Dr. Weyrich's Diary for September 22, 2008 - Clostridium and AutismRecently I was at a continuing medical education diner seminar. I happened to sit at the same table as a pediatrician, who immediately upon learning that I was a Naturopathic Medical Doctor proceeded to tell me how I was doing irreparable harm to children by telling their parents not to vaccinate. She didn't ask me what I actually tell parents. Eventually the conversation turned to the subject of treating Attention Deficit Disorder and Autism.
I explained that controlling gut dysbiosis was critical to treating these disorders. She then expressed disbelief that gut flora could possibly affect mental activity. The educational program started and I never had a chance to explain, but this conversation has bothered me ever since.
Just to set the record straight for this nameless doctor as well as anyone else with similar questions, consider the following:
- The bacteria Clostridium tetni is known to produce a potent neurotoxin that causes rigid paralysis.
- The bacteria Clostridium botulinum is known to produce a potent neurotoxin that causes flaccid paralysis.
- Many poorly characterized species of Clostridium are known to contribute to dysbiosis, so it is reasonable to consider the possibility that some of these bacteria might produce neurotoxins capable of producing the symptoms of autism or ADD.
- Antibiotic treatments that tend to promote overgrowth of Clostridium spp. are often observed to worsen the symptoms of autism and ADD, while antibiotic treatments that tend to kill Clostridium spp. are often observed to improve these same symptoms.
- Similar considerations apply to yeasts and fungi.
While it may be argued that these observations have not been verified with a p=0.05 confidence level in a placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trial, it must be considered reasonable to treat both clostridial and fungal dysbiosis when evidence is presented that they are occurring. Simple urine tests such as the Organic Acid Test exist that can reveal metabolites of these dysbiotic organisms and provide the evidence needed.