Role Of GFCF Diet In Autism Spectrum Disorder

Role Of GFCF Diet In Autism Spectrum Disorder
A gluten-free, casein-free diet, frequently referred to as a GF/CF diet, omits foods that contain gluten (found in many breads and cereals) and casein (found in milk products). This is one of a number of alternative treatments for autistic kids. When followed strictly, all foods containing gluten and casein must be eliminated from the child\’s diet. Eliminating casein and gluten may alter autism symptoms and behaviors. 


How Does It Affect My Child? 

The advantage of avoiding foods containing gluten or casein is based on the hypothesis that children with autism may be allergic to them or have a high sensitivity to them. According to the theory, children with autism process peptides and proteins in foods that contain gluten and casein differently than typical children. This processing difference might, hypothetically, make autistic symptoms worse. Some people think that the brain reacts to these proteins like fake opiates. According to the theory, a child\’s response to these hormones causes them to behave in a particular way. 

However, the reasoning behind a gluten-free/casein-free diet may have some scientific support. In certain individuals with autistic symptoms, abnormally high quantities of peptides have been discovered in their body fluids. Medical research has not yet proven that a GFCF diet is successful in treating autism; in fact, a review of new and old studies came to the conclusion that there is insufficient data to determine whether or not this diet is effective.

Due to this reason, the Indian Academy of Pediatrics does not include this in their treatment protocol for ASD. GF/CF diet is classified as CAM- Complementary and Alternative Medicines. These include therapies, treatments, diets, or medicines which still haven’t been scientifically proven but are still used widely.


Are There Any Pros? 

As per some RCTs (Randomized Controlled Trials), while a GF/CF diet does not essentially cure the core symptoms of ASD much significantly, it certainly is advantageous for those children who have abdominal symptoms like diarrhea or bloating. A GF/CF diet has found some positive results in these children.  

So, if your child has such symptoms, you can put them on this diet and notice the changes. This is a very personalized and individualized approach. However, if there is no relief in the symptoms even after following the diet for 3-6 months, it is advisable to stop these diets right away! 

This is because autistic children are already very picky and fussy eaters. If the consumption of gluten and casein is also restricted, it makes their options very limited. This could not only be even more inconvenient both to the parent and the child, but it could also lead to severe deficiencies of necessary vitamins and minerals in the child. 


Where To Seek Help? 

It is always advisable to consult your pediatrician and a nutritionist when you consider these diets for your child. At Continua Kids, you can find the best autism doctor in Gurgaon. We support specially-abled children to live the life that they deserve. We are a research-directed, holistic center, and aim to impart early intervention programs concerning your child’s overall well-being. By providing guidance and support in your parenting experience, we strive to help your child reach their full potential in all aspects of life. 

Call us and book an appointment now!