Dietary Interventions

Special Diet

A Specialized diet should be the first intervention in treating autism symptoms. Food intake should be moulded based on a step by step eliminating of all substances that can cause behavioral issues or allergic reactions. In most cases, this includes elimination of foods containing Gluten (wheat), Caesin (milk) (or gluten), sugar, sweeteners, yeast, eggs, or artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and soy. The most common and widely followed diet pattern is the Gluten and Casein free (GFCF) diet.

What is GF/CF diet

The GF/CF diet results in removal two types of proteins from the diet. One is casein, which is contained in all milk and dairy products, and the other one is gluten, which is contained in wheat, barley, rye and some Oat varieties. Even food sources containing trace amounts of these two proteins need to be avoided. Thus, it is paramount that labels and ingredients are thoroughly checked before buying grocery items. A Gluten free or Caesin free label is usually a good indication that a particular grocery item does not contain these respective proteins.

Will the diet Help

There is not enough scientific evidence yet to support the therapeutic potential of the GF/CF diet. However, after years of actual practice and some recent scientific studies, the consensus is that the GFCF diet can certainly be alleviating some, but not all, symptoms of Autism. The effectiveness of this intervention is seen to vary from child to child as each child on the spectrum is unique and responds differently to the same intervention.

How it helps?

There are several theories about how the GF/CF diet may alleviate Autism symptoms. Some theories suggest that kids on the spectrum may have a very sensitive gut, which may also be inflamed and permeable, resulting in the "leaky gut" syndrome. Due to a leaky gut, gluten and casein are not digested properly and pass into the blood stream and into the brain by breaching the blood -brain barrier. Following this, an immune response is triggered in the brain, leading to most beahvoirial issues.

Will this help your Child?

Every child is different. An intervention that works for one child might not work for another child. Before a dietry intervention, it is of utmost importance to get tested for food and other sources of allergies. Kids who have digestive issues and other stomach problems definitely show a positive response to dietry interventions. It takes 2-3 weeks for caesin to get out of the body but it may take 6 months for gluten to be removed from the body after following the GFCF diet. Consequently, it is only after atleast 6 months before a decision can be made whether the GFCF diet is working or not.

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