Fish oils are one of the most commonly asked about functional medicine interventions for autism treatment. Fish oils can help reduce many symptoms of autism, but there are a few things you should know before you get started on this path with your child.
What Is Fish Oil Used For?
Many autistic children struggle with inflammation. Fish oils, along with diet and other interventions can help with this.
Fish oils can help quell inflammation of the brain which affects our neurotransmitters, mood, sleep, focus, concentration, and irritability. These essential fatty acids do this by building and maintaining healthy cell membranes.
You may remember from high school biology that our cells are made up of a phospholipid bilayer. In this bilayer the tails are drawn toward each other and the heads are turned away, those lipids make up the membrane of our cells.
Embedded within our cells’ membranes are receptors and channels that are important for hormonal communication. Without enough fatty acids we can’t build a healthy cell membrane and those communication exchanges won’t happen as fast or as well as they should. Introducing an essential fatty acid like fish oils can help build these membranes.
Are There Any Downsides to Fish Oils?
About 4% of autistic children will experience worsening symptoms after about 1-2 weeks on fish oils. If your child is among that 4% it’s likely they’re carnitine deficient. To properly process fish oils our bodies need carnitine. You can supplement with about 500 mg of l-carnitine and gradually increase the dose. This will help your child tolerate the additional fish oil in their diet.
Are Fish Oils a Cure for Autism?
I get asked all the time if things like fish oils of Vitamin B12 can cure autism. The answer is no, but the addition of these supplements can improve symptoms like speech delays, irritability, and general levels of inflammation.
But fish oils are just one piece of the puzzle. My upcoming course will give you a very clear pathway of where to start, what to do next, and how to do it because I know from experience what a confusing, overwhelming, desperate, and fear-filled process treating your child’s autism can be. The purpose of my course is to guide you and alleviate that stress.
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My Favorite Fish Oil Products
Here are two of my favorite fish oil products that are tolerated really well by children.
- OmegAvail Smoothie (Designs for Health): This creamy, gel-like liquid comes in 3-4 delicious flavors that your child can take right off the spoon.
- Balance Oil (BodyBio): Balance Oil is available as a lIquid and gel cap. However, my patients prefer the liquid because it’s easily mixed with their child’s favorite beverage.
Thanks for being with me today. I hope you’ve learned something, and remember…
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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