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Gut and Brain Inflammation

The phrase “you are what you eat” is as true today, as when it was first uttered in 1826 by a French writer. The gut is getting a lot of interest nowadays, as the incidence of autoimmune disorders, autism, allergies, etc continue to rise.

Some doctors and parents believe that brain inflammation can be caused by gut imbalance and this can lead to improper brain development.

Typically, gut protocols work on removing sensitive foods, fixing the leaky gut and supplementing nutrient deficiencies. Some doctors and parents believe that brain inflammation can be caused by gut  imbalance and this in turn leads to improper development in the brain.

Adopted children can have the delays that biological kids have like ADHD, ADD, autism, learning issues, gastrointestinal distress, autoimmune disorders, and other medical conditions, but those are exacerbated by the additional trauma of the bond break from their biological families and difficult living conditions. Fixing the gut and brain inflammation seems to be helping some kids with autism, ADHD/ADD, as well as, those with autoimmune disorders. Fixing the gut also seems to help with PTSD, anxiety and depression for some patients. There is anecdotal evidence from parents that probiotics helped with focus for some children.

There are many approaches to healing the gut. Here are a couple:

Healing through Integrative and Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is an alternative form of medicine that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of diseases. It treats the body as an integrated whole, whereas conventional medicine takes a more symptomatic approach. Since functional medicine is considered an alternative medicine, many functional physicians are not covered by insurance.

There is a branch of medicine called integrative medicine, which works on the human body as a whole and looks to find the root cause of diseases rather than symptomatic treatment. This can include gut healing, nutrient supplementation, detoxification, etc. The principle of integrative medicine is to heal using allopathic and other forms of healing (homeopathy, ayurveda, mind body, etc). There are some integrative medicine clinics that are part of conventional medical centers (ex. Sutter Pacific in various Northern California locations), so it may be possible to find an integrative physician who is covered by insurance.

Functional and integrative medicine share many commonalities. Both offer individualized treatments that are patient focused, not symptom focused. Functional medicine dives more deeply into the root cause of each chronic disease. Integrative medicine can use other forms of healing like acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, etc.

Typically gut protocols, in these modalities, work on removing sensitive foods, fixing the leaky gut and supplementing nutritional deficiencies.

Dr. Karyn Purvis writes in her book, “The Connected Child,” that neurotransmitter testing and balancing with amino acids can help children regulate their behavior. This is one of the things that a functional or integrative medicine physician may help with.

Nemechek Protocol for Gut and Brain Inflammation

The Nemecheck protocol is a simple process developed by Dr. Patrick Nemechek, which addresses gut healing, as well as, brain inflammation. This protocol shows promise and a number of non-verbal autistic children and other kids labelled with other alphabet diagnosis are making significant gains.

From the website:

“There is growing scientific evidence that an imbalance of intestinal bacteria called SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) along with excessive inflammation within the brain are responsible for the features associated with Autism as well as ADD/ADHD, mood disorders, and developmental delay in children.”

The protocol is simple, consists only of 3 ingredients and is inexpensive. Dr. Nemechek recommends using Omega-3 for brain fatty tissue, olive oil (specific brands) and inulin, a prebiotic fiber. There are some variations to this basic protocol based on the patient’s age and other health considerations.


    1. The Nemechek Protocol Autism and Developmental Disorders Support Facebook Group
    2. Nemechek Protocol website
    3. Book: “The Nemechek protocol for Autism and Developmental  Disorders: A How-to Guide to Restoring Neurological Function” – Dr. Patrick Nemechek and Jean Nemechek (2017)
    4. Dr. Nemechek Videos

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