This is just a guess. I haven't been on the diet to do a "before/after" comparison. But I notice sometimes after I eat some things, I'll zonk out and feel all of a sudden like I've been hit by a truck and need to nap. It seems to occur more often if I skip breakfast and go right into lunch or delay lunch.
During those times where I feel unbelievably tired mid day, I feel out of it and can't really focus or get my thoughts together. But then again I don't know if it is food related or the time of day. It could be either or a combination of both.
I read that gluten intolerance can trigger migraine headaches and can trigger psoriasis and dry skin.
Some weeks I’ll get a headache that feels in-between a migraine and a tension headache about every day. Once again, I haven’t yet been able to peg it down to a specific food or notice specific patterns. It seems sort of random. I may be sensitive to both, but in limited and near normal quantities not get a noticeable reaction unless I go beyond that and eat more.
For instance I can eat ice cream, a few scoops. But if I eat more than a couple scoops per day, then I may feel bloated or have a sore stomach, sort of like lactose intolerance.
But once again I don't know if all this is related to wheat gluten, or other things. I know for fact I tested a #2 out of 5 allergy to wheat when I was scratch tested by an allergist at age 12. I tested negative for milk, but positive for goats milk. But then again I read that the allergy test I went through is different than the food allergy kind of test. I don't know if this is true, but one site claimed if you have an IgE allergy to something, then you can't have the other kind of allergy, which is the food intolerance mentioned with the GF CF diet.
What I have found it does not make anymore difference to somene unless the child has a food intolerance like other children. It has been proven that all children respond to limiting certailn foods and this would be no different for autistic kids.
Food probelms are normal issues. It is not autistic issues. People get this mixed up. Children Autistic or not have dietry intolerances.
It is easy to test this by feeding the child the food suspected problem food and then taking it out of the diet and if there is a difference then you have found something that helps the current food issue. But remember it will not help the autistic issue only the dietry issue. I the child hypes on intolerent food then it will help calm the behaviour if it is taken out of the diet.
Dieticians will help with this and it is an expertise area.
I agree that food intolerances can cause behaviours in autistic children. But they also cause behaviours in 'normal' children. If those foods are removed from the diet of an autistic child the reduction in headaches, tiredness, irritability etc is obviously going to make the child happier, more alert, less impulsive/avoidance behaviours etc. But the child's brain is still essentially wired up autistic. Autism is neurologically based, but with lots of other things that can impact on it. These might be food intolerance, or sensory issues etc etc.
I agree with success777 and Sally. The underlying gluten and dairy intolerance has little to do with the autism, but for those autistic and intolerant, it can help because it's one less bothersome thing to stress someone out.
Someone who is verbal can express they have a headache and then you can figure they need an aspirin or something... The headache gets treated and the person stops complaining. That person may also have intolerances to food but it may not be found out.
Someone nonverbal can't explain this. All the outside world sees is the change in behavior. It's up to other people to try to figure out what is going on.
I can tell you from experience that when I suffer a migraine like headache I will be a LOT grumpier than if I didn't have a migraine like headache. (True for most people I expect) When I get a headache I may shut down and noises will affect me more than they would normally. Sometimes even just someone speaking to me will hurt my ears. If that migraine like headache is triggered by food intolerances, it would be nice if I can find out for myself so I know for sure what is going on. But for now I tend to treat the headaches by taking Tylenol or whatever other OTC pain med is available. Once again this is likely very "normal" behavior for a headache sufferer. But I'm not likely to express this at the time I have a headache so people will likely assume the change in my behavior is related to my autism and assume it's all autism's fault... Some of it may, but not the whole thing.
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