It was about a year ago that I read this article written by Michael Pollan about The American Gut Project and became more familiar with the term “microbiome”. I have been familiar with the concept of gastrointestinal flora for many years (probably for at least 5 years, when I first read this book and met Dr. V when he did a presentation on probiotics and the 3lbs of bacteria that were in all of our digestive tracts, whoa, ewwweh!!). Despite that GI flora knowledge, this term “microbiome” was a newer one to me.
So what is a MICROBIOME??
A microbiome is “the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space.” (source)
Here is a great video featuring Daniel McDonald talking about some of the bacteria living in all of our microbiome’s-
Which brings me to the question…
What does this have to do with AUTISM??
For many many years, parents of autistic children have been well aware of the gastrointestinal distress that autistic children experience. They have known that their children’s systems are overwhelmed by candida, clostridia and other bacterial overgrowths. Parents to autistic children are intimately aware that the (sometimes not so) solid waste that their children excrete is drastically different from their neurotypical siblings and not of “normal” consistency, texture or stench (sorry, trying not to get too graphic!!)
Recently though, mainstream medicine, including the American Academy of Pediatrics has recognized that GI “co-morbidities” is not just an anecdotal finding in autistic children.
Results indicate greater prevalence of GI symptoms among children with ASD compared with control children. (source)
In addition the AAP has issued a consensus report on the recommendations for treating gastrointestinal disorders in children with autism, here.
So when I heard that Arkansas Autism Alliance and N of One Autism Research Foundation were teaming up to present a Microbiome Symposium with a specific focus on AUTISM, I was intrigued and desired to learn more.
Read more here:
and check out the amazing line up of speakers here. If you are able to attend, this is sure to be an amazing symposium… you can register here. If we are able to attend, you can be certain we will share with you what we learn… right here at babyfoodsteps.com!
Editor’s note- great resource on conference in 2013
Editor’s note- The Conference will be LIVE STREAMED!!!