Autistic Toddler Hospitalized After Receiving Holistic Autism ‘Medicine': Silver & Epsom Bath Salts
A 4-year-old boy with autism was hospitalized after suffering complications from a holistic medicine that is supposed to cure his developmental condition. Doctors warned that instead of "curing" autism, holistic treatments can endanger children's health.
The boy was given 12 different holistic supplements recommended by a naturopath. According to the toddler's mother, the supplements said to cure the child's autism include silver, Epsom bath salts, sodium chloride, citrate, cod liver oil, camel milk, vitamin D and calcium magnesium, The Independent listed.
The child was hospitalized due to severe weight loss (shedding 6.5 lbs or 3 kg in just three weeks), constipation, vomiting, and extreme thirst, BBC reported. He was also suffering from high levels of vitamin D and hypercalcaemia, a condition where the blood serum has a high calcium level. Too much vitamin D in the blood results to poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, kidney problems and frequent urination, according to Mayo Clinic.
The boy has responded to the medical treatment provided by doctors and is now recovering. Police officials are investigating the naturopath that the child's family consulted.
There are assumptions that complementary and alternative medicines can do no harm, but doctors warn that this kind of treatment carries complications and at times, fatalities. Sometimes, these deaths aren't reported to medical practitioners or weren't recognized as due to the complications of complementary and alternative medicines. In fact, 66 percent of parents who sought holistic treatment for their child do not disclose the information to doctors
Doctors are advised to routinely ask their patients whether they sought complementary and alternative medicines. This way, physicians will be able to provide better-informed treatment and recovery.
Holistic medicine caters to the whole person - body, mind and spirit, according to the American Holistic Health Association. Holistic medicine combines conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat diseases. Some examples of conventional and alternative therapies are homeopathy, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic and herbal medicines. Improvements experienced by patients may be due to the placebo effect.
Some cancer patients combine traditional and holistic treatments. Holistic care acts as a support for the body's natural healing processes, particularly in the nutritional and emotional aspects, Twin Falls-Times News reported.
A 2007 research found that 74 percent of children with autism in the United States were taking alternative medicine. According to researchers, parents are more likely to opt for the treatment over mainstream care because they believe that the former is more hands-on and is more considerate to a child's wellbeing and emotions.