Autism, Intolerance & Allergy

Signs and Symptoms of Autism:
(Autism is a spectrum disorder, so there is great variety in presence and severity of symptoms.)
    Unaware of the world
    Lack of eye contact
    General learning disability
    Difficulty relating to others
    Withdrawn and miserable
    Repetitive behavior and/or speech
    Fixation on one object
    Sleep problems
    Anxious or afraid
    Obsessively spinning objects or self
    Compulsively touching smooth objects
    Fascination with lights
    Arm flapping when excited
    Jumping up and down
    Walking on tiptoes
    Giggling and/or screaming for no apparent reason
    Eating strange substances (earth, sand, paper, toothpaste, soap, rubber, etc.)

Autism occurs in about 15 of every 10,000 births (although this figure is increasing), and is four times as common in boys as in girls.  The symptoms usually become apparent during the first three years of life.

In 1994, Dr. Rosemarie Waring of Birmingham University, England, found that these children are deficient in a detoxification enzyme called phenol-sulphotransferase-P. There were very low levels of this enzyme in every child tested, and some children also had a low capacity to oxidize (add oxygen to) sulfur compounds.

The enzyme deficiency means that they would be unable to get rid of natural toxins in food, and they would also have trouble coping with many of their own body chemicals which are broken down by this enzyme system.

Besides the usual symptoms of autism (below), these children frequently also have subtle physical symptoms, such as excessive thirst, excessive sweating, low blood sugar, diarrhea, bloating, rhinitis, red face and/or ears, dark circles under the eyes, etc.

Autistic symptoms in the children studied at Birmingham University appeared to be triggered by ingestion of some foods and chemicals, including synthetic food additives, which require the same enzyme during metabolism. Common offenders were wheat, cow's milk, corn, sugar, and citrus fruits, although each child is very different, and may be affected by different substances.

Dietary intervention was found to reduce the toxic load. While this is not a cure for autism, it may help to alleviate some of the symptoms, and help the child to concentrate and become more aware of his surroundings.

See more information about metabolism and PST, and a list of related research. For more detailed information on research and a variety of available treatments, see the Autism Research Institute.


Updated 5/11/08