A gluten free diet plan is an eating plan in which gluten (a protein found in some grains) is eliminated from the diet. Foods and drinks containing wheat, barley, rye, oats, or anything made from these grains are avoided. A gluten free diet plan is often used for children with autism.
Many people who believe in the gluten free diet plan say that many children with autism have gastrointestinal difficulties making it hard for them to digest certain grains properly. There are different possibilities for ways in which this could affect children with autism.
One of the more popular and proven theories is that eating gluten leads to high levels of protein by products. These by products are said to affect behavior much like the way drugs would. Gluteomorphines are peptides that resemble morphine. The body naturally makes these peptides from gluten (milk protein). It is said that if gluten is taken out of the diet, the idea is that this will reduce the level of gluteomorphines, and behavior will improve as a result.
Gluteomorphines are said to reduce an autistic child's desire for social interaction. It can also increase confusion as well as block pain messages.
What The Experts Say
A gluten free diet autism experts say works on the elimination process. Many parents of children on elimination diets report that behaviour has improved drastically. In particular improvements are marked when parents followed the gluten free diet plan.
Many experts believe that autistic children react to wheat. By eliminating gluten as part of their overall treatment; the experts say that children feel better and are able to function optimally.
Getting children to follow a gluten free diet plan can be challenging. You may want to consider getting a dietitian or nutritionist to work with you to find the right gluten free diet plan for your child, based on his or her likes and dislikes.
In addition to this, they will be able to give you sound nutritional advice on how to implement the diet correctly, without harming your child by omitting major nutrient groups.
Children can be mean sometimes and autistic children may feel uncomfortable with being singled out because they are "different". A gluten free diet plan calls attention to their condition, and thus their differences. This presents a unique challenge to parents trying to meet the treatment guidelines. Frequent follow-up and monitoring, along with educational resources and support groups can aid families in maintaining a gluten free diet plan and provide creative ways to deal with the challenges inherent in a gluten free lifestyle.
A gluten free diet autism experts will tell you requires sacrifices and perseverance. With so many children being diagnosed with autism though, there are plenty of resources and support groups to help you along the way.