Gut Feeling

My boys and I have been watching a television series that centers around investigation of crimes to find the cause. On the program they refer to scientific forensics, and something called their gut feeling. This brought to mind an article entitled “Antibiotics Take Toll on Beneficial Microbes in Gut” I recently read concerning research at the University of Michigan.
When the article came across my way I saw the literal connection, the hope for our Autistic community, and the opportunity to acknowledge the individuals that contribute to improved health for all, especially our smallest, within the spectrum of autism.

The title of the article caught my attention regarding how the “gut” is reacting to antibiotics given to individuals with the intent to help their natural immune system. This medication, is supposed to come in to help fight, kill, attack, and render useless the “bad bugs”, other wise known as microorganisms or communities of microbe. We did not stop to think or ask “what will it do to the good bugs?”

When Dr. Andrew Wakefield first discovered and published his findings of evidence of persistent measles virus within the intestines some did not care to help explore this finding to a deeper level. The good news; in 2007 the National Institutes of Health began to fund a 5 year study called the “Human Microbiome Project” with the intent to study all the living micro-organisms of the human body. The financial backing of $140 million seems to mean they are serious about this study.

Those of you that began treating your autistic children’s intestinal medical issues against the social or medical norms must have been working from this thing they call gut instinct. The cited study has already shown that a certain “broad spectrum antibiotic” is causing irreversible damage to the intestinal environment, even 6 weeks after the medications were stopped.

One thing I learned from working in and around the health care industry is that in medicine we do not make mistakes, we make revisions. Revisions to the liberal use of antibiotics is something I observed in one area I lived, and worked, yet that area was not a typical community. With more studies being done, treatment to repair the damage has also begun. The treatment, if described here, would make even the iron gut person feel sick to his/her stomach and that is why I am not going to describe it.

The hope I see is that if we continue to stand up for what we know is right, especially for our health and that of our children, even if it is based primarily on our gut and heart instinct, those that need the scientific proof will begin to seriously look into it and we all will find it. Not so much for fault or blame as much as for plan of care for living a healthy life. The article suggests that they have already discovered how mo’s (microbes or micro-organisms) “produce vitamins; have enzymes that can digest things we can’t; and some good evidence that they’re important for developing the immune system.”

It is important that I point out this article, this study, does not imply it is specifically for the autistic community. I also must point out that it is my optimistic observation that links the work of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, as an established GI tract surgeon before going into research, and NIH researchers choosing to search micro-organisms since 2007.

The article does admit that they realize now that the GI system is home for the “largest collection” of these micro-organisms (mo’s), and that the reference to community and diversity regarding the mo’s reminds me of the challenge we as autistics have had for decades; there is an inner self that is often so different than the outer you see.

In an effort to remove, kill and damage what was simply labeled “bad” will often lead to the total elimination of what was “good”.

Read the full article here on the AutismOne website: