Yeast Metabolites In The Urine Of Children With Autism
The compound that led to the discovery of yeast as the source of many of these compounds in the urine of autistic children was tartaric acid.
The brothers with autism and severe muscle weakness had extremely high values of tartaric acid in their urine. Another child with autism had a urine value of tartaric acid 600 times that of normal children.
The only source of tartaric acid is yeast. This compound forms a sludge in the wine brewing process and has to be removed. Wine is sugar-water fermented by yeast to alcohol and other yeast products. Humans do not produce this chemical.
When I pulled the medical charts of several other children with autism, they had similar abnormalities and immediately I wondered about a possible causal connection. The next step seemed obvious. If these compounds were from yeast and were causing some of the symptoms of autism, antifungal drugs which kill yeast should reduce some of the symptoms of autism. However, the two brothers did not receive antifungal therapy until nearly a year later.
At nearly the same time, a two-year-old boy was currently being evaluated for autism in the neurology department at the childrens hospital where I worked and I had just done the urine organic acid test. The child had been developing normally up to about 18 months of age and had a vocabulary of about 200 words.
Several explanations are possible for this phenomenon:
Support The Immune System
Also, successful treatment heavily relies on a well-functioning, healthy immune system. To determine if your child’s immune system is functioning optimally, their doctor may run lab tests to check their total IgA and IgG levels .
If lab results indicate your childs immune system needs support, their doctor might place them on one or more of the following:
- Vitamin D3, Zinc, Vitamin A
- IgG products
- DGL Licorice to balance cortisol levels and help with adrenal function.
- Be aware that licorice can lower blood sugar levels.
- Using the DGL form of licorice is much safer than regular licorice.
How Do Yeast Symptoms Impact A Child With Autism
A healthy digestive tract contains hundreds of trillions of microbes from thousands of different species including yeast, fungi, viruses and bacteria. Collectively, this makes up our microbiome. The balance of good bacteria to other microbes plays an important role in regulating inflammation, digestion, immune function and brain health. The Human Microbiome Project has shown that postnatal development relies on the good bacteria in the gut to support optimal development of language, social and cognitive skills.
Bacteria live in the intestinal tract, sharing space with yeasts. Antibiotic use makes creates the opportunity for yeasts to overgrow, especially in the small intestine where most nutrients including zinc, magnesium, B12, folate and iron are absorbed. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, but not yeast. Children, whose mothers were on antibiotics during pregnancy, or received antibiotics during labour and deliver or have been on frequent antibiotics will undoubtedly have issues with yeast overgrowth.
We pass our microbiome onto babies during gestation, during delivery, breastfeeding and from proximity. Mothers who have altered gut flora will pass their gut community onto their babies, decreasing the health of the babies microbiome. Yeast thrives under certain conditions including chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea and on diets high in sugars and complex carbohydrates.
Also Check: Difference Between Autism And Dyslexia
The Autism Yeast Connection
A Yeast Story
When life is finally discovered on another planet, it will probably be yeast. Fungi are hearty cooties that have some characteristics of both plants and animals. They can morph into different forms in order to survive and thrive. Spores can be dormant for years. This life form probably evolved in concert with humans, so there shouldnt have been a problem.
There was a natural balance. Then, antibiotics entered the picture. They are a part of the fabric of our modern environment. Need a Caesarean delivery? Thats done with intravenous antibiotics, through a sterile field. Get a cold or flu? Antibiotics. Fever? Sure. How about, I think that Im getting sick? Antibiotics are good for that, too! We havent changed genetically in the past decade, but those little yeasty beasties could have.
In the microbial world inside our bodies, there are viruses, bacteria and yeast vying for the available food supply. On day one of life, we introduce a viral load to the nascent immune system. The next several years are spent assuring that our manufactured version of immunity is the superior way.
How To Recognize A Yeast When You See One
How to Get Rid of A Yeast
The Moral of the Story
What Causes Yeast Overgrowth
Now that you know what yeast overgrowth symptoms can look like, let’s talk about what can cause or contribute to it.
Sugar and Simple Carbohydrates
Yeast feeds on sugar. Therefore, limiting foods high in sugar is the first and most crucial step. A diet high in simple carbohydrates feeds yeast. Simple carbohydrates are found naturally in foods such as fruits, milk products, pasta, white bread, processed and refined sugars such as candy, table sugar, syrups, and soft drinks.
Bacteria live in the intestinal tract, sharing space with fungus . Antibiotics kill bacteria, both good and bad, but not yeast. When using antibiotics, yeast can grow to fill in the space left by the removal of the bacteria.
Dysfunctional Immune System
Immunodeficiency can be at the root of chronic fungal infections. See more below about testing for this and supporting the immune system. Maintaining a healthy immune system and regular, healthy bowel movements can help keep the candida in check.
Steroids bring down inflammation by decreasing the activity of the body’s immune system. Consequently, this often gives rise to fungal infections. For example, corticosteroids and TNF inhibitors both increase a person’s chances of fungal overgrowth. To learn more, please see the CDCs webpage that discusses how corticosteroids and TNF inhibitors increase a persons risk of fungal overgrowth.
You May Like: Do Autistic Toddlers Dance To Music
More Powerful Solutions To Support Detox
The Ion Cleanse is basically a really fancy footbath. It uses the electrolysis of water to create both positively and negatively charged ions. Opposites attract, so the negatively charged ions will attract and neutralize positively charged toxins in the body. Positively charged ions will attract and neutralize negatively charged toxins. According to AMD, the company that makes this system, neutralized particles will be pulled from the body through osmosis. The toxins will be harmlessly pulled from the cells and will come out in the water through the feet.
However, Its my own belief that the system works by pulling out toxins from our cells and then releasing them into the bloodstream. Its then up to the bodys natural detox system to grab those toxins and escort them out. Again, heres where having a good binding supplement will help in safely removing these lose toxins.
Weve been using the Ion Cleanse system for detox for about 9 months now. For more information and to see my 3 and 6 month progress reports Follow this link:
Chelation is a treatment for removing heavy metals like lead and mercury. It is a popular yet highly controversial therapy for kids on the spectrum. Remember, my sons lab test indicated a need for chelation. Past efforts at chelating were stopped as it proved too harsh.
How Gut Health Affects Stimming Behaviors
The digestive tract is known to directly affect both the brain and nervous system. The gut is home to nerve fibers that directly affect brain function. The majority of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter responsible for regulating behaviors is created there. Within a healthy gut are billions of good bacteria that create balance and work to keep unhealthy bacteria and fungal yeasts such as the stimming-related Candida in check. However, a steady assault of environmental toxins as well as nutrient-poor foods, can deplete healthy bacteria, leaving room for yeast to grow unrestrained. Yeast overgrowth has been associated with autism-related behaviors such as repetitive stimming. Research has found both yeast infection and the depletion of nutrients such as good gut bacteria to be common in children with autism.
You May Like: Best Toys For 3 Year Old Boy With Autism
Treating Yeast Overgrowth In Our Kids With Autism
Yeast overgrowth in our kids with autism is a common occurrence. Evidence has shown that yeast overgrowth in the GI tract causes dysbiosis, or the lack of good bacteria. This dysbiosis causes a breakdown in the GI tract lining contributing to autistic behaviors, since the gut ties into the central nervous system, which influences the brain. Behaviors such as depression, anxiety, anger issues, sleep disorder, brain fog, stimming and toe-walking have been attributed to this condition.
What is yeast overgrowth?
Yeast overgrowth is a colonization of yeast, such as Candida albicans. Symptoms in the GI tract include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea and gas. Candida is protected by a biofilm, which is a matrix largely made up of sugar. This biofilm makes it harder for an antifungal such as Nystatin or Diflucan to kill the Candida.
How do I treat yeast overgrowth?
Yeast overgrowth can be treated with an antifungal such as Nystatin or Diflucan, which are medications requiring a doctors prescription. But these medications will most likely need help, since they will have a hard time getting past the Candida biofilm.
Therefore, its crucial that sugar be eliminated from the diet.
Are there any side effects to yeast overgrowth removal?
Questions and/or comments? Feel free to contact me
Our Autism Detoxification Protocol
Detox has become a popular buzzword these days. The interwebs are filled with promises of feeling great after a 5-day detox or a 7-day lemon juice and cayenne pepper cleanse. When it comes to a true detox however, it has to go much deeper than this, and when autism is involved you need a thorough autism detoxification protocol to ensure its done safely.
Fortunately, there are things we parents can do to help our kids detoxify. There are plenty of things we can do own our own, but I would recommend you work closely with a good MAPS doctor when creating your autism detoxification protocol to ensure the kids detox safely.
In this post, I will discuss what Im doing for my son. You will be able to apply some of these things right away for your own kids. Youll also learn about more powerful tools and strategies that you and your doctor may want to implement as part of your own autism detoxification protocol.
Also Check: Dylan Chills Autism
The Yeast Problem & Bacteria Byproducts
My discovery about the role of abnormal organic acids from gastrointestinal microorganisms in human disease began as many discoveries do, as an accident.
In the 1960s, a great deal of progress had been made in discovering the biochemical abnormalities that caused a number of diseases called “inborn errors of metabolism” using a technology called gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. These diseases included phenylketonuria , tyrosinemia, maple syrup urine disease and many others.
It seemed possible that this new testing called organic acid testing or metabolic profiling might be applied to any disease. However, thirty years later, very little progress had been made in solving the mystery of a number of diseases like autism, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, and Alzheimers disease.
There is a long list of diseases in which a substantial number of patients excrete elevated microbial metabolites in the urine which have been detected by urine organic acid testing:
A Q& a With Dr Amy Myers
What is Candidawhere does it live in the body, and how does it differ from other fungus and yeast infections?
Candida is a fungus . A lot of people use the terms yeast overgrowth and Candida interchangeably, and there are hundreds of different types of yeast, but the most common form of yeast infection is known as Candida albicans.
Candida lives throughout our bodies in small amounts: in our oral cavity, digestive tract, gut microbiome, and vaginal tract. Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorptionwhich it does when its in balance with the good bacteria in your microbiome. I think of the microbiome as a rainforest: When everything is in balance, the body is in harmony and runs smoothly.
The symptoms of different kinds of yeast infections overlap greatly and the vast majority of treatment is the same. Lab work can distinguish which type of yeast infection you might have.
Read Also: High Functioning Autism Vs Adhd
Yeast Overgrowth: What It Is And Why Parents Should Be Aware Of It
First, it’s essential to understand that a healthy gastrointestinal tract contains both fungus and beneficial bacteria, in balance with each other. However, if fungus or pathogenic bacteria overgrow and outnumber the beneficial bacteria, the gut flora becomes out of balance. We call this gut dysbiosis.
Why Parents of Children with Autism Should Be Aware of Yeast Overgrowth
While yeast overgrowth can happen to anyone, parent and clinical observations, in addition to research, suggests that it’s more common among individuals with autism. For example, results from this 2018 study show that anti-Candida albicans antibodies were found in 36.5% of children with ASD versus only 14.3% in neurotypical kids. This finding is noteworthy because Candida albicans is the most common type of fungus that can overgrow and become out of balance in the GI tract. Additionally, gastrointestinal dysfunction was found in about half of the children with autism who tested positive for anti-Candida albicans antibodies.
Treating Autism With Medication
If behavioral and educational interventions arent sufficient, medication may help an individual with autism to better manage his symptoms. Three main classes of medication are used with ASD patients: stimulants, antidepressant and anxiety medications, and atypical antipsychotics.
Stimulants are the most common class of medications used to treat ADHD. ADHD and ASD commonly co-occur, and its important to get ADHD symptoms under control when treating a child with both conditions. Children with ASD can be more sensitive to side effects, and should be monitored carefully when prescribed stimulants. A pediatrician may refer a child with ASD to a psychiatrist or a psycho-pharmacologist as the dose is increased.
Antidepressant and anxiety medications can help people with ASD deal with the common challenges of persistent anxiety and obsessive behaviors. Symptoms like running away from new situations, compulsive checking or washing, or anxiety from strict black-and-white thinking can present big obstacles in day-to-day life. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as sertraline or fluoxetine can sometimes help with mood, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors1. They are used off-label.
1National Institute of Mental Health. Medications for Autism. PsychCentral. . Web.
Also Check: Can Speech Delay Mimic Autism
Yeast And Autism Treatment
Many parents have come to my office and told me some rendition of this story. “My son had many ear infections as a baby. As a result he has had 3 or 4 rounds of antibiotics. This all began at the age of 1 when he began daycare. He was speaking at that time but around 18 months he lost all his words.” There is a vicious cycle that begins with the overuse of antibiotics and the inevitable destruction of our healthy intestinal flora. Antibiotics throw off the balance of our “good” bacteria which provide protection against fungal and parasitic infections, help break down food and synthesize certain vitamins. This disruption of flora allows pathogenic yeast to thrive, damage our intestinal wall, contribute to leaky gut and cause troubling and seemingly unrelated symptoms to arise. If this is a familiar story then you need to test your son or daughter for yeast overgrowth and get to the root cause of their problems.
Symptoms of Yeast Overgrowth in Children:
- Frequent and heavy diaper rash
- Other eczema type skin rash
- Oral Thrush
- Colicky longer than 3 months
- Symptoms worse on damp days or in damp environments
- Recurrent ear problems
- Craving sweets all the time
- Often irritable, depression, mood swings
- Ongoing nasal congestion, cough or wheezing
- Unhappy, hard to please
- Seems unwell yet doctors do not find anything wrong
Candida Infection Can Reach Brain And Impair Memory
A new study in mice reveals that Candida albicans a fungus largely perceived as harmless can cause memory problems and brain abnormalities that resemble those characteristic of Alzheimers disease.
Candida albicansis a species of fungus that grows naturally in the human gut, mouth, and vagina.
Although the yeast is mostly harmless, it can develop into issues ranging from thrush to more serious infections that reach the blood and other organs.
C. albicans is the most common cause of fungal infections in humans, as well as the most extensively studied fungal pathogen that affects people.
A new study , which appears in the journal Nature Communications, adds to the existing body of knowledge about C. albicans.
The new research shows that the fungus can enter the brain, trigger an inflammatory response, and impair memory in mice.
Importantly, the infection leads to the formation of abnormal structures in the brain, and these share similarities with amyloid plaques a hallmark of Alzheimers disease.
Dr. David B. Corry, a professor of medicine-immunology, allergy, and rheumatology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, is the corresponding and final author of the new study.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Symbol For Autism
Detecting Gi Microbial Overgrowth
I became interested in using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to detect abnormal microbial metabolites when I worked at the Center for Disease Control . At CDC, GC/MS was used to identify the species of pure cultures of isolated bacteria. I wondered why you couldnt directly test human body fluids directly for products of microorganisms.
Later, while working at Childrens Mercy Hospital, the pediatric hospital for the University of Missouri at Kansas City Medical School, I became interested in the role of abnormal urinary metabolites detected by GC/MS while evaluating two brothers who had autism as well as occasional severe muscle weakness.
Since some inborn errors of metabolism are associated with muscle weakness, I was really looking for metabolites characteristic of genetic diseases which were all negative. Instead, I noticed that several unusual compounds were consistently elevated in urine samples. None were adequately described in the medical literature. Colleagues in the field of metabolic diseases said they were probably from gut flora and were therefore unimportant. Since several of these compounds were analogs of normal Krebs cycle compounds, I thought these compounds might be significant, perhaps as anti-metabolites.