The following guest blog post is by a mother in Whitefish Montana. She shares her story about how bone broth changed her daughter’s life, supporting her with the challenges of having autism.
Bone Broth Changed My Autistic Daughter’s Life
We first noticed that our daughter was not hitting many of her milestones at approximately 18 months old. This lack of reaching milestones continued for several years. She could not communicate with us when we asked her questions. She also did not participate in playground activities and had no desire to socialize with other little kids. She was kind of in a fog. We also noticed that her elimination was not normal. It was kind of like mashed potatoes.
We took our daughter to the doctor and they ran several tests to determine what might be going on. We found out she was on the Autistic Spectrum and was allergic to gluten and sugar.
Changing Diet for Autism
So we began a new diet regiment that consisted of virtually no sugar, no gluten and very limited processed foods. We limited dairy, and we incorporated probiotics and enzymes into her daily meal regiment.
At a result of these changes we saw much less hyperactivity, and more focus with a better and greater attention span.
Discovering Bone Broth
Around the same time my friend, Beth had just started a bone broth business in the Columbia Gorge and had mentioned to me that in her research there seemed to be significant evidence that bone broth dramatically improves leaky gut and that a good 90% plus of autistic kids have this leaky gut condition.
Although my daughter’s diet was better her elimination was still very mashed potato-like (very difficult to wipe), so I thought I’d give it a try.
Beth told me that the collagen and gelatin in the bone broth could help heal the walls of the gut lining that had become permeable and that is would make her eliminations better. So I started my daughter on bone broth and the results were nothing short of amazing. In so many ways.
More Calm and Focused
With the change in her diet, adding daily exercise as well as incorporating bone broth into her diet I can honestly say that we are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Incorporating bone broth into my daughter’s diet has honestly changed both of our lives. My daughter’s elimination is now at a normal level, she is much more calm; her ability to comprehend instructions and focus has improved dramatically. She is now socializing with her peers and her expressive language is markedly improved. When she had her physical this year the doctor was so impressed with her progress that we both tiered up.
I use the broth in as many meals as I can. In fact, first thing in the morning my daughter, who is 13, asks for her coffee (the bone broth), she loves it. She say’s “Um…coffee or sometimes she says, “Um ice cream.” Suffice to say she loves it. The more I give her throughout the day the better her behavior seems to be getting. I am totally sold.
Background on the Gut-Brain Connection
The following summaries represent a few studies pointing to the gut-brain connection, hinting at why this mother’s testimonial makes so much sense.
As quoted in an article from the Scientific American publication, “Autism is primarily a disorder of the brain, but research suggests that as many as nine out of 10 individuals with the condition also suffer from gastrointestinal problems such as inflammatory bowel disease and “leaky gut.” The article further suggests that several new studies indicate restoring the proper balance in the microbiome could alleviate some of autism’s behavioral symptoms.
A study was conducted at The California Institute of Technology where they incited autism like symptoms in mice by infecting pregnant mice with a virus like molecule. Once the baby mice were born they found that they had altered gut bacteria compared with healthy mice. They then treated the sick rodents with a health-promoting bacterium called Bacteroides fragilis. The researchers were able to lessen some, not all, of their behavioral symptoms. The mice that were treated with healthy bacterium were less anxious and became more vocally communicative.
The Link Between Leaky Gut Syndrome and Autism
The Autism Exchange states that “Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS)” or abnormal intestinal permeability is one of the most poorly understood concepts in western medicine. They define what is happening to the child with autism and how this affects the functioning of the brain (gut/brain connection). A healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract will absorb only the small molecules of completely broken down food particles of fully digested food. The intestinal walls function is to keep out large and undesirable molecules. When this ability is compromised, then permeability of the gut wall increases and large spaces develop between the cells. This allows for, pathogens, yeast overgrowth, toxins, viruses, bacteria, and foods to leak out of the intestinal lining. When the gut lining is permeable it becomes further inflamed and damaged disrupting the normal functioning of the GI tract. The body sees these undesirable molecules as “an attack” and produces antibodies in defense. These new antibodies may also attack the body’s own cells thus causing increased inflammatory reactions that can cause a condition called “autoimmunity.”
These neurotransmitters in the brain are also present in the GI tract and are now unable to make the connections with the brain hence the gut-brain disconnection. This may be one of the beginning stages of how autism spectrum disorder issues develop.
If you would like to connect with us please reach out and we can further discuss the healing powers of bone broth as it relates to autism.