Suffering From an Autism Food Allergy?

An autism food allergy is a very serious problem. In fact, autism induced by allergies has recently been identified and occurs when a child's diet influences his or her autism symptoms. The children who are at the highest risk of an impact from an autism food allergy are those who have regressive autism. Regressive autism is the form of the disorder that occurs when the child's first symptoms appear at around the age of two after having developed normally until then. Other autistic children at risk are those with behavioral and neurological problems in conjunction with serious digestive problems.

Kids with an autism food allergy struggle to digest essential food proteins such as gluten and casein. Gluten is a protein found in many kinds of grains, such as wheat, and is frequently added to food products during the manufacturing process. Casein is a protein found in milk and is also added to other foods as they are manufactured.

Some children with food allergies are unable to properly digest gluten and casein. These proteins are digested only partially and leave a byproduct to which the children react in a very similar way to the drug morphine. This substance is able to slip through the wall of the digestive tract, a condition known as 'leaky gut syndrome', and circulates through the bloodstream and into the brain.

When a child has an intolerance to gluten or casein an altered protein can also be found in the urine after the child consumed food containing these two compounds. It is believed that this occurs as a result of the creation and absorption of the morphine-like chemical created by the body of the child when trying to digest gluten or casein. The child may then behave in a "spaced out" way. Furthermore, it can create somewhat of an addiction in these children, causing them to crave foods containing gluten and casein.

Because children with an autism food allergy struggle to digest food properly, they are also unable to remove toxins and chemicals as efficiently as they should from their body. This can include not only waste in the traditional sense of digestion, but also fertilizers, pesticides, cleansers and detergents, pollution, artificial flavorings and colorings, preservatives, chemical food additives, and other forms of chemical that can build up and become toxic over time.

Symptoms of an autism food allergy usually appear within an autistic child at around the age of three. Though the symptoms may come about as a result of intolerance to pollutants in the food, others will react to chemical additives, and again others will react to the basic composition of the food. Though reactions can be caused by essentially anything, the most common allergies are to foods such as corn, citrus fruits, wheat, dairy and sugar.

Though the symptoms of an autism food allergy may not be obvious to those around the child, medical testing and observation shows frequent diarrhea, bloating, low blood sugar, excessive sweating, redness in the ears and face, rhinitis (runny nose), the inability to regulate the body temperature, and dark circles under the eyes are common.

The only way to treat an autism food allergy is to pinpoint the food of foods that are causing the problem and then eliminate it from the diet entirely. It is important to note that this won't cure autism, however symptoms will often improve substantially when a diet free of those items that cause a reaction is followed. Parents will still be faced with the same issues in socializing and communicating with autistic children even after an altered diet is introduced, and change will still need to be carefully managed.

To discover which foods your child reacts to, an exclusion diet is a good way to determine what items are potentially contributing to their autism symptoms and digestive issues. However, before starting an exclusion diet ensure you consult a qualified health professional to ensure your child continues to receive adequate nutrition.

Once you have the go ahead, start by eliminating the common culprits i.e. wheat, dairy, sugar, corn and citrus fruits for a two to four week period and then slowly reintroduce the removed items one at a time and monitor behaviors and digestive changes carefully.

This process can help identify those food items that are problematic for your child. An alternative is to have blood testing done to look for antibodies that are produced when an allergic reaction takes place. Your doctor should be able to arrange this for you or refer you to the appropriate professional.

There is currently a study about to get underway being carried out by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston that will be scientifically studying the effects of gluten and casein on autistic children which should help to answer the autism food allergy question.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans' brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out all about an autism food allergy and the different kinds of autism diets that are available to help improve autism behaviors.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that its so very important for parents to address digestive health. Many children with ASD have outwardly displayed food intolerances and diagnosed gastrointestinal problems but oftentimes parents aren't aware that their child has these problems because their child isn't able to communicate their discomfort. Even if a child doesn't outwardly display digestive problems, the GFCF diet may still be beneficial for them. Without the morphine-like affects of the maldigested food proteins, these children may be able to better focus and respond to their therapies. Although the diet can be difficult to implement, many parents feel that the effort is very worth the benefits!
It's important to work with your health care professional to make sure your child gets proper nutrition while following an elimination diet. I work as a nutrition specialist for a company called Nutricia that makes medical foods for children. We have a few products that are prescribed for children with Autism to provide complete nutrition while following a special diet. Neocate Junior and E028 Splash are nutritionally complete and hypoallergenic. The protein component is free amino acids, which means the protein is in the smallest, most broken down form so there is no risk of the reactions seen with the maldigested proteins. It's a good way to safely administer a restrictive diet. Feel free to browse our website, for more information or email me at