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PatrickNeville
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30 Sep 2010, 6:30 pm

I could have maybe put this in the health and fitness section because it is related to food but its more the autism side of thing i am interested in.

http://www.glutenfree-diet.org/autism.htm

Does it really make an improvement to ASD symptoms?


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alex
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30 Sep 2010, 6:47 pm

Some people swear by it although I think the placebo affect factors into a lot of these claims Although I doubt it'd hurt.


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buryuntime
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30 Sep 2010, 7:06 pm

It doesn't cure autism. If you're having GI problems it might help those if that was the problem regardless of neurology. So yes, in a roundabout way if you were gluten intolerant you might function better.



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30 Sep 2010, 7:16 pm

Technically, no. It doesn't work.
Link

But you'll notice that, if you read the preceding article, the study was done on a group of children which excluded anyone who had celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or a wheat allergy.

We know three things from research:
1. Autistic people are more vulnerable to stress, physical or mental, than NTs.
2. Gluten and/or milk-free diets are standard medical treatments for various problems, including celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and allergies, and can be considered an effective cure for these conditions.
3. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that since autistic people are probably more vulnerable to the effects of things like celiac disease, and therefore may be helped--often rather dramatically--when these conditions are treated.

(If you haven't got any of these conditions, of course, then yes, the diet would be useless unless it were more nutritious than the diet you had before.)

There is also the possibility of the placebo effect, combined with the fact that autistic people given a good environment will inevitably learn, and often do so in rapid bursts rather than more NT-style gradual accumulation of knowledge... Parents will often simply assume it's due to whatever treatment they've been subjecting the child to lately, rather than crediting their child for their hard work.


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TXaspie
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30 Sep 2010, 7:54 pm

buryuntime wrote:
It doesn't cure autism. If you're having GI problems it might help those if that was the problem regardless of neurology. So yes, in a roundabout way if you were gluten intolerant you might function better.


"GI problems" is one of 100's of issues that gluten sensitivity can cause.

Just so you know there are many people who avoid gluten for fatigue, depression, brain fog and these same people may not have GI symptoms.

Gluten has been linked to cancer and like milk is especially bad for Austistic/ADD people.

I am a believer that autism/ADD is a diet thing. What's hereditary is the food intolerances/sensitivities families have, not the "autism". IMO Autism isn't really a disorder that people "just have". It's gotten from the diet of a mother eating food sensitivites without knowing it and producing a baby that has deficits.

Many people who avoid grains(especially gluten from wheat, barley ect.) and milk have less depression, are LESS autistic, less repetative behavior and can read facial cues easier. Also they take things less literally.

Milk and gluten are not the only things that Autistic people need to avoid. For those who avoided it and didn't get better. Make sure you're not eating GMO food, PROCESSED FOOD, too much sugar, MSG.

All of that can cause autism too because it's unhealthy. If you want to manage your autism better go on a hunter and gatherer diet.

Eat meat, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts. No grains, legumes(beans, soy) or anything like that.

You'll notice a huge improvement. The problem is autistic people want to eat the worst food and are too lazy or depressed to cook a real meal that consists of whole foods.

I no longer consider myself aspie ever since changing my diet. I feel like a new person, I am an introvert not an aspie. 8)



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30 Sep 2010, 7:57 pm

^ Then you were probably never an aspie to start out with.



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30 Sep 2010, 8:27 pm

I don't have sensory issues like I used to and I'm able to relate more to people. I feel like the obstacle has been removed.

I'm not saying everyone will "get better" like I did. It took 2 years for me to finally start feeling less ADD/aspie.



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30 Sep 2010, 9:10 pm

TXaspie wrote:
buryuntime wrote:
It doesn't cure autism. If you're having GI problems it might help those if that was the problem regardless of neurology. So yes, in a roundabout way if you were gluten intolerant you might function better.


"GI problems" is one of 100's of issues that gluten sensitivity can cause.

Just so you know there are many people who avoid gluten for fatigue, depression, brain fog and these same people may not have GI symptoms.

Gluten has been linked to cancer and like milk is especially bad for Austistic/ADD people.

I am a believer that autism/ADD is a diet thing. What's hereditary is the food intolerances/sensitivities families have, not the "autism". IMO Autism isn't really a disorder that people "just have". It's gotten from the diet of a mother eating food sensitivites without knowing it and producing a baby that has deficits.

Many people who avoid grains(especially gluten from wheat, barley ect.) and milk have less depression, are LESS autistic, less repetative behavior and can read facial cues easier. Also they take things less literally.

Milk and gluten are not the only things that Autistic people need to avoid. For those who avoided it and didn't get better. Make sure you're not eating GMO food, PROCESSED FOOD, too much sugar, MSG.

All of that can cause autism too because it's unhealthy. If you want to manage your autism better go on a hunter and gatherer diet.

Eat meat, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts. No grains, legumes(beans, soy) or anything like that.

You'll notice a huge improvement. The problem is autistic people want to eat the worst food and are too lazy or depressed to cook a real meal that consists of whole foods.

I no longer consider myself aspie ever since changing my diet. I feel like a new person, I am an introvert not an aspie. 8)

I was reading your post until I got to "I am a believer that autism/ADD is a diet thing..." and then stopped. I'm on a vegetarian (close to vegan) diet and am gluten-free with little sugar. I'm still as autistic as ever.

If you can't see that autism is neurological and has nothing to do with diet in the majority of cases, you're either deluding yourself or aren't autistic. Sorry. You still have autism, or you never did.



PatrickNeville
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30 Sep 2010, 11:35 pm

I guess there probably is at least some to a lot of benefit depending on the person but everybody is also right in sayign there no way it will make us un-autistic (invented a new word lol). I am willing to give it a try to see if I can notice a difference in myself.

Like Callista said it was tested on a very specific group of people. It needs a more dynamic variety of tests.

Anybody know of any organisations with plans to do more research?


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01 Oct 2010, 1:10 am

I don't think there will be more studies to quantify the effect on people who have, for example, both autism and celiac disease; but I don't think there really needs to be further testing, because people with those sensitivities should be eating a diet without the offending substance whether or not they are autistic. The treatment for an allergy or intolerance is the same whether or not autistics benefit from it more than NTs. My theory is that they do benefit more; that if you have celiac + autism, you will benefit more from removing gluten than if you were an NT with celiac disease; but since both groups will benefit, and the treatment is the same however the research comes out, I don't think anyone will bother funding an inquiry.

(I should probably touch on the issue of hyposensitivity, too. If you are one of those people who cannot sense when they are hungry or cold, or cannot pinpoint the origins of a physical sensation, you could have digestive problems without knowing it! Whatever you happen to be hyposensitive to, it's important to monitor your physical symptoms some other way so that you can detect problems involving these senses. For example, if you have problems localizing pain, doctors should not rule out appendicitis because you do not report abdominal pain... you may be feeling it as a headache or tiredness instead!)

Further study of the more general problem--whether autism causes more problems when other physical or mental stress is involved, and how to best mitigate the effect of stressors that cannot be removed--is definitely indicated, though, and I wish more people were looking into it. There seems to be some kind of cognitive quality about many autistic people that just seems to give them a lower threshold. What I'd like to figure out is: What is it about the autistic brain that allows us to process things so minutely, but not be able to keep it up for very long? And is it possible to structure education, employment, and one's environment to allow this kind of cognitive functioning to be more useful--maybe even an advantage?


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Merculangelo
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01 Oct 2010, 2:48 am

I'm starting my fifth month of GFCF. I still have GI problems, but definitely not as much as I used to.
I accidently took a bite of something that had dairy and gluten in it a couple days ago and immediately realized it, as I immediately wanted to gag. it tasted like eating flesh and the socks i've worn four days in a row.
I wouldn't want to start eating them again even if told I could or even should.


Another thing it does for me is that it makes choices 90% easier. Before, I would look at a menu and sort of panic. With my choices so limited, I don't have that problem.
Except I do have to pack lunches and if I forget or don't have time to, i'm sort of SOL sometimes and lose a couple hours trying to figure out what to do.



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01 Oct 2010, 7:22 am

TXaspie wrote:
I am a believer that autism/ADD is a diet thing. What's hereditary is the food intolerances/sensitivities families have, not the "autism". IMO Autism isn't really a disorder that people "just have". It's gotten from the diet of a mother eating food sensitivites without knowing it and producing a baby that has deficits.


This is seriously misguided rubbish, and all available scientific evidence would demonstrate that it is false.

Presumably, whatever about your bizarre claim that diet "cured" your autism, you still feel just as "sick" as ever, because you are still trolling around forums looking for more "cure".



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01 Oct 2010, 7:40 am

Callista wrote:
We know three things from research:
1. Autistic people are more vulnerable to stress, physical or mental, than NTs.
2. Gluten and/or milk-free diets are standard medical treatments for various problems, including celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and allergies, and can be considered an effective cure for these conditions.
3. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that since autistic people are probably more vulnerable to the effects of things like celiac disease, and therefore may be helped--often rather dramatically--when these conditions are treated. ... (If you haven't got any of these conditions, of course, then yes, the diet would be useless unless it were more nutritious than the diet you had before.)

This is correct. :lol :)

But celiac disease is no longer a rare disease anymore. In the last 50 years it has gone from affecting 1 in at least a thousand people to 1 in about 120, and some studies put it at about 1% ( possible causes for this increase include early/infant vaccinations, because inflammation increases intestinal permeability and the likelihood of developing autoimmune system reactions, the massive rise in consumption of fructose which via the liver can cause increased intestinal permeability, and chemicals ).

And that does not include people suffering from non-celiac gluten-intolerance. Between 10%-15% of the population as a whole ( therefore 10%-15% of autists too ) have elevated levels of gliadin-antibodies, and the effects of autoimmune system reactions to gluten, whether expressed classically in the intestines or not, can have an impact on the thyroid, pancreas, and other organs, including the brain. Gluten-ataxia/neuropathy is now a recognised condition.

But the effects of gluten, ( and casein ), are not confined to autoimmune system responses, because both proteins also contain food opioid peptides, which are capable of reaching the brain, ( where they suppress natural appetite suppressants for instance ), and a recent study showed that the intestinal permeability of a subset of people diagnosed autistic ( 36.7% compared to 4.8% of general population ) increases in the presence of gluten and casein, which extra permeability would allow more food opioid peptides to pass through and reach the brain.

Dr. Karl Reichelt and the Sunderland Project have been looking into the possibility that in a subset of autists these unusually large amounts of opioids may have an effect on the infant/developing brain, influencing the neuronal structure. Their theory is that if go gfcf early enough ( in infancy ) it might be possible to halt or reverse the particular neural connections/type of growth associated with many people on the spectrum, in a subset at least of autists.

Certainly I feel a lot more grounded, less spaced out, and more capable of both organising and carrying out slow/longterm small/detailed mundane physical tasks aswell as eye contact when I eat neither gluten or casein, ( I have been gf for three years now because have discovered that it induces depression in me, but am less consistent with dairy, stopping and starting frequently, and regularly notice how I space out after eating dairy ).

Not all autism is caused by the same thing(s). ... What does autism have to be "caused by" for it to count as "real" autism?
.



Last edited by ouinon on 01 Oct 2010, 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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01 Oct 2010, 8:59 am

I learned that I have a gluten and dairy intolerance about a year and a half before I was dx'd with Asperger's (or had even heard of Asperger's). Even after being on a strict gf/cf diet for a year, my Asperger traits were still pronounced enough for me to have gotten a formal dx of ASD. So, I would not consider it an ASD cure.

Cutting gluten and dairy out of my diet has really improved my overall health, though. My digestion and complexion are better, I sleep better and seem to be able to focus better. It's a big lifestyle change to go on this type of diet because gluten and dairy are present in a lot of prepared and processed foods; I honestly would not bother dealing with all the inconveniences of following the diet if it hadn't made a very tangible and positive difference in my life.

I work for a social services agency and most of my clients are people with physical disabilities. For what it's worth, I have worked with several people with multiple schlerosis and rheumatoid arthritis who have told me their symptoms have greatly improved once they cut out gluten. This makes sense, given that these are inflammatory diseases and eating gluten causes inflammation. The point I'm trying to make is that a gluten-free diet can help people with a wide variety of conditions or symptoms. It's not just an ASD-specific thing.

My advice to people interested in trying a gluten-free and/or casein-free diet would be to research it carefully and discuss it with a doctor or nutritionist before starting it, to make sure you are still getting the nutrients your body needs after cutting out these foods out. Then (and this is the tough part) you have to stick to the diet for about 6 months before making a decision about whether it's helping you enough to continue it. (If you have a gluten or casein intolerance and have been eating these foods your whole life, it'll take a while for it to get out of your system.) Sometimes people just try it for a week and don't get instant gratification, so they give up, which is a shame.



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03 Oct 2010, 12:01 am

blueroses wrote:
I learned that I have a gluten and dairy intolerance about a year and a half before I was dx'd with Asperger's (or had even heard of Asperger's). Even after being on a strict gf/cf diet for a year, my Asperger traits were still pronounced enough for me to have gotten a formal dx of ASD. So, I would not consider it an ASD cure.

Cutting gluten and dairy out of my diet has really improved my overall health, though. My digestion and complexion are better, I sleep better and seem to be able to focus better. It's a big lifestyle change to go on this type of diet because gluten and dairy are present in a lot of prepared and processed foods; I honestly would not bother dealing with all the inconveniences of following the diet if it hadn't made a very tangible and positive difference in my life.

I work for a social services agency and most of my clients are people with physical disabilities. For what it's worth, I have worked with several people with multiple schlerosis and rheumatoid arthritis who have told me their symptoms have greatly improved once they cut out gluten. This makes sense, given that these are inflammatory diseases and eating gluten causes inflammation. The point I'm trying to make is that a gluten-free diet can help people with a wide variety of conditions or symptoms. It's not just an ASD-specific thing.

My advice to people interested in trying a gluten-free and/or casein-free diet would be to research it carefully and discuss it with a doctor or nutritionist before starting it, to make sure you are still getting the nutrients your body needs after cutting out these foods out. Then (and this is the tough part) you have to stick to the diet for about 6 months before making a decision about whether it's helping you enough to continue it. (If you have a gluten or casein intolerance and have been eating these foods your whole life, it'll take a while for it to get out of your system.) Sometimes people just try it for a week and don't get instant gratification, so they give up, which is a shame.


Great post, I hear you.

I would also like to not that for the most part avoiding ALL grains is even better. Going gluten/casein free was great but I still wasn't happy with the results even after a year until I stopped eating corn(mostly GMO and not healthy at all), soy, rice too.

Avoiding all grains has made me realize grains were never supposed to be ingested. I eat only meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

Buckwheat is my #1 substitute for bread. I make buckwheat pancakes and flatbread. It's delicious and more healthy than any grain, it's technically a fruit.



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03 Oct 2010, 4:23 am

TXaspie wrote:
"GI problems" is one of 100's of issues that gluten sensitivity can cause.

Just so you know there are many people who avoid gluten for fatigue, depression, brain fog and these same people may not have GI symptoms.


those with celiac disease who are unaware of it (a few because they have no symptoms, most because they have not received an accurate diagnosis for the symptoms) are also more likely to develop intestinal and esophagal cancers.


TXaspie wrote:
Gluten has been linked to cancer


source? (unless you mean what i have said above, but that is specific to those with celiac disease who have not eliminated gluten from the diet)

i have heard that casein consumption is linked to cancer (in lab rats, and in people). there is a whole book (very well researched) largely about that idea, The China Study.

still, i cannot imagine anyone who doesn't directly have gluten and / or casein sensitivities would benefit enough from eliminating them from the diet that it would be worth the enormous hassle. (i am gluten free)

but stress exacerbates traits of autism, and having an unrecognized food intolerance would be a big stress on the body.

StuartN wrote:
TXaspie wrote:
I am a believer that autism/ADD is a diet thing. What's hereditary is the food intolerances/sensitivities families have, not the "autism". IMO Autism isn't really a disorder that people "just have". It's gotten from the diet of a mother eating food sensitivites without knowing it and producing a baby that has deficits.


This is seriously misguided rubbish


agree with stuart.


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