Children on the autism spectrum almost always have an overgrowth of candida in their gut. In fact, scientists estimate that 70% of all people have an overgrowth of candida. In our intestinal system we have what are known as “good” bacteria. They work hard to keep our gut lining and our immune system in good health to fight off infection and disease. Candida, also known as yeast or fungi, is some of the normal bacteria we all carry in our gut. The problem arises when Candida’s numbers grow too high and get out of control. When the bad bacteria grow to a higher count than the good bacteria we have what is known as an overgrowth. This is often referred to as a yeast infection or Candida albicans.
These bacteria have a delicate balancing system. This balance can easily be thrown off by such things as physical injury, poor diet, toxins, emotional stress and the use of antibiotics. Fungus, and yeast, such as Candida albicans in the gut, can easily be inhaled through oral secretions and affect our respiratory pathways and lungs. Fungus in the body is unknowingly tied to many allergies and can also mimic symptoms of a heart attack.
Yeast is systemic! This means that it is present throughout the body wreaking havoc in the organs, tissue, joints and central nervous system, including the brain. The GI tract is often damaged so severely by Candida that holes have been created in the lining of the intestines. The spores or babies of the yeast have legs on them that bore holes through the intestinal lining. This causes leaky gut.
This “leaky gut” allows undigested food and toxins to reach the bloodstream. These toxins flow to any organ or tissue they can, including the brain. Leaky gut also causes food allergies. The undigested food is seen by the body as a foreign agent and antibodies are created against them. Foods once tolerated suddenly create allergic reactions. You may have already become aware of foods that seem to create symptoms in your child.
Some symptoms of candida/yeast overgrowth are behavioral problems, decreased cognitive function, anxiety, depression, headaches, earaches, chronic GI problems, food allergies, sinus issues, and asthma.
Please listen to my podcast episode #55 on candida here.
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