The following blog is written by Yuval, a reader and contributor to our blog site. At present Yuval, who is on the autism spectrum, is completing a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He has previously written an essay here where he discussed his life, views on neurodiversity, and a couple of autism symptoms (https://corticalchauvinism.com/2015/01/14/visualizing-neurodiversity-breathing-for-treatment/). The first possible symptom that he discussed was how some autistics have different facial features, and the second was that these facial features might put pressure on the body, leading to a rapidly depleting electrolyte supply. Yuval also wrote about how he tried taking electrolyte supplements, and how that supplementation helped him out.
*Content note according to Yuval: The following is my personal experience, and may not necessarily work for other people with Autism or Asperger’s, as there are many different causes and variations. This idea is based on several theoretical assumptions of mine. Make sure to follow all medical directions if taking nonprescription supplements, and consult with your doctor if necessary.
When I was looking for information about autism and electrolytes on the internet, I happened to discover an article about Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypokalemic_sensory_overstimulation). According to the Wikipedia article, it is a form of ADHD which is potentially treated by taking potassium supplements. The main symptom of this condition is sensory overstimulation, and from what is known, the most likely cause is mutations in ion channels. As a result, since there are strong similarities between ADHD and Autism, I decided to try this solution out by purchasing and taking potassium supplements on September 29, 2015. I decided to take 600 mg of potassium, which was allowed under the given instructions.
I felt like there had been a television in my brain which had been producing disruptive static noise, and now that “television” was turned off. I noticed I didn’t physically shake as much, and I didn’t move my arms around as much. I also didn’t feel the urge to listen to music like I normally do. I made less random noises, which I usually make to calm myself down. When walking, while I usually can’t walk straightforward, I noticed that it was far easier to keep my balance.
Usually before going to sleep, I tend to surf the internet and listen to music on Youtube. That night however, I didn’t feel this urge, and I just laid in bed and fell asleep. I could lie in the darkness with no problems.
Overall, it is interesting to explore ways of thinking from different perspectives. Usually, a stimulant like Ritalin is the preferred treatment of choice, but this could be a more effective, safer alternative for many people with ADHD and/or Autism.