Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), better known as Autism is a full-body developmental disability that is developed in the early stages of brain development and is known to cause problems with social interactions, repetitive behaviors, verbal and nonverbal communication. According to the latest research, there is no cure or vaccines that can work against Autism with the most common solution being recommended by doctors include therapy and Psychotropic medications for the symptoms. However, over the past decade, many parents have come forward with how they used gluten-free diet or gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet to help reduce and even eliminate the symptoms of Autism from their children.
Today, we will be taking a look at this Gluten-free diet and how it can help (or harm) children with Autism.
- 1 What Is The Gluten-Free Diet?
- 2 How Does This Diet Help Reduce Signs Of Autism?
- 3 Is There Any Scientific Proof Behind This Diet?
- 4 Does It Work For Everyone With Autism?
- 5 How Long Does It Usually Take For Results To Become Visible?
- 6 Is There Any Need To Talk To The Doctor Before Starting This Diet?
- 7 Conclusion Regarding Autism And Gluten-Free Diet:
What Is The Gluten-Free Diet?
The Gluten-free diet to combat autism symptoms is a strict diet that asks for the elimination of all gluten products like wheat, rye, barley, oats as well as any processed or cooked products that are made from these grains. Usually, when parents remove gluten from their child’s diet, they also remove casein (milk protein) found in dairy products as this is also said to help eliminate autism symptoms. According to some theories, this Gluten-free diet can help children with gastrointestinal problems or increased levels of gluteomorphines. This by-product of gluten has been said to cause increased confusion, block pain messages and reduce social interactions in children with ASD. So, many people believe that starting the Gluten-free diet will help eliminate these signs of high gluteomorphines levels.
How Does This Diet Help Reduce Signs Of Autism?
There are thousands of people who have seen the first-hand benefits of this diet on autism. Some of the benefits that are said to be evident include a decline in self-injury, uncommunicative behaviors, dangerous climbing, elopement, rashes, frequent ear infections as well as other medical conditions which stopped being a problem after starting the diet.
Is There Any Scientific Proof Behind This Diet?
We didn’t find any studies that concentrated only on Gluten-free diets, but there are a few clinical studies with Gluten-free casein-free diets. In 2010, a Danish study found that there was an improvement in signs of autism like temper tantrums, eye contact, hyperactivity, speech, rashes, and seizures. This study found that the children who showed the best results had digestive problems like chronic diarrhea or constipation and some had food allergies. However, there are other studies like in 2015 which performed a double-blind study with a GFCF diet found no improvements in the children who tried the diet. It should be noted that this study was said only to have a short period of being given Gluten-free diet while it takes four to six months for all traces of gluten to be eliminated from the body. These mixed results regarding gluten and autism can be discouraging, but there are thousands of families who follow the Gluten-free diet because it helps their children better deal with autism.
Does It Work For Everyone With Autism?
This diet is said to be most effective for children with gastrointestinal problems. According to studies, almost half of the children with ASD have this problem which causes issues like GI tract inflammations. Studies also show that children with chronic digestive issues or those with food allergies benefit the most from this diet.
How Long Does It Usually Take For Results To Become Visible?
It’s known that it can take four to six months to eliminate all traces of gluten from the system which can make for a varied period in which to notice the benefits if any. Some children experience an improvement in symptoms just a few days or weeks of switching to Gluten-free diet while others take months to show results. There are also many who experience no benefit from the Gluten-free diet which can mean that the diet is not effective for the child.
Is There Any Need To Talk To The Doctor Before Starting This Diet?
Yes, it’s very important to talk to the child’s doctor before starting the Gluten-free diet. This is because the doctor can check the current nutrition levels and give you the details of which nutrients your child lacks to make up for with the diet. You should consult a trained dietitian or nutritionist for alternatives to gluten which can replace the current meals with Gluten-free options. Remember that it’s vital to make sure that your child is getting the nutrients he or she needs as this is what most people who switch to Gluten-free diets struggle with.
Conclusion Regarding Autism And Gluten-Free Diet:
There are many cases you can find online where the Gluten-free diet has helped reduce the signs of autism in children including improved sleep patterns, fewer behavioral issues and physical pain like stomach cramps and diarrhea. However, you should always consult the experts before trying this or any other diet that can help Autism.
Many restaurants provide Gluten-free meals and most big grocery stores also have products made free from gluten. However, you should always check the label to see if it contains gluten or if it’s been made alongside other products with gluten. Usually, the best bet is to go for products that have the label ‘Gluten-Free.’ We hope this article has given you some insight and information on autism and Gluten-free diet, for more information, talk to your nutritionist or doctor.
Michelle is the senior most expert who writes for this website. After completing her graduation and 10+ years of practice, Michelle has been involved and known for a lot of her philanthropy work. Michelle loves spending time researching and writing her papers. She occasionally writes for us and we are extremely proud to have her as one of our editors.