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Living with Autism

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July 21, 2012

Coconut Oil and Autism

Award Winning Non-Fiction Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog DirectoryMight Coconut Oil benefit people with autism?

                              Research shows Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil has healing properties that target some serious challenges associated with treating autism.

For example, gut issues.

Coconut Oil is an antifungal agent that targets the Candida species. 

As many parents of autistic children know, candida is no joke. Untreated candida is linked to joint and muscle pain, body fatigue, brain fog (as if it's not foggy enough having severe autism), mucus in throat, sinus infections, acid stomach and formication--no not for-Ni-cation! for-Mi-cation. 

Formication is burning or crawling sensations on the skin. I guess one could assume this could lead to fornication...mmmm, okay that's way off subject.

Anyway, candida signs and symptoms are disastrous for the autistic person, especially if they can't communicate. One could see why aberrant behaviors occur during yeast infections in autism. If my skin were crawling, stomach burning and my mind was in fog, I'd be frustrated and angry too. Maybe I do have candida.

In a 2007 study, researchers with the Department of Medical Microbiology in Nigeria stated, "Coconut Oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species." 

Isn't it funny how good studies on natural therapies are usually done in foreign countries that you never here much about? As if there is some secret location there where they must hide out in case a rouge band of FDA agents attacks them with machetes for not suggesting we ingest more pharmaceuticals to cure our ills. 

So, given Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is affordable (about 10 bucks a bottle at most health food stores) is bought over the counter (no prescription needed, yeah!) and easily added to foods, it makes sense this would be a treatment for healing problematic issues in autism. Ok, so even if it turns out to be a sham, I can't see the harm...It's coconut. You like Mounds Bars? Almond Joys?

I did it. I fell for the hype. I recently tried Coconut Oil on my severely-autistic son. I bought the Coconut Oil at a local health food store. I instructed nurses to add it to his breakfast Oatmeal and pour it on top of his beloved afternoon Quiche (he's obsessed with Quiche this month). I also add half cup of Coconut Oil to his homemade purees. It smells great. And tastes even better, especially when you've had a few glasses of wine. Me, drinking wine, not my autistic son, of course. 

Within one week, we didn't have to give as many suppositories. He actually had bowel movements on his own! We also noticed sharp increase in eye contact and slight DECREASE in nocturnal seizure activity.

How would this help. Let's try and figure this out. What exactly does or could Coconut Oil do for the autistic brain? What is the mechanism of action? Like everything else, it's unknown, or slightly known. Awesome. 

Let's start with what we do know. Or think we know.

Excessive Glutamate in the brain decreases Ketones. Ketones supply energy to brain cells and thus prevent toxic effects caused by lots of Glutamate in brain.

Medium Chain Triglyceride ingestion may improve cognition by creating brain homeostasis. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has these special fatty acids that prevent Glutamate from attacking brain cells. We need brain cells that aren't being attacked. Life is tough enough without a battle inside our brain cells, especially if you are autistic!

Coconut oil, by the way, isn't the only way to neutralize hyper-Glutamate. You could also try (ask doctor first) a Modified Atkins Diet or Ketogenic diet, both of which may create a therapeutic Ketosis in brain. 

I'll keep you posted on the Coconut Oil therapy. If it turns out to be a nutty sham, I can always use it as hair conditioner or make-up remover. But I don't think it will be a sham. I think it's hopeful. Not a cure. But hopeful. If anybody has tried this with their autistic child, please share your story here.

Who doesn't need a little more hope.

Update: 11/19/12:

There is no doubt adding Coconut Oil has benefited our severely-autistic son. Mainly, we continue to see increased and sustained eye contact; improved fine motor skills and slight decrease in seizure activity. I'm shocked that something you buy over the counter and add to food, appears to effectively enhance brain function. We will keep using Coconut Oil and documenting long term benefits. We currently add about 1/2-3/4 cup a day in either breakfast or dinner foods. Other ways for body to absorb coconut oil: rub the coconut oil on feet before putting on socks; put a little in hair as a leave in conditioner and apply to minor cuts and scrapes during last phase of healing.

Kim Oakley






29 comments:

Tyler Brock said...

Stumbled upon your blog early this morning and felt like Jamey resembled a slightly older version of someone that is very close to me... If I may ask, what is the longest period of time Jamey has gone without a bowel movement? Is the coconut oil continuing to help in that area? And have you seen any decrease in his SIB at all?

Justamom said...

Kim,

Please let us know how this is working for you. I am seriously considering stopping at the health food store on the way home.

Tracey Sherman said...

Yep medium chain fatty acids got to love them

Tracey Sherman said...

WOuld Love to hear. Just got some for myself and my little boy will be taking some this weekend

Tracey Sherman said...

Kepp me posted . This is the second time I have gone to do this.

Tracey Sherman said...

I have tried coconut oil for about 3 weeks and have titrated it to 2 teaspoons morning and 2 evening. We have seen improvements in behavior, a reduction in self stimulatory behavior, a reduction in hyperactivity and an increase in verbalization or attempts to verbalize. I think there is a sub set that have a mito disorder that MCT are very helpful.....

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this on you tube: Our story; Alzheimers' and Coconut Oil: Ian Blair Hamilton and Cassie Bond

triglycerides levels said...

MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) are fats that are found in coconut and/or palm kernel oil. MCT's break down rapidly in the liver rather than being digested in the stomach, they are metabolized differently than other conventional types of fat.

medium chain triglycerides

Kim Oakley said...

Oh my gosh, this Oil is amazing. Jamey has had much fewer suppositories while taking coconut oil!!!! Also improves his cognition. Will do a video when I get time! It's a great find and I hope this helps others who are battling gut issues in autism.

Anonymous said...

Try removing the oatmeal too.

Anonymous said...

There is Nutrigenomic way of treating Autism(other neurological diseases as well).

Autism: Pathways to Recovery
http://www.holisticheal.com/media/downloads/autism-pathways-to-recovery-book.pdf

Dr who wrote that book
http://www.dramyyasko.com/

Anonymous said...

We bought some coconut oil this week. How much did you start with? Did you mix it in anything? Thank you.

Kim Oakley said...

How much coconut oil do we use? We use about 1/2 cup a day, put in various foods.

Anonymous said...

I have a 4 year old son with autism and we have been giving him coconut oil from th coconut fruit itself. My husband bought lots from mozambique, but already he has toned down on being hyper, increased eye contact, increased verbalisation even though its not clear yet, increased sleep. I can say coconut is definately doing some major changes to my son and I am going to hold on to it. Thanks to my nanny from mozambique who advised me on coconut oil.

Valerie said...

I've been hearing a lot of news about the coconut oil benefits lately and I'm actually surprised that a lot of people are now enjoying it. In fact, I am also using it. Been applying coconut oil in my hair as my natural conditioner and on my skin as my natural moisturizer for more than a year already. So I guess all of its health benefits are indeed true.

Sarah said...

In some place, they actually take a tablespoon of pure virgin coconut oil for an extra energy boost. It's quite known to most people how numerous the benefits are when it comes to organic oils. You could just imagine the demand for argan oil in Australia.

Kimberly Mullin said...

Most of the physicians in urgent care oceanside are also advising their patients especially those who are enduring the pain of cancer and other muscle-related pains to drink a spoonful of virgin coconut oil. They said this could help them ease up the pain the they are experiencing. Now, hearing this news, I guess they will also start suggesting this to their patients who have autism.

Bridget Hall said...

No wonder my oakville massage therapy friend said coconut oil had a lot more uses outside the spa.

Grace Johnson said...

A physical therapist who is giving a body and foot massage in toronto also told me that reflexology to people with autism and to those who are experiencing muscle aches could help it ease up the pain.

Liberty Silvagni said...

Can argan oil australia serve as an alternative for coconut oil? As far as I know, it has a lot of other therapeutically benefits, too. I guess it doesn't hurt to explore other options.

Autism Handbook For Parents said...

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) or Autism is the disorder of neural development. This is noted in different types of development disorders like verbal and non verbal communication, repetitive behaviors and restricted interests.

jane said...

Hi, My 21 year old vaccine damaged son has autism. The past two years his gut issues have become so bad he lost 18 kg and developed allergic rashes two hours after he ate foods such as gluten, dairy, tomatoes, preservatives, MSG. His face and chest were an incredible red mess with acne and sebhorreic dermatitis. I was at my witts end going to specialist after speacialist to find out why the weight loss and rashes. I found he had helicobacter pylori in gut. He was treated with antibiotics and weight and muscle went back on quickly for about a month then it hit with avengence and he lost another 10 kg and couldn't sleep for constant body and muscle twitching. He still ate around 3000 plus quality calories a day but could not put on weight. He can't communicate pain to us so we don't know if where he is hurting. He was also having a lot of night sweats and latest blood tests showed he had become anaemic with low haemoglogin, red and white blood cells as well as low cholesterol and high cortisol. No blood, and parasites were found in his stools. Well after researching alternative treatments for helicobacter I found Coconut oil had worked for some people. I put him on 3 teasppons a day and after a month he has started to put on weight very quickly (2.5 kg in the last days). After 3 days of putting the coconut oil on his red dry flaky skin on his face for the first time in 5 years his skin cleared up despite years of cortisone and anti fungal creams.
He is sleeping better because I noticed his is body is not going into involuntary jerks and twitches which also burns up calories. He has lost 70% of his hair in the past year and there is no hereditary balness in on my side or his fathers. He had incredibly thick curly hair before this wasting illness. I am putting coconut oil on his hair once a week as well and it looks a lot less dry and brittle. He hasn't grown any hair back yet and I don't know that he will but at least I hope it stops him from losing any more. His stools have been a little more formed than usual and he has an increased appetite now and not presenting with any rashes after eating gluten and diary foods (I am trying to keep them to a minimun). It is early days yet and don't know if it has killed the helicobacter or just stopped his body twiching so much in his sleep that that is why we are having the the much welcome weight gain but it is worth noting. Another thing is that for the first time in his 21 years he is able to take a tan and came home from an outing the other day with a red glow which went into a tan. Most autistic kids can't tan for some reason and are low in Vitamin D but I think vitamin D absorbtion from the sun is the key to a lot of good health. We live in Queensland which is in the Australian tropics and we get a lot of sun so to have a tan for the first time in your life after living in hot climate is amazing. Well it is worth a try and the thousands and thousands I have spent on doctors and health supplements over the years could possibly have been spared if only I had tried organic virgin coconut oil earlier. Still you can't patent coconut oil so drug companies and doctors are not going to sing it's virtures. The same with health food store owners as it replaces a lot of their expensive supplements.
Good luck in all you try and I this coconut oil can help our children for a long time to come.

Mamun said...

The Coconut Oil Face Wash is a great alternative for those who have sensitive skin. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Based in Oxfordshire, Eden of Essence provide pure organic extra virgin coconut oil to a range of wholesalers and health food shops across the UK. Buy online or call 0800 458 2928.

ELLEN WARD said...

Hi there how is your son doing now with the oil? thanks.x

ELLEN WARD said...

hi there how is your son doing now? thanks.

Unknown said...

I'm so happy for you. We also use MCT oil. We actually buy MCT oil from upgradedself.com so we didnt have to eat so much coconut oil for the benefit. My husand 42, had slight alzheimer.. seriously he couldn't remember anything I told him.. It got a little, no it got really annoying. After taking MCT oil (it is extracted from coconut oil) and he went gluten free, he changed within a month. He can remember many clients names, he doesn't have brain fog and he has so much more energy unlike before. I also heard MCT helps with Autism too from other stories. I'm glad it helps your son. I have a few stories here that can help people I hope as well. thehealingmama.com

Unknown said...

I'm so happy for you. We also use MCT oil. We actually buy MCT oil from upgradedself.com so we didnt have to eat so much coconut oil for the benefit. My husand 42, had slight alzheimer.. seriously he couldn't remember anything I told him.. It got a little, no it got really annoying. After taking MCT oil (it is extracted from coconut oil) and he went gluten free, he changed within a month. He can remember many clients names, he doesn't have brain fog and he has so much more energy unlike before. I also heard MCT helps with Autism too from other stories. I'm glad it helps your son. I have a few stories here that can help people I hope as well. thehealingmama.com

Mike Lintro said...

Coconut oil sounds like it could work pretty well as a natural remedy to treat a lot of problems. Even if you don't have anything wrong with you at the moment, taking things to keep your immune system strong is a good idea. It is generally a lot easier to stay healthy, than it is to get rid of a sickness. Then when you do get sick, your body will do better at getting rid of it. http://www.wearelivingitout.com

Jenny Watson said...

Couple of days a go i asked my physio therapy expert regarding to the coconut oil. He is is from Canada running a physio clinic in Mississauga. he told me that coconut oil is very beneficial.

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