Research has shown that 60 – 70% of our immune system lies within our intestinal tract and its digestive organs (aka: the gut). Which means that “the gut” is the largest immune system within our body. WOW! What that meant to me is that if my kids’ gut are dysfunctional, their immune system is going to be compromised. And they are going to have trouble fighting off viruses and other bacterial infections that they may be exposed to at any given time. No wonder they had colds, the stomach flu and coughs all winter long.
Issues my kids have faced with their gut are bacteria, malabsorption, diarrhea, constipation and leaky gut syndrome. These are all symptoms of a dysfunctional or damaged gut. Since their gut was not functioning normally, the nutrients from their diet weren’t being properly absorbed and utilized by their body/brain. Our gut and brain communicate with each other. Every known neurotransmitter in the brain also lies within the gut.
So, it’s the chicken vs. the egg here. Do we first bring all the necessary vitamins, minerals, fatty acids on board OR try to heal the gut? Well, if you don’t heal the gut, all the supplements you give will not be fully utilized and it will be money flushed down the toilet. Literally. BUT, I found it beneficial to start the supplements AND heal the gut at the same time. My son with autism responded to Super Nu Thera with the high dose of B6 and magnesium without any gut healing measures in place. So something was getting through, which gave me incentive to do both together.
On the advice of my DAN! doctor, the first step I took to start gut healing measures was the gf/cf diet. I found better results when I reduced my sons’ sugar intake. Sugar compromises our immune system. All forms of sugar, fructose (fruit sugar), honey, etc. will significantly decrease the white blood cells’ ability to engulf and destroy bacteria (fight infection). Other gut healing measures we put in place were probiotics, digestive enzymes, zinc and curcumin. My sons truly benefited from digestive enzymes. Their stools became more normal and constipation was becoming a thing of the past.
Once their guts started to function more efficiently, inflammation was reduced and cognition improved. I noticed improvements with each new supplement introduced since their gut was able to absorb it better. Healing my son’s guts is by far the longest road I’ve traveled on in our autism journey. I believe it’s one of the most important and yet, difficult thing to do in biomedical treatments. And most importantly, I couldn’t have managed all the information out there and do this on my own. I can’t stress enough the importance of working with a DAN! doctor for your child’s biomedical treatments.
I will be adding more pages under Gut that addresses yeast, bacteria, and leaky gut and my experience with those bad boys. Check back for more information soon.