Autism Diet Gluten Free

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: