Saturday, July 25, 2009

Going GFCF (cow free, that is)

I know how much stock may people put into the connection between autism and gluten/casein. I've never met someone who's done "the diet" for that reason, though, so I can't really say what I think. Before I go too far, let me just say that the main reason I am getting rid of gluten and cow's milk is NOT due to the autism.

I've been massively, head-to-toe itchy since... forever. Also, I've had stomach cramps and all sorts of other nasty problems for the past 6 or 8 years, getting increasingly worst. I've been biopsied for Celiac, which came back negative. I do have GERD and take hefty doses of some medications for that. I was hospitalized last summer with severe stomach pain/swelling, GI problems galore, and severe regurgitation of every bite/sip I took. No real answers, except for some med changes that helped the acid reflux to calm back down.

My nutritionist has mentioned several times that "when things settle down" we needed to think about kicking the gluten and see how my stomach did then. Well, this, folks, is as settled down as life gets. I think it's time. I picked up a few GF things (pasta, pancake mix, cereal) and almond milk (because I am very aware that at least straight milk and ice cream is a problem, although some cheese and butter is okay)... so far, all are very good.

So, for the next week or so, I am going to figure out how to get the gluten out, what that looks like. I'm not going to do it 100% just yet, as I'm going to Disney next week, and that's a terrible place to start going GF! Then, when I get back, GF it is.

Now, I'm mostly hoping that my itchiness calms down, and also the GI problems. However, if my attention gets a little better, or some of the other things like that? You won't hear me complaining!

Anyone out there tried it, for any reasons (autism, celiac, allergies, other)? Thoughts?


  1. Lydia, milk and ice cream make my daughter act, we like to say, "wonky." Really, what it does is reduces her impulse control, she gets scream-y on us, and she starts doing a lot of sensory-seeking stuff -esp with her head (like sitting upside down on couch, constantly pushing (not banging) her head into soft things). She seems to tolerate cheese fine, and I'm not sure about butter because we don't use it.

    We've noticed similar things with peanuts and soy too so both of those are eliminated. Saw no changes after eliminating gluten so that seems to be fine.

    While many people seem to report changes in the autism, we haven't seen that. Except, when we eliminated the milk/ice cream - she did develop non verbal communication like head nodding/shaking and gesturing (dramatic gesturing). I can't explain it, but there does seem to be a connection there.

    I think it's good to start with just milk like you're doing because then if the itchiness goes away, you'll know it's that, and not wonder if it was the gluten OR the casein.

    Good luck!

  2. 95% gluten and dairy free here. things with gluten started giving me digestion issues so stopped. honestly i still have digestion issues but they're not half as bad as they were w/ gluten. cut out most sugar too. never thought i would . no amazing improvementsb ut keeps it from, getting worse

  3. The little girl I teach went gluten and dairy free last september and after around three months she did show signs of having much better concentration and focus. We are a mainstream Montessori school in the UK so her autistic behaviour does "show up" in the classroom. Whether it was coincidence that she had her 6th birthday at around the 3 month mark and it was simply some developmental delays catching up, or whether she's got an intolerance I don't know. I do know her mum has noticed an improvement in her digestion!!!! There is no way she's going to be going back to wheat or dairy at the moment because she is a happier and more comfortable little beastie now!!!