Integrative psychiatry approach for Autism Spectrum disorder


hi, in this article I will share details about autism and functional medicine treatments for autism.

functional medicine / integrative psychiatry approach for autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that begins in childhood. It affects the person’s way of interaction with others, their communication and learning ability.

It is called a “spectrum” disorder because ASD is characterized by a range of symptoms. Their difficulties can consist of social, communication and behavioral challenges. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in going about their daily lives whereas others might need less.

Autism can be diagnosed by an assessment carried out by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or developmental pediatrician. The evaluation is done by undertaking the developmental history in the account along with the mental status examination.

There are a variety of signs and symptoms but largely they fall under these three areas:

Deficits in social skills
Impairments ineffective communication (both verbal and non-verbal)
Challenges in behavioral skills and emotional expression

These are the core features and they may be significantly influenced by the developmental level of language acquisition and the severity level of the disorder. There may be some sensory and feeding challenges present as well along with these core features.

The exact and all causes of ASD are still not known. However, different factors likely interact and eventually play a role in causing these neuro-developmental difficulties in a child. Some of these factors may be:

It has been asserted that several genes may be involved in the expression of ASD. Moreover, these changes in the genetic code can lead to difficulties in brain development which eventually may lead to cognitive and physiological abnormalities and symptomatic behavior. Some genetic mutations appear to be inherited, while others occur spontaneously.

Contributing Environmental factors
Increased rates of autism can not be related to genetics only, environmental factors are really important. Environmental exposure to toxins and infections can increase risk via several mechanisms like immune system dysregulation and chronic infections. Researchers have explored the role of various environmental factors such as viral infections, toxins, medications during pregnancy and complications during pregnancy.

Gut-brain axis
The Gut-brain axis is one of the important causes of inflammation in autism. These kids often have digestive system complaints like abdominal pain, constipation/diarrhea and food-related behaviors. Several studies conclude the relationship between gut dysbiosis and autism. Inflammation and oxidative stress, maternal infection, heavy metal toxins and a poor microbiome can increase inflammatory cytokines.

Methylation issues
The methylation process occurs in hundreds of reactions in our body. Methylation plays a key role in the detoxification of environmental toxins. Clinical nutrigenomics of ADHD and Autistic kids can be tested. Nutrients essential in methylation pathways are B6, B12, zinc, magnesium, L methyl folate and TMG are selected as required for clinical genomics.

1. Reduce Inflammation
Use of natural antioxidants like Vitamin-C for scavenging intracellular reactive oxygen species.

2. Improve Leaky Gut
When tight junctions get loose, it permits undigested food, bacteria and toxins to leak through the intestinal wall. This intestinal inflammation is directly related to brain inflammation. The overgrowth of bad gut bacteria leads to the overproduction of byproducts. This makes the gut lining more permeable and inflamed.

Reducing gut inflammation helps in reducing brain inflammation.

3. Support Detoxification
Autistic kids usually have impaired detoxification pathways. Working on their clinical nutra genomics like mthfr, SOD supports detoxification and methylation pathways.

4. Support Mitochondrial Function
Mitochondria are tiny structures located in all cells of the body. They are responsible for creating energy in cells. Mitochondria is also called the powerhouse of cells. When mitochondria are not working well, there are symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction like neuropsychiatric symptoms, language impairment, headaches and social impairment. Mitochondrial support antioxidants like CoQ10 really help.

5. Address Nutritional Deficiencies
Children with Autism have low vitamin D , choline and other nutritional deficiencies. Kids are often picky eaters.

6. Microbiome Restoration
Autism is associated with disturbances in microbiota.
Microbiome restoration is the key tool for brain health optimization.



Speech therapy
Occupational therapy
Applied behavioral therapy