A Blog For Those Affected By Environmental And Invisible Illnesses Written By Fellow Survivors
Healing Autism: A Parent’s Complete Guide to New Natural Treatments
The following information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or prescribe any kind of disease or illness. It is a good idea to seek the professional advice of a qualified health care practitioner (remember Naturopaths are doctors too) before making any major changes in your self health care.
The National Institutes of Health released funding of $60 million dollars for research last year. Although autism is now considered an epidemic by many, modern medicine claims it lacks hard scientific evidence as to how autism initially onsets. In the 1970’s, autism occurred in 1out of every 10,000 children. Today, that number is 1 in 150 in the United States, even less in the U.K. where Cambridge University just came out with a study where 1 in 60 children were diagnosed with autism.
For boys, it was 1 in 38. Our children are getting sicker more often at younger ages. Jenny McCarthy’s latest book on her son’s battle with autism, Healing and Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide, addresses this issue in depth. McCarthy calls autistic children the new canaries in the coalmine, due to extreme reactions to cheap preservatives (like mercury and aluminum) in vaccines and environmental toxins. According to Jerry Kartzinel M.D., who co-wrote the book with McCarthy, her son, Evan, is now healed from autism. Not cured, but healed. To distinguish the difference is a comprehensive guide to natural, biomedical treatments that claim to greatly manage, reduce, or even eliminate many of the conditions that accompany an initial diagnosis of autism.
These conditions include frequent ear infections, immune system dysfunction, allergies, candida, digestive disturbances, seizures, rashes, obsessions, anxiety, and aggression, among other symptoms. Kartzinel hypothesizes that these conditions may in fact “coexist” as part of the same disease state as autism, and may in fact not be distinguished from autism. He theorizes that massive “toxic insult” brought on by exposure to vaccines and environmental toxins is the main catalyst that triggers the onset of autism. Kartzinel tells the story of how his adopted son’s health rapidly and quickly deteriorated after a series of routine childhood vaccines administered by Kartzinel himself.
Kartzinel’s theory of toxic insult,” is similar to the theory of Body Burden as coined by The Environmental Working Group. Body Burden is essentially toxin overload, and is considered a potential cause of many disease states. Whether or not toxins are the sole cause for the onset of autism, there is a window in arresting the symptoms before a child reaches the tipping point in terms of toxin overload. According to Kartzinel, once the immune system reaches the tipping point of exposure, there is a potentially rapid descent into autism. It is crucial to be aware of the possible environmental toxin exposures at the moment of conception (and even before) from sources such as carpeting, paint, and furniture, as well as through childhood vaccines and food additives.
Early intervention and awareness of potential toxic burdens may be nothing short of critical in halting and even reversing the disease. In addition, many parents are on a waiting list of 6 months to a year to see an autism specialist. Since timing is crucial, McCarthy and Kartzinel lay out a step by step protocol of how to reduce significantly or even eliminate many of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, ADD, ADHD, OCD, personality disorders, even allergies and asthma. Some of these protocols include a gluten and casein free diet, and using a variety of supplements such as B6, zinc, Vitamin C, magnesium, caprylic acid, and probiotics to name a few. The protocol also includes detoxing heavy metals, fighting candida, addressing food allergies, and keeping open the methylation pathway which is a key component in moving all types of toxins out of the body.
Genetics can play a roll in whether a child develops autism or not, according to Kartzinel, but only if exposed to environmental toxins as well (otherwise it’s less than 1%). This is described as a “genetic vulnerability,” and there are two family trees of genetics linked to autism. The first tree is the Common Auto Immune Tree, which includes inflammatory bowel disease (a common condition in autistic children), chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, lupus, and celiac disease among other autoimmune disorders. The other tree is the Methylation Tree. On this tree there is depression, alcoholism, ADD, ADHD, and autism, among other diseases. All autistic children belong to at least one tree, if not both. Depending on which genetic tree the autistic child comes from determines which natural treatments to pursue.
The methylation pathway in particular may be key in understanding why certain individuals become sick after exposure to toxins and others don’t. Genetic vulnerability determines if methylation pathways are working properly in the body or not. If working properly, the methylation process in the body produces glutathione. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant and detoxifier in the body and is responsible for detoxing vaccines, environmental toxins, prescription drugs, additives in food, etc. If glutathione is not produced, toxins are not only not eliminated, they are actually recirculated in the body and become even more toxic.
Individuals who are genetically predispositioned to not produce enough glutathione are then more prone to methlyation diseases, including autism, alcoholism, and depression (even fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are some other diseases linked to methylation deficit). This is one reason why diet and supplementation are so crucial in supplying and/or creating glutathione in the body, and enabling it to move out toxins effectively. Effective ways to raise glutathione levels include: supplementing with methyl B12 or methyl B12 injections, taking TMG or DMG (short for dimethylglycine; found in grains and meats), folic acid, SAME (in bubble packs only), or by eating glutathione rich/sulfur rich foods such as peanut butter (if your child is not allergic). Milk thistle and raw foods contain high levels of glutathione as well, but may not be safe or appropriate for children. Glutathione IV’s, nebulizers, or transdermal crèmes are also options. Kartzinel says that about two-thirds of children are poor methylators, and will respond to raising glutathione levels.
The good news, according to McCarthy and Karztinel, is that children can indeed heal from autism. McCarthy emphasizes that positive thinking may be the most important step of all to take. There are many biomedical treatments to try, and if one doesn’t work, move on, she says. Try another, and another, and another until you finally find what works for your child. Not every child may heal completely, and the treatments vary depending on to which genetic tree the child is related. And healing does not mean being “cured,” McCarthy and Kartzinel emphasize. Much like being in major car accident, the child may heal from the wounds, but the original scars of toxic exposure may remain. Nonetheless, Kartzinel is cautiously optimistic that full recovery is possible if toxin exposure is greatly reduced or eliminated, toxins are removed from the body, and homeostasis in the body is restored. He says that about 20 percent of children recover, but are “managed” with diet and supplements. Another 30 percent will end up with a much milder version of autism, and another 20 percent will have moderate persisting symptoms. Kartzinel says 20-25 percent may still have ADD, but their neurological tests will show up as negative for autism, and about 5 percent will recover entirely.
A note on mercury:
“Symptoms of autism in children are identical to symptoms of mercury poisoning in children: loss of speech, social withdrawal, reduced eye contact, repetitive behaviors, hand flapping, toe walking, temper tantrums, sleep disturbances, and seizures,” (Healing and Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide).
Contrary to what has been reported, mercury has in fact not been removed in vaccines. Since 1999, it has been only reduced. In its place, more aluminum has been added. The underlying issue of using known toxins as cheap preservatives in vaccines remains.
Jenny McCarthy’s Autism Organization: