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CGally81

Will The Vaccine In Development Also Help Autistics?

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It's been discovered in recent years that the autistic brain converts gluten into an opiate, essentially meaning that if we eat the stuff, we're unwittingly taking drugs. I do remember having behavior control problems as a kid, and social problems most of my life, feeling as if I "had" to do or say certain things, kind of in the way that, for instance, Tourettes' sufferers feel like they have to do things involuntarily. Body movements or outbursts, stuff like that.

Well, gluten's essentially been a drug to me, and I didn't realize it. I even suffered the same withdrawal symptoms I'm suffering now after going gluten-free, at one point in my senior year of high school. Muscle twitching, chills in my legs and forehead, itchiness, and other stuff. I may have reduced the amount of gluten in my diet without realizing it, and suffered withdrawal at the time, not from having celiac (unless it was in an early asymptomatic form, capable of causing withdrawal), but from autism.

After suffering overt symptoms of celiac starting in March 2009, gluten went from being a drug to being a poison. A vaccine is in development that is far enough along that it has entered phase 1 testing, and has proven effective on mice. It is to make the body tolerate gluten so the autoimmune response will not occur.

That will help celiacs tremendously, and will prevent me from having to worry about a stray bread crumb in my butter or random CC with foods that I wouldn't have expected it from.

But do you think it will help autistics? After all, it targets only the autoimmune response (which is, of course, the number 1 problem for us celiacs!). It doesn't necessarily do anything to change how our brain processes gluten.

I still plan to get that vaccine immediately whenever it is finished and available to the public. But after that, I intend to stay 99% gluten-free anyway, other than maybe the once-a-year birthday cake or something. I'd instead just be glad that CC would no longer be a terrible ordeal for me. Still, if it doesn't help autistics with the "gluten -> opiates" response, then I'd have even more reason to stay gluten-free after taking it.

What do you think, or know, about the vaccine regards autism, and what do you know about gluten and autism?

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I think I would research the team doing the work on the vaccine and e-mail them for a direct response to your questions.

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I second angle's suggestion above.

I also wanted to suggest that you read Lisa Lewis's Special Diets For Special Kids. This is a book by the parent of an autistic child, and I think you'd gain even more understanding of the whole gluten-casein-autism connection, as well as recipe ideas (there are a ton of very good recipes), support possibilities, and above all, another perspective.

You might be interested to note that I had taken my autistic son off gluten and dairy (before I knew much about it). I took him off dairy when he'd only tried it twice (he was a little over a year old), because it gave him severe diarrhea. I added it in nearly a year later, a tiny bit at a time, and we didn't see any change, so we thought he was okay.

We did the same with gluten when he was 5 (again, not knowing anything about it--this was years ago).

The trouble is, just because he didn't react when we added it back in slowly didn't mean that it was okay for him. Apparently, it DID harm him over a long period of time.

Now, just because that was true for him doesn't mean that it will be true for you. But I thought you might like to know of our experience, in case it might help you.

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