Autism And Food Allergies

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Allergies and autism share a common denominator; immune system issues. 
Autistic children (in most cases)  have overactive immune systems and imbalanced inflammatory reactions, thus making them more susceptible to immune deregulations. 

Autism and Food Sensitivities

Allergies are the immune system’s inflammatory response when the system perceives something as being dangerous for the body.
When your child has aversion to certain foods, the immune activating response sets the body into fighting mode by producing antibodies to defend against the invader. This reaction causes allergy symptoms which typically occur within the first few hours after eating.

Common Allergic Symptoms 

The most common allergic reactions include the following symptomatology:
  • Itchy mouth.
  • Hives, or eczema.
  • Swelling of lips, limbs, or other body parts.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Dizziness, and headache.

Most Common Food Allergies In ASD

Autistic children are commonly reactive to wheat, casein, and nuts, however, the following foods are also a common cause for adverse reactions:
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Cow`s milk (casein)
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Wheat

Food Intolerance Vs Food Allergies

Most autistic children have negative reactions to certain foods, however, not all reactions are necessarily allergies.
Intolerance to specific foods can cause diarrhea/constipation, mood swings, headaches, decreased attention span, hyperactivity,  and even pain.
The main difference between an allergy and intolerance is the fact that intolerances have a tendency to increase negative autistic behaviors such as aggression and self-injuries. 
Most Common Food Intolerances include:
  • Lactose
  • Gluten
  • Corn and Soy
  • Food additives

Avoiding Food Intolerances

According to different studies autistic children can highly benefit from making the right adjustments to their diets.
 In a pilot study of 30 children with autism, the participants were placed on a ketogenic diet for six months. 23 of the 30 children tolerated the diet beyond the initial four weeks, and of those, five more discontinued the diet due to lack of improvement. Of the remaining 18 kids, two boys improved enough in symptoms to be taken out of special education classes and placed in mainstream education. 
 
 In ketogenic diets, the most nutritional intake must come from lean meats, fatty fish, healthy oils, and low carb veggies. To find out all details about the keto diet and its benefits for autism please visit our blog post Is ketogenic diet the new Autism diet?
 

 Avoiding Food Allergies

Although there is no easy way to avoid food allergies, we highly encourage you to run an allergy test to your child to find out the main source of inflammation and allergic symptoms. Avoiding the foods that most commonly cause allergies in autism, reading labels, and sticking to a keto diet can be great ways to reduce the chance for your child to present reactions.
  
We highly encourage you to visit your family Doctor before making any adjustments to your childs nutrition and diet. Remember, making an effort to feed your child with a natural healthy diet will require a lot of effort, but we guarantee you that the results will pay off in no time.
At WSCC, we offer support for autistic families and their children with Stem Cell Therapy treatments that can transform autistic conditions by healing the gut, decreasing inflammation and improving brain function. We also created an autistic community on Facebook that is destined to offer support and companionship for ASD parents and their families on their journey.
 
Remember, you are not alone!