10 Diet Tips for Autism

  1. Remove or reduce foods using an Elimination Diet to see which food controls symptoms and which aggravates them.
  2. A gluten-free and casein-free diet (gluten is the protein in wheat, and casein is the protein in milk).
  3. Eliminate allergenic foods like eggs, fish, seafood, tree nuts, peanuts, and soy.
  4. A low-carb ketogenic diet has been found to be effective for autistic children.
  5. A yeast and sugar-free diet is helpful in some cases.
  6. Some autistic children are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals therefore ensure that the child is getting an adequate amounts to aid their growth and treat symptoms.
  7. Include a diet rich in essential fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and cod liver oil.
  8. A diet rich in fiber helps to alleviate and prevent constipation. Also include plenty of fluids and regular physical activity.
  9. Probiotics help with gastro-intestinal problems because they contain healthy bacteria and can improve the micro flora in the digestive tract in many autistic children.
  10. Digestive enzymes also help to aid digestion.

GFCF Chocolate Pudding Recipe!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch (or potato)
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups liquid DariFree
1 Tbs margarine or shortening
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1-2 tbsp cocoa powder or carob powder

Combine the dry ingredients. Stir in the Darifree until smooth. I imagine you could use any dairy sub here.
Microwave uncovered on high for 3 minutes.
Stir.
Microwave 4 – 6 minutes more, stirring every minute until thick.
Stir in margarine/shortening and vanilla.
Cover with plastic wrap to avoid “skin”.
Refrigerate.

This recipe was adapted from www.gcfree.com

GFCF Mac ‘n Cheese Recipe!

1 cup cooked rice elbow macaroni
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon tapioca or corn starch
Dash black pepper
1 ¼ cup Rice Milk
1 roll of Teese (cheddar style – cheese substitute)

Cook rice macaroni according to directions.
In a saucepan, cook onion in margarine until tender. Stir in flour and pepper.
Add rice milk.
Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Add cheese. Stir until melted.
Stir macaroni into cheese.
Transfer to a 1 quart casserole.
Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes – until bubbly.

This recipe was adapted from: http://gfcfrecipes.blogspot.ca/

Dietary Intervention – An Important Consideration for Autism

Autism is a complex biomedical disorder that is currently being diagnosed at an epidemic level in children. As research continues to fall short of unveiling a cause or cure for autism, parents and professionals strive to find treatments to minimize the symptoms of the condition. One well-known treatment is the use of specialized diets for autism. A preliminary dietary intervention which is still the most popular within the field of autism is the Gluten Free-Casein Free (GFCF) diet. The GFCF diet strives to remove the proteins of gluten (found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and oats) and casein (found in dairy products) for optimal digestion. As researchers have further recognized the gastrointestinal component of autism, additional diets to address the symptoms of autism have developed and are becoming more widely utilized.

These diets include:
Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
Body Ecology Diet (BED)
GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome)
Feingold
Failsafe
Weston A. Price
Low Oxalate
DAN!

Research has recognized that those with autism have marked gastrointestinal symptoms and by eliminating offenders for the immune and gastrointestinal systems, improvements are often seen in neurological symptoms as well as digestive symptoms. For many children, dietary intervention has resulted in significant improvements in language, social interaction, behavior, and eye contact, along with a reduction in self-stimulatory behaviors and aggression. A healthy diet that addresses the gastrointestinal concerns for those who suffer from the condition is a viable treatment option in reducing symptoms and improving outcomes for children with autism.

Leaky Gut Syndrome and Autism

Many autistic individuals have tiny holes in their intestinal tract, and this is often referred to as ‘leaky gut’. Intestinal permeability, commonly called “leaky gut”, means that there are larger than normal spaces present between the cells of the gut wall. When these large spaces exist in the small intestine, it allows undigested food and other toxins to enter the blood stream. This theory suggests that autistic children have tears and holes in their intestinal walls, possibly due to damage from toxins, antibiotic sensitivity or infections (such as an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans). These children may lose healthy digestive bacteria and have damage to the cells that produce enzymes needed to absorb certain proteins (such as gluten) properly.

Gluten is a protein and is contained in grass foods such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. Casein is also a protein and is found in dairy products such as milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt. In the intestinal tract, gluten and casein breakdown into peptides; and these peptides then breakdown into amino acids.

When incompletely broken down foods enter the body, the immune system mounts an attack against the “foreigner” resulting in food allergies and sensitivities. The release of antibodies triggers inflammatory reactions when the foods are eaten again. The chronic inflammation lowers IgA levels. Sufficient levels of IgA are needed to protect the intestinal tract from clostridia and yeast.

Partially digested protein molecules from gluten and casein, also known as peptides, can reach the brain via the bloodstream. Peptides have a molecular structure similar to that of your brain’s natural opioids (endorphins), so they’re drawn to the brain’s opioid receptors. This can lead to problems with behavior, speech and social skills. Just as opioid drugs such as heroin are addictive, so can foods high in gluten and casein be for children with leaky gut.

Many, but not all children with autism have food allergies, and this supports the hypothesis that leaky gut syndrome may underly symptoms of autism.  The important point is that many parents have seen results from the simple step of putting their autistic child on an autistic diet focusing on leaky gut syndrome. If you have an autistic child, it is well worth your time and their health to explore natural treatment options for them.

What is Defeat Autism Now (DAN!)?

Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) is a project that was founded in the 1960s by Dr. Bernard Rimland. Doctors trained in the “DAN! Protocol,” are taught an approach to autism which begins with the idea that autism is a biomedical disorder. This approach was developed by the Autism Research Institute (ARI) which has more than 1,000 documented cases of autistic children who have recovered.

The belief among DAN! doctors is that autism is a disorder caused by a lowered immune response, issues caused by some foods, and external toxins from vaccines and other sources.

What Type of Treatments do DAN! Doctors Prescribe?


  • Supplements such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and essential fatty acids.
  • Gluten- and dairy-free diets.
  • Food allergy testing.
  • Treating dysbiosis in the gut using non-pharmacological medications (i.e. intestinal bacterial/yeast overgrowth).
  • Heavy metal detoxification.

What can I expect at my DAN! Doctor Appointment?

You can expect that your child will go through some testing mostly revolving around the state of their internal body. A test for hidden food allergies will be conducted to be sure that any dietary changes that are made as part of your child’s treatment plan are beneficial and not more damaging to them.

You should leave with your questions answered and a customized treatment plan for your child’s needs. If you have questions, ask, ask, ask. Remember, these doctors chose to be DAN! doctors. They believe in this treatment method, and want to see your child healthy!

Enhanced Biofilm Protocol: Perfecting the Process Part III: The Final Steps

biofilm

Over the last two weeks, we’ve looked at Dr. Wong’s new Enhanced Biofilm Protocol. If you’d like to play catch-up, check out our most recent two posts on Enhanced Biofilm Protocol: Perfecting the Process: Part I: and Part II:  Liver Detoxification and Vitamin D Deficiencies.

This week, we’ll take a look at the remaining steps in Dr. Wong’s new biofilm protocol that focuses on targeting body toxins, removing them, and healing the body of Autistic children.

We left off explaining the importance of cleansing the liver. After this process takes place, the Ileocecal and Houston valves are inspected and fixed if necessary. The ileocecal valve is distinctive because it is the only site in the GI tract which is used for Vitamin B12 and bile acid absorption.

Next comes diet modification. Children should eat fruits that are in season that are not treated with any sort of preservatives. Additionally, the GFCF diet should be initiated to continue the cleansing of the body and as an upkeep of health.

Probiotics and Prebiotics should be administered at this point. These, by definition safe and effective agents that help regulate the body’s micro-environment.

Steps 3 – 7 of the  Enhanced Biofilm protocol should be repeated depending on the severity of the situation.

Now the original biofilm protocol is added into the process.

The protocol should be done for at least 6 months before the body is tested again to see the status of improvement.

As a final recap of Dr. Wong’s Enhanced Biofilm Protocol:

  1. Do Blood Chemistry Test
  2. Do Comprehensive Stool Analysis
  3. Correct Calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies and others if test indicates necessity
  4. Cleanse liver if needed
  5. Fix Ileocecal and Houston valves
  6. Eat fruits in season and little amount is suspected yeast overgrowth
  7. Go on Sugar Control Diet, GFCF diet
  8. Take probiotics and prebiotics
  9. Do Steps 3-7 for four to six weeks depending on severity
  10. Now, add on the original BioFilm Protocol
  11. Run the protocol for at least six months before retest or stop

Autism Symptoms VS Autism Treatment

As research advances further, it’s pretty hard to deny the fact that Autism has a biological connection. The mutual symptoms that many Autistic children share are a bit more than coincidence. From the intestinal inflammation to the excess of toxic metals loose in the body, it’s all but point-blank documented that Autism is absolutely biological.

The areas that differ, however are the treatment approaches that are taken to treat Autism. Some doctors treat Autism as a whole by providing medication to their patients. Other doctor’s, especially those in the Biomedical Field of study treat the symptoms of Autism individually. After all, acting out and being socially underdeveloped is a completely different symptom than being unable to digest milk.

It’s important that when your child is diagnosed with Autism that you do not take it as a forever-sentence of turmoil and pain. There are a great deal of success stories surrounding many treatment options. Below are some of the treatment options that are currently being utilized for Autism treatment:

Symptom: Immune System Deficiencies:
Treatment: HBOT

HBOT or Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment is the process of delivering 100% pure oxygen to the body at a greater pressure than it exists already int he atmosphere. The benefits of utilizing this treatment is that it promotes healthy cell production, which in turn enables the immune system to be sharp and target infections which can take over the Autistic body quickly. (Read more about our suggestions on HBOT here!)

Symptom: Digestion Issues:

Treatment: Diet Modification

Many parents report digestion and diet issues with with their Autistic children. The most commonly reported sensitivities are to wheat and dairy – also known as Gluten and Casein. More than the negative digestive traits that it causes, Gluten attaches itself to the same neurotransmitters that morphine and like drugs attach themselves too. Some parents report that it’s almost as if their children are addicted to Gluten when they try to take them off of it. In a sense, they are. If you choose to make the decision to take your child off of Gluten and Casein, be sure to keep an eye out for the hidden sources of Gluten. If it’s not on the ingredients, it doesn’t mean it’s not present.  (Click here to see some of the hidden sources that we’ve found!)

There are several other diet modification plans that parents seek including SCD – or Specific Carbohydrate Diet – which focuses on removing sugars from the diet. This promotes eliminating intestinal bacterial and yeast overgrowth in the body. Another option is the Feingold Diet, which promotes avoiding foods that can rid the body of essential vitmains. For example, if you consume foods that have Yellow #5, you lose Zinc and Iron through your urine.

Symptom: Socially Unacceptable Behavior
Treatment: Behavior Modification

One of the most recognized symptoms of Autism is the behavior issues. Children often act out and have episodes of complete meltdown. There are many approaches to Behavior Modification, but the basis is reforming learning behavior. Some practitioners utilize the reward system – that is, rewarding the child when they preform the desired behavior. Others practice repetitive motions, meaning that they practice the behavior over and over with the child until it becomes a “learned” behavior.

These are just a few of the symptoms and a few of the treatments available. The point here is that Autism isn’t something to treat – it’s moreso the symptoms of Autism that are treatable. As with any large problem, it’s much easier to break it down into steps. Each accomplished step is a step closer to the cure.

Have a symptom that you don’t see here? Let us know, and we’ll share some treatment options with you.

Healthy Diet Options For Autism

dietThe majority of people these days are focusing on a healthy diet. People are going the vegetarian or vegan route in order to be sure their bodies are receiving beneficial vitamins and minerals that will enable it to function better. Many people who switch their diets for healthier options report better digestion, health, mental state, and overall well being. Could the vegetarian’s be onto something? Could eating a healthier diet be the key to healing the autistic body?

Along with Autism often comes problems with the gut and digestive system.  Multiple research studies have found that the Autistic body is often lacking essential enzymes that are needed in order to digest food properly.  Along with the enzyme deficiency, there are a high level of food allergies that are found in Autism cases as well.  For these reasons, it’s important that your child’s diet be a priority. It’s a relatively inexpensive treatment, and really just comes down to monitoring what they eat, and making sure it’s conducive to their individual needs.

One of the most commonly practiced Autism diets is the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free diet. When wheat and dairy products are broken down, their peptides bind themselves to the neuroreceptors of the brain, just as opiates do. It’s important to also be sure that if you decide to practice the GFCF diet, that you’re sure to omit all gluten and casein sources from your child’s diet. Additionally, there are hidden sources of gluten that you should be sure to avoid as to not contaminate the body.

Another diet that is beneficial to Autism is the SCD or Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The SCD diet removes all starches and complex sugars from the child’s diet and it’s goal is to rid the intestines of bacterial overgrowth. Studies show that microorganisms in the gut damage the GI tract and cause digestive problems along with brain problems.  The damaging microorganisms survive because they feed on carbohydrates that are difficult for the body to digest. By practicing the SCD diet, and eliminating the pathogens “fuel”, it starves them out and prevents them from surviving.

The Feingold Diet promotes the function of the PST enzyme which is weak in those with Autism. Typically, vegetables with high color contents and food dyes are the biggest culprit. When you eat foods with Yellow #5, you lose Zinc through your saliva and urine. Zinc is essential for the proper digestion of protein, fat, and alcohol. Additionally, Zinc is necessary for wound healing, immune system function, thyroid function, and cognitive function.

No matter if you’re utilizing one of the above diets, or a physician ordered diet, it’s important they you’re certain that you’re still giving your child the vitamins and minerals that they did for their health. For example, while fish has a high level of Omega 3,  some types have Mercury, which is damaging to the brain. Omitting fish is okay, but that missing Omega 3 needs to be supplemented.  Pro-biotic supplements are mandatory for children who are completely dairy free.

The Link Between Autism and Food Allergies

gluten-freeThough it’s not completely proven, there have been studies that show a strong connection between food allergies and autism symptoms. One of the most frequently heard connections is that between Gluten (wheat) and Casein (milk) products. These food proteins are broken down into smaller proteins, also known as peptides. The two peptides, glutenin and gliadin, and leak into the gut and attach to the opitate receptors of the autistic child’s brain. This is very similar to the body being on a morphine drip. The peptides act as a Narcotic to the autistic body.

One of the primary steps in the Defeat Autism Now! (DAN) Protocol is that the autistic child be placed on a Gluten Free, Casein Free diet for at least three months. Many parents have been reporting a link between Autism and diet for years, but it’s now being found that children who consume gluten and casein regularly have more severe autism symptoms. Some of the research reports that claim to “disprove” this theory, also depend a lot on the idea that this is an allergic reaction that is being claimed to exist. Quite the contrary. In fact, it’s not due to an allergic reaction that the symptoms worsen. It’s because the autistic body cannot break down the proteins properly from gluten and casein.  It’s not necessarily an allergy so much as an intolerance.

When parents make the move to take their children off of Gluten and Casein completely, they’re often worried. One of the main concerns is that their children love gluten and casein products. Many parents have a difficult time getting their children to not eat gluten and casein, as if they’re addicted to it. This is more than just an analogy. It could be completely true. Remember, when gluten and casein break down, they leak into the gut and attach themselves to the opiate receptors of the brain. The same receptors that morphine, codeine and heroin attach themselves to. Your child could literally be addicted to gluten and casein.

Researchers are firm in their statements that “autism is not caused by an allergy.” When some parents read about the effects of gluten and casein, they assume their child is allergic to the foods and that’s the cause of Autism. They take their children off of the foods and expect a cure. Again, as far as we know, autism is not caused by an allergy. However, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are very sensitive – especially in their immune system in how it reacts to the environment.

One of the primary focuses of the Autism Alternative Medicine field is exploring ways in which we can treat our children’s autism symptoms and getting to the source of the problem. While there have been some reports that go against the connection between food allergies and Autism, there are still researchers who very much believe that there is a valid connection and they’re exploring this intensely.