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What You Should Know Regarding Autism And Diet

May 9, 2008
Most people don't know that autism is a physical condition as well as a mental one. For this reason alone, controlling your child's autism and diet go hand in hand. Studies have shown that over half of autistic children suffer from gastrointestinal issues including chrons disease and colitis. Some scientists believe that this disorder begins in the stomach. Their theory is that the gastrointestinal walls have been damaged, which allows toxins to seep into the bloodstream and affect the brain's activity.

This is the reason why an autistic child's parents need to monitor their child's eating habits as well as their behavior. Foods that contain casein (dairy products) and gluten (rye, wheat, and barley) are foods that someone suffering from autism should not be eating. It appears that their body can't properly digest them and this undigested protein becomes a poison that leaks into their circulatory system.

A GFCF diet (gluten-free, casein-free) is becoming increasingly popular with the parents of children suffering from autism. Some in the medical community are still skeptical, but other medical professionals and organizations completely support the GFCF diet. Defeat Autism Now (DAN) is one of those organizations. Many parents have found incredible improvements in their children after switching to this diet. They have noticed that their child has a longer attention span, makes better eye contact, and behaves less aggressively in general.

The hardest part for the parent is going to be implementing this diet. A major portion of many peoples diet includes dairy products as well as cereals. People that are allergic to gluten already know how difficult it is to find products that are gluten-free. When you add dairy to the list as well, the job becomes a lot harder. Making the job harder still, many children suffering from autism latch on to certain foods and simply refuse to eat other foods. With so many products containing casein or gluten, there is a pretty good chance that something your child likes will end up being a problem for you. Another thing to be aware of is that foods containing casein and gluten act as opiates, which will make your autistic child crave them even more.

It isn't going to be easy to wean your child off of these foods. Most parents find that it is easiest to start by eliminating dairy. Because many people are lactose intolerant, dairy makes up a smaller percentage of most individuals' diets than products containing gluten do. It is much easier to replace products containing casein with other foods. Unfortunately, this is not the case with gluten. Foods that don't even contain gluten can be contaminated by it, because many different foods can be processed at the same facility. Examine all of a foods ingredients carefully and if you are still in doubt, check directly with the products manufacturer.

Monitoring your child's autism and diet isn't going to be easy, because many parents believe their child won't eat if their favorite foods are taken away. You have to be firm as well as loving, and don't give in when your child misbehaves because their menu at home has been changed. In a few short weeks, you may very well notice a change in the behavior of your child, and you may also be pleasantly surprised at what they are now willing to eat that they wouldn't touch previously.
About the Author
There is much more to learn about the management and treatment for autism. The best thing you can do for the health and welfare of your family is to become informed. The most up to date resources and information about diagnosing, controlling, and treating Autism can be found at Http://AutismAwareness.wordpress.com
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