Friday, May 21, 2010

Autism Treatment - Gluten Sensitivity & Serotonin Levels

I have discussed in previous recordings about gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease and the differences between the two. And we've also discussed how, for many kids with special needs, gluten creates peptides which are small amino acid chains, that can have a drug like effect on their brain chemistry. Gluten can create a situation where serotonin is produced in excess in the digestive tract when it is not broken down adequately.

We know that serotonin is an influential neurochemical that affects mood and states of happiness but it also can be involved in learning. Many people are given antidepressants because they need help maintaining adequate levels of serotonin in the brain. And for many children with Autism it appears that they create too much serotonin in the brain. Their brain cannot convert or process the serotonin to its active form to be used by the brain appropriately. When this happens, it can contribute to many of the behaviors we associate with Autism like self stimulatory behaviors, obsessive compulsive behaviors, behavioral issues, and attention and focusing problems.

So a child could have a situation where they already have too much serotonin and it is not being converted to its active form. And then they are eating foods with gluten which is then also stimulating an overproduction of serotonin in the digestive tract which then gets absorbed into the body and circulates through the blood supply. That scenario serves to contribute to the increased pool of serotonin. This is one possible reason that children with Autism seem to be very sensitive to gluten. This issue really is very different from the tried and true diagnostic tools used to assess people with Celiac disease.

Food sensitivity can be very complicated to assess and understand how these foods react in our bodies. But, one mechanism certainly is the inability to breakdown gluten in the digestive tract fully. That incomplete breakdown can stimulate serotonin production in the gut. And if there is a problem in converting serotonin to its active form, then you have exacerbated that situation. For many children with Autism, this is an issue.

Autism really is treatable! Biomedical Autism treatments and therapies have resulted in many, many children improving, or even even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis. For lots more free biomedical autism intervention information and videos from Dr. Woeller, go to

Dr. Kurt Woeller is an biomedical autism Intervention specialist, with a private practice in Southern California for over 10 years. He has helped children recover from autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders, and has the information you need to help your child. Download his free ebook at

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