3-Step Model for Treating Autism

Mark Hyman, M.D. by Mark Hyman, M.D. | December 21st, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness

Mother with son

Autism is caused by poor mothering.” That was the belief of the medical community until the late 1960s.

“Autism is a genetic brain disorder.” That is what most people — and most of the medical community — believe today.

I’m here to tell you that neither one of these statements is true. Think about it. Rates of autism have skyrocketed over the years, from an estimated one child in 3,000 to just one in 150 kids today. Sure, wider criteria for diagnosis and better detection might explain some of it — but not an increase of this magnitude.

The real reason we are seeing increasing rates of autism is simply this: Autism is a systemic body disorder that affects the brain. A toxic environment triggers certain genes in people to be susceptible to this condition. And research supports this position.

The imbalances in the seven key systems of the body may be the real cause — and thus the real cure — of autism. Today I will provide a three-step model for treating autism, based on the seven keys of UltraWellness.

Sam’s case: Autism as a systemic disorder

Recently, a mother came to see me, desperate because her 2-1/2-year-old son had just been diagnosed with autism.

When I see any patient, I simply work through the seven keys of UltraWellness to see how everything is connected, create a plan to get to the causes of the problems, and then help each patient deal with all the biochemical and physiological rubble that those causes have left along the road.

Having a roadmap, a new GPS system based on functional medicine and UltraWellness, makes this straightforward. You just take away what’s bothering the patient and give his body what it is missing and needs to thrive (based on the individual’s biochemical uniqueness). Then the body does the rest.

A 3-step model for treating autism

Here is the roadmap I used to help Sam recover.

Step 1: Fix his gut and cool the inflammation there.

This step included a number of different tactics including:

  • Taking away gluten and other food allergens
  • Getting rid of his yeast with anti-fungals
  • Killing off the toxic bacteria in his small intestine with special antibiotics
  • Replenishing healthy bacteria with probiotics
  • Helping him digest his food with enzymes

Step 2: Replace the missing nutrients to help his genes work better.

In Sam’s case we:

Step 3: Detoxify and reduce oxidative stress.

Once his biochemistry and nutrition was tuned up, we helped him detoxify and reduce oxidative stress.

Sam’s recovery

Improve nutrition, reduce inflammation, heal the gut, detoxify — this should sound familiar.

As I said before, the keys of UltraWellness can help, no matter what the disease or condition. You see, biology has basic laws, which we have to follow and understand. All the details of Sam’s story fit into these laws. We just have to dig deep, peel back the layers, and understand what is going on. When we do this, the results are nothing short of miraculous …

After following a gluten-free diet and treating his gut for three weeks, Sam showed dramatic and remarkable improvement. He’s getting back much of his language skills and showing much more connection and relatedness in his interactions.

After four months, he was more focused, unstuck and verbal.

After 10 months, his bowels were back to normal. He was verbally fluent and mainstreamed in school. He “lost” his diagnosis of autism.

After two years, all his abnormal tests were normal, including the high metals, gut inflammation and damage to his mitochondria and free radicals.

And more importantly, the child was totally normal. Not every child has such a dramatic recovery, but many improve, and some improve dramatically using the approach of functional or systems medicine.

Every child with behavior problems, ADHD or autism is unique — and each has to find his or her own path with a trained doctor. But the gates are open, and the wide road of healing is in front of you. You simply have to take the first step.

Please visit the Defeat Autism Now Web site for more information on this subject, including resources and conferences for doctors and parents.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.

Related link

Butterfly Stretch: Autistic Boy Finds Comfort in the Calm of Yoga


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