Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Diet - An Autism Treatment You Might Not Have Thought Of

When you think about autism treatments for your child, teenager or adult, do not overlook diet. It may not occur to you at first, but what your loved one with autism is eating is just as important, if not more, than the medications or therapies he is getting in terms of affecting behavior and well-being. Many children with autism need to avoid certain ingredients in common foods, as they are very sensitive to them.
Autism Treatment Using Diet
Using diet as an autism treatment is often called a biomedical intervention. You will want to avoid artificial ingredients, food dyes, and as much sugar as possible. These can all bring havoc onto the system.
A lot of people with autism are sensitive to gluten and casein.
  • Gluten is an ingredient found in many foods, especially bread, cereal and grains. Nearly all pastries and other bakery items have gluten in them. Pasta also has it.

  • Casein is found in most dairy products, such as milk, ice cream and yogurt.
People who are intolerant to these items will have digestive complaints; bloating and gas are common. Often, there are cognitive and emotional effects, like irritation, inability to focus, and spaciness. Taking gluten and casein out of your autistic kid's diet can result in big improvements to their health and behavior. You can find a large selection of gluten and casein free items at your local health food store.
Why is avoiding sugar often a good autism treatment?
A lot of people with autism have yeast and candida problems. Candida is a natural yeast that is present in the body. However, if it gets too big, it can take over the body and cause all sorts of problems.
It can be responsible for things like abdominal gas, fatigue, anxiety, inability to think straight or concentrate, mood swings, hyperactivity, constipation, acne, depression, learning difficulties, and indigestion, among others. Candida is fed by sugar, so keeping a low sugar diet free of processed or artificial foods is the healthiest thing you can do.
Other Factors
There are many different claims and thoughts about diet and its effect on autism. Some parents report that autistic symptoms greatly improve when wheat or eggs are removed from their child's diet. Some see an improvement in behavioral problems simply be removing one group, or be eliminating caffeine, chocolate or even peanut butter.
Supplements such as B6 and magnesium have benefited some kids.
Parents simply have to decide for themselves what works and what does not for their loved ones with autism. Try it. Experiment. For some, nothing seems to work...but for many, dietary treatments for autism have been remarkably successful.
As parents learn as much as you can about dietary issues as well as other therapies for autism. Tips from other parents and professionals can be extremely helpful. A great site that has tips and suggestions for additional treatments is the There you can sign up for their FREE newsletter with tips and info on autism.
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