Gluten free diet for autism has been advocated by many researchers on grounds that gluten and casein adversely affect those suffering from autism and related conditions. But the question is – how much of it is true and how far can you hope to control the symptoms of autism with gluten free life?
That is what we are here to figure out, and help you with.
As Wikipedia informs us:
“The possibility of a relationship between autism and the consumption of gluten and casein was first articulated by Kalle Reichelt in 1991…”
His findings were based on the work of Curtis Dohan. Dohan had concluded that people with schizophrenia are unable to metabolize gluten.
According to him, this was a genetic defect and resulted in schizophrenic behavior. The findings of Dohan formed the basis for Reichelt’s research on autism, another mental disorder.
Reichelt suggested that the incomplete metabolism spikes the peptide levels and these peptides (protein) have an opiate effect—or drug like effect thereby impairing the activities of the brain. According to Reichelt, the brain’s inability to function at its fullest potential results from the peptides in question.
“These peptides were speculated to arise from incomplete digestion of certain foods, in particular gluten from wheat and certain other cereals and from casein from milk and dairy produce.”
Based on the various experimental studies and research, medical professionals advocate gluten-free/casein-free diet for autistic patients. The GFCF diet as it is known – is an alternative means of checking the symptoms of autism. It is believed that autism patients react negatively to foods that contain gluten and casein…they might be food sensitive and the gluten/casein triggers a negative reaction in them. This is corroborated by the fact that researchers have found abnormal peptide levels in people with autism.
However, the impact of a gluten free diet for autistic people is yet to be proved. There have been many studies, but very few have led to conclusive ideas. Hence the relationship between autism and a gluten free diet is yet to be ascertained and established.
Regardless, if you go for gluten free diet, there a few tips that you have to consider.
- Make sure to get enough nutrition supplementation. If you steer clear of gluten containing food, you might lose out on important nutrients, and they need to be supplemented.
- You can prepare gluten free food items in bulk and use them later as per need.
- Beware of the hidden sources of gluten.
- When buying products, read the labels carefully.
Now that you have a fair idea on the basics of gluten free diet for autism, you are in a better position to tackle this medical issue.