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Megz
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06 Dec 2011, 10:18 pm

I'm not sure if it actually helps with autism. Maybe indirectly like making people feel better/less moody/less self-conscious about physical symptoms (like for me I was always really really embarrassed about the eczema on my face which further impeded social interaction). I've heard some people say they think more clearly when they eat gfcf. I haven't done gf long enough to have any personal comments on it, but I know I feel much better when I stick 100% to casein free. Not feeling ill all the time does wonders for your mental state :roll: I'm still kinda mad that after years and years of trying to figure out what was causing my eczema (among other problems) none of the doctors ever thought to look into food allergies. Actually they weren't so much into looking for the cause as trying to push new medications on me. . . Part of the reason I'm so interested in herbal/natural remedies now. It looks to fix the cause rather than just treat the symptoms like much of western medicine.



spirals
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10 Dec 2011, 12:04 pm

After I had some not-easy-explainable symptoms and wanted to be "clean" I left out more and more kinds of food from my "average" diet. Currently I am (a kind of) vegan (no meat, no fish, no egg, sometimes dairy from non-cow milk) and eat as few as possible refined foods. No sugar (seldom "unrefined" sugar), no yeast. But much cereals (millet, buckwheat, rice, corn, sometimes normal wheat or spelt (Triticum aestivum spelta), much of oats) and much fruits and vegetables (often raw), and sweeteners like honey or sirups. And xylitol, stevia. No soy products. Not much fats or oils (including seeds). I did once a "80-10-10" diet for over a month but not experienced any special benefits that did go away when I stopped with it. There are many controversies about food healthyness.
I do not know about intolerance to any of the mentioned things (gluten, casein), I have no special problems after eating some goat cheese for example. After eating egg and I did not eat egg before that time for more months I had some kind of bad feeling or "sadness". After all, I am feeling somehow more "clear" since the time when I introduced veganism.



freebird1987
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22 Dec 2011, 2:04 pm

I never tried the gluten-free diet, but I wonder if it works on adults with Aspergers.



freebird1987
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22 Dec 2011, 2:08 pm

I just found an article that says that a gluten-free diet does not improve the behavior of autistics: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/20/study-gluten-free-diets-do-not-improve-autism-behavior/



ValentineWiggin
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22 Dec 2011, 2:41 pm

I was lactose-intolerant as a kid, and now have been vegan for 5 years.


I developed a horrific skin condition a few years ago which I determined was due to eating wheat, and a ton of it.
I stay away from it now, and it hasn't returned.

Food sensitivities are common on the spectrum, and it would make sense that they would be most commonly to foods which humans haven't been consuming for very long, evolutionarily.

(PS- veganism isn't a diet- it's a lifestyle excluding animal products).


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Megz
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22 Dec 2011, 2:44 pm

freebird1987 that is correct, it doesn't do anything for people who don't have intolerances/allergies/sensitivities to gluten and casein. The link to autism, I believe, is that people on the spectrum are more likely to have those intolerances/allergies/sensitivities. It's made a world of difference for me. It's amazing to realize that I've felt ill my whole life, but didn't realize it because I'd never known anything different.



aspiefeminist
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29 Feb 2012, 12:22 am

I have never tried GFCF diets because when I first considered them I looked into it a little bit and found nothing showing any real benefits. Having stomach problems affects your body, your stress, and your physical comfort. When those things are affected, of course it could make behavioral problems worse.

I have a lot of stomach problems in general so I have tried out different ways of helping. I was vegan for about 6 months but still had a lot of stomach problems. I went back to eating dairy and found that my stomach has actually been better. I think it is due to my soy consumption. When I was vegan I ate a lot more soy than I do now and I think soy messes with my stomach.

There are a lot of elimination diets you could try out to see if there are any foods that seem to irritate your son and his stomach. The GFCF one is just one possible diet that eliminates two potential food triggers. Soy can be a big problem for many people and unfortunately sometimes on GFCF diets soy compensates for some of the missing foods. I also find that eggs mess up my stomach and so I try to stay away from them too. I wouldn't recommend doing GFCF just because some people think it helps with autism. I would suggest trying to find a diet that seems to help your son's physical wellbeing, which in turn will help with his behavior and other things (hopefully).



Kjas
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29 Feb 2012, 12:05 pm

I do a version of this now, I don't eat anything outside of vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts, seeds and herbs and spices.

It's cleared up a lot of things for me, most noticeably my brain fog, ability to concentrate and my energy levels. I have also noticed I'm less likely to go into a full meltdown, I might overload for a short amount of time but I can calm myself more easily and it doesn't result in a full meltdown.

Before this, concentrating on one thing for any amount of time that I wasn't interested in was very difficult, now it's stand-able. I also found it very difficult to think clearly due to brain fog.

Maybe just take him off processed food and don't buy the expensive GF/CF/SF replacements? That should be cheaper for you.



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29 Feb 2012, 12:38 pm

Kjas wrote:
Maybe just take him off processed food and don't buy the expensive GF/CF/SF replacements? That should be cheaper for you.


I agree that this (or something similar) is probably a good idea. Have you ever seen a nutritionist/dietician with him? Most of the info you could probably find online or in books.

If you really think his behavior etc is strongly affected by his stomach stuff then you might want to evaluate (with a professional, some books, some set of log keeping for food and behavior on your own, through suggestions in this forum, etc) what foods affect him negatively/positively independently of "autism diets".