Ketosis, beneficial for people with ASD ?

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lonestar
Blue Jay
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08 Jul 2013, 7:41 am

Any thougts on the benefits of a ketogenic diet for those diagnosed within the ASD spectrum?

I know the diet changes the brain chemistry, and is beneficial for some individuals struggling with sezures (epilepsy). and i have also read about some people with Autism having less struggles with this diet.
My personal experience is very clear. My brain and body works way better when my body is in ketosis.

Link to abstract "Response of brain amino acid metabolism to ketosis." LINK


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(In the process of getting a ASD diagnosis)


ouinon
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08 Jul 2013, 9:47 am

I am currently exploring this myself. And I know that another WP member, Morgana, has been following a very low carbo diet for a while and found/finds it very helpful/useful.

I have in the past followed gluten-free and casein/dairy-free diets ( for periods ranging from a few weeks to a couple of years ), and had found that this made a significant difference ( a gfcf diet helped me to emerge and recover from manic-depressive breakdown, has kept depression at bay/halted it several times, improved my sleep and reduced anxiety, as well as getting rid of headaches, frequent colds, and various other physical problems ) .

And recent studies have now shown repeatedly that a subset/about 35% of people on the spectrum have unusually permeable intestinal membranes, ( compared to about 5% of the general pop ), which conceivably allows the v large protein molecules of undigested gluten, which contains a food opioid, to enter the blood stream and access the brain. And other studies have shown that there is a higher than normal chance of someone on the spectrum, ( and/or their mother ) having celiac disease or diabetes or certain other autoimmune disorders, in which the body attacks various organs under the impression that the cells are foreign objects. ...

However, my last, very long, ( sustained and successful ) attempt at a gf diet, ( over three years from Oct/Nov 2008 until Feb 2011 ), was derailed as I ate more and more sugar ( esp high-fructose things which I tended to believe were ok ) and "permitted"/gf carbos ( rice pudding, cornflakes, chestnut purees, rice-cakes with various things, mashed potato, etc ) ... and at the same time somehow felt less and less "able", less "energetic", less motivated, less capable of long-term thinking etc, and increasingly disinclined to live the rest of my life restricting my diet, not eating bread, pizza, etc.

I began to read about and experiment with the low-carbo diet approach several years ago, but I am a terrible sugar-addict and I always found ways to rationalise drinking fruit juice, putting honey in herb teas, enjoying marzipan ( it's gluten free and full of calcium to replace dairy :lol ), and consuming carrot juice, ( full of important vitamins! :lol ), and dried fruit, ( better than stuffing my face with rice ... surely? ), and and and ... I would find myself sliding back into regular over-consumption of various carbohydrates, feeling dopey, sleepy, inert, averse to going out or doing v much etc.

This time, ha! ( a couple of weeks ago ) I started with almost four days of pure water only, felt absolutely dreadful, was sick several times on the second-third days, ( a far worse experience than the five day water-only fast I went on the first time I ever tried an exclusion diet when I was younger and much much fitter in 1992 ) and gave up on the fourth day because of increasingly bad lower-bowel pains, which online fasting-sites said I should treat as a signal to stop. But ... I got into ketosis! :) It only lasted until the next day, but I had got a feel for the "difference", for what I was after. :) ...

Though I already knew in a way, ( I just wanted to confirm that *that* was what it was! :) ) because I had already noticed on several/countless occasion in the last 20 years or so that when I for whatever reason forget to eat, am prevented from eating, stop eating for a couple of days because of gastros/diarrheoa etc, etc I feel awesome! ! !! :D Really really magic, like a different person.

I seem to need to stay below the 30g/day limit, ( maybe even less, but will see ) rather than the higher levels of 50-70g which some people seem to manage ketosis on, probably because I don't exercise, am terribly unfit, not having exercised regularly in years, and have spent most of my almost 50 years mostly indulging my addiction to sugar and carbohydrates, sometimes/often binging on them, such that my body is absolutely not used to using fat-fuel-metabolising pathways at all. Its default setting is "sugar/carb-using"; it will profit from and survive on, hang onto, and wait on, the tiniest amount of sugar/carbo, rather than switching to fat burning.

But I have read so much now about Alzheimers being referred to as Diabetes 3, and so much about the toxic effects of sugars and carbohydrates on brain function in people unadapted to sugars/carbos, that I am convinced that this is quite possibly as important if not more so than a gluten-free diet. :( I am therefore pursuing a very very low carbohydrate diet for the foreseeable future. :)
.



lonestar
Blue Jay
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08 Jul 2013, 3:27 pm

When i re-introduced bread and starchy veggies, my symptoms came farly quickly.

When im in ketosis i get rid of:

psoriasis
sleep difficulties
"brain fog", to som extent
stimuli sensitivity, to some extent

and i generally feel like its my bodys fuel of choice :)


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ADHD and dyscalculia diagnosis at 19
Your Aspie score: 145 of 200
Your NT- score: 62 of 200
(In the process of getting a ASD diagnosis)


auntblabby
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08 Jul 2013, 11:01 pm

i'm not as advanced as the rest of you all, but since I went on a low-acidic [almost no refined carbs/red meat, mostly plants and non-red-meat proteins] my recurrent sinus infections went away as well as 99% of my lower-body edema. clothes fit me again. :)



C0MPAQ
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09 Jul 2013, 3:34 am

I have experimented a lot with my diet and it turned out it is best to avoid most plant based foods, mostly eat meat and dairy products (except milk) and keep carbohydrate levels at the absolute minimum, that is about 40g/day iirc, which should put you almost but not quite into ketosis. There is a very invariable optimum with this. The diet is hard to adhere to if you inconsistently excercise and have to do whatever exhausting physical activities, like riding 10km with a bike to work. Then you need to eat more carbs and more protein and more fat, depending on whatever ratios your body used to repair itself and to produce energy. I found that if you excercise worth more than 200-400kcal a day, you can't really predict the changes to the ratios and amounts (since the body regeneration is somewhat exponentially increasing and then decreasing over 7 days, your body has buffers for energy and proteins and what not which even depend on the weather).

There are still benefits to managing diet anyway, even with no fixed carbohydrate amount. I don't think that plainly putting yourself into medically relevant ketosis can have health benefits.


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