How Does the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Help People With Autism?
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Series – Healing Gastrointestinal Distress Part 2
Part 1 of GI Pro Health’s The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Series – Healing Gastrointestinal Distress explained the framework of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, what digestive track ailments the SCD can help treat, and the “legal” versus “illegal” foods within the SCD.
Part 2 of our educational series will address the important question asked by many parents and caregivers of those with autism spectrum disorder: “How Does the SCD Help People with Autism?” Read on to learn how this groundbreaking diet has positively impacted the ASD community.
Autism is a whole body disorder. Grasping that the brain and gut are connected helps explain why autism and overall health improve through a diet that maintains GI health and digestion.
Many children, teenagers, and adults diagnosed with autism suffer from underlying medical conditions that include dietary and nutritional sensitivities, immune dysfunction, and biochemical irregularities. Caring for these underlying GI-related medical problems plays an essential role in improving bowel functions, behavior, language, temperament, and eye contact for those with autism.
Parents and caregivers of those with autism spectrum disorder recognized that a great deal of Elaine Gottschall’s book Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet, directly correlates to the inflammatory bowel problems people with autism experience: constipation, diarrhea, alternating constipation and diarrhea, bloating, gas, exceptionally foul smelling stools, and even the presence of undigested food in bowel movements. In addition, many people with autism have difficulty consuming dairy products. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet can be tailored to omit dairy products as well.
As stated previously, autism is a whole body disorder and it is paramount to treat the underlying medical problems that may potentially trigger autism or intensify the symptoms for those with autism. Sadly, gastrointestinal problems still go unrecognized and untreated in many with autism spectrum disorder. The symptoms around GI pain and malnutrition may be diagnosed by healthcare professionals as a “behavior problem,” such as self-injury, aggression, poor sleep, tantrums, obsessions, and compulsions. However, upon further investigation, these types of behaviors can frequently be tracked back to a damaged intestine.
Healing and recovery of these gastrointestinal issues is truly possible. This will not happen overnight, but with time, patience, and perseverance, improvements will be seen. Parents and caregivers must commit to the guidelines of the SCD and create a supportive and positive environment to achieve success.
Stay tuned for the next topic in our Specific Carbohydrate Diet Series – Healing Gastrointestinal Distress. Part 3 will share valuable strategy plans on implementing and maintaining the Dairy Free Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
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