Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a range of challenges with social interaction, sensory integration, communication, repetitive behaviors, and more. No single cause has been identified for autism although genetic and environmental factors are suspected.
Additionally, more than 50% of children with autism have compromised gastrointestinal health, including food allergies, maldigestion, and/or malabsorption issues. Altered intestinal permeability, otherwise known as “leaky gut,” has also been found in 43% of individuals with autism, which leads to debilitating vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Children and adults diagnosed with autism must balance blood sugar levels, check for brain-polluting heavy metals, exclude food additives, identify allergies, ensure intake of essential fats, and monitor overall nutrient deficiencies.
Encouragingly, there is growing evidence that bioavailable nutritional therapies, treatments, and supplementation can have an astounding impact on the gut-related secondary symptoms that autism patients experience. It is the belief of Foundational Medicine Review that the all-too-common cycle of malabsorption, inflammation, and food allergies is one that must end in order for individuals with autism to experience healthy digestion—and a higher quality of life.