Autism and Behavior Problems
Autism and Behavior Problems – Don’t Just Assume It Is From Yeast
For years I have been advocating to parents (for their children) and physicians (for their patients) to make sure they perform the Organic Acid Test (OAT) or minimally the Microbial Organic Test (mOAT) from Great Plains Laboratory to measure levels of yeast markers, i.e. arabinose, tartaric acid and the clostridia bacteria marker HPHPA. Many people focus solely on yeast, but often do not realize that clostridia bacteria are problematic too and can lead to adverse behavior including psychosis, aggression, self-injury and violent outbursts in extreme situations. Many times just treating yeast and not addressing clostridia bacteria will backfire leading to deterioration in a child’s condition. I learned this years ago with a child who showed the classic yeast behavior of giddiness, goofiness and inappropriate laughter, excessive self-stimulatory behavior, and heightened sensory needs. We treated for candida and instead of seeing improvement the child became extremely agitated, aggressive and self-abusive. Subsequent OAT testing revealed elevated HPHPA. What the treatment for candida apparently had done was unveil an underlying clostridia problem. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics and probiotics (Culturelle) resolved the problem. The relationship between candida and clostridia is complex, but in those kids neurologically sensitive to the biotoxins of these organisms the adverse affects can be profound.
HPHPA called 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-3-hydroxypropionic acid is an abnormal metabolite of clostridia species. It specifically interferes with a converting enzyme for dopamine which can lead to imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain that contribute to psychological problems seen in autism, as well as schizophrenia. An excellent article from Dr. Shaw from Great Plains Laboratory about clostridia and HPHPA is worth reading.
If you have not performed an OAT (or mOAT) on your child before I would encourage you to do so. If it has been more than a year since this testing I would recommend having it repeated, particularly if your child is acting aggressively or manifesting with self-injury behavior. These tests can be ordered through a lab ordering site called Lab Tests Plus. Each test comes with a personalized written interpretation with action step suggestions based on the abnormal markers on the test.