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Can Dairy Cause Behvioural Issues In Celiacs?

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My son is 4 and just had a gastroscopy to test for celiac and we haven't got the results back yet so he is still eating gluten as always.

In the past couple of months, he started up with some really difficult behaviour. He screams and growls and will hit or pinch or scratch. He makes unprovoked attacks on his little sister.

We noticed that when he was not having any dairy (but still on gluten) he seemed to stop this behaviour. Then, when he had dairy again, he started behaving terribly.

Has anyone else seen this with their child? Can casein cause these issues in children even when gluten does not seem to?


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Yes, certainly.

In the autistic community, many kids go on a gluten and casein (milk protein) free diet because these proteins seem to have an affect on brain chemistry and some kids (like my son) are more affected than others.

Also, many celiacs have problems with lactose (milk sugar) which can cause a fair bit of discomfort and pain. That could also cause acting up.

The gluten could be doing it too. It doesn't always act like a constant irritant; symptoms can wax and wane. I reccommend starting the gluten-free diet if you suspect it is a cause of problems and you have already had the blood tests done. My children are gluten-free even though they tested negative to celiac (unlike their mom) and I've seen real behavioural changes in one son after just a few months. It can't hurt.


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Gluten most certainly affects my 4 year old's behavior! He's actually not celiac - on gluten-free diet for his autism. When he has a lot of gluten, he has major meltdowns (usually he's very easygoing), he's spaced out, and defiant. We've tried several gluten "tests" and always have the same results. I was actually upset about it because I was hoping that we'd be able to reintroduce gluten but it's not worth the behaviors that we get.


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