EDUCATION CENTER

  • Dr. Amber Brooks

Treating Autism with Antibiotics?

There is an alarming amount of people using Antibiotics to "treat autism". This has become highly concerning due to the relationship between antibiotics and gut health. While antibiotics are not always bad, they often have negative long-term effects, especially when they are used as a treatment for autism.


It is important to be certain that antibiotics are not just shortcuts for more appropriate treatments. It could be that the medications being prescribed are being used as a chemical restraint due to behavioral issues, rather than being used for an actual therapeutic purpose.


Many kids suffer from "serum sickness" when he or she starts consuming antibiotics regularly. This could result in symptoms such as:

  • Blood in urine or pain during urination

  • Red or purple rashes

  • Red-hot marks on arms and legs

  • Tics

  • Herxing (an adverse response to toxins released by bacteria killed by antibiotics)

  • Flares

  • Sleep disorders

  • Bloating

  • Aggression * This is the most common symptom that is triggered by antibiotics in kids with autism. They may begin to talk, but with that comes biting, punching and meltdowns.

  • Anxiety


Most people do not know that antibiotics have a huge impact on your gut flora, which is simply bacteria and other digestive organisms that live in the intestines. Because antibiotics cannot distinguish between the good and bad bacteria in your gut, they destroy all bacteria. Most people have always been told that all bacteria are bad, but that is simply not true. Your body needs good bacteria to regulate your digestive system, to produce serotonin, break down carbohydrates (sugars) and toxins, help us absorb the fatty acids, and SO MUCH MORE.


Instead of trying to get rid of the bad bacteria (i.e with antibiotics), we should be focusing on how to restore gut flora and the good bacteria that our bodies need to function fully.


Let's start with the definition of a gut microbiome. This lives in your large intestine and it houses the most diverse bacteria in your body. It can be influenced by factors such as gender, age, geographic, and socio-economic conditions, diet, and health conditions. Therefore, every single person's gut microbiome is incredibly unique. This diversity is crucial to keeping your gut healthy and happy. The imbalance of good and bad bacteria can result in dysbiosis, indigestion, inflammation, and even the disruption of mood and brain health. Your gut is a direct line to your immune system and when imbalanced, your body begins to attack its healthy cells.

- explanation of what a gut microbiome is.


An estimated number of 47 million antibiotics are prescribed each year for infections that do not need antibiotics. Some common side effects of antibiotics are diarrhea, yeast infections, gas, vomiting, nausea, and constipation. So, while antibiotics can clear up bacterial infections, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your gut microbiome.

A huge part of keeping your gut microbiome balanced is focused on diet. Dr. Brooks may have your child on a specific diet, but in general, it is recommended to follow a diet that is rich in fiber whole foods.


Some foods and drinks that are good for gut health include yogurt, almonds, olive oil, kombucha, peas, brussels sprouts, bananas, garlic, vegetables, fruits, avocado, nuts, and fresh ginger.


Some foods and drinks that you should avoid are junk foods, sugary and carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners, foods containing gluten, and dairy products.


Another factor that can affect your microbiome is stress. Some activities to reduce stress are taking short walks in nature and listening to good music. Although research is still being conducted, antibiotics have not been proved to be effective in treating autism, and it ultimately puts the children in danger, especially with prolonged use.


Take an additional 3 minutes to watch this great explanation video on Antibiotics and your ever-changing gut.

– antibiotics and your ever-changing gut.