A Link Between Gluten and Autism?

Autism is a disorder that is becoming a major concern amongst parents, pediatricians, and even educators. Because this disorder seems to be becoming more common, it has sparked a great deal of debate and research into the reason behind its development. New studies, especially those that have been based in the alternative medicine field, have found that there could be a potential link between food allergies and autism, especially a link between gluten and the condition. This new data suggest that gluten may create allergies that either cause or worsen autism.

Autism is a disorder that affects children’s cognitive development and cognitive function. This can cause problems with communication abilities, behavior, and social interaction. While it was thought that autism may be genetic, recent studies have found that environmental factors may actually be cause of, or influence the disorder.

The studies that tracked autism with gluten allergies found that the food proteins in these foods were broken down into small proteins known as peptides. This then functioned as a narcotic would in autistic children, causing outward symptoms to worsen.

Since allergic responses to gluten can affect the body on the whole, causing a variety of mental and physical symptoms, the consequences can be far reaching. “Brain fog” is considered to be a mental symptom of autism, but is also often mistaken for other psychiatric conditions. Gluten intolerant adults are often plagued by physical symptoms of consuming gluten foods, while children tend to suffer more from mental side effects, such as brain fog.

Just as the remedy for a gluten intolerant adult is a gluten free diet, parents with children showing symptoms of mental impairment may want to consider eliminating gluten in the daily diet. Once parents cut out gluten, mental changes are often reported in a very short period of time. Cognitive problems, abnormal behavior, antisocial tendencies, and problems with communication have completely disappeared in many cases.

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