Dysbiosis (sometimes overgrowth of pathogens or the wrong microbes) can often result in symptoms of Dysregulation.

It is important to understand that this is not “behavior” and it is a physiological effect.

A 2017 study found that Candida abundance in guts of children with autism was more than double when compared to neurotypical controls.

This podcast explores long term strategies to impact dysregulation due to infections or dysbiosis.


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Disclaimer: The information in this Podcast is for educational purposes only. Vaishnavi Sarathy, Ph.D. is an educator, not a doctor, specifically not your child’s doctor. Please consult your physician before implementing any supplement or diet recommendations.

Audio Transcription: 


In this last podcast of 2020, I want to talk to you about dysregulation because this has been the topic, very often requested by all of you, and how dysregulation can relate to your microbiome, specifically, perhaps your child’s microbiome. In other words, the hundreds of species of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that live in your gut, your child’s gut commensal, usually, but not always.

Today’s quote is one by one of my favorite theoretical physicists, Michio Kaku, the impossible is relative. That’s the quote, The impossible is relative. And I love this. Let’s keep this quote dear to our minds as we navigate into 2021. Maybe your child has received predictions from doctors, even therapists, teachers or relatives. And the prediction may look like this.

This is how a child with Down syndrome or autism behaves, there’s nothing you can do about it. This is how they learn this is how they grow. This is how dysregulated they are and so on. Teach the predictions to carve your own path, I have done this with my son, others are doing this to join the movement, the impossible is relative.

Welcome to functional nutrition and learning for kids your podcast is about all things considered impossible for a child with a disability. In our last episode of 2020, I would entreat you to presume competence and therefore address dysregulation from a physiological standpoint, the more comfortable and grounded your child is, the easier it is to move on to the very important topic of education and learning.

Today we’re going to talk about of course dysregulation. Now, this goes by many names, dysregulation is broadly speaking, the lack of feeling grounded in your body, the lack of clarity in the mind, loss sometimes of spatial awareness, and discomfort in the body, it can even manifest as impulsivity, uncontrollable laughter, and this is something that I have personally experienced crying, mood swings, and aggression.

If your child is non-speaking or has not developed a means of communication, yet, it’s hard to say what or why this dysregulation is happening in their body, right what it is and why it’s happening.

Now often, this will happen in spurts where you have a child functioning at a more regulated space, for lack of a better term. And then suddenly you have a different child, a child whose response to stimulus has dramatically changed.

Now as a parent experiencing dysregulation in your child, this is extremely hard to see. Because it feels like regression, it feels like nothing is working. And that the effort that you and your child have made is all for nothing. It feels like taking one step back and, and one step forward and maybe 25 steps back. For me, this is felt like I know nothing that everything I know is a big zero and that nothing works. But from experience, I want to share that.

Take a deep breath. I’m going to take one right now. Take a drink now with me. And remember that it is always temporary. And there is always something we can do about it. That stability is just a breath away, or a day away, or a few days away.

Now we were experiencing this last week where my son’s focus had reduced to five minutes from easily an hour. extreme fatigue had certain and he was feeling unable last week to handle stuff that he usually likes even sensory stuff like music, which he loves. And because my son does have a means of communication, I have some clarity about what he was experiencing.

I hope to very soon on my Instagram account share a poem that said wrote that describes his dysregulation. For those of you who are on the mailing list, I’ll make sure to send that poem to you.If you’re not on the mailing list, one way to get on the mailing list is to go to functionalnutritionforkids.com/learning and enter your information there you will get a free ebook too.

Now, coming back to the communication part when you have a child with developing communication, maybe nonexistent or unreliable communication. This may be interpreted when I say this I mean dysregulation may be interpreted as the ubiquitous term behavior. I have no idea what on-earth behavior means, right? I mean, when people say behavior, nobody knows what behavior is.

We have techniques to quell behavior. But let’s ponder the usefulness, or should I say uselessness of using behavioral techniques to help a child with neurological or more likely gut issues. There are many reasons a child can have these behavior regressions, or more accurately phases of dysregulation.

Now let’s see what happens when we use the right term. When we use the word dysregulation instead of behavior, we’re automatically operating with the assumption that there is something physiologically or neurologically imbalanced. That is affecting that At that moment, which means that therefore, the child is not intentionally disrupting the day. And there is something that we can do, given the right tools for detective work.

Today we’re going to talk about gut bacteria and dysregulation from a pathogenic perspective, which basically means bad microbes. We can have an imbalance of viruses, bacteria, fungi, such as East or parasites, and any of these can cause behavioral challenges or dysregulation, or brain fog. Now, are there other factors that can cause dysregulation?

Absolutely. But infections are a common cause and very often neglected costs can they’re easily addressed. So let us briefly talk about the most common one we see in autistic kids, the East beast Candida.

In fact, a 2017 study found that Candida abundance in guts of children with autism was more than double when compared to neurotypical controls. And while Candida has a commensal species that occurs in everyone, and is normal, however, an overgrowth can have many side effects. These include brain fog, spiciness, inability to focus, spatial dysregulation, headaches, bloating, gas, constipation, pain, and more.

Now, do you see where this is going to sound like a dysregulated chart for you? Yes, because these are the effects that you see in a child with dysregulation, right? You can see brain fog, you can see spacing, as you can see laughter, which is also a very common Candida side effect. Now, what can you do about this? For immediate help, you may need to see your integrative or functional medicine doctor.

While they’re certainly possible that your regular PCP can help you it is much more likely that you’ll get a more holistic examination from an integrative or functional med doctor, they can help you right away. However, taking medicine is not a permanent answer.

Right? Fungal infections can recur in most kids with alarming regularity. Okay, so this isn’t something it’s not a pill for an ill it can be for the short term, but it’s not the long term, right. And therefore, the most important part of this podcast is that three long-term strategies are so easily converted into new year resolutions.

Let’s take this ditch the sugar and the refined carbs, whole foods, whole foods, whole foods. Yes, this is not sexy, or easy. But one of the few things that really help, and that means why tries and of course, that means white flour. In fact, one of the things we’ve been we had been doing in the month past was like we had been doing a ton of white rice with my son.

When I say Whole Foods, a lot of times people will hear will say that they’re doing whole foods. And what they mean is that they’re doing Whole Foods about 50% of the time, because let’s get this straight when we do whole foods 50% of the time, it feels like we’re doing whole foods 100% of the time because it’s a lot of effort.

When you are addressing an intense problem, something that needs therapeutic attention right now, we are talking close to 100% of the time, we’re actually talking 100% as close to that as we can get right. Strategy number two, use antimicrobial foods regularly coconut oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar are examples. And these are great things to get incorporated on a daily basis in your child’s diet for the new year.

Get the microbiome repopulated by eating ferments and increasing food diversity. And if I haven’t said this before, I’m going to say it now diversity,  it’s way more important than most anything we talked about. Use the food mantra fat fiber protein. And as my friend Deepa likes to say color, so fat fiber protein color, you can check out Episode Eight of this podcast for more information on that.

This mantra automatically takes into account most of the strategies that are involved in keeping blood sugar stable and eating nutrient-dense Whole Foods. Remember that behavior or what we perceive as behavior is communication. It’s a response to discomfort, a healthy diet, useful communication strategies, education, and learning can help not a behavioral modification that does so what helps is really this right?

What helps is what we’re talking about here healthy diets, get communication going useful communication strategies, advanced communication strategies, education, get, help the child learn or understand that the child is already learning is what I should be saying. As opposed to thinking about in the terms of behavior modification.

I wish you a wonderful great start to 2021 and I can’t wait to hear what your goals and resolutions are. And I would love to share my six tips for a jumpstart to learning and learning strategies for your child with a disability. Please go to functionalnutritionforkids.com/learning to grab this free ebook.

I have loved sharing these diverse topics in the fields of learning in functional medicine and nutrition with you this year, and if you have enjoyed them as well please drop a review wherever you’re listening to this podcast right now, until later have a very happy new year and I’m your host Vaishnavi Sarathy, chemist and functional nutrition consultant, and chemistry and math teacher. Music was by Maitri gosh bye bye