It’s important to know why your child may be behaving in certain ways or have difficulty either getting motivated or calming down.
Scientists have found that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Up to 95% of serotonin is made in the gut.-mood, sleep appetite. Listen to radio show #76 for more on neurotransmitters.
Additional infections and toxins that affect the gut (and therefore, the brain):
The gut lining becomes damaged due to factors such as an intense inflammatory response that leads to persistent inflammation (often the case after vaccinations due to mercury or viral exposure), mold biotoxins, lyme disease, PANDAS/strep infections, overgrowth of bad bacteria such as Candida, invasion of parasites, contaminated food and beverages, chemicals in processed food, dyes, preservatives, bad fats, enzyme deficiency, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen), prescription corticosteroids (e.g. Prednisone or hydrocortisone), a diet of highly refined carbohydrates, such as cookies, candy, soda, white bread, molds, and fungus from stored grains, fruit, and refined carbohydrates, pesticides, viruses, GI disease, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments due to the harmful impact on the immune system. All of these things are contributing factors to what is known as “leaky gut.”
PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF GLUTEN AND CASEIN
Gluten and casein create opiates in the body. These opiate receptors caused damage to the protective lining of the gut. Therefore, we need to recover the health of the lining so it can do its job of blocking out toxic materials and absorbing nutrients from the foods we eat.
In addition, when casein and gluten are not properly broken down, they damage the process of methylation. Also see why gluten free is not enough.
It is estimated that 98% of people with autism have the MTHFR gene snip. MTHFR or methylene-tetra-hydro-folate reductase gene, when working properly, produces the MTHFR enzyme. However, if the gene is mutated it will not be able to make important compounds such as protein, and it disrupts the methylation cycle, otherwise known as detoxification. MTHFR gene mutation also disrupts the body’s ability to make the master antioxidant, glutathione. When the body cannot detoxify properly the toxins build up in the body and cause a myriad of health problems. MTHFR is also responsible for creating the process of converting the amino acid homocysteine to methionine. Methionine is the amino acid our body uses to make proteins.
There are certain vitamin deficiencies associated with gluten allergies. Among those are vitamin D, K, folic acid, B12, and vitamin B6. Folate and these B vitamins play a key role in the methylation cycle. Methylation is how homocysteine are detoxified in the body. Without enough of these vitamins, methylation is hindered and the levels of homocysteine in the blood will rise. Supplementing with these vitamins will drop levels of homocysteine and therefore, assist methylation. Methylation also assists in maintaining appropriate levels of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine. Dopamine is associated with focus and motivation.
Some neurotransmitters are in excess, and more commonly, others are deficient. Many aspects do overlap and each needs to be addressed. MRIs, EEGs, and blood tests will likely all come up normal.
Some parts of the brain
Via the parasympathetic nervous system, the hypothalamus tells us if we should feel calm or fearful, also known as the fight-or-flight response.
When we are stressed the frontal portion of the brain called the pre frontal cortex which is responsible for decision making will shut down. All blood is sent to the arms and legs to fight or flee. The stress hormones also shut down the gut and the immune system because digestion and immunity are not the top priority when we are in immediate danger. Thus, we are more susceptible to colds, flu and diseases when out system is under stress.
The hypothalamus holds within it the areas responsible for aggression, territorial defense, and sexual pursuit. It also controls sleep and appetite cycles along with the limbic system. Estrogen receptors in the hypothalamus affect food intake, energy, and the distribution of body fat.
The hypothalamus has no protective blood-brain barrier. Toxins can easily enter this area causing damage and it is often injured in people on the autism spectrum. Lead exposure is a very common cause of injury to the hypothalamus.
Note that the PFC is commonly affected by the mold biotoxin illness. The effects often cause symptoms of increased irritability and anger.
The control center for the brain, often called the brain’s CEO, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the center for making judgments, and in seeing the consequences of our actions. The PFC stops impulsive reactions, rules the emotions, and calms the fear center of the brain called the amygdala. When the PFC has decreased activity, it increases problems with impulse control and distractibility.
When under-active, the PFC is often the hidden cause behind ADD. These people have little or no filter to the sounds and visual stimuli in their environment. The PFC has the ability to calm other areas of the brain. An under-active PFC means that both the internal, or emotional, and external environment can easily overwhelm the individual.
The PFC is the last part of the brain to develop with completion at about 25 years of age for males and 23 years of age for girls. The PFC is not yet fully developed prior to the early 20s, which is why kids and teenagers take so many risks. Their brain is not yet capable of seeing the consequences of their actions.
The cerebellum is involved in voluntary (large movement) motor control, and small fine motor control, and balance. It modifies and relays information to the muscles. The cerebellum is also involved in cognitive function including language. The cerebellum is located at the back of the brain just above the brain stem where the brain meets the spinal cord.
Mold biotoxins create MARCONS or antibiotic resistant staph infections in the nasal passages which make their way onto the brain. Your home can be contaminated with mold spores that may not be seen by the naked eye. For testing of MARCONS, and for quality home mold testing please get your free Lyme and mold resource guide here.
Listen to radio show #80, for more on the brain and behaviors in autism.
Listen to radio show # 79, for my interview with autoimmunity and PANS/strep expert, Dr. Madeleine Cunningham.
Karen’s free workshop on the 4 stages to naturally recover from the symptoms of autism.
This information is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure. It is meant for informational purposes only.