Gluten and lactose problems in autism?

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pawelk1986
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08 Apr 2021, 9:04 pm

As a kid I was diagnosed with a digestive disorder, celiac disease and lactose intolerance, I grew out of celiac disease over time, but the allergy to fresh milk remained, and I also had a candida yeast infection. (I read on the internet on websites dedicated to a healthy lifestyle that it's common for people with ASD)

As a result, I was treated in the best hospital in my country, Poland, which is the "Children's Memorial Health Institute" in Warsaw.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children% ... _Institute

As a child I had behavioural problems, although it improved over time, the initial diagnosis was that I have ADHD but I was not hyperactive at all, and the teacher liked me, so I was eventually diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome

Now I'm 35 years old.



SabbraCadabra
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09 Apr 2021, 12:41 am

My mom said I had lactose issues when I was a baby, but Idunno, I guess I grew out of it?

Gluten issues didn't pop up until a really bad cold a few years back. It's not Celiac, it's just a general leaky gut/allergy/auto-immune attack thing.


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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09 Apr 2021, 2:57 am

pawelk1986 wrote:
As a kid I was diagnosed with a digestive disorder, celiac disease and lactose intolerance, I grew out of celiac disease over time, but the allergy to fresh milk remained, and I also had a candida yeast infection.

I had digestive problems manifest several decades before an autism diagnosis was given.
And they still continue but I have accepted giving up foods which have been demonstrated to cause problems.
(well, mostly accepted, there are a few foods where I've learned how far I can push the limit and still get away with it)

And, yes, here in the US there is an observed correlation between autism and digestive disorders.

Even though it may be something you have already found, here are a couple references to the relationship, from well respected medical establishments here in the US,

Quote:
NEWS | August 10, 2020
GI symptoms linked to behavioral problems in children, especially those with autism
(SACRAMENTO) — A new UC Davis Health study found that common gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating are linked to troubling sleep problems, self-harm and physical complaints in preschool children. According to the study, published Aug. 6 in Autism Research, these GI symptoms are much more common and potentially disruptive in young kids with autism.

https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/ ... sm/2020/08

and,

Quote:
My child has autism spectrum disorder and a number of digestive issues. Is this common?
Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
Yes, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to have more medical issues, including gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea, compared with their peers.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-con ... q-20322778


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HeroOfHyrule
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09 Apr 2021, 3:30 am

I have some sort of digestive issue that seems like it's either Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, and have a dairy allergy. I don't think I have a gluten allergy, but some other foods irritate my digestive tract.

The dairy allergy probably has existed for most of my life, but was only figured out when I was fourteen. The digestive issues I have were diagnosed around that time as eosinophilic esophagitis (which I'm not sure is right since I get ulcers that are present in most of my digestive tract, and the actual pain I experience is mostly located in my colon :scratch:).


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dragonsanddemons
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09 Apr 2021, 2:59 pm

Once again I seem to be the exception that proves the rule, as they say. Never had chronic digestive issues in my life, it’s rare for me to even get GI-related illnesses (granted probably in part because I’m paranoid about food safety). No food allergies, sensitivities, etc. that I’m aware of. Incidentally, though, my NT brother has Crohn’s disease.


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SabbraCadabra
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09 Apr 2021, 10:08 pm

kitesandtrainsandcats wrote:
And they still continue but I have accepted giving up foods which have been demonstrated to cause problems.
(well, mostly accepted, there are a few foods where I've learned how far I can push the limit and still get away with it)


I didn't really have any trouble giving up gluten.
...but Long COVID left me with MCAS and/or histamine intolerance, and I've been having a heck of a time avoiding high-histamine foods.


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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09 Apr 2021, 11:46 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
...but Long COVID left me with MCAS and/or histamine intolerance, and I've been having a heck of a time avoiding high-histamine foods.

Aw man, that's no fun.
At one time I was avoiding high histamine foods but as can happen with the 'brain fog' which comes with a couple of the neurological, endocrine, mitochondrial, things my body has going on, I eventually forgot about it.
And reading this here right now, high-histamine foods might as well be something I have never heard of before.
I am going to have to go look up again what they are.


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SabbraCadabra
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11 Apr 2021, 12:27 am

Speaking of which, I just splurged and had a bowl of canned chili.
Surprisingly, 45 minutes later, and no hives? *knocks on wood*

kitesandtrainsandcats wrote:
I am going to have to go look up again what they are.

If it's your favorite food, or just delicious in general, it's probably high in histamines.

This website has some good lists:
https://mastcell360.com/low-histamine-foods-list/
https://mastcell360.com/what-to-eat-and ... ine-lists/


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18 Apr 2021, 10:45 pm

My 2nd girlfriend was autistic & after a bit of research she realized she had Casein Intolerance & problems handling red meat as well. Taking both out of her diet improved some of her issues but she still had a lot of autism problems. There has been a push in the past by various medical professionals & even some autistics who claim that going gluten free is a miracle cure or treatment for autism. The claim that somebody will suddenly no longer be autistic & become NT as soon as all the gluten is out of their body is EXTREMELY EXAGGERATED :!: It is fairly common for those of us on the spectrum to also have digestive & other similar problems but those issues do NOT cause autism. They can make certain autism symptoms worse if the person has those digestive problems but only some autistics have those digestive problems, lots of autistics do NOT have those issues. When I was a kid my parents tried changing my diet on me in a futile attempt to help manage my various autism issues & problems. I was an extremely picky eater as a kid due to my autism(still am but not as bad) & having a diet change forced on me caused me to act out even more. My parents gave up trying that diet on me after a while since my behavior & other things had gotten worse instead of better.


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27 Apr 2021, 9:26 pm

Gut issues are fairly common with Autism. But in the case of lactose in tolerance I wouldn't particularly link that to Autism.

I am lactose intolerant as is my mother, and my grandfather was too. Its in my family so even if I didn't have Aspergers I would still be lactose intolerant. The reality is most people in the world ARE lactose intolerant actually. Lactose tolerance actually comes from a genetic mutation that happened among ancient farmers.


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28 Apr 2021, 11:14 pm

Yeah, my daughter is lactose intolerant, and she is the non-autistic one in the family.
Though I wouldn't call her NT, as she's horribly dyslexic, has emotional regulation issues and possibly undiagnosed ADHD. So definitely some wiring issues!

I'm actually trying to find out what's going on with her as she seems to get digestive issues a lot, even after going lactose-free. An initial blood test from the doctor didn't find anything wrong, but clearly something's not right.

The trouble is, if you ask around or google digestive issues, there are so so many possible causes. Possibles could be celiac, or gluten intolerance, casein intolerance, FODMAP intolerance, intolerance of gas-producing food such as brassicas, intolerance to nightshade family, or lectins in whole grains, allergies to various foods such as peanuts, dairy, soy, reactions to additives such as nitrites in bacon or sausages, or sulfites, or food colours, or MSG, microbiota imbalance from junk food and sugar... so it's like - where do you start?

I'm trying to persuade her to keep a food diary where she rights down what she eats and when she feels ill in the hope of finding some connection.

And I'm thinking of trying her on an elimination diet to see if it helps. We'll target the most common ones first, maybe cut out gluten, dairy, and preserved meat first and see how we go.

Though it's going to be hard finding stuff for her lunch box if we cut out bread/crackers and cheese and ham. We've tried commercial gluten-free bread before and it didn't go down well, seemed to make things worse, so that's out. Plus she's a picky eater anyway and won't eat rice, most nuts or hummus. I'm thinking we might have to keep a bit of cheese in the diet (which she seems to tolerate in small quantities as it's lower lactose than milk), and pair it with rice crackers. (She'll eat rice as crackers, just not as boiled rice!)

And, of course, I'll probably have to go on the same diet, because the only way to stop her snacking on forbidden food will be not to have any in the house. I suspect we'll be eating a lot of potatoes in one form or another! Wish me luck!



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29 Apr 2021, 9:38 pm

MrsPeel wrote:
I'm thinking we might have to keep a bit of cheese in the diet (which she seems to tolerate in small quantities as it's lower lactose than milk)!

Those of us with lactose in tolerance typically have no problem with aged cheeses.

There are various 'milk' products that can still be digested with the inclusion of enzymes, probiotics, and active live cultures in the products, such as certain yogurts. (most yogurt is okay but you tend to want to check the back just in case)

Consuming these things can still cause some gas but typically none of the other unpleasantness of Lactose intolerance can give.


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29 Apr 2021, 11:59 pm

Alterity wrote:
Gut issues are fairly common with Autism.
Very true. It's common for us on the spectrum to have things like anxiety due to the various problems we face in life & with others from living in a world not designed for us. Anxiety in general can cause some people to get upset stomachs. I had to go to the bathroom alot(#2) when I was having panic attacks. Being on anxiety medication helps a lot which brings up another issue. Us autistics tend to be on various psych meds & it's fairly common for psych meds to cause stomach issues even for people not on the spectrum. Also we are well known for being picky eaters & some of us(like me) love unhealthy food(I love fast food, fried food, & junk food) & eating bad food can sometimes cause stomach issues. We tend to have bad eating habits as well due to things like anxiety, depression, & OCD. Those things may cause us not eat much at times even if we love the food or we may pig out(I'm a binge-eater sometimes) & bad eating habits can cause stomach issues.


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30 Apr 2021, 12:51 am

MrsPeel wrote:
Yeah, my daughter is lactose intolerant, and she is the non-autistic one in the family.
Though I wouldn't call her NT, as she's horribly dyslexic, has emotional regulation issues and possibly undiagnosed ADHD. So definitely some wiring issues!

I'm actually trying to find out what's going on with her as she seems to get digestive issues a lot, even after going lactose-free. An initial blood test from the doctor didn't find anything wrong, but clearly something's not right.

The trouble is, if you ask around or google digestive issues, there are so so many possible causes. Possibles could be celiac, or gluten intolerance, casein intolerance, FODMAP intolerance, intolerance of gas-producing food such as brassicas, intolerance to nightshade family, or lectins in whole grains, allergies to various foods such as peanuts, dairy, soy, reactions to additives such as nitrites in bacon or sausages, or sulfites, or food colours, or MSG, microbiota imbalance from junk food and sugar... so it's like - where do you start?

I'm trying to persuade her to keep a food diary where she rights down what she eats and when she feels ill in the hope of finding some connection.

And I'm thinking of trying her on an elimination diet to see if it helps. We'll target the most common ones first, maybe cut out gluten, dairy, and preserved meat first and see how we go.

Though it's going to be hard finding stuff for her lunch box if we cut out bread/crackers and cheese and ham. We've tried commercial gluten-free bread before and it didn't go down well, seemed to make things worse, so that's out. Plus she's a picky eater anyway and won't eat rice, most nuts or hummus. I'm thinking we might have to keep a bit of cheese in the diet (which she seems to tolerate in small quantities as it's lower lactose than milk), and pair it with rice crackers. (She'll eat rice as crackers, just not as boiled rice!)

And, of course, I'll probably have to go on the same diet, because the only way to stop her snacking on forbidden food will be not to have any in the house. I suspect we'll be eating a lot of potatoes in one form or another! Wish me luck!
I've been diagnosed with dyslexia & ADHD since Kindergarten thou the ADHD diagnoses eventually changed to ADD. I had emotional regulation issues as a kid & teen & in my 20s. I have Aspergers & other things on top of that but those things alone can be very difficult to deal with sometimes. I don't know what kinda digestive issues she's having but trying some dietary changes on her are worth a try. If something doesn't help after a while, you can rule it out & move on to something else. My advice for the elimination diet is to just cut out one type of food at a time. Take something out for a while & see if things get better or not. One thing to be wary of with having a restrictive diet is that she could have some vitamin/mineral/nutrient deficiencies. A good multi-vitamin & maybe some other vitamins & supplements could help off-set that but that would be something to look into after her diet is stabilized. Also there may be something going on unrelated to her diet as well. Seeing a specialist & getting further testing done might be helpful as well but starting with the diet change 1st might be best. I really wish you guys the best of luck.

My current girlfriend is possibly on the autism spectrum or at least has lots of overlapping issues & also has emotional regulation issues & ADHD along with various other things. She's been having stomach issues for a long time that have gradually gotten worse over the last few years. She had her gallbladder removed a couple years ago cuz it was filled with stones. She was hoping her stomach issues would get better but they didn't. It's probably still better that she had it removed thou instead of nothing happening cuz there's a chance the stones coulda caused other issues by now including death. She's finally got referred to some specialist & she's in the process of getting some test scheduled. Her mom has Celiac disease & she had some kinda blood test for it & doesn't have it. As a side-note her brother has been diagnosed with Aspergers since he was little. There does seem to be a link between autism & stomach & digestive issues but I do NOT think either one directly causes the other. I think they are generally two different types of disorders that can occur together but do not have to. Perhaps there is a genetic component like bad genes that affect both things.


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30 Apr 2021, 11:56 am

I may or may not have it.

I have issues since I was a child, yet it's not addressed or resolved at all.
The last time it was ever addressed when I was 5 years old -- reason, unknown other than some pain.

The rest may or may not be alexithymic related.
Or just plain bullheadedness of disregarding symptoms.
Regardless, I don't complain anything about it. No one else knows.


Whether it's directly gastroenterological or not, I certainly have an undiagnosed sensitivity issue related to it.


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05 May 2021, 5:40 am

Argh, I tried to start my 17yo daughter on the elimination diet - but getting her to stick to the right food is impossible.
She has zero impulse control, and seems to be addicted to processed junk.

Last night my son got given some cookies with various coloured icing on them. You know the artistic ones that are made to look like other things?
So I looked at the ingredients and there were 33 additive numbers in there. I'm not kidding.
Warned my daughter not to eat any, so what did she do?? :roll:

She spent the night at the hospital from the stomach pains :( :(
Yet still she doesn't want to eat natural food like vegetables.
What can you do??