by Marcia Hinds – Megan and Ryan’s Mom
I want all kids with autism to improve and get better. But, “One Cure Doesn’t Fit All” for our kids. So far, I still haven’t found that “magic bullet” that I searched for everywhere. But the good news is that new research with fecal transplants is showing tremendous promise to help alleviate the symptoms of autism and other spectrum disorders.
This may be hard to believe, but doctors are actually taking someone’s healthy poop, and putting it in someone else who has gut issues. I can’t imagine who or how someone thought of this, but I don’t care if it actually works. Fecal transplants haven’t yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But the high success rate in the research trials, brings a dose of hope. Fecal transplants could be one of the big guns used in the future to win our war against autism.
But in order to help your kid, first you have to know what a fecal transplant is. This simple procedure can replenish the gut’s balance. Fecal transplants do not involve any surgery like it sounds. A fecal transplant can be as easy as swallowing a pill or a liquid for a short time period. Most people have about a thousand different species of bacteria in their gut, mostly beneficial. But studies have shown that kids with autism are missing several hundred of those species. Antibiotics used to treat recurring ear infections and other medical issues have caused big problems. Antibiotics disrupt a person’s normal gut flora, and the unintended consequence for kids is the overgrowth of candida (or yeast) in their digestive tracts.
Researchers are finding micro flora transplants, are getting rid pathogenic yeasts, clostridia, and a whole host of other issues. Right now the only way to fix the gut problems is to do millions of lab tests and when you finally discover what’s wrong, the multiple problems must be addressed one at a time. Wouldn’t it be remarkable if fecal transplants could correct all our kid’s gut issues by just swallowing a pill every day for about 8-10 weeks and B-A-M everything is working right again?
We wouldn’t even have to know which bacteria or pathogens might be the root cause of our child’s issue. The best part would be that the mammoth effort and perseverance needed to treat each of these problem pathogens would no longer be needed. Fecal transplants are restoring a more normal flora in the children in the trials at 90 percent range. They also showed a 25 percent improvement in behavioral symptoms, including better sleeping habits and social skills. The positive results continued, even after the treatment period ended. While fecal transplants aren’t yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the early results are promising and providing a dose of hope for our families.
The transplanted material contains around 1,000 different strains of gut bacteria, acting like an ultra-potent probiotic to help our children regain the intestinal flora that is needed for a healthy gut. At the end of the eight-week period, the participants showed a significant increase in the diversity of their gut microbiome. These changes in the microbiome seemed to lead to significant long-term reductions in autism symptoms.
Think about what this could mean for our kids. They would no longer be dependent on the continuous use of antifungal medications or antibiotics to keep the gut issues under control. And it may help the kids that are unable to tolerate the medications because their immune systems are so broken, they react to everything. So when you are throwing that penny in the fountain, blowing out your birthday candles or fighting over the turkey wishbone, make that wish count. And just in case it doesn’t work,back it up. Pray that these transplants will bring real solutions for our children.
The research also suggests fecal transplants might correct the issues with their immune systems, since over 80% of that system is in the gut. Autism is complicated. What we call “autism, ADD, ADHD and many spectrum disorders” is really caused by a compromised and dysfunctional immune system that is not working properly. And if you can help kids regain their health, that’s when children improve and full recovery becomes possible.
Recovery or the R-word is happening more and more for children who receive proper medical intervention. And yet the general public and most doctors still aren’t aware that this is even possible. My son is now an aerospace engineer because we treated his autism medically, behaviorally and educationally. Ryan and many like him are leading “typical” lives.
My kid is recovered, but he is not cured. Unfortunately, Ryan is still dependent on prescription medications to keep his immune system working. Autism is not the cause of the gastrointestinal issues our kids suffer from. Actually it is the other way around.
“Autism” should more correctly be called “autoimmune encephalitis.” In simple Dr. Mom terms that means brain inflammation. It is not one thing but the cumulative effect of multiple triggers and assaults on the immune system that cause all the trouble. And the gastrointestinal issues are just one of the many problems that can put a strain on our children’s immune system.
When it is possible to reduce the “total load” on a child’s immune system, they can learn what they couldn’t before. Doctors who know how to treat what we in accurately call “autism” understand that once the body works, the brain follows. But autism is tough to beat. The multiple causes of our children’s immune troubles are different for every individual. And it is hard to reinvent the wheel with each kid that needs treatment.
And if it is possible to improve immune function, we still need catch kids up on all they missed. It is almost similar to bringing a stroke victim back and that takes a long time. For my son, we used our own version of ABA with a little RDI, Floortime, and Son-rise thrown in. After proper medical intervention the behavioral and educational programs all work. So pick the one you like, and stick with it.
Dr. James Adams, one of my personal heroes, has done extensive study and clinical trials with on the subject of fecal transplants. I have been waiting for his research to be published for years.
Dr. Adams says, “It’s not just wiping out the bad bacteria, but allowing the good bacteria to regrow so they fight off the bad bacteria.” strains we all need for good intestinal health.
Dr. James B Adams gave a presentation at AutismOne on May 2017 about his research trials. Click on the following to watch it:
Dr. Adams presentation on fecal transplants was possible because of the nonprofit organization, AutismOne. Their yearly conference brings us the latest research and treatments. The AutismOne conference changes both the lives of our children and those who are dedicated to helping them. I hope you will consider making a small $5-10 donation to AutismOne (www.autismone.org) to help cover the costs of making these presentations free of cost to our physicians and families worldwide.
Below is some media about the latest news and research on fecal transplants and autism.
NOTE FROM MARCIA HINDS – Megan and Ryan’s mom:
Ryan became an aerospace engineer, because he received proper medical treatment combined with behavioral, and educational interventions.
To preview my book, “I Know You’re In There – winning our war against autism” click on http://a.co/a5GWrpM
Contact info for Marcia: