Secretin Therapy to Treat Autism
Secretin therapy has shown promising results for many children with autism. As is the nature of treating autism, secretin is controversial and not considered standard treatment for autism by the mainstream medical community. However, parents who have given their child secretin will be the first to support its effectiveness in treating the symptoms of autism.
Research is debatable. In the United States, enough children showed improvement in double-blind placebo studies that more studies were conducted. Ultimately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined the results did not support secretin as an effective treatment for autism. This hasn’t stopped parents from pursuing it as a treatment option.
One mother reports feeling absolutely stunned upon hearing the FDA’s conclusion, because she witnessed what secretin can do. Within 12 hours of giving her 5 year old son his first infusion of secretin, she could see results. She states, “My son came to the dining room table, sat down in the chair, looked up, made eye contact and took a bite of food. This may seem like no big deal, however, it was the first time in his entire life he had been able to behave in that way or sit that long. I instantly knew it was the secretin, because it was the only change we had made, and that was just the beginning!” This mother is not alone in her reports or experience.
Parents who have participated in clinical trials in which their children received secretin, and parents that have obtained this treatment through a private practitioner both report seeing positive and amazing effects within 72 hours of the first dose.
There is usually an immediate increase in the child’s appetite and ability to tolerate and try food. This makes sense because secretin is found in the gastrointestinal system and its presence has a variety of physiological implications. Secretin stimulates the liver, pancreas and stomach, so you can see how integral it is to overall digestive functioning.
Children with autism often have gastrointestinal issues. Some children suffer from constipation, others from chronic diarrhea. Food allergies and sensitivities are common and it is believed many children suffer from what is called ‘leaky gut’.
Leaky gut basically means a child’s digestive tract is permeable, allowing the byproducts of the digestive process to leak out of the gut and into the bloodstream. Furthermore, these elements in the bloodstream can cross the blood brain barrier and assault the brain. A healthy digestive tract keeps broken down nutrients out of the blood stream. It is hypothesized secretin does many things, including heal the permeable gut, resulting in an immediate increase of digestive and brain function.
Some researchers believe secretin itself can reach the brain and this is why an increase in social and emotional functioning is often reported. The effects of secretin support the relationship between the gut and brain. Simply put, increased gastrointestinal function directly affects brain function. On a broader scale, consider the simple link between feeling physical discomfort and the ability to be productive. The implications of a digestive hormone reach far beyond the small scope of treating autism with only behavioral and traditional therapies.
Despite the profound results found by researchers and parents alike, secretin is not an approved treatment for autism and it can be difficult for parents to locate providers of this treatment. However, for those that do, the work was well worth it as few treatments yield results comparable to that of secretin.
- EMU starts live stream video counseling to help autistic children in rural areas - AnnArbor.com
- Pat Levitt, International Autism Expert, To Head CHLA Program - The Beverly Hills Courier
- Children's Theatre and Redmoon present first autism-friendly show - Chicago Tribune
- Autism training preparing first responders - WLBZ-TV
- Kids With Autism Quick To Detect Motion - NPR (blog)
- Roy Dittmann: If I Could Turn Back Time: The Top Regrets of Parents With Children Who Have Autism
- Scheme will cover cost of autism treatment - Sydney Morning Herald
- Adapted shared reading at school for minimally verbal students with autism
- A play and joint attention intervention for teachers of young children with autism: A randomized controlled pilot study
- Increasing social engagement in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder using collaborative technologies in the school environment
- The role of treatment fidelity on outcomes during a randomized field trial of an autism intervention
- 'Sometimes I want to play by myself': Understanding what friendship means to children with autism in mainstream primary schools