When we first embarked on this journey, before we started Speech Therapy or ABA therapy or any other kind of educational therapy, we started bio-med. Why did we start that first? Because I didn't know what else to do. While we were waiting for our early intervention services from Regional Center to kick in, I couldn't just sit on my hands. So... I sat on my butt and googled well into the wee hours of the night. First we did the Gluten and Casein free diet. We say small improvements but even though I switched my son from milk yogurt to soy yogurt he continued to have sinus trouble, so we kicked the soy. After a couple of weeks the sinus problem cleared but there weren't many other noticeable changes and then one day someone recommended to me a book called "The Yeast Connection" by William Crooks. I found it interesting that back in the 1980's when this book was written that Dr. Crooks was treating patients with autism and found that their symptoms subsided after being put on a Candida diet and a dose of Nystatin (prescription anti-fungal/yeast treatment). I then put our son on the Candida diet. After this we saw a dramatic change. My son was crying, screaming, biting and tantruming for two weeks. He seemed to experience a die-off that might occur in the most profound heroin addicts. Although I took this as a sign the treatment was working, his diarrhea continued and that's how we found the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet). I read "Breaking the Viscous Cycle" and fell in love with the Elaine Gottschal's story. After switching to the SCD we found a home that we remained at for the past 2 years. At first, I saw improvements in yeasty behaviors (ie. no more inappropriate laughter, less stimming, better sleep patterns, etc.); however, this too was short lived. We added pro-biotics and anti-fungals and all of this helped but if my son stopped taking any of these for more than a few days his yeast would return. After a recent visit to his Grandparent's I heard stories about him laughing like a drunk person and I said "here comes the yeast again". Another thing happened while my son was visiting his Grandparent's. I attended the Mini-DAN conference in Pasadena, CA. One of the speakers was a well respected DAN doctor by the name of Anju I. Usman. She was the first to hyposize this theory on a connect between chronic yeast and Biofilm. Because of our situation with yeast I was very interested in this subject and I would like to share the information that Dr. Usman imparted on those of us fortunate enough to attend this conference.
First of all, what is Biofilm? Since I'm certainly no expert let me tell you Dr. Usman's hypothesis: "Patients with autism, who have toxic metal burdens and toxic chemical burdens are likely to grow resistant organisms in their GI tract. This resistance to treatment is perpetuated by pathogenic biofilms will help to eradicate dysbiotic flora and improve the symptoms we call autism".
Sounds good right? So how do we treat it? Since we are about to embark on this journey ourselves I'll let you know how it goes but in the meantime I've provided the steps for you as described by Dr. Usman in case you'd like to give it a go; (These steps listed below are directly taken from the Dr. Usman's syllbaus provided to us at the conference).
"Step 1: Lysis/Detachment
-Enzyme (polysaccharidase, disaccharidase) (Kirkman's lab has a new one on the market that is supposed to target biofilm specifically, we haven't tried it yet).
~Staph use fibrinolytic like lumbrokinase, serratiopeptidase, or nattokinase
~Pseudomonas or thick mucus prodcution use serratiopeptidase
~May use pineappe or papaya for senstive patient
-Disodium EDTA (oral only)
-Lactoferrin (especially for Psuedomonas)
~Works best on an empty stomach
~Start one supplement at a time, go slow
~Do not give Enzymes on an empty stomach to patients with severe GI issues
~Do not give Lactoferrin to patients with dairy allergy
~Avoid giving Iron, Calcium or Magnesium with supplements above
~Careful with sensitive patients or weak patients
Step 2: Killing
-Consider Natural Antimicrobials first
-Do not start with Pharmaceuticals
-Vary agents depending on microbiology and mycology testing
-Bacterial Cultures tend to show Gram positive overgrowth or Gram negative
-Dysbiosis may seem to worsen initially
-Watch for die off, treat accordingly
-Consider the use of antiobiotics or antifungals meds if organisms remain persistent
Step 3: Clean up
-Activated Charcoal if needed
-Alginates, Brown Algae
-Modified Citrus Pectin
~Very important step
~Help prevent symptoms of die off
Step 4: Rebuilding/Nourishing the Gut Lining
-Healing, nutritious, non-toxic foods