Biomedical treatment of neurological issues in children starts with a complete history and physical exam, which can give us clues as to the underlying causes of the child’s symptoms. Then, a complete medical work-up is ordered, that looks at blood, urine, stool, and sometimes hair samples to test for abnormalities in the child’s nutritional status, immune system, gastrointestinal system, and even DNA. These tests show issues that may be causing unusual sensitivities to environmental toxins, contributing to chronic allergies to foods and inhalants, chronic viral infections, or even brain inflammation and autoimmunity. When these underlying medical issues are individually addressed, the children’s symptoms improve.
While every child is unique, children on the spectrum share many similar medical issues. ASDs may be caused by a complex interaction of abnormalities in many different body systems, such as:
- gut dysfunction
- biochemical imbalances
- immune dysfunction
- nutritional deficiencies
- metal/chemical toxicities
We conduct blood, urine, and stool tests to identify a child’s underlying medical issues. When we treat those abnormalities, there is often great symptomatic improvement in the child.
Treatments can include such modalities as dietary changes, correcting gut flora imbalances, nutritional supplementation, immune enhancement, treatment of chronic viral/bacterial/parasitic infections, and improving detoxification abilities. The latest research is strongly pointing to mercury toxicity as being a central issue in many, if not most, children on the autistic spectrum. There are large individual genetic differences between people in how sensitive they are to mercury, and how well their bodies are able to detoxify it when exposed. This may account for the genetic predisposition seen in ASDs. Mercury is the most neurotoxic nonradioactive substance on earth. Like lead poisoning, there is probably no “safe” level for mercury exposure, especially in young children. Mercury is in our air, food and water from pollution, especially from coal-burning power plants.
Other sources of mercury include Thimerisol, which was a vaccine preservative used extensively in childhood vaccines until 2001, and is still found in flu and tetanus shots. Mercury also enters the body from dental amalgams (“silver” fillings) and eating large fish, such as tuna and shark. One in six women of childbearing age today is mercury toxic, and this is transmitted through the placenta to the developing fetus. When postnatal exposure is added through vaccines and other sources, it often overwhelms the infant’s ability to protect itself from this incredibly toxic substance, and brain, immune, and gut damage ensues – contributing to the constellation of symptoms that have been labeled “autism.” At Developmental Spectrums, Dr. Mielke treats this toxicity issue directly, and addresses the toxic cascade of biochemical problems that result from it as well.