National Autism Awareness Month has begun -- a nationwide movement dedicated to promoting awareness and acceptance for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Tens of thousands of people face an autism diagnosis each year. Not only do behavior, communication, sensory and social difficulties exist for those affected, but there are links between children with autism and obesity.
In fact, 30 percent of teens and 60 percent of preschoolers with autism are more likely to be obese, due to the side effects of cravings and weight gain from medication taken to treat the disorder.
A recent study from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Nisonger Center shows hope for a cure. The drug metformin used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes is effectively helping control weight gain in children with autism spectrum disorder. In just two months, the patients lost weight, appeared more fit and their appetites were much more manageable.
Many patients are prescribed medications at a very early age to help control their irritability and agitation -- meaning they likely face decades of dealing with weight gain and other side effects that come with the medications. Using an existing drug, that’s been proven safe and effective for decades to help control those issues, will make a big difference for a lot of families.
Here's more info about Autism from a GBMC nurse, and life long friend Pam Spencer.