Nutritional Therapy For Children
Nutritional therapy is an evidence-based holistic approach using dietary and lifestyle interventions to rejuvenate each system in the body, restoring balance and vitality.
Although not always obvious, nutrition plays a key role in the management of autism and should really be the foundation of any treatment plan. Without proper nutrition tailor made to their specific requirements the child simply cannot heal.
Autism is considered a behavioural disorder but there are physical manifestations of the condition. Whether these manifestations are a cause or effect of the condition is as yet unknown.
The majority of autistic children will have some digestive issues causing inflammation of the gut often associated with bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea.
The gut flora is often overlooked by conventional medicine but is central to all of our health and wellbeing. A healthy gut flora, which we inherit from our mothers at birth and through breast milk, will support a healthy immune system, proper absorption of nutrients and production of hormones. If nutrients are not being absorbed and assimilated, all bodily functions will suffer.
There is a great deal of evidence linking imbalances in the gut flora to disordered brain function. Correction of the gut flora through diet and supplementation would be a primary focus in the treatment programme.
If the gut flora is overrun with non-beneficial bacteria, systemic toxicity will be very high. Autistic children are highly sensitive to environmental toxins and many of these toxins will cross the blood brain barrier and have detrimental effects on the brain. Identifying and reducing their toxic load, therefore would also be an important part of the treatment.
Often autistic children have dysfunctional immune systems, the reasons for which are multifactorial. Unfortunately many children with ASD have undergone long term antibiotic treatment. This is highly detrimental to the gut flora and ultimately results in depleting the immune systems further. Supporting the immune system naturally through nutrition and lifestyle is critical in the long term management of the disorder.
Blood Sugar Balance
Evidence shows fluctuations in blood sugar levels can have detrimental effects on behaviour. Therefore stabilising blood sugar with nutrition is essential in controlling behaviour and generally optimising mental health.
Our nutritional therapist will work closely with you and your child, engaging them and making food interesting and fun while introducing lots of practical ways to optimise their physical and mental health.
The initial consultation will gather information in order to put a detailed case history together. This will enable a programme to be tailored specifically to each child and their requirements.
Some initial recommendations based on what is of primary relevance to your child, will be given.
In the follow up consultations we will assess how you have got on with your recommendations. We will then introduce further interventions based on what is realistic and achievable for you and your child.
It is essential to involve the child in this process and make them feel part of it. Teaching children to learn about food and cooking will help them to introduce new foods. Some consultations may include cookery lessons making it fun and engaging for the child.