Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gluten on the Brain.

In the last post I said “I’ve read about children with autism who seem to show food addictions to the very foods their bodies are unable to properly digest.” I wasn’t clear about the how and why of this until I started reading one of my new books.

I’m reading a passage of text about dietary treatment for autism that says: “Some people with autism may metabolize gluten and casein (the protein found in milk) into the form of an opiate-much like heroin. Basically, when they eat gluten and casein, they’re getting a high off it-and they’re becoming addicted.”

I’m also reading that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are often misdiagnosed as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and CFS or fibromyalgia as well as migraines. The women in my family have IBS and migraines, so this really caught my attention. I read that acid reflux is a very common symptom of gluten sensitivity. Ethan has had acid reflux since infancy but we’ve never known why. Why didn't his GI specialist order labs to get to the bottom of it? Especially given the severity of the side affects, like the 12 times I've witnessed him cease to breath for upwards of a minute? He turned grey and his lips were blue each time. I think that warrants a little more than throwing a ppi drug at the problem and saying see ya next year. Why am I researching and ordering the labs? That baffles me since we know for sure that changing our diets can reverse so many digestive complaints.

We are going to have to delay our foray into the GF diet for Ethan since conventional wisdom concludes that lab work on the gut should be done during a “natural state”. In the meantime, I’m readying myself by reading about ingredients to avoid and new items to purchase. Most of this stuff isn’t cheap or easily available in our area. However, since we’re in Columbus once a week for Ethan’s speech I can just find a good place to shop and make it part of our weekly trip.

While I’m on a food kick, I’m happy to report that Ethan likes the blueberry oat bars I made yesterday with a cup of pureed spinach snuck into the filling. That Deceptively Delicious cookbook was worth every penny. He also loves the banana bread with the pureed cauliflower. If you’ve got finicky eaters who don’t like their veggies, I highly recommend this book. I can’t even taste the veggies in these recipes.

15 comments:

Jeff said...

I hope you can get the diet sorted out. I know it can a confusing process to get to the bottom of these things. But I'm sure your perseverance will pay off!

Thanks for the tip on hiding veggies! My little guy could benefit from that. His eating habits have been going downhill lately so that could be a big help.

KC said...

I got the cookbook as a gift but haven't made anything yet- glad to hear it has some winners in there.

leahlefler said...

Keep posting about how the gluten-free/casein free diet works out! My 2 year old (hearing) is speech delayed and they think it might be apraxia. If it is, I may start going to a gluten-free diet for him. It's worth a shot, anyway!

Kellan said...

I just saw that banana bread recipe on a blog I read (Tales of the Fairyblog Mother) yesterday - the one with the cauliflower - very cool idea!! I'm glad you are finding foods and ways to get Ethan to eat those foods you want him to eat - very clever recipes!

Thanks Hetha for your support - you have been my friend for a while now and I am so happy about that! I will always support you as well - whatever way I can. Thanks - see you soon. Kellan

Jen said...

How interesting. That totally explains why I'm addicted to chocolate, and yet get horrible stomachaches whenever I eat it.

I looked for that cookbook at the bookstore here, and its been sold out since it was published! It's all the rage.

Jen @ lordsofthemanor.blogspot.com

Beck said...

The Baby has celiac disease. It's kind of a pain, really... I'm hoping to get more gf recipes up on my site this weekend!

diber said...

try shopping for groceries on Amazon. Seriously (and orders over $25 are free super saver shipping). I buy diapers on Amazon, and was looking into groceries, but it didn't make sense for my lifestyle. You are usually going to get bulk, but i noticed A LOT of GF stuff in bulk, for a lot better price than what I had seen at Whole Foods (which has decent prices for health food, imo). I've paid attn to GF stuff a bit, b/c my sister was trying a GF diet for awhile.

*hug*

Jennifer said...

I want that cookbook! It looks terrific...and sounds like a good way to get my kids and hubby to eat a little better. I am not big on junky, greasy, high-carb stuff, as a rule, but the family demands it...and I would love to see us ALL eat better!
I can't believe his GI specialist has never ordered labs to find out what caused his acid reflux. Ugh!!

truth said...

My daughter started her Ethan on the CF diet before the GF. (Didn't want to do both at the same time.) She's only been at it just under 2 weeks. Over the weekend, he was here. He got into a bag of M&M's. My daughter grabs the bag, reads the ingredients and was disheartened to see milk in the ingredients. I'm not sure if that was it or not, but he had a completely meltdown within minutes. He had been so good all day and then he began acting all out of sorts until he went to sleep. It was pretty dramatic. Like I said, I don't know if that was it or not, but time will tell.

Eileen said...

Heather,

(((HUGS)) I am glad you are holding off until they do lab testing. I am shocked that the doctor didn't do that. It is so frustating! How confusing for you.

I will try that book. Hannah is still so picky, it is crazy. The doctor keeps saying she will outgrow it, but she'll be 13 next month. She eats about 6 things. That book may just be the ticket.

Thanks for your kindness and support today. It means so much.
XOXO

Loudest Mom said...

I am definitely investing in that cookbook! That is great. I hope the diet concerns are figured out quickly. Scary! It's also interesting that the body would crave something it is unable to process....makes it hard to avoid, doesn't it? As always, Ethan is such a cute little guy, love the pictures.

-Melissa

Kyla said...

That's how we feel about our GI doc. Come on, guy! Test SOMETHING.

slouching mom said...

you are such a warrior mama. i admire you so.

Aliki2006 said...

I've heard great things about that cookbook--are there any recipes in there for being deceptive about slipping in protein sources?

Don Mills Diva said...

This is really interesting to me. My MIL is celiac and my BIL is diabetic. My husband has a lot of gastro-intestinal issues. I will be interested in hearing how the diet works for Ethan.