Specific Carbohydrate Diet
Some children, particularly those with inflammatory bowel conditions, very weak immune systems, or the inability to eradicate opportunistic bacteria and yeast from their digestive system, often times will receive benefit from a more detailed autism treatment dietary program than just the gluten and casein-free diet. One such autism treatment program is called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) as promoted by the late Elaine Gottschall, author of a groundbreaking book titled “Breaking the Vicious Cycle.” This diet is an extension of the gluten/casein-free diet (and soy-free diet) and has been a big boost health wise for many children on the autismspectrum.
I have seen the Specific Carbohydrate Diet work miracles with patients with digestive conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis or Chron’s Disease. Many children on the autism spectrum are suffering with a similar condition called Autistic Entereocolitis as described by Andrew Wakefield, M.D. Many more kids are suffering with undiagnosed bowel disorders that benefit from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is not just a low carbohydrate diet, but instead is focused on removing certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye (same as the GF/CF diet), as well as rice, corn and other offending foods. The theory is that certain digestive enzymes that breakdown disaccharides (complex sugars) are missing (or are being blocked from reaching the food in the digestive system by excessive layers of intestinal mucus) in the child’s digestive system, making it difficult to digest these additional food sources. The lack of digestive function leads to chronic inflammation in the digestive system leading to gut wall deterioration. With the breakdown of the gut wall, food absorption is compromised leading to mineral, amino acid and vitamin imbalances, as well as immune dysfunction and the overgrowth of opportunistic infections such as yeast and bacteria.
The digestive system is the largest immune organ in the body and acts as the first line ofimmune defense against pathogens such as parasites, yeast, bacteria and intestinal exposed viruses. The loss of this immune response and the eventually breakdown of the gut wall can lead to systemic immune dysfunction and leaky gut. “Leaky gut” is analogous to a screen door on a submarine – “everything and anything can get through.” This means you lose the ability to keep the bad stuff from entering your blood stream. Increased toxins filtering into your child’s blood stream can activate systemic immune responses leading to local and systemic inflammation – including the brain. Celiac disease (which is a genetic disorder evidenced by the inability to digest gluten – specifically gliadin – containing grains) is an example of this where gluten proteins from food can adversely affect the brain.
To learn more about this autism treatment approach – the Specific Carbohydrate Diet -and the benefits it may have for your child visit – www.breakingtheviciouscycle.com
Specific Carbohydrate Diet
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