If you missed this mornings chat on twitter with The Coffee Klatch, here is a review of some of the questions and my answers as their guest.
Q> Why do gluten and casein affect so many autistic children?
A> No one knows the causes of food allergies/intolerances or autism-so it’s difficult to say why so many on the spectrum seem to be affected.
A> However there does seem to be a link between “some” with food allergies and those on the spectrum.
A> For example, many kids have both food allergies and are on the spectrum in some way, shape or form.
Q> How do you start such a huge undertaking as it will affectthe whole family ? Do you remove one at a time or all at once?
A> A Dr should e consulted before removing any food from a diet. Then foods should be removed one at a time to see if there is any change.
Q> How long is a reasonable amount of time to give the diet a try to know if your child will benefit from it?
A> Depends on a variety of factors. All individuals react differently. One must first rule out an absolute food allergy through a Dr.
Q> How long a period of time before benefits are seen ? A week or a month?
A> Some individuals see immediate changes upon diet change, for some it is more gradual as the body/immune system/stomach heals.
Q> What is the difference between a food intolerance and a food allergy?
A> A food allergy is an immune system response to food proteins, an intolerance is a gastrointestinal response.
A> With food allergy the body sees the food protein as a foreign invader and produces histamines which can lead to severe reactions.
A> Intolerance reactions are typically less severe (gastrointestinal) but can be damaging over a period of time causing other complications.
Q> What is the link between food allergies and asthma?
A> Children with food allergies are at greater risk for asthma.
A> Those with asthma without food allergy testing may in fact have a food allergy that is causing their asthma symptoms.
Q> What improvements are usually seen in this subgroup of children that it does help?
A> This area is not my specialty, but I’ve been told the diet has helped with focus, attention issues, hyperactivity and more.
A> It’s important to remember that one should not eliminate an entire food group from their diet without discussing with a physician.
Q> Is sugar elimination also included in this diet?
A> I think this is one area we can all benefit from. Sugar (many foods) in excess can be harmful to the body.
A> I personally believe the key for any person/child on the spectrum “or not” is unprocessed whole foods: fruit, veg, whole grains etc.
Q> You pride yourselves on choosing the best companies that cater to the food allergy and celiac communities. Can you share some of those resources with us?
A> Our site is a resource guide and product/company directory. We typically only list companies that are allergen free in products & facility.
A> Enjoy Life brands are free of the top 8 allergens and found in stores nationwide.
A> 123 gluten free makes great tasting mixes manufactured in a dedicated gluten/nut free kosher facility.
A> @allergygrocer @navanfoods @allergiesandme are just 3 of the many great online stores that sell allergy friendly products.
Q> The holidays are here ? What are some of your favorite and fun recipes families can make together with the GFCF diet?
A> @godairyfree is a great resource for dairy free living and has tons of recipes as well as a great cookbook.
A> @CybelePascal has a great gluten free/allergen free cookbook and great recipes.
A> Check out the recipe sites/blogs listed in our directory:
More information can be found on Autism and a gluten/casein free diet at the following link: