What is Chelation and How Can it Help My Child with Autism? Part 2

Chelating agents can be given through an IV, or by mouth. The most common chelating agents for removing heavy metals (lead, arsenic or mercury) include dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), and Calcium disodium EDTA.

Agents and what they typically chelate:

  • DMSA: lead, mercury, arsenic. DMSA also normalizes glutathione levels.
  • DMPS: mercury.
  • Calcium disodium EDTA: lead, other heavy metals, and some minerals.

Although conventional scientific institutes don’t recognize the link between chelation and improvement in an autistic child’s behavior, many parents opt for chelation therapy as a means of aiding their autistic children.

Since 1967 The Autism Research Institute has collected “Parent Ratings of behavioral Effects of Biomedical Interventions.” Tens of thousands of responses have been logged so far. Chelation therapy was recently added to the list of biomedical interventions, and of the 470 parents who reported their children using chelation, 75% reported “good” results. That’s fairly strong evidence!

The Link Between Major Depressive Disorder and Leaky Gut Syndrome

When a child is diagnosed with Autism, the symptoms that they experience can be extremely diverse. Some of them even mimic other conditions. Such is the case with Depression and Autism. Many autistic children seem to have sudden mood swings, extrmeme feelings of “lowness”, or decreased appetite. All symptoms of depressions.

It is now being said that people who have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) should be tested for Leaky Gut, which, as we’ve mentioned before, is extremely common in people with Autism.

Children with Autism often have gastrointestinal problems.  These problems include gastritis, esophagitis, inflammatory markers at the gut lining, gut lymphatic system hyperplasia, increased intestinal permeability, abnormal gut microbiota findings, increased enzyme secretion, and carbohydrate malabsorption.  Indeed, autistic children with severe gastrointestinal symptoms are more likely to have severe autistic symptoms (via).

Leaky Gut Syndrome itself causes the intestinal immune system to produce chemicals that spread inflammation through the body. It’s the immune system that is supposed to send out defenses to attack bad things in our bodies. You can image the damage that can happen when the “fighting system” is the one spreading the problems.

One of the contributing factors being studied is that depression and other mental conditions may increase the production of the same oxidants that cause damage to the wall of the small intestine. It’s because of this that people who have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder should also be tested for Leaky Gut syndrome.

How to Be Tested for Leaky Gut Syndrome: 

We offer our Leaky Gut test (only in the USA) in which Dr. Wong will send you a test and will analyze the results. The cost of the test includes the test itself, the shipping, the analyzing of the test, and a custom report from Dr. Wong on the results.

What is Chelation and How Can it Help My Child with Autism? Part 1

Chelation is the process utilized to remove damaging heavy metals from the body. Mercury, iron, and other metals are often found in the Autistic body and can have negative effects on the brain making Autism symptoms even worse. Another source of damaging metals is Thimerosal, which is found in many childhood vaccines. Chelation Therapy includes the administering of chelating agents to remove heavy metals. Chelation has been proven to remove excess or toxic metals before they can damage the body and was first used in the 1940s by the Navy to treat lead poisoning.

Our bodies have natural methods of eliminating these toxins from our bodies. In the very young and the very old, it can be more difficult to rid the body of heavy metals, which can therefore accumulate faster than they can be removed.

Heavy metals are tested in various regions of the body depending on which heavy metal it is. One of the most sensitive tests available at most labs is called a Porphyrin Profile.

Leaky Gut Syndrome and Autism

Many autistic individuals have tiny holes in their intestinal tract, and this is often referred to as ‘leaky gut’. Intestinal permeability, commonly called “leaky gut”, means that there are larger than normal spaces present between the cells of the gut wall. When these large spaces exist in the small intestine, it allows undigested food and other toxins to enter the blood stream. This theory suggests that autistic children have tears and holes in their intestinal walls, possibly due to damage from toxins, antibiotic sensitivity or infections (such as an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans). These children may lose healthy digestive bacteria and have damage to the cells that produce enzymes needed to absorb certain proteins (such as gluten) properly.

Gluten is a protein and is contained in grass foods such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. Casein is also a protein and is found in dairy products such as milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt. In the intestinal tract, gluten and casein breakdown into peptides; and these peptides then breakdown into amino acids.

When incompletely broken down foods enter the body, the immune system mounts an attack against the “foreigner” resulting in food allergies and sensitivities. The release of antibodies triggers inflammatory reactions when the foods are eaten again. The chronic inflammation lowers IgA levels. Sufficient levels of IgA are needed to protect the intestinal tract from clostridia and yeast.

Partially digested protein molecules from gluten and casein, also known as peptides, can reach the brain via the bloodstream. Peptides have a molecular structure similar to that of your brain’s natural opioids (endorphins), so they’re drawn to the brain’s opioid receptors. This can lead to problems with behavior, speech and social skills. Just as opioid drugs such as heroin are addictive, so can foods high in gluten and casein be for children with leaky gut.

Many, but not all children with autism have food allergies, and this supports the hypothesis that leaky gut syndrome may underly symptoms of autism.  The important point is that many parents have seen results from the simple step of putting their autistic child on an autistic diet focusing on leaky gut syndrome. If you have an autistic child, it is well worth your time and their health to explore natural treatment options for them.

What is Defeat Autism Now (DAN!)?

Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) is a project that was founded in the 1960s by Dr. Bernard Rimland. Doctors trained in the “DAN! Protocol,” are taught an approach to autism which begins with the idea that autism is a biomedical disorder. This approach was developed by the Autism Research Institute (ARI) which has more than 1,000 documented cases of autistic children who have recovered.

The belief among DAN! doctors is that autism is a disorder caused by a lowered immune response, issues caused by some foods, and external toxins from vaccines and other sources.

What Type of Treatments do DAN! Doctors Prescribe?

  • Supplements such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and essential fatty acids.
  • Gluten- and dairy-free diets.
  • Food allergy testing.
  • Treating dysbiosis in the gut using non-pharmacological medications (i.e. intestinal bacterial/yeast overgrowth).
  • Heavy metal detoxification.

What can I expect at my DAN! Doctor Appointment?

You can expect that your child will go through some testing mostly revolving around the state of their internal body. A test for hidden food allergies will be conducted to be sure that any dietary changes that are made as part of your child’s treatment plan are beneficial and not more damaging to them.

You should leave with your questions answered and a customized treatment plan for your child’s needs. If you have questions, ask, ask, ask. Remember, these doctors chose to be DAN! doctors. They believe in this treatment method, and want to see your child healthy!

Autism and Environmental Connection Pt. 2

Now that we’ve introduced the idea that the environment can have serious effects on health
, I want to talk about environmental toxicity.  Research is being done that suggests that many diseases, including autism, may originate in immune system damage caused by exposures to toxins in the early development of babies and before birth[1].

As parents of children with ASD know, the issues affecting their children reach further than simply the developmental issues associated with the diagnoses.  Along side the developmental issues there is often additional issues including less effective immune systems, increased allergies, chronic infections, and chemical sensitivity.  It is estimated that at least half of those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder will have developmental immunotoxicity as well.  Developmental toxicity affects the body at the mitochondrial level, most often in the immune system, and can cause life long health issues.

As an example, children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders might also suffer from more colds and viruses than their peers.  Children with ASD might also have issues with allergies, developing sensitivities to gluten, grass, and pets.  When children have chronic infections they are significantly more likely to develop full-blown auto-immune disorders.

If you think your child might be at risk for environmental toxin exposure you might consider purchasing our Environmental Toxicity Test that is available in our test store.  A simple urine analysis will detect the most commonly exposed environmental toxins that can have a harmful effect on nervous, endocrine and immune system.



[1] Spivey A 2009. Developmental Immunotoxicity in Review. Environ Health Perspect 117:A149-A149. doi:10.1289/ehp.117-a149