The Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) or 'abnormal intestinal permeability,' is one the most poorly understood concepts in western medicine, but it clearly defines what is happening to the child with autism and how this affects the functioning of the brain (gut/brain connection). The healthy gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract absorbs only the small molecules of completely broken down food particles that are the result of fully digested food. Ideally, the intestinal wall should have the ability to keep out large and undesirable molecules. When that ability is reduced, then permeability increases and large spaces develop between the cells of the gut wall allowing for yeast overgrowth, pathogens, toxins, bacteria, viruses and foods to leak across the intestinal lining. Now the gut lining is permeable, and therefore, becomes further inflamed and damaged disrupting the normal functioning of the G.I. tract. The body sees this foreign matter as "an attack" and develops a production of antibodies in defense. These newly formed antibodies may also attack the body's own cells developing auto antibodies and causing increased inflammatory reactions that trigger a condition called "autoimmunity". The neurotransmitters in the brain are also found in the G.I. tract, so now they are unable to make the normal connections with the brain; hence the gut/brain disconnection. So, this may be one of the beginning stages of how autism spectrum disorder issues develop.
Timothy Buie MD – Gastroenterology and Autism
Description: Dr. Buie is a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital who treats and understands the gut/brain connection in children with autism. Dr. Buie has been very successful in treating difficult cases of non-verbal children with undetected acid reflux and the connection to aggressive, self-mutilating behaviors.
Natasha Campbell-McBride MD – GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome)
Description: Dr. McBride’s website provides excellent information regarding how to treat and repair the leaky gut. She also gives extensive details on the connection between the GI tract and the brain and how this influences behavior and neurodevelopment. She provides parents with an effective dietary plan called GAPS.
Dr. Axe: 4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease
Description: A comprehensive outline with very helpful diagrams of the specific steps needed to heal a leaky gut.
Paleo Leap: Diet, Kids, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Part 1: The Gut
Description: This site provides an in-depth look at leaky gut, and how it may contribute to autism spectrum disorder symptoms.
Some forums require you to sign in to Yahoo or Facebook to locate forum names.
Forum/Blog Name: Leaky Gut/Food Allergies and Candida
Description: Do you suffer from food allergies, food sensitivities, eczema, acne, depression, ADD, ADHD, autism, chronic fatigue and/or have been diagnosed with candida? Then let’s fight together against leaky gut!
Forum/Blog Name: Leaky Gut Syndrome Solutions and Prevention
Description: This Facebook page addresses how the treatment of leaky gut syndrome will improve the quality of life.
Forum/Blog Name: Autism Leaky Gut
Description: This group is to give parents a place to talk about treating leaky-gut and yeast.
Forum/Blog Name: Is Poor Digestion Sabotaging Diet Efforts with Your Child?
Description: Is poor digestion sabotaging diet efforts with your child? Children with neurodevelopmental disorders are known to have a high rate of digestive disorders/disturbances, so you need to know a bit about how the digestive system works to determine if this should be an area of focus for you and your child.
Forum/Blog Name: Top Nutrient Deficiencies Found in Our Children — What You Need to Know
Description: More and more, we are seeing children with nutritional deficiencies, a phenomenon that studies show is even more apparent in children with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and ADHD. The good news is, nutritional deficiencies that are impacting your child’s ability to thrive can be corrected.
Forum/Blog Name: Is the Secret to Autism in “the Gut?”
Description: This blog helps us understand how microbes in our gut (gastrointestinal tract) can be mind-altering and negatively affect the brain. Changing our diet in order to heal the gut can make some astonishing changes in the behaviors of ASD children.
Forum/Blog Name: Cholesterol: When Less is Not Better
Description: This blog discusses information pertaining to the effects of low cholesterol and autism. A study with 900 children with autism at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development investigating the link between cholesterol and autism.