For most people, the breakdown of dietary and wheat proteins into usable energy is a relatively simple and symptom free process. The digestion process breaks down proteins into smaller and smaller peptides (amino acid chains) and finally into individual amino acids which are then used by the body for energy. However, many children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) cannot properly digest proteins, like those found in wheat (gluten) and dairy (casein) products.
The improperly digested gluten and casein proteins form peptides or substances that act like opiates in the body. These opiate-like peptides can alter the person’s behavior, perceptions, and responses to their environment.
Implementing the Gluten Free – Casein Free Diet (GFCF Diet)
While mainstream medicine has yet to officially recommend a special diet for autism, many parents have had great success implementing a strict Gluten Free – Casein Free Diet (GFCF). The theory behind the GFCF diet is that removing these poisons from the body will lessen autistic symptoms such as impulsive behaviors, lack of focus, and even speech problems.
The GFCF diet is by no means an easy undertaking, but since it has been proven successful it is definitely worth trying. To succeed at this diet, it must be undertaken for no less then 6 months and all gluten and casein must be completely eliminated from the child’s diet.
The first step in starting this diet is to
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