03 October 2010

Nutritional Approach to Autism with Renee Simon

In Part 1 (second lecture) of the Un of Bridgeport's seminar on autism, we're now hearing a lecture on nutritional approaches with autism with Renee Simon, MS.

Simon is sharing why getting a complete "patient history is crucial" and should include:

- family history
- medical history
- current eating habits
- current symptoms
- exams
- yeast questionnaire
- patterns (picky eating, food cravings, sleep problems)

"Knowing what your starting with is very valuable," she says. You don't want to just tell them "you need to avoid this, you need to avoid that." This might frighten the patient.

"You can't solve these problems in one or two visits. These can take years. You will most likely be working with a patient for a long time."

As far as initial suggestions,

- macronutrient balance
- special diet (casein-, gluten- , yeast-free?) [Really, is there science to support this?]
- supplements (vitamin D, calcium, B vitamins, fish oil, probiotics)

After follow-up,

- review tests
- evaluate compliance
- discuss patient response
- develop new suggestioons depending on symptoms, compliance, response

"If they haven't done anything yet, then I don't get them started on anything else." They need to start with the basics first.

Simon's advice:

Many of the children are picky eaters, which may be due to a mineral deficiency like zinc.

You can sometimes see if they have yeast overgrowth by checking for white spots on their tongues.

Get a food sensitivity test -- keep in mind that there are times when a child will test and come back with no food allergies, but what they don't understand is that they can still be "sensitive" (to lactose, gluten, etc.).

Plus, "it takes a long time to clean up the gut."

A comprehensive medical diagnostic workup should include:

- physical exam
- blood chemistry (basic CBC, urinalysis, liver, thyroid, iron; also folic acid, Mg, Zn, Se; food allergy, antigliadin antibody)
- immunological testing

Other tests:

- urine peptides
- urine organic acids
- amino acids
- fatty acids

There are three different ways to "have trouble with dairy or gluten"

- food intolerance (GI stress)
- true allergy (skin testing, hives)
- peptide problems (proteins not breaking down, opiate peptides?) [What? Opiate peptides?]

"What I typically do is start with a casein-free diet first since a lot ofthe children don't drink milk anyway. You can get them off of it quicker." Then, following up with gluten.


It's very interesting to know how clinicians deal with these patients and I understand the need to start with something, but I wonder about casein-free and gluten-free, plus what are opiate peptides?

Simon says I'll learn about these peptides in the next section.


Now, Simon is going to share different testing like food sensitivity testing, stool testing, heavy metal testing, hair testing.

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