The Effects of Nutrition and Food Sensitivities On Autism
Autism is a developmental disorder that begins before the age of 3 years with symptoms of abnormal communication, social interaction, and repetitive behavior. Now, the cause of autism is still unknown and there is no cure, but studies have been completed that show how symptoms can be managed more effectively.
One area of increased interest is food and nutrition, specifically into food allergies/food sensitivities. Most people suffer from some form of food sensitivity with some of the most common symptoms being bloating, indigestion, inflammation, brain fog, irritability, and pain.
Unfortunately, one study found that children with autism have an increased likely hood (roughly 43%) of intestinal permeability which could be the cause of chronic intestinal inflammation. This leads to upset stomach, intestinal pain, and a decrease in absorption rate of nutrients. Right away we can see that this is going to make specific symptoms worse. Anyone feeling discomfort in the digestive track is going to be less happy and more irritable.
The top two most commonly found foods that contribute to autism children were gluten and casein (cow's milk). These two proteins had the largest negative effect on symptoms. Does this mean every child with autism has a sensitivity to gluten and milk? Of course not, but it's a worthwhile place to start.
Just like anything else we do, our goals are to improve quality of life and reduce the severity of symptoms. If we can accomplish this, symptoms get better. They may not go away entirely and the diagnosis will not change, but the day to day life will improve.
Food and nutrition have an astounding affect on the body. Sometimes the trick is just finding out what is the cause in order to make the necessary changes to start healing the gut and mitigating the symptoms.