I will be writing much more on this in the very near future. In the meantime, here is a letter that I just wrote in response to a question about the use of The G.A.R.D. for autism. I hope this at least starts the ball rolling. As always, please write to me if you have any questions about this.
Autism- A Forum Post
I’m glad that you are interested in this approach. In the past, I simply sent people with autistic children to www.gfcfdiet.com to read their success stories ( http://www.gfcfdiet.com/Successstories.htm ). But now I have had personal cases that have responded dramatically to the elimination diet so I AM getting more personally involved.
The GARD in the strictest sense was mainly designed for those suffering from “excitotoxin” related disorders…over-excitement by those neurostimulating, non-essential amino acids glutamate and aspartate. I believe that this does include autistics, as some of the repetitive and even self- injurious behaviors that many exhibit are due to over-stimulation by these neurostimulants. But in the autistic, I am more concerned about the casomorphins, gliadomorphins and neurologically depressing substances like the mercury, chronic latent viral/mycoplasmal infections, malabsorption induced malnutrition, and secondary allergens that are keeping them in the depressed state. When there are repetitive behaviors, outbursts, and self-injurious actions, I believe that they are in that same cycle that the ADHD child is in where the stimulants hit that brain that is malfunctioning from the above things and over-react to those stimulants because the neurons of the brain are doing everything they can to overcome the depressants, much like the drug addict’s does. The brain, in these situations is in an interesting state, isn’t it?
Again, think “drug addict”. If a person is addicted to downers, the brain adjusts to these depressants by “uploading”…becoming more sensitive to stimulants in a desperate attempt to overcome the depressants. That is why this drug addict requires more and more drugs to feed his habit and why he starts to SHAKE when his drug levels drop. His neurons are trying hard to overcome the depressing action of the downer drug in order to reach homeostasis/equilibrium and they do this by “uploading”. When the balance is altered by dropping levels of depressant, the individual becomes OVER-stimulated…the DTs set in (just like in alcoholism) and the person feels like they are going to come apart.
This also happens to people like celiacs with the “big 4” food intolerances who have acute drops in their serotonin production because of sudden onset damage to their intestinal villi, where 98% of their body’s serotonin is made and the nutrients (B complex and C) that are required to make more (including the 2% made by the brain) are absorbed. See that? Celiac disease can be and typically is very insidious in nature and development. But it can also be very acute, sometimes following a viral or bacterial infection. And, we know exactly why this happens. I suffered from “acute endogenous depression” in my 30’s (In April, when the days are getting longer. Light is very stimulating!!!). This was the very FIRST real sign of my celiac disease. Suddenly, I could not make adequate serotonin and the resulting anxiety disorder preceded my years of depression that I later suffered from. The “reflex” action to overstimulation is depression. That is the purpose of depressing…to help you deal with being over-stimulated, whether it be purely physical or following severe emotional stress.
Conversely, if a person is addicted to stimulants, the brain “down loads” to be become less sensitive to these chronic uppers” and the reverse of the above occurs. But with Ecstasy, the brain levels of serotonin very specifically get depleted and all h*ll breaks loose (that’s a Biblical term.:):):) ). Serotonin is CRUCIAL to normal brain function and without it, severe emotional and physical symptoms can arise.
So, think of the autistic as a “drug addict” who is addicted to casomorphins and gliadorphins and depressed by a myriad of secondary factors but whose brain is desperately TRYING to upload to overcome this situation. (Did you know that there are some wise autism clinics in this country that do a urinalysis to detect the levels of casomorphins/gliadorphins in the urine when making a clinical diagnosis of autism?). Now, also think of autism as a spectrum disorder. We know that there are degrees of affliction and this should not be a surprise to anyone. It IS a “syndrome” like epilepsy, with multiple factors coming together to produce the result. Mercury is not THE issue but it can be a major contributing factor. Personally, I now believe that fluoridated drinking water is potentially an even bigger problem. And, I am starting to research more into chelation therapy for autistics.
So, believe the testimonies of mothers whose kids had dramatic results when taken off of all gluten and casein. They are very real!!! I have had some cases just like this myself. BUT, we can also explain why some do not have that miraculous response. They are “category two”…those with the more severe secondary issues above, including viral infections, some of which they acquired from the same vaccines that provided the mercury. Hey, not ALL kids that acquire the measles and mumps virus from that modified live virus vaccine are going to develop epilepsy/seizures (errrh). Some are “just” going to experience severe neuronal dysfunction/depression. But have you ever heard of kids with both??? Of course you have. I write on BrainTalk Communities Website and I hear about these kids all of the time.
These are your “worst of the worst” and now, hopefully, you have a better idea of why. You can also now see why there are “splinter” groups called Angelman Syndrome and Rett syndrome. These are of particular interest to me because they can be accompanied by growth abnormalities (small heads, short legs, etc), more signs of the malabsorption syndrome seen in celiacs. Down Syndrome has now been linked directly to celiac disease. Once we see the true underlying causes, we can start to understand these variances. This basic understanding of the food issues is like passing through a doorway. Suddenly, there is a whole new room of knowledge to enjoy.
So basically, there is a WAR going on in their brain. The brain is scrambling to find homeostasis but between the casomorphins/gliadorphins, glutamate/aspartate, sugar, NutraSweet (“because sugar is so evil”…not really.) and the DRUGS they are on (some of which do more harm than good), the brain is losing the battle. These kids are horribly malnourished from the malabsorption syndrome being driven by the foods to which they are horribly addicted…the wheat and dairy. These kids are notoriously addicted to mac and cheese, bread, milk, ice cream, cake, pancakes/waffles, etc etc and it is like pulling teeth to get them to eat a vegetable. How obvious does it have to be for us to see that they are just like drug addicts, with the drug being their food??? And once again, ALL addictions are bad…without exception. And we will become sick from the things we are addicted to.
The main warning sign??? Cow milk and wheat are the number one and two childhood allergens. “Warning, warning!!!” That should be sooo obvious, painfully clear in retrospect. The allergies form at the time of the damage to the gut, the malabsorption syndrome sets in, the casomorphins/gliadorphins flood the brain, the immune system goes down from the malnutrition, the brain becomes unhealthy from lack of proper nutrition, the viruses/mycoplasma jump onto the scene, the mercury/fluoride/air pollution/environmental chemicals, etc hit the brain, the secondary inhalant allergens kick in, and VOILA’ …we’re sick. Surprise, surprise. :(:(:(
That’s medicine in a nutshell. And what started it all? Yep…the FOOD. So, how do we correct it again??? :):):)All we haven’t covered is why some kids go down this road and other don’t getting the same diet, environmental challenges, etc. Is it their “genes”? No, but there is something IN their genes.
Did you know that there is more viral information in our double-stranded DNA than there is are genes??? Yep. So, what is the truth about “genetics”? Do the genes that give you blue eyes and blonde hair mutate and cause autism??? NO, but there are some guys mixed in between those genes that do. Wrap yourself around that for a minute and then we’ll discuss what “unleashes” these guys. For a clue, you can go to my newest section called “Viruses…Friend or Foe.” This IS medicine in a nutshell.:):):)