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-   -   Can nutrition, diet help diminish & or cure Autism & ADD symptoms? If so, please help! (http://www.mothering.com/forum/365-traditional-foods/1363785-can-nutrition-diet-help-diminish-cure-autism-add-symptoms-if-so-please-help.html)

countryangels 09-19-2012 09:32 PM

Hi,

 

 

I am true believer that diet, nutrition can help reversing disease.

 

So, is there a diet, or foods, that can help diminish Autism & ADD symptoms?

 

Can you please elaborate, provide links & or foods that might help.

 

Thanks! :)


luckiest 09-20-2012 03:34 PM

Absolutely - please research the GAPS or SCD diet (they are very similar).  Here are some links for you (I'm more familiar with GAPS than SCD, so that's what I have links for):

 

Author of GAPS book, lecture (90 minutes long, but will give you a good overview)

 

Gut and Psychology Syndrome (book)

 

Blog post and podcast on Cheeseslave

 

The Mommypotamus blog also has some info on GAPS (though I'm not sure if directly related to autism, just the diet in general).

 

Best of luck!


gunther23 10-06-2012 07:11 PM

definitely. you are what you eat. food has a major impact on your health. there is a study out of stanford university that links pesticides in foods to adhd in children. check out his website www.whatsonmyfood.org


gunther23 10-06-2012 07:12 PM

definitely. you are what you eat. food has a major impact on your health. there is a study out of stanford university that links pesticides in foods to adhd in children. check out his website www.whatsonmyfood.org


greenmamato2 10-21-2012 10:05 AM

I agree that food can make a big difference, but there are also limitations, and it is important to know that.  I am a parent of a child with severe Autism.  I am also a social worker in the behavioral health industry and a contributor for American Military Families Autism Support.  I'm not a diet expert, but I can tell you our experience.  For Autism/ADHD, the gluten free, casein free diet is what is most often recommended - that and preservative/dye free as well. 

 

I will say that removing dye from the diet can make a huge difference and not be a huge change in what the child/person eats.  You might check out the Feingold Diet (he has several books out) to look more into this.  It is worth looking into IMHO.

 

I have heard different accounts from different people regarding gluten/casein.  Some say it totally changed things, and others say it changed nothing.  I think it very much depends upon the *cause* of your child's Autism. Autism at its core is a collection of symptoms, and truthfully those symptoms can be caused by many different sources - some believe vaccine injury causes Autism-symptoms, some genetic disorders (like Angelmans, Rhett Syndrome, etc) cause Autism-symptoms, food sensitivities to gluten and casein can cause Autism-symptoms too. If that happens to be the cause for your child, changing their diet can definitely make a big difference.

 

We tried to change our daughter's diet, but her sensory needs were so severe that after only 2 days of trying gluten/casein free she decided she just wouldn't eat anymore (even with "regular" foods like corn chips, peanut butter, eggs, etc). She wound up having such an adverse reaction to food after that point that she refused to eat any solid food for 3 years, and was diagnosed as failure to thrive.  She lost weight and didn't grow at all from the ages of 4 until 8.  It took years and years of occupational and speech therapy to very very slowly increase her tolerance to food again.  Once she started eating again she grew like a weed, but those 3-4 years were really scary for us, and in my opinion, not worth it in our situation to have tried gluten/casein free diet.

 

I am definitely not against a healthy diet, or trying something that may potentially help.  Those are just some things to think about.


luckiest 10-21-2012 04:49 PM

I will add to my post above that the GAPS book speaks on all of the diets that are most often recommended to ASD patients, such as GF/CF, Feingold, phenol, etc.  She explains why these diets sometimes work, sometimes don't, and work in varying degrees - that they do not specifically target gut health, which is the underlying problem.

 

For example, the GF/CF diet is very popular.  The problem is that in ASD patients (most, but not all) gluten and casein cannot be properly digested because their intestinal health is very poor.  Their enterocytes are in bad shape and their bodies cannot finish the digestive process.  What ends up happening is that they are partially broken down, but not completely, leaving the molecules casomorphin and gluteomorphin.  These molecules are neurotoxins and have a negative effect on the brain.  

 

Removing gluten and casein removes these neurotoxins, and also can help heal the gut to some degree, but all you've really done is removed two of many, many toxins contributing to the problem, and you  haven't addressed the REAL problem, which is that the gut isn't working properly.  There can definitely be some improvement, even a lot of improvement, but it depends on how heavily casomorphin and gluteomorphin were contributing to the problem.

 

Same with Feingold - removing things like dye and preservatives is great, but still, you're only removing a handful of harmful substances and not actually healing the underlying issue.  I highly, highly recommend reading the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, as I am by no means an expert and the research is dense and substantial.


greenmamato2 10-21-2012 10:16 PM

I will definitely check out that book.  We have noticed that a lot of my daughter's behaviors/upset are in relation to what we feel is discomfort.  Whether that has to do from seizures or something else we can't tell because she can't tell us (she is mostly non-verbal).  I am interested in doing anything we can to help her, and the more you know the better.  Thank you for the book recommendation. :)
 


pek64 10-22-2012 02:27 AM

Based on comments I've read on different threads, I think some folks are not stringent enough, or maybe not informed enough, to remove enough gluten and casein to see a change in the child. I have a dairy allergy/intolerance, and I know dairy is in so many things! Wax on apples can have dairy and soy! It makes it difficult to get a clear view, unless you do a lot of research from the beginning.

That's not to say that some don't respond. I just think it's more difficult to try avoiding certain foods than it might seem. With all the food issues in existence, it would be nice if all food stated clearly "contains dairy", or gluten, or corn, or whatever the allergen.

But maybe labels wouldn't be big enough for the list if potential allergens!

What I'm saying, in a rambling way, is -- if you see a small improvement, do more research into sources of dairy and gluten before deciding it's not enough improvement to keep avoiding them.

Caryn Talty 10-22-2012 12:45 PM

duplicate post (sorry)!


Caryn Talty 10-22-2012 12:46 PM

another duplicate post (darn browser!) I'm a newbie. My apologies!


Caryn Talty 10-22-2012 12:47 PM

In our case our oldest son developed a severe multifocal tic disorder at age 3. He was very hyper, sleepless, and had begun to have behavioral issues. We learned through various testing that he was undiagnosed celiac and allergic to 17 foods and chemicals. We did a very drastic and careful diet that not only avoided his allergens, but were produced in dedicated allergy free facilities. There is this thing called 'cross contamination' that beginners are not aware of. You think you are doing gluten free but if the kitchen is not gluten free you are 'cross contaminating' the supposedly 'safe' food with gluten.

 

It takes at least a month to get gluten out of the system. In our case our son did not show drastic improvements for at least 9 months after we changed his diet. He is now 9. It has been about 5 years. He is perfectly fine and healthy. He is tic free and has been since he was almost 6 years old. He is doing great at school (on honor roll) and has no attention deficit problems. He watches his diet very carefully. If he is exposed to gluten, high fructose corn syrup. or other chemicals in food (MSG) he will get a pretty bad headache. We are an organic eating family.

 

If you want to learn more about our story, you can read it here: http://healthy-family.org/scientists-have-discovered-that-celiac-disease-can-be-the-root-cause-of-most-neurological-disorders/
 

I certainly don't think that celiac is the cause in all cases of kids with ASD symptoms. But it was in our case. For us corn was also a major problem. We avoid corn too.


1love4ever 10-22-2012 02:45 PM

I just read this article which mentions ADD http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/21/pellagra-causes-violent-crimes.aspx , but I think there are many better food-related ways to address Autism and ADD.  I have a friend who's child is autistic and she tells me that NO gluten makes a huge difference.  She is very careful to avoid all sources of it.  I know parents who avoid it in their homes, but they go out to eat and will order foods that you wouldnt think would contain gluten, but they all do because of cross-contamination, so you have to be careful.

Chlorella is supposed to bind to heavy metals so your body can excrete them.  Heavy metals are thought to be a contributing factor to neurological disorders.  I love livesuperfoods.com and order their chlorella often.  I use it for detox and health promotion.  It has lots of nutrients as well. 

Organic foods don't contain all the nasty chemicals that conventionally grown foods do.  So I'd definitely do organic and local.

Mercola had some  good articles awhile back about autism, he believe's in the GAPS diet, and also in grounding, or being outside barefoot on the earth.  If your child drinks milk, be sure it is raw or fermented (kefir), goat tends to go over better than cows milk.  Being dairy free is also a good option.  I have also heard good things about omega 3's for autism and ADD, such as fermeted cod liver oil.

Also be aware of the chemicals in your home such as cleaning products, scented products, carpets, matresses, synthetic fabrics, furniture, etc.  Make sure all clothes and bedding are made of natural materials.  For cleaning, the only thing we use is equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.  Once in awhile I'll use baking soda and lemon juice when needed.  Switch to glass for storing food, for cooking with, etc, and buy food packaged in glass when possible.   Use unflouridated toothpaste such as Toothsoap or Earthpaste (I've used them both and love them).

For body care products use home made soap (there is a local lady who makes all-organic soaps where I live), lotion bars (these are easy to make, also sold on etsy, http://www.etsy.com/listing/100159774/coco-butter-beeswax-organic-lotion-bar-2 that one looks really good.

Anyway, just be aware of chemicals in everything and try to reduce your exposure in every way.  Hope this helps you.


countryangels 12-04-2012 07:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1love4ever View Post

I just read this article which mentions ADD http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/21/pellagra-causes-violent-crimes.aspx , but I think there are many better food-related ways to address Autism and ADD.  I have a friend who's child is autistic and she tells me that NO gluten makes a huge difference.  She is very careful to avoid all sources of it.  I know parents who avoid it in their homes, but they go out to eat and will order foods that you wouldnt think would contain gluten, but they all do because of cross-contamination, so you have to be careful.

Chlorella is supposed to bind to heavy metals so your body can excrete them.  Heavy metals are thought to be a contributing factor to neurological disorders.  I love livesuperfoods.com and order their chlorella often.  I use it for detox and health promotion.  It has lots of nutrients as well. 

Organic foods don't contain all the nasty chemicals that conventionally grown foods do.  So I'd definitely do organic and local.

Mercola had some  good articles awhile back about autism, he believe's in the GAPS diet, and also in grounding, or being outside barefoot on the earth.  If your child drinks milk, be sure it is raw or fermented (kefir), goat tends to go over better than cows milk.  Being dairy free is also a good option.  I have also heard good things about omega 3's for autism and ADD, such as fermeted cod liver oil.

Also be aware of the chemicals in your home such as cleaning products, scented products, carpets, matresses, synthetic fabrics, furniture, etc.  Make sure all clothes and bedding are made of natural materials.  For cleaning, the only thing we use is equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.  Once in awhile I'll use baking soda and lemon juice when needed.  Switch to glass for storing food, for cooking with, etc, and buy food packaged in glass when possible.   Use unflouridated toothpaste such as Toothsoap or Earthpaste (I've used them both and love them).

For body care products use home made soap (there is a local lady who makes all-organic soaps where I live), lotion bars (these are easy to make, also sold on etsy, http://www.etsy.com/listing/100159774/coco-butter-beeswax-organic-lotion-bar-2 that one looks really good.

Anyway, just be aware of chemicals in everything and try to reduce your exposure in every way.  Hope this helps you.

 

 

Thanks to all for the links, tips, good information.thumb.gif


nettlesoup 12-05-2012 02:54 AM

I have always had a lot of symptoms of ADD, but it was always thought I was just lazy and didn't pay attention. But it was only in the past year or two that I tried to improve the symptoms with diet. The one thing I have found to work best is removing all sugar from my diet. Normally I have no motivation to start new projects, or when i do I quickly get bored of them. But when I cut out sugar I suddenly had this crazy amount of motivation and was not only doing loads of new projects, but also finishing them. It has also helped a lot with my attention span and concentration. It really has changed my life.

 

I have also heard that cutting out sugar can really help with Autism as well.
 


Chicharronita 12-05-2012 08:58 PM

There was an autistic boy in my dd's small school. The parents bought a small farm so he could get fresh food like pastured eggs and raw goat's milk.

 

These helped to make a lot of good changes (previously he couldn't handle being with so many people like at a public school), but what also helped is having some hypoallergenic Curly horses on the farm to ride on and be with.

 

I've heard a lot of good things about the GAPS diet, which was created for a doctor's autistic son.


britrenee87 12-05-2012 09:17 PM

We tried the paleo diet to help with my daughters ADHD. Strict for 3 months, no change and her allergies came back clear.

TiffanyPartyOf8 12-10-2012 12:21 PM

We are starting GAPS in the beginning of 2013. We have 2 Aspie kids and some other kids with various issues that GAPS can help. I've heard so many amazing stories about GAPS from people I know and trust IRL. So excited to get on the road to healing. We are determined to stay on track for at least 2 years with it. 

 

We're also hoping to cut as many toxic chemicals out as possible. My mom lives with us and she isn't giving up her Lysol Multi Purpose and toxic laundry stuff - and my husband will only let me use Tide on his clothes after ruining so many of his clothes when I made detergent a year ago haha. But for the most part, hoping to get rid of the toxic environmental stuff, combined with GAPS diet, really thinking we'll see some big changes.


Aegis 12-11-2012 09:53 PM

We have been on the GAPS Diet as a family since July 2011. My son was diagnosed as autistic, so we thought we'd give it a shot after doing GFCF for about a year. He improved on GFCF, but it wasn't until switching to GAPS that we saw recovery was a true possibility. Just the other day we were out shopping when we met another little boy (my son is 5), and my son started talking with him, shared a toy he brought with him, and spoke with the other boy's mom. There were no glimpses of my son's history of echolalia, speech deficit, constant stimming, fleeting eye contact, sensory seeking, etc. The other mom even complimented him on his behavior/socialization skills. No one could see that he used to struggle in social situations and misunderstood social cues. He's also more focused, though some days are better than others. We're only about halfway through our GAPS journey though, so I'm not concerned about that right now. We all still have more healing to do.

 

While he is still dairy-free, when we had reintroduced dairy before, he reacted to it. His emotions were a mess. Once minute laughing, the next, crying. Anything could have set him off. Once the diary was out of his system again, his moods were even again. We still have yet to reintroduce dairy... I anticipate giving it another shot in January. Regardless of when this happens, as far as I'm concerned it's another example of the impact of diet.

 

The reason the diet works is very interesting, and I love that it is a "fix the problem" approach versus a "treat the symptom" diet like GFCF. The diet is only meant to be temporary, with the average time on the diet being 1.5 - 2.5 years. After that, former offenders can be reintroduced into the diet. I should probably add the term "fanatical adherence" here though. When you do the diet, it needs to be 100%. I can say that in the year+ we've been on this, I messed up once, and only DH and I ate the mistake. (Added cream of tartar to egg whites for some macaroons. No cream of tartar!)

 

I would start with the GAPS book: Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride as a previous poster recommended. http://www.shop.gapsdiet.com The book covers a LOT of information regarding how digestion is supposed to work and why diets like GFCF aren't enough, there is great information regarding vaccines (just want to add that I know at least one child who was injured by vaccines and recovered with the GAPS Diet), the diet protocol, recipes, and even how to help kids who have limited themselves to one or two foods (and why they may be limiting their foods). There's so much more; I'm not giving it justice, but this post is long already.

 

Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall is also great resource. It's about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which is the diet that GAPS is based upon. It has been used to treat/heal/cure/recover from ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, Celiac disease, Diverticulitis, and more, and the current edition includes a section on autism because at some point people realized it helped with that. I found this book to have a lot of good information in it. http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/home/

 

Here's a recent post about a family who has recently completed the GAPS Diet protocol, resulting in their daughter no longer being on the autism spectrum: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/hannahs-story-2-years-on-gaps-diet-reverses-autism/

 

And the post that prompted me to order my copy of the GAPS book: http://www.cheeseslave.com/autism-recovery-with-the-gaps-diet-one-mothers-story/

 

So, long story short (too late!), yes, nutrition and diet can help. :) Hope this helps!


Mel-NatureOptim 07-10-2013 02:25 PM

Reviewing nutritional choices and lifestyle can greatly influence how you feel and function.  The brain and body needs daily micronutrients for optimal function as well as healthful micronutrients to be used as energy so biochemical reactions can take place.

 

The food we fuel our bodies with definitely can help reduce symptoms of ADD/HD.


darwinNJ 07-11-2013 10:24 PM

Not much time to write but I will say that I'm on this forum for the same reason as everyone else here and am feeding my family gluten free, whole foods, and my toddlers breast milk like many are. However, I have worked with kids on the spectrum and have yet to find peer reviewed research on the topic (anyone?) or any changes in the dozens of severely affected kids I've worked with who went GFCF (maybe they weren't truly clean though?). IMO, the best you can do is work with your child as much as possible using well researched methods-ABA has thousands of studies in peer reviewed journals showing effectiveness but it takes A LOT of work to implement 24-7. if you have the money or insurance coverage, find a BCBA who will train you and your family to implement strategies rather than work with your child and leave. Please message me privately if you want to chat wink1.gif

luckiest 07-15-2013 08:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinNJ View Post

Not much time to write but I will say that I'm on this forum for the same reason as everyone else here and am feeding my family gluten free, whole foods, and my toddlers breast milk like many are. However, I have worked with kids on the spectrum and have yet to find peer reviewed research on the topic (anyone?) or any changes in the dozens of severely affected kids I've worked with who went GFCF (maybe they weren't truly clean though?). IMO, the best you can do is work with your child as much as possible using well researched methods-ABA has thousands of studies in peer reviewed journals showing effectiveness but it takes A LOT of work to implement 24-7. if you have the money or insurance coverage, find a BCBA who will train you and your family to implement strategies rather than work with your child and leave. Please message me privately if you want to chat wink1.gif

 

Just wanted to mention that the GAPS book explains why GFCF only addresses a small portion of the underlying problem, which is why some kids see some benefit and some really don't.  The whole underlying problem is an issue of extremely compromised gut health, and the gut needs to be healed directly.  GFCF addresses two major problematic proteins, but may not do much to actually heal the gut itself.  

 

The reason that gluten and casein are commonly problematic for people on the spectrum is that, because they have impaired gut function, they cannot fully digest the proteins.  They are partially digested and you are left with glutomeorphins and casomorphins.  Normally the digestive process would continue, but in ASD patients, it can stop there.  Because the gut is so damaged that it's permeable and allows large particles to pass through, the gluteomorphins and casomorphins are allowed into the blood stream where they are able to affect the brain...and they happen to be neurotoxic.  So when you remove gluten and casein, you remove these two neurotoxins, but don't really do anything to resolve the underlying digestive issue.  A lot of people who go on the GAPS diet for a long period of time and completely heal their gut, can go back to eating gluten and casein (and other foods they were previously sensitive to) because their bodies are now capable of fully digesting them.


darwinNJ 07-19-2013 10:00 PM

Thanks for following up smile.gif interesting!


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