Gut-Brain Connection

For many years natural health practitioners have been treating the ‘gut’ for a myriad of health conditions.  Scientific studies and trials are now ratifying this approach with evidence showing that, not only is gut toxicity a source of disease, but that our gut is our second brain.  According to Michael Gershon, chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center; a neurogastroenterology expert and author of The Second Brain, the same genes that make synapses form in your brain are also involved in the formation of synapses in your gut.

This link is not only relevant for autism, but many mental health conditions.  If the synaptic genes are affected in autism, this could be yet another explanation for why so many autistic kids suffer GI abnormalities, and why so many of them have elevated levels of gut-produced serotonin in their blood.

Dr Mercola has written numerous articles on how the gut is literally your second brain. In addition to digesting your food, your gut has the ability to significantly influence your:

  • Mind
  • Mood
  • Behavior

And there’s also no shortage of evidence of gastrointestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases, including autism. In fact, gastrointestinal troubles are quite common among autistic children.  In one case of autism, gastroenterologist Dr. Timothy Buie, discovered lymphoid nodular hyperplacia; inflammation and damage in the lower intestine.

Dr. Buie is one of a number of physicians who are now beginning to view autism as a systemic illness, affecting the whole body, and not “just” a neurological disorder. In fact, he suggests that some of the “acting out” could be a sign of physical discomfort, such as gastrointestinal pain, in addition to neurological dysfunction.

Children with autism respond well to a gluten-free diet and probiotic supplementation.  They may need additional support, so it is always advisable to consult a qualified natural health practitioner for guidance.