Autism

Autism Allergy Testing

Food Allergies & Autism

People with autism are more susceptible to allergies and food sensitivities than the average person; and this is likely due to their impaired immune system.

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities are considered to be allergies due to the fact that in autism, one’s immune system is overly reactive to these substances.  The most common food products to which this sensitivity develops are grains (e.g., wheat, rye, oats) and dairy products (e.g., milk, cheese, whey). Seasonal foods,  like strawberries and citrus fruits consumed during the spring and summer,  are also common allergens. Food sensitivities are considered by many people as allergies in that one’s immune system is overly reactive to these substances. Food sensitivities may be responsible for numerous physical and behavioral problems, such as headaches, stomachaches, feeling of nausea, bed-wetting, appearing ‘spaced out,’ stuttering, excessive whining and crying, sleeping problems, hyperactivity, aggression, sound sensitivity, temper tantrums, fatigue, depression intestinal problems (i.e., gas, diarrhea, constipation), muscle aches in the legs, ear infections and possibly seizures.  Many reactions are delayed and can take up to 36 hours or longer to manifest itself. In addition, reactions usually occur after a meal rather than before a meal.

Allergy Treatment Services provides testing services to help identify offending foods. Once the offending foods are identified the best way to stop a reaction to a particular food substance is to remove that food from the person’s diet.

In general, it is important that people realize that allergies and food sensitivities can affect one’s health and behavior, but these problems are treatable.

Environmental Allergies & Autism

Numerous clinical studies have shown that individuals diagnosed with ASD are predisposed to have decreased factors of immunity.  An insult to the immune system is difficult to determine simply based on symptoms alone.  The immune system is influenced by hundreds of different factors.  Many patients on the Autistic Spectrum exhibit only symptoms of autism.  Others will have eczema, loose stools, hyperactivity, rashes, dark circles under the eyes, and visible pain in addition to the cognitive and behavioral symptoms that rendered the diagnosis.  This is why diagnostic testing is so important to identify the problem.  Routine blood work often fails to identify the problem.

Allergies to things in the air is termed inhalant allergies. Some  of the most common allergies are mold, mildew, pollen, cats,  dogs, birds, and dust.  Allergy Treatments Services will test  for these common environmental allergens, in addition, seasonal allergens common to your  region will be tested.

AUSTISM: Q&A

Using Diet Therapy in the Treatment of Children Diagnosed with Autism

What is diet therapy?

It is using diet and nutrition as therapeutic tools. When done correctly, it makes other treatments more effective, has no side effects, and may decrease the need for drugs.

What benefits could I expect?

Depending on your child’s age, the degree of impairment, and compliance with the program the results can be dramatic. The diet is not a magic cure; it requires full commitment, but benefits are worth it for many families. Typically improvements emerge across several areas: Bowel function, potty training, eating behavior, self-care, sleep, hyperactivity, eye contact, aggressive or injurious behavior, perseverance/rigidity, language skills, and social skills. Sensory sensitivities may diminish as well. In actuality, younger children may revert to normal, while older ones may see improvement in all areas.

How do I know if my child needs this?

Aside from Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms, typical signs that diet intervention would help are: classical allergy symptoms (like runny nose and dark circles under the eyes), frequent ear infections and GI symptoms (like gas, bloating, diarrhea, and difficulty in potty training).

I keeping hearing and about “gluten” and “casein”. What are those?

These are protein fractions in wheat and milk. Research suggests they are not digested normally in most persons with autism, but are incompletely broken down into absorbable molecules. Many people with autism show some improvement when these two dietary proteins are omitted.

It didn’t work for us. Why not?

Removing gluten and casein alone is rarely sufficient to get an excellent result. If removing gluten and casein helps many children, it makes sense that other proteins may be reacting in your child. Testing for them and removing the offending foods may give your child the desired results.

If changing the diet works, why aren’t my child’s doctors telling me to do it?

Most Doctors and Health Car Professional have had little or no training in allery, food sensitivities, or nutrition. Diet modification is also a relatively new approach and very little has been published about it in the journals they trust. Obviously, there is no incentive for drug or food companies to study diet elimination as a treatment for autism. For expertise, approach a DAN physician who understands the impact of diet on autism.

How long does it take to work?

You should start seeing results within 6 weeks of strictly following the diet.

What are the safety concerns with this diet?

If your child is on medications for seizures, mood, depression, sleep or behavior, professional

guidance is a must. Though this new diet can ultimately diminish the need for medications,

transitioning onto it can be tough. Spikes in seizure activity can occur when gluten or casein

are first withdrawn. An initial hard withdrawal period usually bodes well for success – but

careful monitoring is necessary through this “withdrawal” period. Children on gluten and

casein restrictions also need supplementation, and safe doses of supplements must be laid