It is not coincidence that autism, ADHD, alzheimers, dementia, depression and anxiety all grew in large proportions during the same time that the USDA was promoting a food pyramid with grains being where most of your calories should come from. Dr. David Perlmutter wrote a fascinating book called "Grain Brain". In it, he discusses the scientific evidence of how eating gluten free is crucial for proper cognitive functioning and overall health. Research has shown that gliadin, a protein found in gluten, is associated with increased gut permeability. This permeability or leaky gut, leads to whole body inflammation, including the brain. Studies have shown a significant correlation between gut inflammation and ASD.
When a child has inflammation in their gut, they also have brain inflammation. The brain and gut are very much connected. This is called the gut brain axis. These two areas of the body directly communicate to each other and thus effect each other's activities. If the gut is inflamed from a gluten sensitivity, then the brain will be as well. Inflammation in the brain can disrupt the way it develops. This can then lead to changes in the way the brain is wired and we end up with the symptoms of autism, ADHD and later on in life, alzheimers and dementia. There have also been links to high grain diets and depression and anxiety. We can not ignore these studies when it comes to healing a child from autism or other neurobehavioral disorders.
Studies have shown that parents who have implemented a gluten and casein (dairy) free diet have shown the following improvements in their children:
Improvement in both receptive and expressive speech
Improvement in sleep
Reduction in disruptive behaviors
Improved bowel movements
Reduction in ear infections
Improved pain tolerance
While it is a lot of work and effort to change to a gluten free diet, it is 1000% worth it. Without changing their diet, the inflammation will stay and so will their symptoms. Will changing their diet guarantee 100% that their inflammation goes away? No, there are many other factors to brain inflammation and neurobehaviors. Diet, however, is one of those factors and can only help their overall health.
At Warriors of Care we help guide you in changing to a gluten free and dairy free lifestyle. We know how hard this can be and want to help make it as easy as possible. If you need help, we are here for you!
"Grain Brain" by Dr. David Perlmutter