For last 8 weeks, we have been:
- Mostly soy-free
- Low sugar
- Red #40 free
- Artificial sweetener-free
- MSG Free
- Mostly fluoride-free
- High fructose corn syrup-free
- Toxic metals, such as copper and aluminum - free
- Avoiding added folic acid
...and it was tricky, especially the first 2 weeks. I had to re-learn how to plan menus, shop, buy and store food and how to cook. Yes - I said how to cook. Recipes and foods that I had already converted over to being (what I thought was) healthy... well – those foods were now no longer healthy for Nicolas. In fact, the food I was giving him was bad for him - and that's an awful fact and feeling. But it’s the truth… and the truth, in this case – will set him free.
I won’t lie - it was a discouraging and frightening discovery, when I realized that his poor little body could not handle certain foods and that he really was "imbalanced". I didn’t want to believe it. As a parent, it was my "job" to care for him and obviously, I wanted what is best for him... and I couldn't provide it, and I didn't know how. Clearly God intervened in our lives by guiding us and providing us with tools (books) and friends with similar situations. That's another bloggy subject for another day! I have a lot to say today.
We have added a new component to Nick's diet - but just for a month 0 I hope. We are going to tame the “yeast beast” inside our son by going...(ta-da) -- yeast free. No yeast or yeast foods. The anti-yeast food list is long and might surprise you!
Once again, I am glad to (attempt to) explain why we are doing what we are doing. By going on a GF-GF diet, we have been able to experience first-hand, some improvement with our son. Simply put, the gluten (wheat protein) and casein (milk protein) are improperly digested by Nicolas’ body; they then break down into opiate peptides, and subsequently cause a drugged/zoned-out demeanor, which is behavioral. I don’t know how else to keep saying it.
Kids “in the spectrum” or that have an ASD (autism spectrum disorder) have “allergies”… to certain foods, which cause a cerebral allergy, with behavioral effects. When the opiate "high" effect wears off, the kiddo feels bad and craves more of the offending food or the very food that they shouldn't have, same as an addiction. These foods do become addictive to an ASD child and... when we started, I realized his favorite foods were ALL foods that he should not be eating (and that we no longer eat). I do not see this as giving them up, but – rather, simply replacing them with other healthier choices. And yes – our emergency travel food that it readily available at most gas stations is - Frito’s -- which are now “healthy”. (Check the label on a bag of Frito’s the next time you buy some; you’ll be surprised, especially if you compare it to the labels of Cheetoh’s or Doritos!)
Most ASD, ADD and ADHD kids have other food sensitivities or allergies that we do not see the physical signs and symptoms of: hives, rashes and swelling; but what we do see are: body aches, headaches, mild diarrhea, disorientation, irritability, depression, hyperactivity and unpredictable behavior. Without knowing that food allergies and improper digestion are causing these symptoms, I do understand why parents automatically choose medications for ADD/ADHD to deal with the symptoms - without treating the cause. We are not doing that. By using biomedical DAN! treatments, we are treating the symptoms by treating the causes. Slowly, and with God's help, we will get our son back.
I will attempt to explain the yeast connection more tomorrow. Here is one attempt...
The antibiotic connection to the anti-yeast diet - Why so much interest in antibiotic use history? Because antibiotics help the yeast Candida albicans grow in the intestinal tract. Candida albicans make toxic chemicals which harm the brain.
The yeast Candida albicans can be found inside of our intestinal tract, mouth and in the female genital tract. Sometimes this yeast overgrows and the doctor recognizes this overgrowth of yeast as a yeast infection of the female genital tract or in the mouth, where this infection is commonly called thrush.
Bacteria also reside inside the intestinal tract, sharing space with yeast. Antibiotics kill bacteria, not yeast. After the use of antibiotics the yeast grow to fill in the space left by the removal of the bacteria. Yeast make chemicals which kill bacteria, which enables the yeast to grow at a higher level, even after the antibiotics have been stopped.
Yeast make a number of chemical compounds which are then picked up and absorbed into the body. These compounds are toxic to the nervous system. These chemicals slow the brain down (so that the brain no longer works correctly); and - these chemicals should be cleared by the liver so that these chemicals never reach the brain. However in some people, these chemicals are apparently not cleared, reach the brain, and cause mental symptoms.There are also chemicals in the diet which slow the brain down. Barley malt, the raw material for making beer, contains twenty chemicals which slow the brain down. Vinegar also contains such chemicals.
The combination of chemicals from internal yeast and from food could partially account for brain slowing in ASD children.
The important reason to look at yeast as a major contributor to autism and ASD's is that yeast is easily and safely treatable.