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Morgana
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29 May 2013, 3:07 pm

Just curious: have any parents of children on the spectrum tried any special diets for their children- examples being the GAPS diet, gluten free/casein free, Paleolithic/Primal diet, low carbohydrate diet, or other? If so, has this helped? Let me know......

I am an adult, most-likely-Aspie female, and this is my special interest at the moment, so I am interested in hearing any stories about autism and the diet connection. I think I am personally interested in this because in recent years I've adopted a hunter-gatherer type, grain-free, low (or low-moderate) carb diet, and I really see how this has helped me!

Thanks-


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ASDMommyASDKid
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29 May 2013, 4:20 pm

The only dietary issues we have are lactose intolerance and an issue with excessive quantities of orange. I only limit oranges and milk, He handles bacteria digested dairy like cheese and yogurt just fine.

I have not tried anything else b/c frankly his diet is pretty limited (although improving) and he needs to eat something. :) Also, I have not noticed that he has any bad behavioral reactions to particular foods.



Shellfish
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30 May 2013, 2:36 am

Nope - As with ASDMommy, my son has a limited diet and if I were to try and eliminate gluten, he would read this as some form of punishment. Once he is older and we can discuss and decide as a family, I will happily help him.
Also, there doesn't seem to be any physical evidence (i.e. IBS etc) that his issues are affected by diet.


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Morgana
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30 May 2013, 2:44 pm

ASDMommyASDKid wrote:
The only dietary issues we have are lactose intolerance and an issue with excessive quantities of orange. I only limit oranges and milk, He handles bacteria digested dairy like cheese and yogurt just fine.

I have not tried anything else b/c frankly his diet is pretty limited (although improving) and he needs to eat something. :) Also, I have not noticed that he has any bad behavioral reactions to particular foods.


Yes, I also seem to do fine with certain types of dairy; mainly cheese. (I don't like milk or butter, so I don't eat them, but I love cheese. I suspect I wouldn't handle milk so well; cream, in minimal amounts, is okay. I've sometimes felt sick after eating butter, which could be one reason why I don't like it so much).

I also have to limit fruits, maybe because of the carbohydrate content or sugar. There are some fruits I can handle better than others.


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Morgana
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30 May 2013, 2:52 pm

Shellfish wrote:
Nope - As with ASDMommy, my son has a limited diet and if I were to try and eliminate gluten, he would read this as some form of punishment. Once he is older and we can discuss and decide as a family, I will happily help him.
Also, there doesn't seem to be any physical evidence (i.e. IBS etc) that his issues are affected by diet.


Oh, I had problems with IBS from when I was a child. However, back at that time (the "olden days", ha!)- people didn't know so much about IBS, gluten intolerance, etc., so if I complained that my stomach hurt, and I wasn't visibly ill, people tended not to take me seriously. I was very often told that my problems were probably due to stress.
oh, I guess I forgot to mention that as an adult I discovered I was a celiac. For awhile I stopped all dairy too- I think I had temporary lactose intolerance, which can happen with celiac disease. My gut has now healed, and I can tolerate some low-lactose dairy fine (as I mentioned in the post above). I also have an intolerance to soy, so I don't eat that either.


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mikassyna
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30 May 2013, 3:41 pm

I had terrible IBS as a child. It flares up now during times of anxiety/stress.

For people consider the casein-free diet, there are risks, especially to boys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism

Although many alternative therapies and interventions are available, few are supported by scientific studies.[27][142] Treatment approaches have little empirical support in quality-of-life contexts, and many programs focus on success measures that lack predictive validity and real-world relevance.[28] Scientific evidence appears to matter less to service providers than program marketing, training availability, and parent requests.[143] Some alternative treatments may place the child at risk. A 2008 study found that compared to their peers, autistic boys have significantly thinner bones if on casein-free diets;[144] in 2005, botched chelation therapy killed a five-year-old child with autism.[145]



chris5000
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30 May 2013, 7:45 pm

im semi casein and gluten free, not out of a special diet just because I dont really like those foods. I have never been a fan of milk outside of cooked milk.



MiahClone
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30 May 2013, 8:43 pm

My second child and I are lactose intolerant, so we have low milk consumption. Fermented foods like yogurt and cheese are usually okay, and small doses of cooked milk or ice cream. We've been trying to move toward a "whole foods" diet this year. My New Year's resolution and all. Not because of autism, just for general health. The whole you are what you eat and you are what you eat ate and that sort of thinking. Fewer chemicals, preservatives, shipping, hormones, antibiotics, fillers, and more of the actual food. You'd be surprised how much more filling bread made from flour that you just ground from whole wheat berries is than processed white bread. And getting the Sprout to eat hot dogs that my husband has made at home has made me a lot less uneasy with his hot dog food fad.



Morgana
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31 May 2013, 2:24 pm

MiahClone wrote:
My second child and I are lactose intolerant, so we have low milk consumption. Fermented foods like yogurt and cheese are usually okay, and small doses of cooked milk or ice cream. We've been trying to move toward a "whole foods" diet this year. My New Year's resolution and all. Not because of autism, just for general health. The whole you are what you eat and you are what you eat ate and that sort of thinking. Fewer chemicals, preservatives, shipping, hormones, antibiotics, fillers, and more of the actual food. You'd be surprised how much more filling bread made from flour that you just ground from whole wheat berries is than processed white bread. And getting the Sprout to eat hot dogs that my husband has made at home has made me a lot less uneasy with his hot dog food fad.


I strongly recommend the whole foods diet! I feel so much better eating this way; no more depression, and much better digestion. Have you read anything from the Weston Price foundation? (You can google them). They have a lot of good information about whole foods and traditional food diets. And yes, like you said, whole food is much more filling, because it's higher in nutrition.


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ASDsmom
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01 Jun 2013, 6:53 pm

We are on GAPS - 1.5 years. So far it's working well.



aann
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01 Jun 2013, 9:50 pm

My son is off dairy, gluten, and soy, and is basically low carb as well. Makes him less irritable. Much.



Morgana
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02 Jun 2013, 8:54 am

ASDsmom wrote:
We are on GAPS - 1.5 years. So far it's working well.


What specifically has gotten better? I'm just curious, this is for my own research purposes.


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Morgana
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02 Jun 2013, 9:04 am

aann wrote:
My son is off dairy, gluten, and soy, and is basically low carb as well. Makes him less irritable. Much.


This sounds a lot like my diet, except I eat some raw dairy, and use cream occasionally- (I can only get that pasteurized)- as a condiment. I also feel less irritable, less depressed, more happy and calmer. Although I still have sensory issues, I seem to be able to handle them much better now. Low-grade sensory issues cause anxiety and irritability- ("bigger" sensory issues cause more drastic reactions)- so, I wonder if this is the same for your son on the low carb diet as well; i.e., a greater tolerance for environmental sensory stimulants?


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Ettina
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02 Jun 2013, 10:26 am

I've been slowly trying to make my diet more healthy, just because I'd rather not get heart disease or diabetes. Other than that, no.



Schneekugel
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03 Jun 2013, 6:50 am

I think it simply depends on the person itself. Autism often simply means that the front brain part above the face, that is responsible for speech, face recognition and many other social interactions, is whyever not completely "normally" functioning, normally you also have another kind of linking in the rest of the brain.

Some form of allergies are simply no real allergies in the way that your immune system is going crazy and overreacting on stuff (thats the classic allergie), but mean that metabolic processes are not functioning as they should in your body. So as example gluten, that are as example heavily in industrial wheat, cant be processed correct by the digestive system, and so the body gets flushed with materials he cant remove in propper ways, and so the stuff is burdening your system. A form of gluten-"allergy" can cause that these not normal gluten residues block neurons in the brains and so slow down or block processes in the brain.

I know of autists in the german autist forum that tested gluten and milk-sugar free diet, and that made real good developments. So as example one described that after about 6 months doing this diet, for the first time he started to think what his coworker would think about him in the moment, what he found very disturbing at the beginning. ^^ A parent of a child told, that the speech development of his child, increased largely after some months with the diet. Others tried as well, but had absolute no effect.

So it seems that gluten and milksugarfree diet can help if the autism and disfunction of the brain is caused by a gluten/milksugar allergy, but simply not all kind of autism are caused by gluten and milksugar allergies. I have tried the diet myself, didnt have a mental effect by it, but my digestive system reacted very positive: So less stomachache, less digestive problems and so on... I dont do a strict diet anymore, but avoid now food that contains a high amount of gluten. Milk sugar had no effect on me.

I would simply test it on your child, normally its a very healthy kind of diet (There isnt much left but vegetables and flesh. ^^) so the worst thing that can happen, is that nothing happens. :)



Lilia
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27 Jul 2013, 5:38 pm

Before starting on an elimination diet there are lab tests you can take on blood or urine that can give you an idea if your digestive system isn't handling casein or gluten very well. We have tested our son, since there's both milk intolerance and coeliacs disease in his imediate family.

What I know for sure is that he reacts to certain food dyes. The reaction comes fast and strong. He will run around, make noises and it will be really hard to achieve contact. Last time we had an incident it involved a colorful lollipop he had gotten at the amusement park. Lets just say it was late before any of us could sleep that night. Now the label on any suspicious looking food is closely studied :-) .