Boy with Autism Treated with Manuka Honey
Oliver, 11 years of age & diagnosed severe (non-verbal) on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) spectrum started on Manuka Honey in October 2013 (MGO 550, Dose - 5 teaspoons per day) – see more information about which Manuka Honey and taking Manuka Honey - using the appropriate strength, and correct dosage is important.
Manuka Honey treatment for Oliver was based on evidence that Manuka Honey could kill Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, which he had been suffering from for many years. In 2011 he was prescribed Somac (pantoprazole) 40mg twice daily (when necessary) for reflux & severe pain. By 4-6 weeks of Manuka Honey treatment his symptoms had reduced, Somac was no longer needed and stopped entirely. He has not taken Somac since (as of May 2014).
Improvements following Manuka Honey Treatment - March 2014
The following improvements have been noted by Oliver's parents: Consistently solid stools - which was rare/never prior to Manuka Honey. Oliver has had diarrhoea since he was a baby. His pain and reflux and the associated behaviours (putting hand in mouth, screaming, banging his head, aggression), has totally stopped. He sleeps better, is calmer, interacts more with others, is more affectionate, seeks out company more often, generally shows more interest in things and people. His learning has also improved. He now traces letters on a laptop, and is interested in catching and throwing a ball - neither of which he did prior to taking Manuka Honey. He is also being toilet trained, which wasn't considered possible until January 2014. His stimming (typically 30-60mins at a time) has also reduced from average 4 times a day to once or twice a day. Though food and boredom influence the latter, there is a marked difference between stimming frequency pre and post Manuka Honey treatment. Friends and relatives have also noticed significant changes in Oliver's behaviour - attentiveness, interacting more with others, and happier in general.
Oliver's parents acknowledge that it is early days (5 months since commencing MH) and that it's possible that improvements - particularly those relating to learning and interaction may be attributed to the absence of pain, better sleep etc, but they are hopeful that he continues to benefit from a healthier gut.
Given the high incidence of digestive issues in autistic children, and Oliver's symptoms, he has been treated with probiotics and other commonly recommended interventions (gluten, dairy, soy free diet, chelation therapy, nutrient supplements etc) consistently since he was diagnosed with ASD as a toddler but there has been no noticeable improvement with these dietary changes and treatments.
Update April 2014
In late February 2014 Oliver's dosage was changed from MGO 550 - 5 tspns per day to MGO 400 - 3 tspns per day, and sometimes MGO 250 - 3 tspns per day (when MGO 400 ran out). On the 23rd April Sarah said that some of Oliver's old symptoms seem to be returning, and that the last week he had not been as ‘with it’, his toilet training (which they started in January, and was going well), has stalled and he suddenly doesn’t understand again. She said he doesn’t seem to be in pain but he is not as easy as he has been, and his diarrhoea has returned. I asked if they had kept being careful with his diet and if they were still giving him probiotics or probiotic enhanced foods and she said that they hadn't. Sarah said that he'd been so well that they had become a bit lax with those types of things, but they would be more careful from now on. She said she had ordered the MGO 550+ and that they won't risk using the lower strength again.
Oliver started taking the MGO 550 again on Monday 28th of April. When I spoke to Sarah again on Saturday (03 May) she reported that by the Wednesday 30th April, three days after restarting Oliver on the higher strength Manuka Honey, his stools were solid again, and his behaviour was slowly improving again day by day. On the 10th May Sarah said that he had had a few up and down days but he was also back to school, and there was some other changes in routine. His stools still consistently solid since recommencing on MGO 550. They are currently giving Oliver 3 tspns a day, on an empty stomach. In the morning while he is in the shower and before food, straight after school in the car, and last thing at night before bed.
The information provided here is for general interest and information only and is not intended to constitute medical advice or to make medical claims. You should consult your doctor or health practitioner before using Manuka honey for any medical condition.