Considering anecdotal evidence is vital to accurately assess childhood chronic illness. Consideration for the limitations of clinical trials is also important.

Dr Elizabeth Mumper will be presenting at the 2019 Mindd Forum. Dr Mumper is president and CEO of The RIMLAND Center, a practice devoted to the care of children with neurodevelopmental problems and a wide variety of childhood chronic illnesses. As the Medical Director of the Autism Research Institute for five years, an international lecturer, mentor, receiver of many awards, author of textbook chapters and having published five peer-reviewed articles in medical literature, Dr Elizabeth Mumper’s Masterclass Presentations at The Mindd International Forum 2019 is not one to be missed.

Dr Mumper’s extensive clinical experience as an integrative doctor has provided her with a sound understanding of the specific causation and pathology of various chronic illnesses, including childhood illnesses.

Most importantly, Dr Elizabeth Mumper provides individualized biomedical evaluations, therapies, and pediatric care in a nurturing atmosphere whilst recognizing and addressing the uniqueness of every patient and their presenting symptoms. Dr Mumper is proud of the fact that she listens to every single symptom and takes into consideration all anecdotal evidence, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

Gastrointestinal Upset and Neurological Disorders frequently occur in Chronic Illness

Through Dr Mumper’s years of practice, she has identified trends in health outcomes such as children with neurological disorders experiencing gastrointestinal upsets.

Dr Mumper believes that although many clinicians have been told by parents that their children with chronic neurological illness also experience gastrointestinal upset, the symptoms are often put down to just being a part of the condition and may not be adequately investigated as a potential for chronic illness.

This is also evident in adult conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, where gut-related symptoms are often part of the aetiology. By denying the role of digestive symptoms, leaky gut or any kind of dysbiosis and their link to causation, the appropriate treatment may be missed.

A 2014 meta-analysis pooled studies that included a total of 2,215 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The analysis concluded that children with ASD are 4.42 times more likely to have gastrointestinal symptoms. Specifically, they are:

  • 63 times more likely to have diarrhea
  • 86 times more likely to have constipation
  • 45 times more likely to have abdominal pain

What the Research Says

In the summary of the 2014 meta-analysis, these were the highlighted facts:

  • Children with ASD have a fivefold risk of developing feeding problems compared to their peers
  • Children with ASD are at higher risk for suboptimal breastfeeding which may result in atypical colonization of the gut microbiome in ASD
  • Atypical feeding patterns in ASD place the children at risk for long-term nutritional problems or medical complications that cannot be identified by the standard height and weight measurements
  • In a treatment network of 14 academic medical centers in the U.S., feeding and GI problems were reported in 50% of patients who participated in the treatment protocols

The Anecdotal Evidence in Chronic Illness

Although the meta-analysis concluded that there is insufficient research to determine whether gastroesophageal reflux, gastroenteritis, food allergies or inflammatory bowel disease are more common among children with ASD, Dr Mumper states that in her anecdotal experience, those conditions are present in hundreds of children with chronic childhood illness including ASD and other neurological conditions

Dr Mumper noted she was discouraged after the findings of the meta-analysis but is grateful for the addition of literature to this topic. She added that change is still slowly coming and that this research is a portrayal of how the medical industry is poorly structured to care for people with chronic illness. “As we wait for the well designed, carefully controlled, standard scientific studies to study one variable and draw conclusions, we are missing critical windows of opportunity for clinicians to address the symptoms of the individual patients who come to us for help.”

It is also estimated that digestive disorders and intestinal permeability are present frequently in autoimmune conditions in adults, highlighting the importance of assessing all symptoms holistically at a young age in order to prevent disease development later on in life.

Supplementation and Addressing Nutritional Deficiencies

The meta-analysis also stated that dietary interventions such as the gluten-free or casein-free diet, supplementation and antimicrobials need further investigation before they can be substantiated.

Dr Elizabeth Mumper acknowledges that supplementing with a good probiotic to replenish gut flora has been extremely useful in her practice treating neurological disorders, as well as a good quality essential fatty acid for cellular membrane function. She also highlights the need for addressing common deficiencies found in children with neurological disorders such as zinc, especially those children with low appetite. Some children with chronic illnesses will also need B vitamins and will be found to be low in selenium and other trace minerals.

Is Research in Literature Always Translated into Practise?

In 2010, a stand-out research paper highlighted that the gastrointestinal pain associated with ASD should not be taken lightly and all patients deserve attention to their diagnosis, management, and treatment, inclusive of all symptoms. Although this was addressed in the literature, Dr Mumper feels this is not translated into practice, and a large part of her work now is ensuring that these patients are given the appropriate time and treatment that thoroughly considers all factors.

The Limitations of Clinically Trialled Evidence

Dr Mumper believes clinical trials are not well equipped at assessing childhood chronic illness:

  • Genetic predispositions in multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms
  • Individual variations in function of various enzymes
  • The infinite variety in our personal microbiome composition
  • Variations in nutrients eaten and absorbed
  • Differences in detoxification capabilities

Dr Elizabeth Mumper concludes that it is crucially important for a clinician to consider individual variation in nutrition status, take a thorough case history, consider socioeconomic status, stress, pathology and family circumstances. She also believes it is important to support organizations that are challenging existing paradigms to raise more awareness.

Masterclasses with Dr Mumper at Mindd Forum 2019

Dr Elizabeth Mumper will be presenting based on her extensive clinical experience through several Masterclasses at the 2019 Mindd Forum.

What Practitioners Will Learn from Dr Mumper’s Masterclasses to Apply in their Practice:

  • Atypical ways that conditions may present in infants and children
  • Identify potential triggers in childhood conditions that may not have been considered before
  • Effective strategies to support childhood neurological disorders and other common childhood conditions such as atopic conditions and migraines
  • Develop strategies for decision making about prophylaxis
  • Healing underlying immune dysregulation
  • The multifaceted connections between autoimmunity, overall health and childhood chronic illness

Be sure to attend Dr Mumper’s Masterclass lectures:

  • Alopecia, Vitiligo & Cutaneous Mastocytosis
  • How Ages and Stages Affect Migraines
  • Unlocking the Allergic Triad (Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, Eczema)
  • Why Cerebral Folate Deficiency & Folate Antibodies are Important
  • ASIA (Autoimmunity Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants)
  • Autoimmunity