Is Milk Bad For People With Autism/Aspergers Syndrome?
Joined: 29 Apr 2008
I've been wondering about this for some time, and it has constantly sprung up as a problem between me and my family. My family tells me that there is the potential for someone like me (someone with Asperger's Syndrome, and possibly Autism) have the risk of "drinking too much" milk, or "being unable to stop consuming milk". Now, I've drunk milk in the past, and drink it on a daily basis in order to stay healthy, or if I want it. But my family says that I may be drinking too much milk, and that my disorder might be "enhancing" this idea of me drinking more milk than I should. What do you guys think?
Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Location: Untied Kingdom
I wouldn't like to make a statement like 'milk is bad for people with autism' without seeing some very convincing evidence.
Is milk good or bad for you? That's the question. Try cutting it out of your diet for a while, and see how you fare.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Milk is usually good as long as you're not lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, which is a different issue altogether. You can get too much of it, and it's a bad idea to get more than about 150% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium over a long period. Whole milk has a lot of saturated fat, so it's best to get milk with 2% fat content or lower.
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Milk is great. If you have lactose intolerance, there is lactase enzyme available - I know, I use it.
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A lot of adults have lactose intolerance especially those who ancestors are not accustomed to drinking milk. I am definitely allergic to lactose and possibly casein (cow protein). But back to the subject I had to respond because my niece went to the hospital for drinking too much milk. But then again she is two years old. I enjoy dairy products but risk getting diarrhea, other digestive problems and acne. I go through cycles were I stop and then once I start I can't control myself until I see it on my face a few days later. Is it specific to milk or foods that are tasty?
Joined: 6 Dec 2008
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
It doesn't seem likely.
Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Location: Central USA
Going without milk or wheat is one of the many cure-alls out there. It doesn't work for autism; but if you're lactose-intolerant and autistic, chances are your digestive system will bother you more than it does a lactose-intolerant NT.
Treating lactose intolerance makes sense; but digestive problems haven't got very much to do with autism. Or, anyway, they have as much to do with autism as as bright light or scratchy clothing or loud sounds do--it's a stimulus that can drive you into overload, so if you have it, treat it, but don't expect any result if you don't have it--only extra effort spent that could be spent learning something useful.
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Joined: 11 May 2010
Location: New England
There are those who believe that casein causes problems with Autistics, but I've yet to see any convincing proof. Some claim that cutting out gluten and casein along with some other "suspected" common food ingredients "cured" their children of Autism. That may be where your parents are getting the idea, and making the connection.
It is possible that many common food ingredients and toxins might actually cause some Autistic-like symptoms, that will cease if consumption of those products is stopped, but if this is true (and I'm not saying it is or isn't), that would amount more likely to allergic type problems than actual Autism. Autism is a condition you are born with and live with for your entire life. It is possible that cutting out casein might help improve certain Autistic symptoms, but it won't "cure" Autism, and doesn't cause it either.
Yogurt, cheese and milk all contain casein, which is the basic protein in milk based products. I agree with another user who suggested stopping milk consumption altogether for a while, and seeing how you feel, but be careful not to jump to conclusions. Suddenly cutting out anything that has for a long time been a basic and routine part of your diet is GOING to make you feel different for a while. Your body is used to whatever your diet is, and even cutting out things that are bad for you suddenly can make you feel off balance. Sugar is well known for this effect, along with large amounts of simple carbohydrates like a lot of foods made with refined white flour. If you're used to them, and suddenly your body isn't getting them, you may actually feel terrible for a while. So cutting out milk and dairy products might to the same thing if you already consume them quite regularly.
That terrible feeling can fool you into thinking you need it. Dietary changes can produce effects that are similar, even if not as bad, as quitting a drug you are addicted to. Nicotine is a prime example of this. Quit smoking after thirty years, and yeah, you are GOING to feel just awful for quite a long time, until you completely detox from it.
With foods though, at least from my own experience, it's when you cut certain foods out and start to feel BETTER that you might get a fast clue as to certain ones that aren't doing you any favors. When I avoid refined wheat products, I feel far better, but I never did eat much white flour growing up. Finding the stuff you've been eating for many years that is causing you problems takes a lot more time to get a handle on.
I can tell you this about milk though. If you drink more milk than water, that's a definite problem. My brother in law used to drink nothing but milk. So much, it actually affected his body odor.
A couple of glasses a day is fine. Much more than that and it's more than likely replacing other forms of water intake that would most definitely be much better for you. Water is best. Fruit juices can be good in moderation (one or two a day), but too much of that will give you one of the same problems that milk can cause (too high of a sugar intake).
I love yogurt because it's much easier to digest than milk because of the bacteria in it that has partially digested the lactose, and it's a fantastic source of potassium (more concentrated than milk). It helps a great deal with IBS as well.
The bottom line is moderation. Too much of any food or drink is not good. Variety is best. And it doesn't take drinking that much water to meet your daily requirement. A lot of people say "Eight eight ounce glasses a day," but that simply isn't true. On average, we all need about that much water in our total diets, but we get a lot of that right in the food that we eat. You don't actually have to drink that many glasses a day.
I will say that if your parents are concerned about how much milk you drink, it may very well be because you actually do drink more than average, and perhaps so much more it is worth mentioning.
That doesn't necessarily mean it is "too much" though. The question is whether you are healthy. Talk it over with your doctor.
Some people can drink a quart a day and not have any problems. Others can't. Some, like me, can drink a lot of it for years and have no problems, but develop problems with it later in life.
As far as my AS goes. I've gone for very long periods not consuming ANY dairy products. It never made a lick of difference with my AS.
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
The biggest issue for some people (i.e. if you are overweight) is that milk contains more calories than most drinks. Typical values are 50 calories and 1.5 g of fat per 100 ml of semi-skimmed milk, and 70 calories and 4 g of fat per 100 ml of full-fat milk. I can easily drink 1 litre of full-fat milk in a day if it is available, which is 700 calories, or about one third of my healthy calorie intake.
Joined: 1 Sep 2010
I was ok with Dairy milk for many years, until I started noticing these reactions on me. I usually felt ill after a while, was always wondering what they've put in it. My mum and I tend to use soya milk instead. It takes a while to get used to the taste, but I don't feel as horrible after drinking it, unlike Dairy. For other things, like cheese, I'm not too bothered about it.
Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Location: Bradenton, Florida
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