Secretin for autism: Another treatment to avoid?

In the past decade, Autism has been on the rise. According to a study from UCLA, one in 59 children is diagnosed with Autism. In addition to this statistic, new research shows that secretin for Autism may effectively treat Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This article discusses how secretin works and why it is being explored as a potential treatment option for ASD.

What exactly is Secretin, and how does it work?

It is a hormone that stimulates the secretion of pancreatic juice and gastric juices in the small intestine. (Mellanby, 1925). Scientists want to believe that secretin for Autism works because individuals with ASD have low levels of certain digestive enzymes, which hinders the digestion of food properly.

Secretin helps improve digestive problems by increasing enzyme levels in the intestines, thus assisting with digestion and absorption. It was first discovered as an essential gastrointestinal peptide hormone responsible for stimulating intestinal fluid production and bicarbonate release throughout distal segments of the ileum and jejunum.

Researchers later found its presence in blood plasma, followed by discovering endogenous secretin receptors on choroid plexus epithelial cells (CPE), suggesting a neuroendocrine function.

What’s the meaning of all these?

Since secretin for Autism is intended to treat digestive issues, researchers believe it may help with ASD symptoms as well. However, more research is needed before we can arrive at a solid conclusion that secretin works or not.

Moreover, It remains undetermined if children who receive secretin will see a significant improvement in their quality of life compared to those without treatment. More severe research needs to be conducted on large groups of individuals over an extended period to determine its effectiveness at improving overall health and behaviors associated with an autism spectrum disorder.  (Matsuba et al. 2001)

The scientific community agrees that additional long-term clinical trials are necessary before recommending this therapy for patients diagnosed with ASD.

So is secretin a cure for Autism?

As at present, there is no official cure for Autism. While secretin may or may not improve symptoms in some toddlers living with ASD, it does not translate into a 100% effective treatment plan. The best available evidence suggests that administering this drug during infancy can help manage specific symptoms associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, more research and long-term clinical trials need to be conducted before we decide whether or not secretin works in children diagnosed with ASD.

Doctors recommend trying other treatments before turning to secretin because it hasn’t been studied enough to determine if it is worthwhile.

Side effects of taking secretin for Autism

While it has been noted that there are no significant side effects associated with taking secretin for Autism, keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. It is essential to talk to your therapist and obtain a complete understanding of how this medication could change the course of treatment before starting any new regimen.

People who experience gastritis or stomach ulcers should be especially wary about taking secretin because its introduction into the body’s system can cause an increase in acid secretion (which can aggravate existing conditions).

As such, individuals diagnosed with these conditions should wait until their symptoms subside before considering using this drug as part of ASD therapy. Results from long-term studies on autism show mixed evidence regarding whether those who received additional secretin in addition to their current treatment plan saw positive or negative changes in behavior. (William et al. 2012)

How much does secretin cost, and where can you get it?

Since secretin is not FDA-approved for treating ASD, it’s difficult to say how much the drug costs. Moreover, insurance companies are unlikely to cover its use as part of autism therapy. Patients will have to pay out of pocket if they decide that additional treatment with this hormone would be beneficial. However, please note that because there are currently no clinical studies on the benefits associated with supplementing ASD therapy with this medication, your doctor may recommend against using secretin during diagnosis or throughout an ongoing regimen.

Currently, only a handful of medical professionals offer access to secretin injections through their practice or clinic; however, increasing numbers of doctors and researchers believe in the potential benefits associated with supplementation. Please speak directly with your physician about all options

Success stories from parents on the use of secretin for Autism

A few parents who have their toddlers diagnosed with ASD and begin treatment at a young age are excited to see the improvement that occurs. If you’re interested in starting your child on secretin, please speak directly with their pediatrician for further information about how this medication may affect them long-term.

While some children experience immediate results once they start taking secretin injections, others do not notice any changes after several months of use. Some doctors believe that younger patients will be more likely to benefit from supplementation because autism symptoms manifest earlier than other behavioral conditions, although there is no guarantee either way.

If your daughter has been prescribed secretin as part of ASD therapy but does not appear to be responding positively, try to talk to your doctor about whether it’s best to continue treatment. There are no severe side effects of stopping secretin use, so you can try tapering off the dosage before deciding if your child should stop altogether.

Remember that what works for one person may not work for another. If there is any doubt about how ASD will be affected by supplementation with this medication, please speak directly with your therapist or pharmacist for more information on potential long-term risks associated with using secretin supplements regularly.

Is there any other treatment that might be more helpful than secretin for autism?

Alternative options for treating autism symptoms include a range of behavioral therapies, occupational therapy, and working with a special education teacher. In addition, some parents found dietary changes and supplements to be helpful. Some terrific supplements include  omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and D. Other supplements include magnesium, calcium, zinc, dimethylglycine (DMG), and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).


Williams et al. (2012). Intravenous secretin for ASD.
Matsuba et al. (2001). Effect of secretin in children with Autism.

Last Updated on September 22, 2021