Medication & Dietary Supplements for Autism
Vitamins, minerals, and natural supplements have long been administered to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to help with gastrointestinal distress, sleep, and vitamin deficiency, all of which are frequent in children and adults with ASD.
Your child’s psychiatrist, teacher, psychologist, or occupational therapist will almost certainly benefit from knowing what supplements your child takes to assist you in noticing any changes in your child’s health or behavior.
There is a low risk of side effects by starting with a modest dose and gradually increasing it, and many children and adults are expected to benefit, sometimes significantly.
So, let’s find out what these supplements and medications are. Keep scrolling this article, and we will get there.
Which Medications And Dietary Supplements Are Good For Treating Autism?
Since autism can be diagnosed early in your child, you can modify his dietary supplements and medications from the earliest onset. First, let’s look at the list of drugs and supplements that are good for autism.
Sleep is a problem for about half of children with ASD.
Melatonin is a substance that helps to regulate sleep and waking cycles. It is a hormone occurring naturally in the body and generated in the pineal gland in the brain.
Melatonin can be found naturally in some fish and eggs, but it’s most abundant in seeds, nuts, and bananas, which all make great nighttime snacks.
However, if melatonin-containing foods are scarce and the brain isn’t making enough, your pediatrician may recommend a supplement.
Another issue that many children with ASD suffer is gastrointestinal (GI) distress.
According to the CDC, children with ASD are three and a half times more likely than their neurotypical counterparts to have GI issues.
Although some researchers believe there is a link between- gut bacteria and autism severity, the medical profession is divided on the subject, and much of the evidence is anecdotal.
Children who have frequent, long-term, or chronic GI distress should see their doctor, who may refer them to a gastroenterologist for additional testing.
A probiotic, specifically Bacteroides, can regulate gut microbiota and enhance gut barrier integrity in mice with ASD-like behaviors.
Children with ASD who took Vitamin D3 supplements improved their indications and symptoms.
Vitamin D treatment improved the fundamental symptoms of ASD, such as hyperactivity, irritability, stereotypic behavior, social disengagement, and improper speech, after four months. For this reason it is usually found in popularly available autism supplements
In addition, children who received vitamin D supplementation had higher cognitive awareness, social awareness, and social cognition than children who only received the placebo.
Vitamin D supplementation reduced odd noises, repeated hand movements, leaping, and restricted interests substantially.
Vitamin B6 And Magnesium
More than a dozen studies have shown that giving children with autism vitamin B6 and magnesium supplements can help them feel better, but the treatment is still controversial because each child’s body reacts differently to different approaches.
The assumption is that if a child with ASD has enough vitamin B6 and magnesium in his diet, his behavior will improve.
While this improvement was reported in multiple well-controlled studies, the specific changes were inconsistent, ranging from enhanced eye contact to increased impulse control to improved social interactions and communication.
Children with autism should have their B6 and magnesium levels checked, whether or not they are taking a supplement, because magnesium levels are lower in children with ASD.
Autism cannot be treated with drugs and medications, but FDA has only approved Risperidone to manage the irritability symptoms of autism. In addition, it is only prescribed to children aged between- 5-16.
Some medications control depression, anxiety, insomnia, and seizures, but none of these drugs are FDA approved for autism.
Anti-anxiety medications, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or stimulants can also manage autism symptoms to a certain extent.
Are Dietary Supplements Safe?
FDA has approved certain antibiotics and blood pressure drugs that are good for treating autism. Although they don’t have authority over dietary supplements, it doesn’t make them unsafe for autistic people.
If you buy the dietary supplements from the counter, you must check the label for the components, and test them for a week to see how it works.
There may be some side effects that your autistic child is facing, but they are not listed on the label. In that case, you can question the manufacturer, and lodge a lawsuit.
Even if you don’t lodge a lawsuit, once enough people complain about a dietary supplement, the FDA will monitor the product, and issue a warning against it. The FDA is liable to take a supplement out of the market if it is considered unsafe for a particular audience group.
Not only the FDA, but the Federal Trade Commission also supervises the advertisements endorsing these products.
There are some U.S. private companies such as NSF International, U.S. Pharmacopeia, and ConsumerLab.com who also take responsibility for testing these supplements. They can issue their ‘seal of approval’ on some products and once the products get these seals, they will be ready to be shipped to the market.
How To Start The New Supplements And Medications For Your Autistic Child?
As previously said, a pediatrician or a qualified dietician should always be your first stop when looking into autism supplements for your child.
It’s critical to keep track of how your child reacts to various supplements, as some can combine with other medications, be dangerous at high doses, or simply not work in your child’s body.
The autism supplements listed above are some of the most regularly given for children, but your child may benefit from other supplements, or the ones listed above may not be appropriate for your child.
A blood or urine test is the most accurate way to measure your child’s vitamin levels, and it should be done as often as your child’s doctor suggests to ensure that your child’s supplements are working.
Even though doctors don’t recommend any specific medication for autistic children, the drugs and dietary supplements mentioned above can work well if combined with behavioral therapies.
Hence, you can talk to your child’s doctor right now and find out if these supplements will fit his diet or not.
For further queries, reach us in the comment box.