Today my son did not go to nursery, I thought it would be fun to keep him home on this beautiful late summers day. However sometimes I seem to forget how much energy he has and how he can literally run non-stop until he keels over and falls asleep on the spot. During his active bouts of spark and whit, he managed to break a glass pot, climb onto the balcony, fill the washing machine with crayons and leave the floor in a colourful patchwork pattern of yellow and blue lego. I try to eat regularly, I try to eat well but on days like these, timing is an issue and then all I can manage is …..burnt toast and cold coffee.
Being a mom is a tough job but being a mother or parent to child who has autism, ADHD or any disorder that requires special attention and care must be unbelievably tough. Although the cause for Autism has not been found, several triggers such as vaccines, diet and environmental toxins have been blamed. A new study published this week yet agains dispells the vaccine theory originally raised by Prof Wakefield (UK). This theory has led to Prof Wakefield having his license revoked and is blamed for the increase in concerned parents refusing to vaccinate their children against diseases which scientists were hoping would be irradicated. As cases of measles are increasing the UK, in France alone 5000 new cases were diagnosed between January and March this year alone.
As Nutrigenomics is the study of the effect of diet, lifestyle and the environment on our genes, it is of no surprise that it has made its way into the treatment of Autism. Although it is not part of mainstream therapy, the work of Dr Amy Yasko and Dr Richard van Konynenburg focus on the methylation cycle (the process that makes DNA) and identification of genetic variations that can be used to identify areas where targetted supplementation can bypass or correct areas of poor metabolism.
Einstein famously said “if you can´t explain it simply, you don´t understand it well enough”, so I am not even going to try to explain methylation, I am still learning too, but I do understand that individual nutrients such as Folic acid, B6 and B12 as part of a good diet play an important role in metabolic processes beyond the “stay slim, stay healthy” thinking. Dr Yasko´s (a Molecular Biologist) has been working with parents of Autistic children for years and has written numerous and articles on the subject. Dr Konynenburg completed his thesis on glutathione depletion in patients with Chronic Fatigue, both base their work on the science of Nutrigenomics. The use of bioavailable supplements and elimination of colourants and additives forms part of the dietary therapy.
Nobody has all the answers yet, but it is important to remain open to new therapies and treatments that show promise in identifying the root cause of complex diseases and disorders. I for one will be watching this area closely.
So next time, you meet a family member or a friend who have a child with Autism or ADHD, be sure to make them some warm toast and coffee, because chances are they haven´t taken a moment for themselves.