If you have a child who is diagnosed to have autism, it is only natural for you to do everything you can to be able to see him improve or be alleviated from the symptoms that he is always suffering from. This will include getting him into a specialized diet. Experts have formulated many diets specific for children and adolescents with autism, but one that is particularly more popular is the gluten-free, casein-free diet or the GFCG diet.
Autism And Its Link To Gluten And Casein
According to Vicki Kobliner, a dietitian at Holcare Nutrition and also a consultant for GFCF.com, the diet comprises of a series of trials that involve the removal of casein and gluten and the assessment of these trials in connection with autism. These two proteins are among the substances that autistic children have been known to be very sensitive to. Thus, eliminating them from their diets will most probably benefit them.
Additionally, she says that gluten and casein are hard for these children to digest, which may be the reason why they are prone to more stomach and other digestive problems. What’s worse is that Kobliner believes the components of these two proteins are similar to morphine, and if it passes through the blood and goes to the brain.
Although a lot of parents have vouched on the efficacy of the GFCF diet, there are only a few research outcomes so far, and researchers are still currently working on corroborating the parents’ testimonials.
One clinical study published in the Pediatrics Journal concluded that there needs to be more evidence needed to officially state the benefits of the GFCG diet in children with autism. Another study consisting of two small trials also looked into the effects the diet has on autistic children, and one study found that it did decrease the children’s autistic characteristics while the other study failed to do so. Researchers hope to unravel more benefits that the diet can offer to children with autism.
Testing The GFCG Diet
If you want to try implementing the diet to your child, then you must remove all foods that contain gluten and casein for at least six months. Here are some things to remember when trying out the GFCF diet.
• Work With A Dietitian. This is an important initial step, as some children who are into the diet can lack specific nutrients and may cause them to constipate. Consult a dietitian to ensure that your child’s diet is well balanced.
• Do A Gradual Transition. Do not eliminate foods that contain gluten and casein all at one time, as this may cause major changes in the child’s body and may even become more harmful than beneficial. Replace one food with a GFCF food at a time, perhaps for a few days, and then make it two.
• Learn To Check Labels. When you go grocery shopping, make it a habit to read the labels at the back of the products that you buy. Choose those without gluten and casein, although anticipate that the prices would be much higher.
• Always Be Ready With A Plan. You know you should watch what your child eats, but you also want him to be able to enjoy activities like parties and school events. So if he’s attending one, bring along food from the GFCF diet that your child can eat in case there aren’t any available in the event.
Doing the GFCF diet appropriately may just prove trying it to be worth your time and effort. It may be what your child needs to make him feel healthy and at his best.