Archive for the ‘Autism’ Category

 


Special diets for special kids: Autism and casein- & gluten-free diets

Can food affect your kid's autism?

"Leaky gut"

One of the reasons the GFCF diet is often recommended for autistic individuals is due to a medical condition known as “leaky gut,” in which the intestinal lining is more permeable than normal. A leaky gut does not properly absorb nutrients, and as a result can lead to symptoms of bloating, gas, cramps, fatigue, headaches, memory loss, poor concentration of irritability. Healing of the gut is being seen in individuals who have gluten and casein eliminated from their diets.

In a study written by Stephen M Edelson, PhD, at the Center for the Study of Autism in Salem, Oregon, he says: “Some people suggest that the health status of the child’s intestinal tract should be examined first; and if there is evidence of a ‘leaky gut,’ then the child should be placed on a gluten- and/or casein-free diet. The intestinal permeability test is one way to determine whether a child has a ‘leaky gut.’ This test involves drinking a sweet-tasting solution and then collecting urine samples afterwards. Most physicians can administer this test. Parents have also sent their child’s urine samples to laboratories to test for the presence of abnormal peptides associated with gluten and casein in the urine. However, many people feel that these tests are not necessary and suggest that one should simply place the child on a restricted diet and then observe whether or not there are any improvements in the child.”

A GFCF success story

Miami mom Hilda Mitrani says she has seen significant improvement in her autistic son in the 10 years he has been on a gluten-free, casein-free diet. She initially found out about the diet through an email support group list of parents of children with autism. “On this list, Karyn Seroussi and Lisa Lewis, PhD, were commenting on children with autism whose behaviors had decreased after dietary changes,” says Mitrani. “Then I went to an autism conference and met Karyn and her husband, who was a scientist with Johnson & Johnson."

She says she quickly realized that her son fit the pattern of the children that were being helped by the GFCF diet. "He has frequent bouts of diarrhea, horrible gas attacks and allergic reactions that were visible on his skin," Mitrani says. "Also, I would describe his behavior as something like an addict’s. When he had his 'gluten fix,' he was pacified. Without it, his behavior was uncontrollable.”

After starting the diet, her son’s gastrointestinal system began to settle down with the diarrhea, gas attacks and allergic reactions disappearing, and his behavior stabilizing. The diet however, is hard to maintain, especially as a child may continue to seek gluten. “For more than a year, he sought out gluten in every place he went,” says Mitrani. “I would find him in a bathroom, covering himself with soap or gluten-based shampoos, or was told that he tried to eat paste at school. As he became older, I could speak with him rationally about not doing these things.”

In addition, Mitrani took special pains to make sure her son had a special treat at every birthday party and family event. “We made cakes, cookies, pizza and everything else that other people would be eating in a gluten-free version, so that he never felt left out.”

She offers the following advice to parents considering the GFCF diet for her or his child:

If you've heard how hard it is to maintain this kind of special diet, take heart in the fact that it's easier now than ever, with terrific gluten-free recipes and many types of flour with which to bake.

Try every recipe until you find ones that work for you.

Don’t forget to eliminate the gluten in over-the-counter products or pharmaceuticals as a potential contaminant.

For information on gluten intolerance -- and some tasty GF recipes -- check out these links:

  • 6 tips for gluten-free living
  • Gluten-free Raspberry Souffle
  • Gluten-free Banana Cake
  •    Source: You can find this article at http://www.sheknows.com/articles/804531.htm?page=2   About the author: Marla Hardee Milling is a freelance writer in Asheville, North Carolina. Her articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications, both online and in print, including Cooking Smart, Healthgate, Pinnacle Living, Blue Ridge Country, LowCarb Energy, Charleston Magazine, Smart Computing's PC Today, The Christian Science Monitor and several pregnancy and health/fitness publications, among others.  


    Maritza Velazquez, Staff Writer

    Article Launched: 03/12/2008 09:09:57 PM PDT

    Cries from a child shaken from his sleep instantly transformed into shrieks of joy. Little Royce Block had spotted his wicker basket. But it wasn't filled with candy or toys. It contained about 10 medicines he takes every day.

    The 2-year-old has autism.

    For about a year, Jess Block watched her son live his life without smiling, playing or leaving his stroller.

    After some research, Block found Dr. Hitendra Shah, who works at the Wellness Clinic in Diamond Bar. Shah diagnosed Royce with autism in February.

    The condition is not about a delay in a child's development; it's about regression.

    "One of the most common stories we hear with most children is that they were born normal," Shah said. "Maybe they were talking and saying some words, then they will completely stop talking."

    Shah is one of just a couple dozen in the state who practice the Defeat Autism Now, or DAN, approach.

    Instead of using psychiatric drugs to treat these children, the approach incorporates natural therapies.

    The most basic treatments include relieving the body of toxins and incorporating a casein- and gluten-free diet.

    "The most important thing we do is take out all the foods with casein and gluten," Shah said. "It makes them substantially improve."

    For now, Block is just excited to see her baby acting like a normal toddler.

    "For every parent it's a joy to see your child grow and develop," she said, "but to see your child stop regressing is just amazing."

    Source: http://www.sgvtribune.com:80/living/ci_8551563