autism. The oils can either be applied directly on the body or dispersed into the air. Some examples of essential oils that can be used effectively for treating autism include vetiver, cedarwood, frankincense, peppermint and lavender. These oils help in calming the mind and controlling symptoms like irritability, anger and neurotic behavior. They may also help in increasing the levels of the sleep hormone – melatonin, thus helping to get a good night’s sleep.
Foods rich in protein are important for people with autism because it helps the body get all the essential amino acids it requires. Amino acids play a key role in producing neurotransmitters and other important elements in the body. It is better to avoid foods with artificial colors and flavors because these substances tend to worsen behavioral issues and other symptoms of autism. Foods containing high amounts of sugars causes rapid changes in the levels of blood sugar, which in turn contributes to irritability and other problems. Gluten and casein are two types of proteins that can cause allergic reactions in people with autism. They are found to have a significant role in causing behavioral problems, insomnia, poor concentration and aggression. So it is better to avoid food containing these proteins. It is also very important to wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly in order to get rid of the pesticides found on them. These harmful chemicals are considered to be one of the many causative factors of autism.
Autism is a disorder that is often difficult to treat and cope with, and so many parents of kids with this condition are looking for natural as well as dietary remedies for treating its symptoms. According to experts, autism responds best to a holistic method of treatment that takes cares of all aspects of the disorder. Research suggests that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) combined with natural treatment approaches can provide a more balanced treatment plan that is extremely beneficial to the individual.