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Selecting an Autism Diet | The Essential Guide To Autism

Selecting an Autism Diet

An autism diet may be another form of effective treatment.  But when it comes to food control, there is more than one type of diet that can be used to treat autism.

Many health practitioners believe that an autism diet may be a beneficial treatment.  The reason is because many autistics have distorted immune response which causes their body to respond abnormally to certain types of food, viruses and toxins. 

Also it is not uncommon for many autistics to suffer from gastrointestinal inflammation and other intestinal disorders.  It is thought that these intestinal problems might decrease the body’s ability to absorb specific essential nutrients.  So, by following a diet and other alternative treatment methods, certain abilities and overall health may be improved in an individual with autism.

The following are four autism diets you may want to consider –

1. Gluten and Casein Free Diet
Gluten and Casein are both proteins found in many foods which some autistics have a hard time digesting.  Gluten is found in wheat, oat and rye products, while casein is found in human milk, cow milk and many other dairy products.  Both of these proteins are also in the ingredients of many medications.

Research has discovered that abnormally high level of specific peptides related to gluten and casein have been found in the urine of autistic children.  This could mean that these proteins are not being effectively broken down into amino acids, and this over-absorption of peptide may actually affect brain function.  So the theory is that removing gluten and casein from the autism diet will prevent further gastrointestinal and neurological damage from occurring.

Yeast-Free Diet
There are a large number of people with autism who have high levels of candida albicans (a type of yeast that occurs naturally in the body) in their intestinal tract.  A candida overgrowth in the intestines can cause “leaky gut” syndrome, a condition that leads to the creation of tiny holes in the intestinal tract, allowing waste material to escape the intestines and enter the blood stream.  The yeast grows fast and releases toxins in the bloodstream which has the potential to affect brain functioning.

In fact, aside from causing stomach distress, it is thought by some that a candida overgrowth can cause a number of behavioural difficulties such as fatigue, confusion and hyperactivity.

Candida can be controlled naturally through an anti-candida (yeast) diet or with essential oils.  An anti-yeast diet involves cutting out all natural and artificial sugars, caffeine, most dairy products, preservatives and, of course, yeast products (I.E. bread).

Specific Carbohydrate Diet
This is a science based autism diet, and it involves the eliminating of specific carbohydrates (sugars and starches) that have been found to cause problems within the digestive tract and abnormal brain function.

This diet limits the amount of carbohydrates ingested and slowly adds them back once the intestinal tract has had time to heal.

Body Ecology Diet (BED)
This particular diet used to treat autism was originally created to treat systemic fungal infections typically caused by Candida overgrowth.  It has been used to treat the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, as well as a number of autoimmune diseases.   Like the other autism diets, the BED works to heal the gastrointestinal system and prevent future infections.

The BED diet involves eliminating gluten and casein from the diet as well as drastically limiting certain fats, carbohydrates and sugars.

If you would like to place your child onto a specific diet to address autism symptoms talk to your child’s health care provider to find out which autism diet would be the best course of treatment.  It is also important to have your doctor monitor your child’s condition while on a diet treatment.  This way you can ask any questions or concerns you may have about the autism diets, and to ensure your child is receiving the sufficient nutrients his/her body requires.

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