Why do autistics tend to have SO many digestive problems, and really bad stink associated with bowel movements? Why are constipation or diarrhea so common? Why are we so likely to have smelly feet, bad breath, and noxious body odours? I’m sorry folks, but we can’t deal with it if we don’t talk about it, and no insults intended.
All people in the autistic spectrum have some degree of mal-digestion, mal-absorption, auto-intoxication (self-poisoning through malfunction of the body), and malnourishment. In my Five Root Causes model of autism, this is one of the two most likely reasons behind autistic symptoms, particularly the really severe ones. Where are all of these digestive challenges coming from? It has to do with gut dysbiosis (dys=wrong, bio=life).
When you have the wrong creatures in different parts of your digestive system, they’re not breaking down food properly. Instead of having your food broken into the individual vitamins, minerals, and other tiny particles that can get delivered to hungry cells, large chunks of food end up floating through your bloodstream. And instead of producing minor toxins in digestion, these wrong gut bugs are creating highly hazardous waste.
We’re not designed to handle these kinds of wastes, and they hurt our bodies ability to stay in balance, to heal, and to function well. They can also cause a great deal of pain, and cause gas, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive problems. And unfortunately, those waste products can be really, really stinky.
They can come out of your sweat, they can come out of your breath, but they are often most obvious when you go to the bathroom. Many of us with gut dysbiosis use disabled bathrooms because there are no neighbouring stalls where people might complain about the noise or smell, and the fan can carry odours away before the door opens.
So what kind of creatures are these “wrong gut bugs”? Well, think about fungus. Funghi make some of the most toxic chemicals on the planet as their waste products. None of us humans should have funghi in our digestive systems, but they are opportunists. When we kill off the probiotics that should be in our digestive ecosystems with air pollution, water contaminants like chlorine, and toxins in our foods, it leaves space for opportunistic and undesirable funghi, yeasts, and unhealthy bacteria to move in.
Yeasts in our gut are particularly interesting. You know that a major by-product of yeast that has access to sugar, is alcohol. When we eat something that has a lot of sugar in it, and we have a lot of yeast in our gut, we’re producing alcohol in our bellies. We then have the alcohol high, the alcohol crash, the alcohol cravings, and the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, afterwards. Some people on record have been arrested for drunk driving after eating doughnuts, not having had any alcohol to drink whatsoever.
Your best bet if someone is experiencing digestive upsets and strong body odours is to make some very simple dietary changes that will gradually start to reinforce the good bacteria, and get rid of the bad guys. There are a variety of natural therapies which can gently help with this process.
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Thank you for caring about someone with autism!
Best Wishes, Jackie