Autism (and other health conditions) linked to the gut?

boyreadingNew research published in December 2013’s Cell has revealed a possible link between the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the gut.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition often marked by decreased social interaction or impaired social skills. Researchers have found that changes in gut bacteria affected autism-like behaviour in mice. Many of the behavioural abnormalities, including anxiety-like behaviour, went away after treatment with bacteria from a healthy gut.

“Traditional research has studied autism as a genetic disorder and a disorder of the brain, but our work shows that gut bacteria may contribute to ASD-like symptoms in ways that were previously unappreciated,” says California Institute of Technology (Caltech)’s biology professor Sarkis K. Mazmanian. “Gut physiology appears to have effects on what are currently presumed to be brain functions.”

Earlier in 2013, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown and Dae-Wook Kang, researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, discovered a similar link. They examined the role of beneficial bacteria (what we know as probiotics) in improving autism. In their study, lower diversity of gut microbes was positively correlated with the presence of autistic symptoms. “One of the reasons we started addressing this topic is the fact that autistic children have a lot of GI problems that can last into adulthood,” Krajmalnik-Brown says. “Studies have shown that when we manage these problems, their behavior improves dramatically.”

Dr. Yik has also discovered similar results when helping her autistic patients, where behaviour and digestive functions improve dramatically after gut repair and replenishment treatment. She often uses the organic acids test (OAT) to first evaluate intestinal microflora and to investigate if there are any metabolic disorders leading to toxicity and other issues. Click here to read more about the organic acids test (OAT).

Besides autistic spectrum disorders, Dr. Yik has found behavioural/ psychological problems, chronic fatigue and other health conditions linked to intestinal health as well.


Abnormally high levels of certain intestinal micro-organisms have been found to cause or worsen the following conditions:

  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Anxiety and Related Disorders (including OCD)
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Colitis, Crohn’s Disease
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders (including IBS, diarrhea or constipation)
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Recurrent Infections (including recurrent cystitis, sinusitis, etc.)
  • Tic Disorders and Tourette (Tourette’s) Syndrome

It is quite common for people with these conditions to have concurrent digestive symptoms or issues, but they often don’t see the link. If you want to do the simple OAT (urine test) to investigate the link between your gut and your health issues, click here to contact Dr. Yik.

Click here to read more about healing your gut. Click here to learn more about Dr. Yik.


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