I first learned about Candida many years ago, when a friend's child got thrush after being on antibiotics for ear infections. Then she had to treat the thrush/yeast infection. It was a cycle of circles and she took preventative measures against further ear infections by elevating her babies' crib slightly on one end (which we always did by placing a pillow under the crib mattress), taking her baby off milk-based formula and by not laying her flat on her back after drinking her bottle or nursing her. She went through quite the ordeal as I recall, with those ear infections and then thrush. And, then it all just disappeared...
But - what about prevention and treatment of yeast infections? Why can't our immune system simply fight back to health or self-adjust? Sometimes, from what I understand, it could happen, but - when it comes to yeast, we need to understand that it is a BEAST and it needs to be tamed, or it will wreck havoc in the body! Here's more info about treating ASDs with an anti-yeast diet.
Why can the body's immune system not clear Candida? The Candida has many tricks to evade the body's immune system. The immune system then calls in the reinforcements. These immune cells attack the yeast and generate the signals for inflammation. Inflammation is a defense, like a wall to keep out the Candida. The Candida is still there, which means the inflammation remains.
In the intestine, this continued inflammation leads to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Sometimes these immune cells circulate and find yeast cells in other places. There is yeast on the skin. Again the yeast is evasive and the immune cells generate the signals for inflammation. The yeast is not cleared and the inflammation remains. This leads to skin problems from itching and eczema to psoriasis.
The Candida has also evolved to look like our own cells. Candida has the body's own connective tissue receptor on it, which it uses to anchor itself into our tissues. Sometimes the immune cells, as they attack the yeast, attack anything which looks like the yeast. What else looks like the yeast? Body cells which have the connective tissue receptor. This attacking of body cells leads to "autoimmune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In these diseases, the body's immune system appears to be attacking the body's own tissues. The immune cells are attacking the yeast and then attacking anything which looks like the yeast.
The yeast chemicals slow the brain down. The gut has its own brain to make sure all the food goes through the intestinal tract at the right rate. What will happen if yeast chemicals put the gut's brain to sleep. The result will be constipation, sometimes very severe. Diarrhea is the body's attempt to clear the yeast. The diarrhea can be present at the same time as the constipation, which is why they can alternate.
What happens if the yeast chemicals slow down the body's nerves and put them to sleep? Then the child can't feel anything or nothing feels right. The hardest parts of the nerves to numb up are the parts which carry pain. This is why light touch, instead of feeling pleasant, now feels painful. If the nerves are numb, sometimes pain feels better than nothing at all. This is why these children bang their heads. Even the pain feels better than numbness.
The lack of proper sensation in the mouth is a reason why these children can become picky eaters. Foods, especially new ones do not feel right to them. The picky eating improves with anti-yeast treatment.
For most of us who have kids in the spectrum, any improvement - not just related to picky eating, is worth the mere consideration of doing the anit-yeast diet.