Magnesium and Autism – Improving the Quality of Life
Present statistics from the Centers for Disease Control find 1 in 166 children suffering autism or autism spectrum disorders. Eighty percent of children develop autism for no reason that conventional medicine has been able to identify. However, parents of many of these children can pinpoint the decline in their child’s health to a vaccination or series of vaccinations – especially if they were given when the child had a cold or flu.
The hallmark of autism is impaired social interaction – these children don’t respond normally to other people and the world around them. In the face of repetitive movements, aggressiveness or apathy and withdrawal, often their physical symptoms are overlooked. However, the majority of children with autism have:
* Normal development for 12-30 months followed by regression
* GI problems - chronic diarrhea or constipation.
* Sleep problems
* Excessive drooling
* Impaired muscle tone
* Ear infections with extended use of antibiotics
Vaccines have been preserved with thimerisol - a mercury compound since the 1920’s. Some companies have voluntarily removed the high amounts of mercury from their products, however, all vaccines, use thimerisol in their manufacture and only some companies remove it completely. Testing in 2005 found that drug companies do not succeed in removing it all and there were residues of mercury in most vaccines tested. For a sensitive child, even a molecule of mercury can be toxic.
Lined up on one side of the battle lines about thimerisol are the vaccine manufacturers, government agencies, and conventional medicine; on the other side are intelligent and concerned parents and a handful of researchers who have uncovered convincing evidence that is being ignored. A chilling fact is that children who have never been vaccinated, never acquire autism according to records kept by doctors who treat the Amish, a religious sect that refuses inoculations.
Another reason why vaccines may be harmful has been uncovered by the work of Dr. Andrew Wakefield. When he identified live measles virus in the intestines of children with autism and bowel dysfunction, the only possible origin was MMR vaccination. A firestorm of protest has erupted against Dr. Wakefield personally and against his findings. None of that changes the fact that most autistic children suffer bowel dysfunction.
The conventional medical treatment for autism is symptomatic. The alternative treatments are focused on detoxifying mercury and overcoming a particular kinase enzyme deficiency caused by mercury that many autistic children have. Without a properly working kinase PI3 system the children can’t break down wheat and dairy.
Instead, they make opiates from these foods, which cause brain damage. The most important and first treatment for autism is avoidance of sugar, wheat and dairy.
Kinase PI3 enzyme damage also means that autistics can’t absorb B12 or folate and it must be given in the methylated B12 and folinate forms of these B vitamins. Treatments to detoxify mercury are varied. They range from IV glutathione, DMPS, EDTA, to oral chlorella but must be undertaken with utmost caution to prevent re-circulation of mercury through their sensitive brains.
Additionally, according to Dr. Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. of the Autism Research Insitute, numerous studies have shown that vitamin B6 and magnesium have successfully been used to treat autism. Per Dr. Rimland: "There was better eye contact, less self-stimulatory behavior, more interest in the world around them, fewer tantrums, more speech, and in general the children became more normal, although they were not completely cured. While no patient has been cured with the vitamin B6 and magnesium treatment, there have been many instances where remarkable improvement has been achieved. In view of the consistent findings showing the safety and efficacy of the nutrients B6 and magnesium in treating autistic individuals, and in view of the inevitability of short and/or long-term side effects of drug use, it certainly seems that this safe and rational approach should be tried before drugs are employed."
In my onw practice, my most dramatic experience with kids and magnesium is in the autism world. These kids can’t sleep, are constipated, experience twitching and spasming, irritability and moodiness – all symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Within days of taking magnesium, these kids are different. They are no longer constipated, they sleep better, they are calmer and more enjoyable to be with.
As for the safety of magnesium – there is no build up of magnesium in the body. If there is “too much” then they get the laxative effect which takes magnesium out of the body. But, don’t give a day’s worth of magnesium all at once. Spread it out. Not all forms of magnesium are the same, try one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium in a powdered magnesium citrate that is taken with hot or cold water.
Each child is unique and requires an individualized treatment protocol with a knowledgeable practitioner. The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained in this blog post are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your physical health require medical supervision. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss, injury or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestion in this blog post. The opinions expressed in this blog post represent the personal views of the author and not the publisher.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
Nutritional Magnesium Association