If Autism Is Treatable, Should It Be Treated?
Jun 04, 2014 03:54AM
For over a decade, attention has been drawn to the escalating incidence of autism and for good reason. A March 2014 Center for Disease Control (CDC) report suggests that within the last few years, the incidence of autism has jumped another 30 percent. This calculation suggests that autism is doubling in incidence every four to five years. Based on calculations from that data, one could project that by the year 2038, the incidence of autism could reach the terminal level of 100 percent of U.S. children. <<GRAPH>>
This is a doomsday scenario because civilization as we know it would collapse if most of its citizens suffer from autism. It is important to begin sounding the clarion call and ask the question that rarely gets asked, “How do we treat autism effectively and shut down the ticking time bomb?” For so long, the official answer has been that the cause of autism is unknown, so no effective treatment exists. The disorder can only be managed.
The root of the problem originates in a healthcare system which has not yet embraced an effective paradigm for applying the knowledge already available and that can potentially reverse autism in most individuals.
The required paradigm shift begins with an understanding of the two very different definitions of the term diagnosis. A diagnosis can be defined as the appearance of something or as a cause. For instance, for thousands of years, pneumonia was diagnosed by its appearance; fever, chills, cough, sweats and shortness of breath. With the advent of the germ theory paradigm, the second definition of the term diagnosis came into vogue and the cause (germs) was diagnosed. Discovery of a cause of any disease leads to targeted treatments, like antibiotics, which have saved countless lives. But until the germ theory paradigm was adopted, a curative treatment could not be found.
Autism, like most chronic medical and psychiatric disorders, is far more complicated. No single cause (like a germ) exists. There are many causal risk factors. For instance, overgrowth of clostridial organisms (tetanus germs) in the intestines causes an over-exposure to a toxin, which is notorious for paralyzing the nervous system (e.g., lockjaw). Many autistic individuals have “locked up” brains which are incapable of processing complex, rapidly shifting information, like speech, language and non-verbal communication. Consequently, an autistic individual withdraws socially, one of the cardinal symptoms of the disorder.
Unfortunately, dozens of additional immunological, infectious, metabolic, genetic, allergic, nutritional, toxicological and hormone/neurotransmitter-related risk factors, which can be detected through in-depth, functional medicine and nutrigenomic testing, can conspire to cause the symptoms of autism. Thorough interpretation of hundreds of data points, totally unique to each individual, is required to construct a one-of-a-kind, effective treatment plan, which involves supplements and other therapeutic measures, often requiring intensive professional support to institute.
But what choice do we, as a civilization, have? Do we choose to effectively diagnose the unique combinations of risk factors in each individual; treat each autistic individual rationally or conclude that it’s just too complicated, muddle by in the best way possible, and face potentially unthinkable consequences? Whatever we decide, we had better not wait too long to make this decision. Doomsday may be looming in just a few decades.
Sources: CDC Report, March 2014, Bolter ER (1998).
Chas Gant, MD, PhD is an internationally known author, physician and practitioner, specializing in molecular health and healing, especially as it supports psycho-spiritual growth and mental health recovery from problems such as AD/HD, autism, mood problems, addictions, food and carbohydrate compulsions and nicotine dependence. For more information, call 202-237-7000 ext. 104 or visit DrChasMD.com.
Gant will be offering a free seminar on diagnosing and treating autism on June 26 at Wisconsin Place Community Center in Chevy Chase. To register for this seminar, click here.