May 20, 2010

GF and CF and SF oh my!!!

We are almost there, GFCFSF.  I know a lot of you who follow know exactly what I'm talking about so bear with me as I explain to those who may not.  Gluten Free, Casein Free, Soy Free, aka THE DIET.  The diet has successfully helped hundreds of thousands of children with Autism and recommended for those with Celiacs disease.  Basically,(and I mean basic) most kids with ASD have gut issues, whether they be severe, or fairly mild in Gabe's case like loose stools and undigested foods (undigested food can lead to malnutrition or a starving brain). Research shows that people with ASD have an abnormal immune response to the protein in casein as well as the proteins in gluten and soy.  The gluten and casein (casein is the protein found in all mammals' milk, its even found in most soy milk products) act as a opiate and put the ASD kids in that trans like state, little engagement and lots of stimming.  Another clue that it acts as an opiate is that they just can't get enough of it.  Gabe will eat an entire pack of cheese if I let him, and when he can't get it, he goes nuts, kicking, screaming, and will break into the fridge multiple times to get it.  I'd liken it to a drug addict not getting his fix.  He can be like that with fruit too, which makes me think there is a yeast overgrowth issue too, but I'm not ready to cut out fruit just yet.  The diet isn't just a whim and it isn't for the faint of heart.  I've been weaning Gabe off Gluten and Casein for months.  I have studied it extensively and the science behind it is really amazing.  It works for some kids and not for others; but I see a difference.  Once you start docs say you should stay on it for 6 months to see full results and one slip, or one bite can put you back months.  I have been documenting carefully what he eats every day, the amount, and the stools for about a year.  Lovely, I know.  The first time I was tossing around the idea of doing the diet I did an experiment and limited dairy for 3 weeks, then Gabe had a cheese stick.  After he ate the stick, he sat in front of the T.V. comatose, I don't even think he blinked.  When we have the diet in place it's like a veil is lifted.  His expressive and receptive language is phenomenal, speech abounds, and he engages play.  Last week he actually pretended to be a frog!!!!  Pretend!  Wow!  He has made some monumental strides the last couple of months, not 100% attributed to the diet, but that certainly is a piece of the puzzle.  He has been a great sport, he doesn't even ask for milk or yogurt anymore and we can drink it in front of him.  My hardest switch was pizza.  The kid is a pizza junkie, but I found some GFCF frozen dough, my homemade stuff didn't turn out so good, (not digging the rice flour) and some GFCF cheese that actually semi-melts and doesn't taste like cardboard.  So he's a happy camper and even Audrey eats it.  I decided to go Soy free too, as 90% of kids with ASD have soy allergies, most soy product had casein anyway, so why do it.  I've got most things switched over, flour, sugar, vitamins, no vinegars, but what was interesting is that crayons, toothpaste and playdoh all have gluten too.  I'm still trying out different flours to find one that will work most like regular flours.  So for now, we're living a flat food exsistence.

Food has such a big impact on our bodies.  I like Jenny Mac's analogy, if you don't think what we eat/drink affects the brain, walk into any bar in America.  I already knew food had an impact on my kid's behavior before Gabe was diagnosed.  I don't think sensitivity has to be a rash, or swollen something or another; but I cut out the HFCS, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial coloring, because my children act like monsters when they have it.  Food can leave its mark by headache, fatigue, tummy ache, energy boost, or make us feel like one hundred bucks.  I'm excited to start this new journey, and am ever grateful to my fellow bloggers living GFCF that have inspired me and taught me a few things too.

You can find more information on the diet on (TACA) or .

"I attribute my success to this -- that I never gave or took any excuse."
– Florence Nightingale

Dear Readers:
I apologize for my insane usage of parentheses in this post, but I am too tired to grammatically correct this post.  This apology will have to due, cheers!

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