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Piper

Celiac And Autism

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I think the correlation between the Gluten-free Casein-free diet and improvements in the symptoms of *some* autistic kids is an interesting subject. Despite the overlap in diet, my experience on the Gluten-free Casein-free board (which are primarily "inhabited" by parents of autistic kids) is that many of them have not run the full gamut of testing for celiac - either because their kid was simply dx'ed as autistic first, or because doctors really haven't been very helpful about that sort of thing. If that is the case (if the majority of autistic kids who see an improvement on the Gluten-free Casein-free diet have not been tested for celiac), I think it woud make an interesting study to have them tested and find out if they also have gluten problems. \

I'm certainly not continuing with the idea that Celiac parents prepoderantly have autistic kids or anything like that - there is no science to support it, but what I'm wondering is whether or not some of the behaviors behind demonstrated by these kids actually are manifestations of the neurological symptoms we know we can experience from gluten ingestion. Yes, I know that the autistic diagnosis is unique, but we all know there's room for not only misdiagnosis, but having two conditions complicate each other.

Another one of those places where it'd be lovely for there to be more research money for some of these questions to be answered.

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The question was asked, Is there a connection between Celiac and Autism?

Answer is, although there are theories, at this time there is no science to prove a connection. It is a good question. More research needs to be done.

If she read the Danna Korn book, she wouldn't have asked the question. You asked where that type of theory was in print and to name a credible source. I acted on her behalf because if she is asking the question, she didn't have a source of information to give you.

I will ask you to reread your posts. What makes you think that you should be verbally attacking another person? I think you owe Piper an apology and should edit your posts.

If you are too bitter to respond to a post, then leave it for someone else.

Laura

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I know what I posted, so I'll pass on the suggestion to reread them. When someone pointed out a web site showing her a connection between autism and Celiac, she posted what she really wanted to know. You've decided to befriend her and deflect my posts on her behalf. Good for you. You can be her hero. I'm not changing my opinion about her, her question, her inability to site sources, or you. You can continue to defend your needy little friend and google all night trying to find some research to defend her initial post. She can claim to be married to a man with celiac disease, yet claim to be clueless. We can all rest pretty in our decisions.

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Eventually, someone will google a link that she can claim was the catalyst for her question. Of course, that link won't be the one, but someone will eventually stumble across one. On another note, that study was small! :huh: They need to do a much larger study to really rule out a link.

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There is a good bit of info about autism spectrum disorders and yeast infections. As you probably know alot of folks with celiac also have yeast infections. I suggest you go the the website candidiafree.com and click on their section on testimonials. There are alot of testimonials from parents who say they have reversed autism spectrum disorders in their children but curing their yeast overgrowth infections. The people who run this website are funding a study on yeast infections and autism and they are having some phenomenal results: complete reversal of autism. Hope this helps. I am a therapist and see alot of autism spectrum disorder kids and their parents. A lot of the parents on my caseload are extremely interested in this research.

fritzicurls

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The people who run this website are funding a study on yeast infections and autism and they are having some phenomenal results: complete reversal of autism.
That is very interesting, thanks for sharing :)

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Hi. I've been looking at this sort of topic for months. I haven't come across any evidence that celiacs are more likely to have autistic children. That would be a sensational piece of scientific discovery if there was such a study, and we'd all know about it. I'm told by one scientist studying autism that studies so far don't show any direct link between autism and celiac disease. That seems to be accepted medical opinion. BUT if you search the web you will find that there is considerable anecdotal evidence that SOME, not all, undiagnosed children with celiac disease have behavioural symptoms which might possibly be mistaken for eg ADD or ADHD or even mild Asperger's. Prof Hans Asperger published some work on behavioural sympoms in celiac children himself, but sadly I haven't managed to get hold of a copy - not even in German - anyone got one?

The symptoms generally described (not by Dr Fasano) range from sadness, clinginess, inwardness, separation anxiety (from the mother), food fads, - eating almost only one thing and perhaps from a particular plate - fear of change, and negativity. Alessio Fasano is quoted on the web (but I haven't checked the quotes with him) as saying that "mood changes" are one dramatic way of presentation in children BUT - and this is the good news - THESE BEHAVIOURS CLEAR UP ONCE ON A GLUTEN FREE DIET.

That may be why someone's told you celiacs are more likely to have autistic children, or why you gained that impression. Since you know your husband is celiac, you'll be on the look out for any symptoms - the parents with problems are the ones who have undiagnosed celiacs in the family and can't imagine why their children are behaving oddly.

Hope that helps.

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Guest BellyTimber

Sandra B, what was "celiac disease" called in Prof Asperger's day? Thanks for mentioning that, it's a nice thing for me to try & investigate further myself ... let us know if you come up with anything ... everyone else, please do so too.

Autism spectrum conditions are close to my heart and experience since ... well that's a whole story.

If you have questions on this subject, I hope I can contribute.

Am still scratching the surface of this board hence am replying to all kinds of threads.

Autism spectrum conditions don't only have one cause. In heredity, human variety means varying susceptibility to different things. At conception one starts acquiring a unique structure. Environmental things including gluten, casein, candida, will affect one. Somewhere on the Internet I read that antibodies can be triggered to attack CNS tissues. That is an early on effect of gluten on a person meaning they will have underlying traits of autism. There is almost certainly a role of canida in that (see below). If one or more elements in their diet is wrong for them and/or they have candida in the overgrowth state, it will increase their autistic symptoms. In the stories Carriefaith cites there were dramatic improvements in that. The gluten and casein, producing opioids, have an ongoing or temporary effect on top of any permanent effect. I've just re-read that and it doesn't make sense but I'm trying to make a stab at various stages, layers and processes, one after the other.

I think there is virtually no knowledge of exactly what gave autistic babies their traits before they started eating gluten.

Our questioner asked a vaguely worded question and wanted to elicit information and then said we had given some useful information. All that's called for is to just try and do that, between us.

An interesting point made by Mommida and LUAP was about intestinal permeability and inflammation. Opioid peptides from gluten and casein go through the blood-brain barrier causing opiate-like (heroin-like but on a smaller scale) effects.

Good gut flora by the way maintain the candida in good health and good behaviour. When they are depleted the candida get ill and put down roots. (In AIDS they have apparently got to the stage of sending out spores.)

Good gut flora condition also the intestinal tissues, like minute massage and aromatherapy therapists.

By the way Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride says a deficiency of good flora is inherited from parents in possibly more than one way - contact of the infant with his/her mother is an obvious one, I'm not quite clear about how else.

The modern industrialised diet has now been prevalent for more than one generation.

Photographs have been taken of these intestines and also small children with this trouble are often very malnourished-looking.

The concept of celiac disease is usually focussed in the villi themselves and their shape.

It stands to reason the effect on the structure of intestinal tissues from gluten no doubt exacerbated or triggered by candida, but not (I think) solely caused by candida, being different but closely related, some people will have one type of damage, some people the other and some both.

There is no such thing as an autism gene, it is a very complex range of elements. it is however increasingly recognised as an autoimmune condition.

A U T - I S M - - -

A U T O I M M U N E

In autism, to the untutored observer, somebody appears turned in on themselves. In the autoimmune model it is the body that is turned against itself by one of the several parallel immune systems.

Autism is about sensory processing delay and overload. As a weak metaphor, picture a person having a permanent very severe migraine aura. In differing degrees that will have affected learning in earlier development. It is sometimes combined with other disabilities. One doesn't feel one is the weird one, but later one can realise that's how it seems.

Autistic people and parents of autistic people overwhelmingly say, it's no disaster to be autistic/have an autistic child. It is a challenge to advocate for them/for oneself/teach them to advocate them for themselves, and the right facilities and helps have to be fought for and often are not got.

I have literature references for anyone that would like to know more written by insiders (people who have got it, their family members, empathetic professionals).

(Sorry, flat is being reorganised with help of OT, many documents not currently to hand)

For the friend of our questioner, I would say there's no point in worrying what kind of children we may have if we ever do have some.

Many contributors to this forum have a good attitude as shown in their mottoes by their signatures, about trusting in the Almighty despite sufferings.

A great many people grow up and enter professions and marry and raise families without realising they have autism, and many are diagnosed with something else and no-one realises.

If diagnosis with celiac disease is rare in cases with probable celiac disease, it is going to be just as rare in cases with celiac disease and autism. Like someone pointed out parents often need to do what is needed to help their children if the doctor hasn't caught up with it yet and if they did catch up, I don't know what they would make of the different kinds of gut damage - would they look alike, different or what? The whole concept of celiac disease is still very fluid.

A very good piece of advice to the friends of the questioner would be to get their intestinal flora in good condition.

The gut has been called "the second brain".

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Guest BellyTimber

More info to help Piper and the people who are concerned about this subject think around the subject:

http://www.autoimmunity.co.uk/genetics.html

I want to add that the conditions named in the discussion are only named for illustrative purposes, to illustrate the possible principles being hypthesised for inheritance in these kind of conditions.

I conclude:

- the research has barely been begun

- inheritance patterns are sure to prove to be highly complex

- (MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL) the children born to these parents are sure to be extra special people just as their parents are - and that after all is the most important thing

- don't worry B):D

- maintaining their own gut flora in optimum condition throughout their lives will lessen the chance of various conditions triggering in their children and enhance their own lives

I would add Dr Natasha Campbell McBride in England and Dr Bradstreet in Florida have both seen a lot of autistic children with gut flora problems, emaciation etc improve to a considerable extent when their nutritional status was ameliorated. I understand that experience has been repeated outside the practice of these particular practitioners.

Do let us know how the family are getting on, I'm sure no-one meant to be cross ...

:rolleyes:

(I've got hundreds of heroes on this board and those are everyone that posts, it's been so valuable to me)

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Well, I'll add my two cents worth. I am autistic, and I have celiac disease. But I inherited the autism from my dad, and the celiac disease from my mom. Both are genetic (I believe that most of the time autism is genetic), but I doubt that either has a direct correlation to the other.

So, of my six brothers, my sister and me, three of my brothers, my sister and I are autistic (some more, some to a lesser extent), and at least half also are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease (and I'll have to talk to the ones I suspect have it). And even though of course the odds are high that the autistic ones have celiac disease as well, I believe that one brother who is NT (neurotypical, meaning non autistic) is gluten intolerant, two have neither AS nor celiac disease, while my sister is the most autistic (probably on a maturity level of a ten-year-old), and also has the worst celiac disease symptoms as well. Why? I haven't got the faintest idea.

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Another link for Autism info is the BrainTalk forums at:

http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/index.php?

Scroll down about 1/3 way on this very long page to get to the alphabetical index. Their Autism forum has over 3000 threads. Scroll on down to "Gluten Sensitivity / celiac disease" for another well attended forum. There seems to be quite a bit of overlap between the Autism and GS/celiac disease forums, so there may some interesting discussions re relationships between the two diseases.

George

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Another link for Autism info is the BrainTalk forums at:

http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/index.php?

Scroll down about 1/3 way on this very long page to get to the alphabetical index.  Their Autism forum has over 3000 threads.  Scroll on down to "Gluten Sensitivity  / celiac disease" for another well attended forum.  There seems to be quite a bit of overlap between the Autism and GS/celiac disease forums, so there may some interesting discussions re relationships between the two diseases.

George

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

George, I know you don't mean it in a bad way, but I want to point out that Asperger Syndrome is not a disease, but a neurological difference. celiac disease is a disease, AS is not. It's not making me sick, and doesn't need a cure. If you'd want to 'cure' everybody with autism, you'd have to cure people like Steven Spielberg (who has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome), or Bill Gates, or people like Albert Einstein.

Because people like me are so socially inept, don't know how to make friends, always seem to offend somebody by saying the wrong thing (never meaning to be offensive), we can use a little help at times.

But our obsessive interests, losing track of time and space, forgetting to even eat and drink when working on something important is what makes a good inventer/writer/computer person/artist etc.

I just thought I'd point out how I think about being considered mentally ill for having AS.

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Ironically, for the same reasons that you wouldn't call Asperger's a disease, I wouldn't really call Celiac a disease either. It's not that we're sick, it's that we can't digest something other people can; much the same as it's not that those with Asperger's are sick, but (as I understand) they don't process social interaction the same way other people do. (A friend from my yoga class works with kids on the spectrum as a therapist (play therapist!) and had some very interesting things to say about brain development (in general, and as the differences appear in those on the spectrum) that were really just fascinating!)

I wish more people in the world would grasp the idea that just because you're different, it doesn't mean you're sick. It could (coughing, sneezing, and fevers aren't normal, and they often mean you're sick!), but it doesn't have to mean that at all.

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Hi. I've been looking at this sort of topic for months. I haven't come across any evidence that celiacs are more likely to have autistic children. That would be a sensational piece of scientific discovery if there was such a study, and we'd all know about it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Awhile back I posted a study that showed a link between famine and autism. It studied two different societies that underwent sustained periods of famine and the resulting increase in autism in the children born to starved women. I believe a link between autism and celiac would be an pregnant, undxed celiac woman who is unable to absorb nutrition having an autistic child. The cause would be the lack of nutrition being absorbed by the pregnant woman. Her unborn child would suffer the same as a pregnant female in a famine situtation. I know my son was "starving to death" even though he was eating properly prior to the celiac dx.

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Ironically, for the same reasons that you wouldn't call Asperger's a disease, I wouldn't really call Celiac a disease either.  It's not that we're sick, it's that we can't digest something other people can; much the same as it's not that those with Asperger's are sick, but (as I understand) they don't process social interaction the same way other people do.  (A friend from my yoga class works with kids on the spectrum as a therapist (play therapist!) and had some very interesting things to say about brain development (in general, and as the differences appear in those on the spectrum) that were really just fascinating!)

I wish more people in the world would grasp the idea that just because you're different, it doesn't mean you're sick.  It could (coughing, sneezing, and fevers aren't normal, and they often mean you're sick!), but it doesn't have to mean that at all.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Tiffany, you really are right. I guess I still call Celiac a disease because I am still quite ill, and was deathly ill all summer. But once I am well again, I will likely think of it as a difference, too. Because I won't be sick, I just won't be able to tolerate gluten. Just like I can't tolerate a crowd of people for long :rolleyes: (just kidding, but there is truth to that).

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George, I know you don't mean it in a bad way, but I want to point out that Asperger Syndrome is not a disease, but a neurological difference.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sorry if I offended anyone with the use of the word disease - perhaps a more politically correct word would have been "condition". My intent was strictly to point out another source of information.

George

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Sorry if I offended anyone with the use of the word disease - perhaps a more politically correct word would have been "condition".  My intent was strictly to point out another source of information.

George

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, it's not politically correct, but rather, just correct, as in being factual. And I guess I'll let 'condition' go, as we all suffer from the 'human condition' ;) .

I was not offended, but rather just corrected something that is not helpful to the way that people look at autistic people, as in being defective. Just like I have to correct myself when I think that NTs are stupid when they react in an emotional way instead of being logical in certain situations. Neither way is wrong or 'diseased', just different.

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My husband has Celiac and my son I have with him has not been officially diagnosed but is on the spectrum. My son also has Celiac. Do I believe there is a connection, there is no doubt in my mind. I beleieve it is a complex immune/autoimmune/ gut imbalance disorder. I have two sons from two different marriages one without Celiac or Autism and one with. My son with Celiac had a reaction to every vaccine given and has had numerous viruses/illnesses. That brings up another immune theory and the ability to excrete toxins/metals/viruses(measles etc) It is very complex,but there is a distinct gut brain connection.

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One of my favourite cookery books is the Gluten & Dairy Free Cokery Book by Allergy induced Autism which is a UK charity. I bought it because I need a GFDF diet, not because I'm autistic, so I've never researched any link between celiac disease & autism.The AiA website is: www.AutismMedical.com Again, I've not looked through it, but just post the address so anyone who's interested can research it.

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