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My Take on GFCF

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Posted on : 8:47 PM | By : Nic | In : ,

I've read lots of information on the GCFC GFCF (Gluten Free Casein Free) diet, both for and against. If you're not familiar with this, many autistic parents believe that eliminated gluten (in form of breads or grain products containing gluten), and casein (in the form of dairy protein) improves the behavior of their child. As yet, I am unable to find any convincing proof of why this would be. It doesn't mean it isn't true, it could just mean it hasn't been proven. We've eliminated dairy (if you look through my diet category you can see the posts), and it has improved her behavior. Rather than literally climbing the walls, she's much more calm and has less explosive crying episodes. 


I have a bit of a scientific mind, and now having two children who have basically the same genes, pretty much the same AP/Continuum Concept parenting, the same diet, but vastly different behavior, I've been observing as much as possible (objectively, hopefully).  Here's what I know:

1. Annie has many more allergies.  The first allergy we noticed was baby wipes.  We quickly switched to more natural wipes, and being new parents didn't realize all the options, but we knew that she couldn't handle fragrances or lotions or even dryer sheets.  Everyone can get a skin irritation but for her it was seriously noticeable in the form of a rash.

2. Genetically, allergies, ADD and obsessive compulsive behaviors seem to occur in both sides of her gene pool.

3.  When Annie eats any dairy, about 2-12 hours later she will have a reaction in the form of hyperactivity, being more emotional and on a roller coaster that lasts for hours.  Angry outbursts and tears as she's unable to handle situations characterize the situation.  She's now learned to recognize this tendency and avoids dairy of her own choosing, and I'm just hoping that realizing it will be one step closer to being able understand her emotions.  

4.  Wheat doesn't seem to make as much of a difference as dairy, but being wheat-free for a whole day does seem to keep her calmer.  

5. Sugar, food colorings and artificial ingredients are just as detrimental as dairy.  I got her some chewable Omega-3 things that were supposed to be like Starburst candies, but without the sugar.  They had no noticeable effect, even though additional Omega-3's are supposed to help her focus and stay calm, and I theorize it's because of the orange food coloring and artificial flavors.

When I say that she is more calm, let me tell you an example of today.  I, being the CC mom that I am, allow a little bit of junk food into the house, one treat every two weeks that they can have if they ask and they've eaten some other real food during the day.  I do this so they can limit themselves to a certain extent, and to always have balance (that's my key word, lol), and so when they are adults they won't binge on what they didn't have.  They dipped into Dad's bag of Doritos after breakfast, and by the afternoon Annie had opened the blinds, and was hanging onto the window sill with her toes and making herself fall into a folding chair.  She was trying to climb the wall as high as possible and fall headfirst while laughing hysterically, which would be ok if it wasn't self-destructive and damaging to what was around her (a computer and a bookcase).  I put them in the bathtub to help her reconcile some of her tactile sensitivity issues that were manifesting themselves, where she proceeded to shove her sister to the end of the tub because she had to have her legs straight.  So I took her out and decided to try to give her physical attention like hugging but she couldn't handle it.

Without dairy, this doesn't happen.  My take?  What works, works, even without the proof.


EDIT: lol, did anyone notice my dyslexic mistake in labeling it GCFC? It should be G F C F lol.

Comments (2)

Hi Nic! My DS11 seems to do okay with raw dairy, milk and cheese. We don't often get out to the farm, though, for our raw milk so then it's organic yogurt with the cereal and that's okay too. We always have raw cheese from the store. DS knows he doesn't tolerate milk, so will always say "no" to a glass of it or something. It's nice when they get to the age where they know these things and can speak for themselves!

We have tried wheat-free quite a bit. Sometimes it seems to help, other times it doesn't seem to matter. My take is that it's such a hard diet to follow that unless you know FOR SURE that it helps, it's probably not worth it. So we always give up! We try to do lots of meat and eggs for him (and all of us) though and he loves that.

I did give DS11 one drop of a potent herb last week (you can only take one drop once a week!), and he's like a new kid. That, and I banned computer time except for an hour a day at the library and so maybe it helped too. I won't give the herb's name here, but let me know if you're interested in it. I do think herbs and flower essences really help these kids, but it's best to see an herbalist for the right ones.

Lisa

We've tried other dairy foods such as organic yogurt and goats milk, and unfortunately the reaction is the same... it's a tough thing to do to eliminate, and I don't think wheat will ever be gone. Even dairy is a daily struggle. I would like to know the name of the herb... send me a note:
nonelectricnorth at yahoo.ca