Some of the behavior problems that children with Autism display are caused from food allergies or food sensitivities. However, sometimes these behaviors are only reactions to foods, due to an underlying and more complicated metabolic imbalance.I’ve learned that although every child’s metabolic system is unique, there are a handful of issues that a large percentage of these children have in common. I’ll touch on the ones that I am familiar with that tend to be the most common.
Incidentally, my site is for anyone on the spectrum, yet my focus is on the children. So as I write I will mostly be referring to your child.
Before I mention food sensitivities, I’m going to say something that is controversial, but the news is spreading and becoming accepted, and I’m on a mission to help spread that news. Many, many of the people out there with Autism also have Lyme Disease. This is what Jacob and I are now fighting.
Here is a small chunk of information about some food sensitivities:
Something that should immediately be addressed is to see if your child has an issue with Phenols. Here is a good website that explains what phenols are.
A lot of autistic children cannot process phenols very well, including my son. Some of the behavioral reactions to phenols that have built up in the system are head banging, slapping their own face, self-injury, headaches, itching, crying, anger, and rebelliousness. Some of the minor health problems that arise are trouble initially falling asleep, night awakenings, eczema and other skin conditions. If this is the case, they may need to either cut back on their phenol intake or take a pill that helps them to process these. Otherwise, their behavior and health will be affected by the phenols and there will be a downward spiral effect. I also have a slight issue with phenols, when I’m not careful. So I get a small dose of the awful reactions that they cause when not processed correctly.
Jacob takes a chewable pill from Houston Enzymes called “No-Fenol Chewables”. They work great, as long as we give him a pill or two just ten minutes prior to eating a food that is high in phenols. However, the pills don’t seem to help if he has apple juice or grapes. This is probably because these items enter the blood stream too quickly.
Kirkman Labs has “Phenol Assist” enzymes for Phenols.
If your child has some of the above symptoms, I would recommend that you give him or her apple or grape juice and see how they react. Unless you already know that they are allergic to the food.
Here is the website to check out the “No-Fenol Chewables”.
Oxalates tend to be missed in tests for metabolic imbalances. This is done through a urine test. Great Plains Lab can test the Oxalate level on your child. One way to get the test done is if your doctor doesn’t already have an account with Great Plains Lab, his or her office can set one up, receive the test kit from the lab and pass it on to you. Otherwise, I believe you can call the lab, have them send you the kit, then take it to your doctor’s office to have him or her sign off on it. Be prepared to wait a day or two for them to get it back to you. Some doctors have a huge stack of lab slips and such waiting to be signed.
The test is called an Organic Acid Test (or OAT). This is the website for it:
My son, Jacob, was tested for oxalates primarily because he would scream, especially at night, because he was having pain in the tops of his feet. It took a long time to figure out that the pain was in his feet, as it began when he was just a baby. Along with being on the low oxalate diet, his doctor has him on Magnesium, which controls the oxalates and the pain.
GLUTEN AND DAIRY
There are countless websites out there about gluten and dairy allergies and sensitivities, so I won’t touch a whole lot on this. However, peptides are sometimes a problem for people.
The websites below explain what peptides are and how to test for a problem with them. It would be wise to not remove dairy or gluten from the diet before testing for it, as once the foods are out of the system, the lab can longer detect the peptides.
When we removed gluten and dairy from Jacob’s diet at two years old, we saw immediate improvements. We first took him off dairy, and a day later he said a long word very clearly. His vocabulary had become quite limited, so this was exciting. He also didn’t stare off into space as much. Then a couple days after we took him off gluten, he began using his imagination in play, which he had never done out loud before.
GLUTEN/WHEAT AND CASEIN/DAIRY URINE PEPTIDE TEST:
EXPLANATION OF PEPTIDES:
Vitamin C from Ascorbic Acid and Magnesium Citrate can help flush you out.