Science support. There are many reputable physicians who hold to the concept of leaky gut syndrome. However there has not been consistent data supporting treating the intestinal problem and an improvement in autism features.
Sponsored Fraud. Dr Wakefield & associate lost their MD license after their fraud was revealed at trial. Selecting pts sent by attorneys, then faking their results for big bucks, fed the anti vaccine culture. Now his fraud has led to> 20 deaths/yr in the US alone mostly in infants due to lingering fears he alone created. The licensing fees alone he expected to get from a fake test he proposed was >>millions.
Unknown. Many people believe that autism results from something bad getting into the body, and a "leaky gut" might let that happen. Treatments designed to improve bowel integrity have not altered the disease, but that may because the damage is already done. Personally, I am skeptical; but, definitive research still is needed. At most it might be *a* cause; it's not *the* cause.
See below. Leaky gut syndrome is not an established medical diagnosis. If your have gastrointestinal issues I recommend being evaluated by your primary md or gastroenterologist.
Relevant for some. Although leaky gut has in the past not been considered a legitimate condition it is slowly being recognized as a valid entity and not just in patients with autism. It is related to the disruption of the normal gut flora and balance in the gastrointestinal tract. This can be triggered by antibiotic use, steroids, and chronic stress. All of these are increased which is why we see more patients.
No. Many kids with autism have digestive problems. There is a problem with the calcium channels at the cell level in autistic spectrum disorders in both brain cells and some of the cells in certain parts of the digestive system. But the digestive problems are just another symptom, not the cause of the disorder.
No. "Leaky gut" is a pop diagnosis with just enough possible scientific basis to make it interesting. A scientifically-sound lab test (sucrose / mannitol) is available. In Crohn's and ulcerative gut disease, the leak is obvious but there's no increase in mental illness or most of the other diseases that folks attribute to "leaky gut". I'd be caution, and report anyone making this claim.