As our nation and local area faces ever-increasing incidents of autism, we support friends and families affected by joining them on their journey. We collaborate with many agencies and specialists to inform the public about this national pandemic and are committed to researching a wide range of effective therapies for the friends and families we serve coping with autism.
Did you know that one in 88 children are diagnosed as having an Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD), affecting boys almost 5 times more than girls with 1 in 52 boys affected? This disorder is multi-faceted that has reached epidemic proportions in the developing world.
Autism is a developmental disorder that impairs social interaction and communication. Among other symptoms, a child with Autism displays restricted and repetitive behaviors.
Symptoms include; sustained odd play, uneven fine motor skills, no response to verbal cues acting as if deaf, little or no eye contact, insistence on consistency, resistance of changes in routine, noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity, consistent tantrums, displays of extreme distress for no apparent reason, and/or spinning.
Diet – Children with autism may benefit from a gluten and casein free diet. Gluten produces a morphine-like peptide that can impede children’s neurological development. Children may have an increase in language after removing gluten and from their diet. Children may also have “leaky gut syndrome”, secondary to inflammation in the bowel which may allow increased absorption of toxins. Removing casein from the diet may help to decrease inflammation in the gut and decrease the amount of toxins being absorbed into the body.
Nutritional and probiotic therapy – Most children with autism have a dysbiosis, or an imbalance of bacteria, in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics put good bacteria in the GI tract to help keep the bad bacteria in check. The use of probiotics may also keep yeast in check, as most children with autism also have yeast overgrowth in the GI tract. When choosing a probiotic, it is important to choose a formulation that is casein free. There are many probiotics on the market; however, it is wise to rotate probiotics every couple of months. The yeast and bad bacteria can also contribute to ‘leaky gut’ syndrome along with casein. If the response to probiotic therapy is insufficient, an antifungal may need to be added to therapy to control yeast growth.
Most children with autism have a need for increased amounts of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Many will need vitamin C and B vitamins, L methyl folate (activated folic acid), calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Children with zinc deficiency will have altered taste and may become averse to eating certain foods. These vitamins may be given orally or some may be given transdermally.
Glutathione is your body’s own natural antioxidant and detoxifier, known as “The Body’s Master Antioxidant”. Glutathione is low in about 80 percent of children with Autism. This compound is important in elimination of environmental toxins. This compound is also a potent antioxidant and can help with free radical damage. Glutathione is not absorbed when taken orally, so an intravenous or a topical form may work best.
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) supplementation helps with social interaction language and immunity. LDN boosts the immune system by increasing endorphins and helping the immune system to balance between TH1 and TH2. In one study, 74% of children had enhanced sociability, mood, cognition and/or language.
Chelation Therapy – Many children with ASD have high levels of heavy metals in their blood, including mercury and lead. Children with ASD have a diminished ability to eliminate heavy metals due to a decrease in the natural detoxification process, including a decrease in glutathione as previously discussed. Chelation therapy involves using compounds that will chelate, bind, inactivate, and eliminate heavy metals from the body. DMSA and Calcium EDTA are compounds that we use for chelation therapy.
Oxytocin administration improves the ability to detect the emotions people display through facial expressions. This could help patients with ASD to understand social cueing better.
Curcumin is a water soluble orange-yellow colored powder and is one of three curcuminoids found in the herb, turmeric (Curcuma longa). The other curcuminoids found in turmeric are demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Turmeric is a yellow Indian spice which has a long history of treatment for inflammatory conditions in Ayurvedic medicine in India. Curcumin is the main constituent of turmeric and was identified in 1910 by Lampe and Milobedzka. Curcumin has been known to treat a vast number of indications such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, dyslipidemia, Alzheimer’s disease, and even certain cancers.
Examples of customized medications for Autism:
- Amphotericin (Antifungal)
- Itraconazole (Antifungal)
- Nystatin (Antifungal)
- DMSA (Chelation)
- Ca EDTA (Chelation)
- Glutathione reduced
- Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN)
- N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
- Methylcobalamin (Methyl B-12)
Community Pharmacy is dedicated to meeting the needs of patients with autism. We think outside the box when formulating all of our compounds. Our medications are prepared without sugars, dyes, casein and our products are preservative-free. We welcome your questions and enjoy helping each family on their journey. If you have any questions about Autism or the different treatment modalities that may be used for treatment, please contact a compounding pharmacist at Community Pharmacy, (410) 749-1899.