Nutritional supplements are sometimes used as part of an overall treatment program for autism. These may include vitamin C, melatonin, and essential fatty acids. Zinc, calcium, and magnesium may also be helpful in treating some of the symptoms of autism. When using autism supplements, it is usually recommended that the patient is monitored by a doctor, as some nutritional supplements may not interact well with other medications. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of autism supplements or the possible side effects should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
While the use of autism supplements should not replace regular medical evaluation and treatment, some patients may benefit from the use of herbal supplements. Finding the most appropriate combination of supplements for an individual situation may involve a bit of trial and error, as each patient responds differently to various treatment options. Periodic blood tests may be ordered to ensure that the proper amounts of these nutrients are present in the blood and so that the supervising physician can make changes to the dosages as necessary.
Vitamin C and melatonin are frequently used as autism supplements. A deficiency in vitamin C can have a negative impact on behavior, and supplementation with this vitamin is believed to help improve the functioning of the immune system, possibly alleviating some of the symptoms of autism. If the diet does not include enough vitamin C, over-the-counter supplements are available. Melatonin may assist with the restlessness and insomnia that often occurs among those with autism.
Essential fatty acids are healthy fats and may support brain development and function. Omega 3 fatty acids are found naturally in some types of fish and are available in the form of an oral supplement. Some people may experience stomach pain or flatulence when taking these supplements. If these symptoms are particularly bothersome, an enteric coated version is available, although the price is usually a little higher.
Zinc, magnesium, and calcium may be used as autism supplements in situations where there is a deficiency in one or more of these nutrients. A good multivitamin often includes the proper amounts of these nutrients, although additional supplementation may sometimes be needed. A doctor should always monitor the usage of autism supplements because it is possible to overdose on these medications. A licensed homeopathic practitioner may be of great assistance when searching for the best combination of autism supplements for an individual situation.