Inflammation seems to be at the root of most (over 85%) of human ills. Obesity. Heart Disease. Dementia. Migraines. Psoriasis. Thyroid Problems. Cancers. Lupus. Allergies. ADHD. Chronic pain. And much, much more.
Try doing a web browser search on the health issue that bothers you the most, alongside the word inflammation, and see if there’s a relationship. And if you would, tell me what you find in the comments below?
There is no autism diagnosed without inflammation. Inflammation in the brain. Inflammation in the gut. Sometimes inflammation in the joints, in the skin, in various other organs and systems. Autism has 100% correlation with inflammation. All autistics are inflamed
Does autism exist when inflammation goes away? It depends on how you define autism.
Our medical system currently defines autism as social difficulties, behavioural problems, and communication issues (what I and increasing numbers of holistic and functional health professionals define as the surface expressions of underlying health problems).
Our medical system says that autism is no longer present when social difficulties, behavioural problems, and communication issues go away. But our parents, our communities, and we ourselves still notice our differences, the indelible imprint autism has left in both our gifts, and our difficulties, even when full health is restored.
Our medical system is undergoing a sea change from a mechanistic model (the body is like a car, with parts you can change out without consequence) to an ecosystem model (the body is like a pond where a change in one factor demands the rebalancing of every other factor).
It is the mechanistic (old and being replaced) model of medicine that says autism is an incurable neurological disorder for which nothing can be done. Try telling that to Donna Williams, John Elder Robison, and me, all of whom are adult autistics who have experienced dramatically improved function from lifestyle changes that reduced inflammation.
It is the ecosystem (new and fast-spreading) model of medicine that says people can “Lose” their autism diagnosis. Try telling that to our families, our friends, our workmates — the communities with whom we interact on a daily basis who very well know how different we are, even when we can integrate in normal learning and economic pursuits and venues.
Those of us who have autism tend to define our autism a little differently. We celebrate the good while either enduring the not-so-good, or seeking to mitigate or surpass the not-so-good.
We name how we’ve evolved differently from non-autistics, and find relief in the company of others like us. Others who have experienced significant stress and trauma seem to relate to us autistics better…
Cultural background just doesn’t rank as a social divider when you never really got acculturated in the first place. Age just doesn’t rank as a social divider when time is a thought experiment, and you primarily live in the moment. We autistics can get a lot healthier, but we don’t stop being different.
How did we autistics become so different in the first place? Dr. Robert Scaer, who’s had a long and illustrious career in board-certified neurology, believes that people develop differently when they’re under traumatic stress. Stress and trauma change the brain, but at least to some extent, the brain can heal when stress and trauma are relieved.
Would unrelieved inflammation constitute traumatic stress to developing babies? Or would the results of unrelieved inflammation in their bodies (pain, swelling, sensitivities, irritabilities, allergies, etc.) constitute traumatic stress to developing babies and children? The answer seems to be yes.
To some extent, autism seems to be an adaptive response to stress and trauma, a focusing of development on the detail-storage and information-processing capacities that create good scientists, doctors, artists, musicians, and other problem-solvers. That this adaptive response has been increasingly buried under too much stress in recent generations is not our fault…
Inflammation is our body’s natural defence against invaders. Viruses. Bacteria. Funghi. Yeasts. Protozoa. Parasites.
Our body’s immune system creates a bunch of toxic chemicals with which to attack, break down, and recycle invaders. If our immune systems are robust and well-supplied with nourishing foods, we vanquish most of those invaders, and the immune system can go back to well-deserved rest, standing down its vigilance and sweeping away its stores of inflammatory chemicals.
But sometimes our body’s immune system attacks things which aren’t invaders, things which are in the wrong place at the wrong time (or things that resemble these misplaced things). Like the contents of what should only be in our gut…
When our guts are inflamed by toxins, or when we’re stressed/traumatized, gut permeability increases. Gut permeability is the scientific term for Leaky Gut. The tight junctures between the closely-packed cells in the single layer of absorptive skin filtering between what we swallow, and our bloodstream, those junctures open up into unfiltered holes between the gut, and the blood.
When those junctures open, gut microbes such as E. coli, Candida species, and Clostridium species get into the bloodstream (and the immune system attacks them, causing inflammation). Food proteins get into the bloodstream (and the immune system attacks them, developing allergies and causing inflammation). Eventually the overworked immune system can start to make mistakes, attacking body tissues which are similar to the escaped food proteins and gut microbes (autoimmune disease).
This is inflammation. The immune system releases toxins to combat “invaders”, toxins designed to break them and other tissues down for recycling… but the inflammation gets out of hand. It’s like a fire getting fanned by the wind, that nothing can stop until a rain weather system moves in.
These mistaken attacks on body tissues similar to “invaders” are where inflammatory disease and autoimmune disease come from. Autism seems to be what happens when inflammation is high during key developmental stages in fetal or later childhood development.
If our immune system mistakes brain and nerve cells for the invaders they’re fighting, we get problems like MS, Dementia, ADHD, Tourette’s, and autism.
If our immune system mistakes joint cartilage for the invaders they’re fighting, we get various bone and join deterioration diseases like arthritis. And on it goes…
Fortunately, we can get rid of excessive inflammation, and getting rid of inflammation allows body, mind, and emotions tremendous scope for healing. But getting rid of inflammation requires work from three directions.
Those of us with autism have families with high inflammation. They need exactly what we need, to heal. MS. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Asthma. Anxiety. Depression. Schizophrenia. Cancers. The list of illnesses and diseases resulting from inflammation just keeps getting longer, the more we learn about inflammation.
If you’re like me, you’d like to see everyone get healthier. There are increasing numbers of programs and support groups to reduce or eliminate inflammatory problems, up to and including my own. We CAN keep inflammation under control, just as balloonists control the flames that keep them aloft.
I highly encourage you to make sure inflammation is under control in your own body, and in the bodies of the people you love. If not, consider joining programs like mine to address stress, nourishment, and toxin issues in your own life.