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Look behind the obvious with autism

By Dr. Tim Holcomb - ADVOCATE GUEST COLUMNIST
Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:09 a.m.

Dr. Tim Holcomb

Autism is a disorder affecting the brain that can result in impairment of thinking, communication, emotional behavior, social relationships and the ability to react appropriately to the external world. Its incidence is increasing at an epidemic rate. Presently, about 1 out of 150 children are affected.

Traditional medicine treats affected children with a variety of drugs including anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, hyperactivity medications such as Ritalin, and seizure medications, which can have many adverse side effects. Alternative medicine practitioners consider the role that food allergies and food intolerances play in triggering the disease.

They understand that the immune system is too sensitive to environmental stimuli, which act as potential allergens that stimulate the immune system to over-react.

In autism, the nervous system parallels the immune system by being over-reactive to sensory stimuli in the environment, such as the sensations of touch, taste, hearing, smelling and seeing. This association underscores an important hidden link between the nervous system and the immune system.

These children who abnormally perceive and process the world around them express that problem on both the neurological and immune levels. The two parallel each other in this disorder: an over reactive immune system and an oversensitive nervous system. They are different aspects of the same underlying mysterious disorder.

So it becomes important to consider what is causing the immune and nervous systems to be over-reactive? In my opinion, it is toxins accumulating in the body. Toxins can cause the immune system to become hypersensitive and form allergies or intolerances to foods or inhaled substances.

The immune system then causes inflammation in the body. In the case of autism, it inflames the brain cells, and then there is dysfunction of the brain's normal processes, as evidenced by the neurological symptoms of the disorder. Toxins can also directly attack the nervous system, causing the nerve and brain cells to become dysfunctional.

Our world is becoming more and more toxic every day. Everyone is affected, that is why we see epidemic increases in diabetes, obesity, thyroid problems, cancer, Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases, as well as autism. We live in one of the sickest nations on earth despite billions spent on health care. Children, with developing bodies, are especially vulnerable to the devastating effects of toxins on not only the nervous and immune systems, but also the hormones of the body.

The link between the rising incidence of autism and the rising toxicity in our food, air and water must be recognized to adequately handle autism. I advocate, as I do in my practice, removing the child's exposure to toxins, and removing accumulated toxins from the child's body, allowing inflammation in the brain cells to heal.

Unfortunately many doctors don't see the obvious toxicity connection and don't consider this as a possible cause, and the child gets treated with powerful psychotropic drugs to handle the symptoms of brain cells that are simply so sick and inflamed that they can't function correctly.

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