(NaturalHealth365) Many parents and physicians have noted for decades that children with autism often improve when they have a fever. In fact, physicians first began reporting this phenomenon back in 1980 and few have been investigating why this happens.
But, in the last 5-10 years, some researchers have been hypothesizing why a fever helps with autism. Even mainstream magazines such as Time report on this extraordinary phenomenon. Current numbers show that approximately one third of those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show a clinical improvement in symptoms in response to a fever.
How does a fever help autistic children?
An article published in Medical Hypothesis states that the release of the amino acid glutamine could be the reason for the improvement in autism symptoms. In people with autism, glutamine in the blood and brain is low, but during a fever glutamine is released from skeletal muscles as provisional fuel and the glutamine is metabolized by the intestines just as if the amino acid had been ingested.
The International Journal of Hypothermia derived the same conclusion. They found that a fever or hyperthermia may be able to alter glutamate levels in the brain and therefore be able to impact the symptoms of autism.
Beware of ‘fever reducing’ medications
Fever has been associated with mental illness since Hippocrates was alive and the presence of fever is associated with a favorable outcome in various pathologic conditions. Another article in Medical Hypothesis states that there are most likely two groups of children with autism – those who develop acute febrile incidents and those who develop them but without fever.
It is thought that the first group most likely has higher functioning autism and can be helped by not suppressing fevers with medicine and using antibiotics and chemical drugs sparingly. They also suggest selective vaccination.
Editor’s note: Obviously, just for the record, NaturalHealth365.com does not actively promote the use of toxic drugs or vaccinations. But, we will – from time to time – simply state what research reveals on the topic and ask the reader to always make an informed decision about their healthcare choices.
How does a fever influence brain function?
A paper in Pediatrics confirmed the link between fever and abatement of autism symptoms and two physicians out of Albert Einstein College think they know why. One of the parts of the brain that governs attention and concentration called the locus coeruleus also regulates fever. These physicians concluded that the locus coeruleus ameliorates the effects of autism when people with autism are afflicted with fever.
Can we ‘fake’ a fever to receive health benefits?
Many parents of children with autism swear by far-infrared sauna therapy. The sauna triggers a fever response and the children demonstrate better cognitive function and eye contact. Wearing minimal clothing is better and don’t bring in reading materials or plastics in the sauna.
In addition, a glass of ice water and white towel is best. Starting out on a lower bench and shorter duration is necessary. Of course, using a ‘natural’ sauna free of chemicals, comprised of natural wood – not plastic – and free of toxic glues is ideal.
Along the same lines, researchers have found that hot baths to simulate a fever is helpful in ameliorating symptoms of autism. The researchers suspect that the fever may trigger the release of protective anti-inflammatory signals in the body. They found that children with ASD and a history of positive behavior response to fever had improved social behaviors when bathed – each day – in a hot tub at 102 oF, compared to those bathed in water with a temperature of 98oF.
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About the author: Sima Ash of Healing 4 Soul is a clinical and classical homeopath and certified clinical nutritionist who utilizes a unique approach pioneered by Tinus Smits, M.D. called CEASE therapy. The aim of CEASE treatment is systematic detoxification of the causes of illness, leading to step by step improvement and restoration of health in the individual. For additional information, please visit – Healing4Soul.com. You can follow Sima on Facebook at ‘Cease Therapy California’ and through her weekly blog on NaturalHealth365.com
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