Anyway, I think we took his little “food vacation” too far. The weekend included processed foods, artificial colors, gluten, and probably a lot of other things that I would prefer not to think about. Well, lesson learned, as of yesterday we are completely back on track and I am hopeing to see a dramatic change in his mood and behavior in the next few days. I don’t regret giving him a little“vacation”, it was nice to see him enjoying some of the things we get to enjoy once in a while, and now he actually knows why it is so important for him to follow his gluten free diet because he doesn’t like feeling the way he does right now.
Lately, my mind keeps wandering back to Jaxon and his gluten problem…apparently I am not the only one, when I googled “gluten sensitivity and autism” I got 1,300,000 hits, I know some of them are junk articles and some of them are advertisements, but there are A LOT of other parents and researchers who KNOW that there is a link here and are interested in figuring out how to fix it. I found a really good article published from the University of Florida; that was derived from a study conducted by Swain, Soutter, Loblay, & Truswell (1985) and shows a picture of how “it is believed” that gluten affects children with autism.
I will try to convert their educated language into everyday terms…children with autism do not have the ability to properly break down and process the protein found in gluten. Some children (like mine) convert gluten to ethanol (or opioids) and have very negative effects from it. The study included 140 children who participated in a modified elimination diet. Out of these 140 children, 8showed significant improvements in their behavior when following their individual diets. According to the study, there was a high reaction in the child’s behavior when they were exposed to preservatives, azo-dyes, antioxidants, brewer’s yeast, amines, and monosodium glutamate. (Swain, Soutter, Loblay, & Truswell, 1985).
When Jaxon is exposed to gluten he usually starts off with small emotional problems, crying about little things, getting angry very easily, and not having patience with anyone…including himself. Occasionally, gluten will cause him to have more gas than a normal person would have, and even more rarely he will complain that his stomach hurts (although he hasn’t experienced this in over a year).
In order to get him “back on track” I gave him 1 activated charcoal and 1 aloe capsule in the afternoon for two days and took away all gluten and heavy carbohydrates.
He had a little bit of withdrawl, but not bad. I filled him with healthy proteins, fresh fruits, and hidden vegetables.
Has anyone else taken a “gluten free vacation”? How did it turn out? How did you get back on track?
Swain, A., Soutter, V., Loblay, R., Truswell, AS. (1985). Salicylates, oligoantigenic diets and behavior. The Lancet, 2(8445), 41-42.