By Denise Reynolds RD for eMaxHealth.com
A gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet may have benefits for some children with autism. It can be a difficult diet to maintain, but some studies have found that it can improve the behavior in some children on the spectrum. Cooking at home is one thing, but now that it is “back to school” time, parents may be at a loss for what to do about lunches and snacks for their autistic child.
Although studies have found differing results, there are several that find that some children with autism can benefit from a GFCF diet. One theory states that some autistic persons cannot properly digest gluten and casein proteins and they form substances that act like opiates in their bodies. This then can alter their behavior and responses to the environment. The nutrients may also cause GI symptoms such as diarrhea or colitis which can be relieved by removing the offending ingredients.
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