Many of us do not realize that what we serve to our children, and consume ourselves, can clearly be harming our bodies, not helping them. Foods can have a variety of effects to our system. I am not just talking about people who are allergic to specific foods, but also, about those who are intolerant to certain foods.
I am also talking about ingesting harmful and damaging chemicals and other foods that are detrimental to our bodies well being.
Cory had no idea that food could do all that!
Consuming the wrong foods can actually cause or exacerbate conditions such as: hyperactivity, anxiety, fear, anger, violent behaviors, head banging, meltdowns, frustrations, bowel dysfunctions, vomiting, red ears and/or cheeks, runny noses, night sweats, sleep disorders, eczema, focus issues, food limitations, sensory problems, walking on toes, poor eye contact, lack of or limited language, obsessions, depression and more.
Eating foods that do not mix properly within certain individual’s bodies can have injurious effects. There are many food alternatives that many people might not be aware of, which could actually improve or alter the conditions mentioned above, if changes are made.
Avoiding gluten (wheat, rye, barley and cross-contaminated oats), casein (protein in dairy) and often soy have proved to show remarkable improvements in as many as 70 percent of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Gluten is surprisingly found in many foods. Luckily, for many on a gluten free (GF) diet as of January 2006, a law was enacted in the USA stating that the top eight allergens must be listed on food labels to alert the consumer of these ingredients, whether hidden or plainly stated on the label. All of gluten is NOT part of the main eight allergens, yet wheat is one of the eight and wheat is the main culprit for those avoiding gluten. Keep in mind, those avoiding gluten must also adhere to staying away from barley (which lurks in many things and is NOT covered by this law), rye and oats that are usually cross-contaminated with wheat and thus must be avoided, unless one purchases specially marked GF oats.
The remaining seven allergens covered by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) are often needed to be avoided by those with special needs, as their bodies cannot tolerate the proteins found in these allergens: soy, milk, crustacean shellfish, fish, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts.
What many people do not realize is that many children with Down Syndrome can also be helped with a GFCF diet. There is a high incidence of children with Down Syndrome having Celiac Disease, an inability to properly digest gluten. Those with Celiac Disease must adhere to being gluten free 100% of the time, forever.
Children and adults with ASD, and ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) have reversed many of the above listed characteristics and traits by adhering to the Feingold Diet, which avoids additives in foods, such as: preservatives, MSG, aspartame, artificial colors/dyes and artificial flavors, anything else that is not natural and even certain natural fruits and vegetables that can cause disturbances in the body, called phenols or salicylates. The above-mentioned additives, as well as nitrites, nitrates, and high fructose corn syrup, could have detrimental effects on the body. Many children have had great success with, not only, Feingold, but also, adding a GFCF lifestyle to their daily lives.
Yeast is also a common problem for a number of people. An overgrowth of yeast is called Candida albicans. Many of the above mentioned symptoms could be attributed to yeast overgrowth from ingesting certain foods. Yeast can also cause confusion, lethargy, headaches, stomachaches, depression and more.
Avoiding gluten, casein, soy, artificial ingredients, chemicals, and yeast has also shown great success in those with mental illness, as well as gastrointestinal disorders such as: Crohn’s, Colitis, and other bowel related diseases.
A big nonna hug to my guest blogger Barrie Silberberg:
For much more in-depth details to everything mentioned in this article and much more, please go to Barrie Silberberg’s web site: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com and discover more about her book: The Autism & ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) and Other Interventions.
The Autism & ADHD Diet is available at all major bookstores, Amazon.com and many other online book retailers.
Reprinted with permission from Parenting Special Needs Magazine, Mar/Apr ‘11 Issue, Copyright  by Parenting Special Needs LLC. http://www.parentingspecialneeds.org