In 1970, an estimated 1 in 10,000 children were found to be autistic. In 1995 it was 1 in 500. In 2001 it became 1 in 250. Today, 1 in 68 children are diagnosed as autistic. The reality is, genetics alone does not explain the epidemic growth of autism and other conditions like it. Better diagnosis may explain part of the astronomic increase of autism, but only in part. In reality, the medical literature is beginning to recognize the impact of environmental factors and the role of epigenetics in the development of autism. DNA Health is the UAEs leading functional medicine clinic and we have devised a number of tests that can provide important clues for developing effective customized treatment strategies for your child, which include:
Evidence suggests that diet and assimilation play important roles in autism. Amino acids are the chemical building blocks of key neurotransmitters that act on the brain to influence mood and behavior. For this reason, the proper balance of these nutrients is essential for healthy emotional and cognitive development in children.
The integrity of the intestinal lining plays a critical role in
absorbing nutrients and preventing toxins, allergens and other potentially harmful molecules from penetrating into the systemic circulation. This could serve as a common link between autism and autoimmune dysfunction, food allergies, gastrointestinal imbalances, bacterial and fungal overgrowth, and nutrient deficiencies.
Caregivers of autistic children often report that certain foods
appear to exacerbate autistic symptoms. One possible mechanism may involve an immune hypersensitivity to foods such as wheat and milk. Our comprehensive assessment require a single blood sample to identify immediate (IgE) and/or delayed (IgG) sensitivities to over 200 commonly encountered food and environmental substances. Results can be used to help individualize a diet plan that eliminates provoking substances.
Autistic individuals with chronic sleep problems may have an imbalance of the melatonin. Autistic children are more prone to rhythmic dysfunctions related to melatonin production and secretion. Clinical research has also linked abnormal levels of tryptophan and serotonin (building blocks for melatonin) to autistic symptoms in adults. Assessing an individual’s circadian (24-hour) secretion of melatonin helps establish an individualized treatment strategy.
Exposure to various heavy metals, especially when combined with mineral deficiencies, poses a threat to healthy neurological development in children. Autistic children may be less able to eliminate toxic agents and / or be more susceptible to heavy metal absorption due to various mineral deficiencies. Laboratory analysis of blood or urine evaluates the body burden of heavy metals as well as nutritional adequacy of minerals.
Autistic children often exhibit chronic digestive problems that may be linked to changes in mood and behavior. Enzyme deficiencies, malabsorption, and yeast overgrowth are common findings in autism. Specialized stool tests provide a noninvasive assessment of microbial balance (including yeast and bacterial growth), digestive function, and absorption. These tests can be used to develop individualized treatment strategies to improve function and reduce gastrointestinal symptoms.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Essential fatty acids are critical nutrients for the brain, and may be especially important for children with autism. Significant imbalances of fatty acids in red blood cell membranes have been reported in patients with autism. Fatty acid precursors must be supplied by the diet, and the body must be able to properly metabolize these fats. Fatty Acids Analysis can help answer these questions by measuring levels in red blood cell membranes, a methodology providing the most accurate representation of fatty acid status in bodily tissues.