Challenging behaviors, sleep issues, increased stress, and an uptick in stimming may all be the result of low glutathione levels in your autistic child.
Glutathione is the most potent antioxidant and detoxifier, and it’s made by our own bodies. It’s not uncommon for autistic individuals to have low levels of glutathione for a number of reasons.
At a very basic level, the body needs cysteine, glutamine, and glycine (amino acids) to make glutathione in our bodies. But problems with nutrition and absorption and genetics can impair our ability to make enough of this important detoxifier.
- Exposure to Toxins: Mold, heavy metals, dust particles, foods, body care products, and plastics all contain toxins that can have a negative effect on how our bodies function.
- Low Production: Our bodies may be low on the essential amino acids that are required to produce glutathione. When this happens, even if you’re eating enough foods with these essential amino acids your body may not be absorbing them due to an inflamed gut, food allergy, or yeast overgrowth.
Children with comorbidities like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Celiac Disease have a harder time producing enough glutathione.
- Medications: Tylenol, or acetaminophen can zap our glutathione levels.
- Genetic Predispositions: Some individuals don’t have the genetic pathways to effectively produce glutathione.
- An Imbalanced Gut: When there’s inflammation present this can lead to oxidative stress. That oxidative stress requires more glutathione to carry away the waste products that result from the treatment of harmful gut bacteria.
Unfortunately, autistic kids tend to struggle with multiple issues that lead to low glutathione levels. Additionally, low glutathione levels can worsen common symptoms of autism and increase toxicity in our children’s bodies. Increasing your child’s glutathione levels can be an important step in the improvement of our autistic children’s symptoms.
Ways to Increase Glutathione
There’s some belief that it’s ideal for our bodies to produce their own glutathione. However, if that’s not happening at the moment, there are things you can do to increase your child’s glutathione levels while you work on increasing their natural production.
- Diet: Diet is important for the production of the essential amino acids needed to create glutathione. A healthy diet will lead to a healthy gut. And a healthy gut is more likely to digest and use these nutrients and make the correct levels of glutathione.
If you suspect your child has gut imbalances you can try the 5 “R” Gut Recovery Program. In my upcoming paid course, I’ll review this program in detail so you can implement it at home with your child.
- Supplements: Supplementing glutamine, cysteine, and glycine can be helpful if your child already has good absorption and the genetic pathways to utilize those precursors to glutathione production.
- Glutathione Injections: These injections are done through an IV. However, this method can be problematic for kids who are afraid or unwilling to receive treatments intravenously.
- Sublingual or Topical Glutathione: If your child is unable or unwilling to take a pill or receive an IV, sublingual (under the tongue) or topical glutathione can be an effective way to increase your child’s glutathione levels.
Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing a great job.
I hope this information has been helpful to you as part of creating Your Autism Game Plan.
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