Autism

Autism is a disorder that causes young children to not develop normal social relationships, and can begin from the age of two. An autistic child also behaves in compulsive and ritualistic ways, and often communicates in an abnormal manner.

High levels of antibodies to gluten and casein (a protein in milk products), have consistently been found in autistic children. Compelling research reveals that a gluten-free and casein-free diet can dramatically reduces the symptoms of autism.

A specialist in autism and schizophrenia from the University of Oslo in Norway, Karl-Ludwig Reichelt, M.D. – a paediatric researcher there, purports autistic children do not produce enough peptidases. Peptidases are enzymes that break down the peptides (amino acid chains) of casein and gluten. Consequentially, the partially digested peptides from casein and gluten enter the bloodstream through a compromised gut wall, then migrate to the brain, where they affect the individual’s cognition and behaviour. However, there are also other factors involved in the development of autism. For example, vaccinations and mercury toxicity have been involved, perhaps compromising gut integrity which allows casein and gluten peptides to pass into the bloodstream, attacking the central nervous system.

To investigate just how effective a gluten-free and casein-free diet is, a study by Reichelt in 1995 placed 15 autistic children on this diet for four years. Each autistic child, exhibited improved cognitive skills, social behaviour, and communication abilities – except on occasions when they ate foods containing gluten and casein. J. Robert Cade M.D., from the University of Florida, Gainesville, has also conducted similar research. One of his studies, found that 81 percent of autistic children he treated with a gluten-free, casein-free diet displayed improvements in their behaviour.

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Neurological Diseases Part 2

One of the first symptoms of gluten sensitivity and neurological disorders, are unexplained, frequent headaches.

The M.D. of the Royal Hallmashire Hospital in Sheffield, England – Marios Hadjivassiliou, studied four male and six female patients suffering from headaches and gluten sensitivity – some of which also had unsteadiness or ataxia. The patients had MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) performed on them, with the each patient showing abnormal results, with white matter appear on the scan – characteristic of cerebral inflammation.

Nine patients were introduced to a gluten-free diet, which resulted in seven of those patients being completely relieved from their headaches, and partial relief in the other two.

It is still unknown how gluten sensitivity causes damage in neurological and cerebral disorders.

A possibility is that it is caused by nutrient deficiencies such as folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 deficiencies. Another possibility is immune reactions to gluten or some direct toxic effect of the gliadin.

Regardless of the inner workings of gluten sensitivity, it is apparent that if a gluten-sensitive person continues to eat gluten, their condition will worsen.

For the most therapeutic results gluten-free diets are best implemented in the early stages of gluten-sensitivity, before too much damage is done.

In advanced neurological conditions gluten-free diets aren’t as successful so it is crucial gluten sensitivity is detected early.

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Neurological Diseases Part 1

People suffering from neurological diseases of unknown causes have a far greater frequency of gluten sensitivity than those of the general population.

One study in particular showed 57 percent of patients with neurological disorders of unknown origin had elevated levels of antigliadin antibodies, compared to only 12 percent in the control group.

This is especially true for patients with ataxia (unsteady and shaky movements) and neuropathy patients (numb and weak limbs).

Some other neurological conditions that are linked with gluten sensitivity include brain atrophy, epilepsy and memory impairment across various ages – including people aged in their twenties and thirties.

In patients with early-stage dementia, it is often common that they are diagnosed with celiac disease years or decades after the onset of the dementia.

This shows how pivotal it is for people to get tested for gluten sensitivity, as the earlier it is detected the less damage will be done to the brain – that cannot be corrected easily.

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Microscopic Colitis

Over the next few weeks I will be writing about other conditions that are associated with gluten sensitivity.

Colitis and Other Gastrointestinal Complaints are associated with gluten sensitivity – making it crucial to understand how to avoid this, in order to live a healthy life.
Colitis occurs when the colon is inflamed and usually causes chronic diarrhoea and cramping. This often develops from a variety of factors – one of which is gluten sensitivity. A common disease that can cause diarrhoea and cramping is microscopic colitis and is strongly linked to gluten sensitivity. Microscopic colitis is also often diagnosed as collagenous colitis.
Microscopic colitis relates to celiac disease as the damage done in the small intestine caused by celiac disease is almost identical to the damage done in the large intestine caused by microscopic colitis.

The difference between the two conditions is microscopic colitis is a secondary gluten sensitive condition – i.e. it may develop from something other than gluten sensitivity. For example microscopic colitis often develops from an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the colon, then once it has developed the immune system reacts to the gluten – making the situation far worse.

Therefore, the best solution to this is to implement a gluten free diet, while also taking supplements to correct the imbalance of bad bacteria.

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Silent Coeliac Disease is the damage to the small intestine (which is typically found in traditional coeliac disease), but without any obvious symptoms.

As the obvious symptoms are not present people can go for years, often decades without being diagnosed, while coeliac disease slowly but silently eats away at their health.

The initial signs of Silent Coeliac Disease include:

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Gluten is a collection of proteins found in:

  • Wheat
  • Wheat Cousins (Spelt & Kumut)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a wheat-rye hybrid)
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • An endless variety of processed foods

Of all these grains, wheat is the most challenging, largely because it contains the most gluten.

Food manufacturers, especially bakers, love gluten and have a high regard for the types of wheat that contain the most gluten, since it causes bread to rise and puff up magnificently.

What you may not realise, however, is that gluten can cause many people’s health to nose-dive – often in particularly dangerous ways.

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There are some health problems associated with refined grains.

Eating refined grains can result in the body producing adverse metabolic consequences very similar to what the body experiences when we consume refined sugar.

The majority of refined grain products provoke our glucose levels (blood sugar levels) to increase significantly causing the body to produce insulin to counteract the high glucose levels & return them to normal levels. [click to continue…]

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Gluten grains may be the most problematic of the grains but a high intake of non-gluten grains has caused plenty of health problems around the world too.

An example of this is corn. Corn is a non-gluten grain but it’s interesting to note that it is particularly low in niacin (vitamin B3) and tryptophan, an amino acid the body can use to make niacin. As a result of a high intake of corn, pellagra (niacin deficiency disease) can develop.

Imbalances & nutrient deficiencies in refined grains [click to continue…]

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Following on from last week’s article “What’s wrong with a high intake of grains?” we continue to explore the misconceptions of high intake of grains.

So, if a high intake of grains is not good for us, the question that pops to mind is;

Why do most of us believe they are actually good for us?

Why have grains become such a focal point of our day to day diet?

There are many pieces to the puzzle. We will begin with the obvious first: [click to continue…]

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There is a common misconception that lots of grains are good for us. Unfortunately grain, like everything else, is good for us but only in moderation.

But why you say?

Grains are rich in carbohydrates as well as calories, which is why they are used to fatten up livestock & subsequently also fatten us up when we eat excessive amounts.

Grain is a great way to ‘bulk up’ & more importantly is high in nutrients, which keeps drawing us back to them. [click to continue…]

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