Autism is a very complex developmental and neurological condition that typically shows up during the infant stage of life. It includes a broad range of conditions related to developmental disorders that affects their behavioural and social skills. Classic symptoms include repetitive behaviour, poor motor skills, information and sensory processing. There is no known cause for the Autism spectrum of disorders, but both genetics and environment are believed to play a role.

How does Autism impact their nutritional status?

Children with Autism are 5 times more likely to have a meal time challenge which may include tantrums, extreme food selectivity, or poor eating behaviour. So, inadequate nutrition will be a very common phenomenon among Autistic children. Most common deficiencies include fibre, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and vitamins.

Common nutrition problems

  • Poor diet
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Feeding problems
  • Food allergies or intolerances
  • Gastrointestinal disorders like constipation
  • Exposure to neurotoxins
  • Frequent illness and infections

Nutrition intervention

Diet

  • Look for their interests and enforce elimination / challenge (based on behavioural adaptations)
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose free
  • Rotation diet
  • Antifungal
  • Specific carbohydrate diet

Supplements

  • Multivitamin and mineral
  • Essential Fatty acid

Herbs and Nutraceuticals

  • Probiotics
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Antioxidants

Dietary treatment process

Step 1 – Make appropriate dietary modifications
Step 2 – Try basic supplements
Step 3 – Then, introduce advanced supplements
Step 4 – Identify and eliminate problematic foods
Step 5 – Medical treatment (in cases of thyroid, CBC, Stool analysis etc.)

Strategies to improve feeding problem

  • Encourage mealtime with positive statements – “You can” and “do”
  • Avoid food burnout! Introduce variety in terms of colours and shapes when you give food to make it interesting.
  • Stick to a schedule – Routine will help reduce the anxiety
  • Limit distractions during meal time
  • Offer manageable foods – small, easily chewable bites
  • Offer 3 meals and 2-3 small snacks per day. Stop the nibbling.
  • Limit juice consumption
  • Use social modelling – Don’t make your child the focus of the meal time.
  • Use positive reinforcement – Ignore their negative behaviour and praise for some appropriate behaviour.

For an autistic child, a nutritious, balanced eating plan can make a huge difference in their ability to learn, how they manage their emotions and how they process information. Because children with Autism often are very picky with their meal options or have restrictions on what they eat, as well as difficulty sitting through mealtimes, they may not be getting all the nutrients they need. So, consulting with a nutritionist can help identify their nutritional risks, find solutions about the effectiveness and safety of nutrition therapies or supplements and guide your child to eat well and live healthfully.

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis is the bacteria that are responsible for tuberculosis. While the general assumption about TB is that it affects just the lungs, the condition can affect other body parts like the spine, brain, and kidney. The key to dealing with Tuberculosis is early diagnosis, proper medication, and a clean diet that makes up for the loss of nutrition that comes with the condition. In this article, we’ll talk more about nutritional loss and how to tackle it.

What is the correlation between chronic TB and malnutrition?

There’s always a high correlation between any chronic condition and malnutrition. In people with tuberculosis, this malnutrition is the result of malabsorption or the body’s inability to absorb and properly synthesize all the nutrients in the food consumed, reduced intakes due to poor appetite, or the treatment itself, sometimes.

Studies show that people that are battling tuberculosis often have lower levels of vital vitamins and minerals. More often than not, the complications and secondary illnesses that come with tuberculosis are purely the result of this nutrition loss.

Vitamin deficiency in tuberculosis patients

Patients with Tuberculosis often show lower levels of essential vitamins. Here are a few such vitamins and the functions they help with.

  • Vitamin A – Enables normal bodily functions like vision, the immune system, and reproduction.
  • Vitamin C – Contributes to the development and repair of all body tissues. Essential for growth.
  • Vitamin D – Takes care of the immune function. Protects bone, muscle, and heart.
  • Vitamin E – Helps in vision, and reproduction, and is essential for the health of your blood, brain, and skin.

It is not a secret that the functions that these vitamins are responsible for our normal bodily functions and the loss of these vitamins can sabotage a lot of vital organs. Most of the time, people with tuberculosis do not properly compensate for the loss of vitamins, and the complications can be severe.

Mineral deficiency in tuberculosis patients

Patients with TB often also have to tackle mineral loss in their bodies. Here are a few minerals that are generally found in lower quantities/ratios in TB patients and what complications they might lead to.

  • Selenium – Myodegenerative diseases, such as muscle weakness, depression, anxiety, and confusion.
  • Iron – Anemic, tired, and short of breath.
  • Copper – Muscle weakness, anemia, low white blood cell count, neurological problems, and paleness.
  • Zinc – Hair loss, diarrhea, eye, and skin sores, and loss of appetite.

If you can take proper measures like a well-rounded diet that compensates for the loss of these essential minerals and constantly monitor symptoms, you can tackle tuberculosis and the complications that come with it effectively.

Dietary solutions

Be very informed of your dietary choices when you’re fighting tuberculosis. Do not follow a blanket diet plan that you do not fully understand. Compensate for the loss of vitamins and minerals, and eat food that’s rich in vitamins and minerals. As Yoda always insisted, a well-balanced diet with proper scientific backing is the best way to stop a chronic condition from worsening or slowing down the complications that come with it. In the case of tuberculosis, make sure that your diet contains all the vitamins and minerals that you are losing.

Get in touch with the nutritionists here at Optimal Nutrition Protocol, and we’ll help you arrive at an optimal dietary plan that’ll help you tackle tuberculosis better.