Is there a connection between candida albicans and autism?
Candida and Autism
In the search for possible causes and treatments for autism, many have noted an apparent connection between candida albicans (yeast) and autism. Candida overgrowth is noted in many autism patients, and in some cases proper treatment for candida yields great improvements in the symptoms of autistic individuals. The theory is that overgrowth of candida in the digestive system produces toxins that negatively affect the individual's immune function and nervous system.
Candida overgrowth may be due to an impairment in the autistic individual's immune system, or heavy use of antibiotics disabling the body's ability to regulate the natural candida population. Some people believe that early candida overgrowth toxicity may be the original cause of some cases of autism.
Candida overgrowth is relatively easily treated. Probiotic supplements like acidophilus can help the body control the candida. Many anti-fungal medications are also available, such as Nystatin, Ketoconosal and Diflucan. After a candida overgrowth is under control, the yeast and debris circulates through the system before being eliminated, so the patient's symptoms may become noticably worse for a few days after treatment. This apparent adverse reaction is actually a sign that the treatment was effective.
Common behavioral problems associated with candida and autism are: hyperactivity/attention deficit, confusion and irritability, lethargy and aggression. Health problems include: constipation, gas pains, stomach aches, fatigue and depression. If you suspect candida overgrowth may be a factor in an autism patient's symptoms, treatment is simple enough that preventative treatment may be a worthwhile option. Many people have reported significant improvements in autism symptoms after treatment for candida.