This was originally published on Google Knols, but as they are closing this down, I’ve transferred it here:
Gluten Free, Dairy Free is the same as Gluten Free, Casein Free and Gluten Free, Lactose Free
More than 70% of all adults have a problem with milk and dairy products of one kind or another. And any of these difficulties may be combined with celiac disease or some other type of gluten intolerance (or indeed gluten allergy, although a true allergy to gluten is rare).
Since its discovery in the 1980s, many parents of autistic children have been trying them on the gluten free casein free diet, often with striking results.The difficulty ASD kids have with dairy is specifically related to the protein casein, which is found in almost all dairy products. But it’s not just children with autistic spectrum disorders that need a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.
Anyone who has just been diagnosed with celiac disease needs to avoid gluten, and will probably also have difficulties with dairy products for up to 18 months, as a result of a temporary inability to digest the sugar lactose caused by damage to the intestine. Lactose intolerance, as this is called, results in bloating and diarrhea whenever large quantities of milk are ingested.
Lactose intolerance can occur in anyone, either as a permanent condition (in fact, 70% of the world’s adult population is lactose intolerant), or temporarily after a bout of gastro-enteritis. A good number of these will also have genes that make them likely to become gluten intolerant.
Apart from intolerance of casein and/or lactose, there’s also a condition called milk allergy which can produce varying symptoms, most of which are typical of those associated with allergies, ranging from skin rashes and diarrhea to anaphylactic shock in extreme cases. Milk allergy affects about 2-3% of infants, although 90% of these grow out of it, so probably only 1 in 400 adults have this condition.
Taking into account all the different ways dairy products can cause problems, it’s pretty clear that the number of adults who can digest milk and the rest without difficulties of one kind or another is far outweighed by those who can’t. And all of these difficulties with dairy products may be combined with celiac disease or some other type of gluten intolerance (or indeed gluten allergy, although a true allergy to gluten is rare).
As we know that more than 70% of adults have some sort of difficulty with milk and dairy products, it’s quite likely that as many as 1 in 15 of those will also have a problem with gluten. Even if it’s only 1% (which is the standard percentage given as suffering from celiac disease, the most well-known form of gluten intolerance), that’s still a lot of people.
Casein has been linked with migraine and other headaches and has been shown to block the healthful effects of tea against cardiovascular disease. Apart from celiac disease, gluten has been implicated in a huge number of disorders, from serious mental problems like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (some experts believe that casein is also linked to these) to irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and numerous others.
Important: Have you had tests that show you’re “allergic” to lots of different foods, including gluten?
As I’ve said elsewhere, gluten intolerance, like other food intolerances, is not an allergy. What it is is an inability to process gluten (or whatever), leading to toxins in the body. Although true gluten allergy does exist, it is very rare.
But really, there’s an acid test for this sort of thing. If you cut all the “allergens” out of your diet, do the problems they are supposed to have caused improve? If you haven’t noticed a major improvement within, at most 3 months, it’s likely the results you were given were false positives. These are not at all unusual, and cutting out half a dozen food groups because of them may cause problems almost as bad as the ones you started out with – plus you may still have to cope with your original symptoms.
Remember, food allergies are rare. They are things like peanut allergy – shellfish or strawberries are other possible candidates. They are dangerous. If you have a food allergy, you will almost certainly know about it. They’re hard to miss. Food intolerance, on the other hand, is more common than most people realize.
So, if your doctor insists on testing for allergies when you have symptoms indicating an intolerance, your best bet is to change to a doctor who knows what he is doing.
The GFCF diet and autism
There’s been quite a number of stories in the news over the last year or so about the breakthrough reported by Jenny McCarthy and many other parents when they put their children with autism or other behavioral difficulties onto a gluten free casein free (GFCF) diet, usually after they had been diagnosed as autistic or severely behaviorly challenged.
Doctors, with few exceptions, say “There’s no evidence” and “We can’t be sure,” or even actively advise against the diet, as is normal for their profession when a new treatment that doesn’t involve expensive prescriptions or surgery becomes available. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious…
I don’t have this dilemma, but if it was me with an autistic child and a doctor who wanted me to stuff him full of dangerous drugs, rather than try him on a special diet, I know what I would do. And what I am saying to you if you are in this situation is: putting your ASD child on the gluten/casein free diet can’t hurt — and it might help a lot!
The thing is, your child is growing and developing all the time, and that development isn’t just going to stop while the doctors make their minds up — and although major tranquillizers and anti-psychotics may make him docile and easier to manage, whether it makes his life better (or her school work any easier for her to follow) — well, let’s just say I kinda doubt it (especially when you consider some of the side effects).
Exported: 23 Nov 2011
Original URL: http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/3a8zy8xf22236/2