Bringing Peace Back To The Family
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Many parents of children on the autism spectrum have concerns about safety for themselves, their other children, or those in their community. Autism and anger often go hand in hand. Anger and impulsive behavior can be a daily occurrence.
This does not mean,of course, that all children on the autism spectrum have anger issues. But many do. And when they do, it is difficult for the entire family to deal with, and scary! Some parents live with extreme fear for their own well being and for the safety of others. Dare we mention Newtown or the 2014 episode at The University of California at Santa Barbara?
As it turns out, there are several possibilities for issues of anger or violent episodes in children and adults on the autism spectrum. Neurotoxic foods such as monosodium glutamate or MSG are known to create episodes of anger. The heavy metal lead is another trigger for anger.
Here are a few possible causes of anger and solutions:
One common reason for anger is head injury. A head injury caused by birth or any accident, large or small, can cause cranial bones to be out of balance. Many people notice personality changes in people after they have experienced a head injury.
Located behind the ears, the temporal lobes of the brain are indicated in mood instability and anger. They also affect language, speech, ability to understand words when reading and many learning disorders. Head trauma or toxic damage can often be the underlying cause of problems with the temporal lobes. When the temporal bones are imbalanced, the brain has difficulty regulating the functions of the temporal lobes. One of the best ways to balance the temporal bones is through craniosacral work.
I have been practicing craniosacral therapy for almost twenty-two years and have seen profound results over and over. It is very common for me to find that the temporal bones in children on the autism spectrum are jammed and not moving properly.
Craniosacral therapy is a very gentle, yet effective way to balance the bones in the head. The educated practitioner uses the force of the weight of a nickel in their touch, and assists the cranial bones back into balance. Once balanced, the brain is able to function normally, negative symptoms disappear, and clarity returns.
Finding a Craniosacral Practitioner Near You
The easiest way to find an educated practitioner would be from either of the two schools most commonly known for Craniosacral instruction. The one I graduated from is The Milne Institute, www.milneinstitute.com. The second school is The Upledger Institute.
Get my free tutorial video of a couple of craniosacral holds that you can do at home on your child here.
Serotonin Imbalance and the Gut
A deficiency in the neurotransmitter serotonin (the brain’s messenger) can also contribute to anger and unstable moods. As much as 95% of serotonin is made in the gut. This brain messenger is responsible for maintaining mood control, sleep regulation and appetite, among other things. Heavy metal toxicity, brain inflammation, excessive stress, and intestinal imbalance are just a few of the ways we become deficient in serotonin. All these causes are common in children on the autism spectrum.
Symptoms associated with low serotonin levels in the brain are headaches of all kinds including migraines, extreme fatigue, anxiety, aggression, ADD, carbohydrate cravings (including alcohol), lack of satiety with food, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, epilepsy, hyperactivity, insomnia, an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep), muscle twitching, restless leg syndrome, low pain tolerance, obesity and other eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, hyper focus, panic disorders, premenstrual symptoms, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, and night terrors.
The liver is our organ of detoxification. Children with autism have congested livers and are often even born with them that way. Their detoxification pathways also do not work well and the body becomes burdened by excess toxins the liver cannot process out fast enough on its own. When this happens, such as during the candida diet, and further detoxification, the liver will need additional support to excrete the release of toxins.
It is more than likely that your child’s liver is congested. It is the first organ to support in the recovery process. The liver has many diverse functions. It is our main organ of detoxification, it builds and supplies nutrients, enzymes, and hormones to cells, and directly affects growth and functioning of all cells in the body. If the liver cannot supply these nutrients to the cells, the cells cannot perform the activities necessary to keep your body healthy. If the liver is congested, it cannot effectively remove toxins from the body. The liver, among its many duties, also produces hormones, amino acids, and protein. The body can become deprived of these important compounds if the is liver congested. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They also build neurotransmitters needed by the brain for its proper functioning. Also see podcast #108, Why Both Phase I and Phase II of Liver Detoxification Are Necessary.
Hormones and Puberty
Hormones directly affect our behavior. In the ages between nine and fifteen the male brain is literally flooded with the male hormone testosterone. Although females produce some testosterone it is the males who produce it tenfold during puberty. The dangerous effects of the heavy metal toxin mercury are worsened by testosterone. This increases mercury’s detriment on the brain causing more extreme symptoms. Heavy metal detoxification is imperative.
Heavy metals can increase problems with hormones, especially mercury. Heavy metals such as mercury and lead are known to cause anger. Natural, safe heavy metal detoxification is crucial. See my podcast interview with expert Eddie Stone on Natural Intracellular Heavy Metal Detoxification. The heavy metal mercury also inhibits the body’s natural ability to fight candida overgrowth so it can be harder to get candida in balance. Also read and listen to my interview, Toxic Heavy Metals Linked to Severe Autistic Behaviors.
Almost every child on the autism spectrum has candida overgrowth, often picked up from mom in the womb. It is a major contributor to the development of autism. Candida imbalances hormones, and causes adrenal stress. An imbalance of adrenal hormones can impair the body’s ability to grow and to recover from illness and injury. This imbalance also disrupts the body’s ability to build and utilize protein, or to perform what is known as protein synthesis. Additionally, candida causes a lot of irritability, and anxiousness, as well as behavioral problems, decreased cognitive function, depression, headaches, earaches, chronic GI problems, food allergies, sinus issues, and asthma.
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.
The scientific name of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is Borrelia. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Borrelia is known to cause issues of rage. Lyme has multiple co-infections. It is systemic, gets into the intestines, and makes the host intolerant of carbohydrates and develop sensitivity to gluten, casein, and sugar. It can also mimic the symptoms of autism.
Lyme disease is usually contracted through a tick bite. Some of these ticks can be as small as a poppy seed and go unnoticed. Lyme can also be passed from mosquitoes and head lice, as well as be passed in utero from a mother to her child, and in breast milk.
Lyme infection does not leave easily and multiple systems are affected. Antibiotics alone have been disappointing in the treatment of Lyme disease. Autism and Lyme commonly exist in one individual. A broad based treatment which affects all co-infections and assists the body on multiple levels is necessary.
Anger is very common in people with bipolar disorder. Although I am an advocate of natural supplementation and remedies, bipolar disorder is one ailment that I have not seen respond to supplements alone. People suffering from bipolar disorder often need THE RIGHT medication to maintain balance. Along with medication, Omega 3 fatty acids in high dosages and the proper diet have been known to be beneficial for symptoms.
Natural Supplementation To Help Calm
If your child is already taking medications or supplements, it is recommended to seek the advice of a practitioner who is educated in both. Natural supplementation is known to be just as effective as prescription medication for many psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and more, but much safer! Most problems arise for people when they begin pharmaceutical drugs or when they decide to instantly go off of them. Also see, podcast #136, 7 Tips To Help Create Calm For Children with Autism and Their Parents.
Calming the Vagus Nerve Signals
The Vagus nerve tone is connected to inflammation, immune system, metabolism and emotional regulation. It also helps regulate digestion and respiration. When it is disrupted all of these issues can create a heightened stress response which can become chronic. Possibly symptoms to look for are depression, anxiety, gut issues and inflammation.
Cannabis or CBD
In an effort to find help for their child with autism many parents have turned to the use of high quality medical grade cannabis or CBD. Those who had resisted in the past due to stigmas attached to it have found new hope. For the treatment of the symptoms of autism parents have reported a greater ability in focus and concentration, increased ability to handle emotions such as rage and fears, friendlier and more socially aware, increased appetite, and better sleep. One lesser known fact about children with autism is that roughly fifty percent start having seizures around the onset of puberty. The best news lately for this issue is that cannabis is a solution for it that works for many individuals.
5HTP is a safe, effective natural supplement that helps to build serotonin in the system. 5HTP is as powerful as prescription medications for depression, behavioral and mood issues, and sleep disorders, but it is much safer! 5HTP also helps to build pain-relieving endorphins. It is sold in most health food stores and online.
For children, the dosage of 5HTP depends on their weight. Commonly, 4.5 mgs per kilogram or 2.2 pounds per day is helpful. Consult a practitioner educated in natural supplementation for more guidance. Note: although absorption is best on an empty stomach, I have found that a small amount of carbohydrate food such as fruit can help reduce any possible nausea.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid. It can be very helpful with depressed moods, focus, anxiety, when one needs a more flexible attitude, and is also commonly used in Germany for depression instead of Prozac. When used with 5HTP it can be essential for those with insomnia. It is best to give L-tyrosine in the morning and early afternoon. If given at night it may keep your child alert and cause trouble getting to sleep.
For some characteristics such as hyper focus with oppositional behavior, it is often most helpful to give both L-tyrosine to build dopamine along with 5HTP to also build serotonin. The balance of both is needed. It is best taken away from food.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids protect the brain and help to rebuild damaged areas. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the health and functioning of the brain. Deficiency in Omega 3 fatty acids can help issues with moods such as depression, hyperactivity, lethargy, memory loss, cell energy production, they can assist the nervous system, and improve cognitive learning ability.
The neurotransmitters most affected by Omega-3 fatty acids are dopamine, which affect motivation and drive, and serotonin. This is also why Omega 3’s are significant when treating depression, anxiety, violent and aggressive behavior and even schizophrenia.
High quality Omega 3 fatty acids that are free of toxins are very important for brain function and brain protection. Dosages of 500-2000 mg per day are known to be helpful. Higher dosages may be necessary for those with extreme symptoms. Check with your practitioner.
Homeopathy is a very different concept to grasp. It is based on the Law of Similars. This law states that “a disease can be cured by a substance if that substance can cause, in a healthy person, symptoms similar to those of the disease”. The word homeopathy means similar (homeo) suffering (pathy). A “constitutional” remedy addresses the patterns of the entire individual: physical, mental, and emotional. Our family has had great success with homeopathy. To find a homeopathic doctor go to: www.homeopathicdirectory.com, or www.homeopathy-cures.com.
Note: Although 5HTP and St. Johns Wort are very helpful for most with anger and mood disorders, if anger and rage are severe, there may be an imbalance in the temporal lobes of the brain. Check with your practitioner before using St. Johns Wort or 5HTP, or muscle test before using them, as they both increase serotonin levels which can make symptoms of rage from temporal lobe imbalance even worse.
For more on neurotransmitters please listen to, The Function of Neurotransmitters and Their Disruptors [Podcast Episode 76].
See my post Brain Scans For Autism and Other Neurological Disorders for more information on how you can learn the specifics regarding your child’s behavioral causes and needs.
If after doing the brain scan, you find that temporal lobe dysfunction is the problem, the following combination of supplements, in addition to craniosacral therapy, can be very helpful:
- Phosphotidyl serine
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Vitamin E
Before beginning any new supplement be sure to discuss it with a qualified professional.
A Healthy Diet Is Crucial
Multiple issues must be corrected but chemical free foods are important. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is known to cause anger, as well as food dyes. Read, “How the Foods We Eat Affect Our Brain“. Keeping the gut healthy, balancing candida, removing toxic heavy metals, and working with underlying coinfections such as mold biotoxins and Lyme disease can all help reduce issues of anger and irritability too.
In any case, the correct healthy diet and daily exercise are essential!
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The information her is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. Seek professional help when necessary.