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Gluten free and dairy free diet? Any experience?

(8 Posts)
mummyofbenjamin Wed 06-Jul-11 00:21:10

Just wondering if anyone with as ASD child has tried a gluten free diet or dairy free? My son age 3 years 9 months has recently been diagnosed with autism and i've been reading bits about a gluten free or dairy free diet (or both).

Has anyone any knowledge on this or any experience?

Is it worth going to the gp and getting an intolerance test first?

Bluesunbeam Wed 06-Jul-11 09:52:20

We are in a similar position and have just sent of for the test from

The first test is £60 and the second (which includes the first) is £95.

They used to be part of the University of Sunderland Autism Research Unit but have split off very recently. It's easier to contact them by email and they send information to you. Email address is

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 06-Jul-11 14:12:10

What Bluesunbeam said! It was Sunderland when my DS tried it 8 years ago. The first urine test should be with a normal diet to see if there are any casein or gluten peptide spikes. If there are, they recommend a GF and/or CF diet. If there aren't it's probably not worth trying. Casein leaves the system much more quickly than gluten, 4-5 weeks rather than 6 months so you may see an improvement in behaviour quite quickly. The diets should be supervised by a dietician, (not a nutritionalist, not a recognised medical qualification, think Gillian McKeith!) to ensure you are not missing essential nutrients.

Just to let you know, DS didn't have much of a casein spike at all and only a low gluten one. We tried CF for a month with no improvement and GF for 7 months with no improvement. sad

Having said that I know of people in real life who swear by it and noticed significant improvements. We thought it was worth a try and don't regret trying.

brandy77 Wed 06-Jul-11 16:56:20

Can i ask what the connection is with autism? My son was on egg/dairy/gluten free diet from age 5months to about 5 years, absolute nightmare to try and feed him, sooooo restrictive. Apparently he had intolerances. He now has gluten and can have milk thats in cooked foods and will drink a milkshake, avoid egg because its more allergy as his face puffs up.

Just wondering what the connection is being that hes now finally diagnosed with ASD

holidaytime Wed 06-Jul-11 18:11:02

We did both cf and gf diet for about six months with my ds but there was not any improvement.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 06-Jul-11 19:02:09

Brandy, the theory (as I understand it, not being at all medical) is that some DC with ASD suffer from leaky gut problems and a leaky blood brain barrier. When they digest the proteins in wheat and or milk, gluten and casein, they are converted into peptides (losing you here?) which are very similar to morphine. These peptides get into the bloodstream and cross the blood brain barrier (totally lost now) and act like a drug. Children are 'addicted' to gluten and/or casein and crave it.

These peptides can be found in the urine of DC with ASD, which is what the Sunderland lot are researching. It's not proven but there is lots of anecdotal evidence that a GF/CF diet can be beneficial for children with ASD. It's nothing to do with coeliacs or 'intolerances.' HTH!

Pixel Wed 06-Jul-11 20:10:56

Ds was gluten and dairy free for nine months when he was about 3. We gave up because it had no effect on him whatsoever. Glad we tried though as we would have always wondered otherwise and it does seem to work for some people.

brandy77 Wed 06-Jul-11 20:24:59

thanks ellen, no didnt lose me, im an expert in medical health after over 6 years of googling it,lol. oh well it definitely hasnt helped my son then. Hes been back on gluten/some milk for 18months and hes still the same hyper/aggressive child........also lovely smile

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