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diet and autism work

Help Me Connect the Dots:   Questioning the motives behind the new study reporting gluten and casein free diets don’t work for autism….   Maureen H. McDonnell, RN

First Dot

Natural interventions (like changing ones diet) being perceived as a viable and effective alternative to pharmaceuticals might be the real reason behind this new study’s conclusion that removing gluten and casein from the diet doesn’t seem to help children with autism.

Very recently two giants in the pharmaceutical industry released information that new drugs to treat autism were in the pipeline.   Here’s a quote from the Bloomberg Business Week January 14, 2010 “The disorder already costs the U.S. about $35 billion per year for special education, medical care, and assisted living. If the drug industry can devise better treatments, families and society will find a way to pay.”  Autism is big business. So can you see why we can’t have parents wasting their money on silly dietary changes, when they could be spending that hard-earned cash on prescription drugs?

When I read about this new study (by Susan Hyman, MD and colleagues) online, appearing right next to the article was an advertisement that drove home this point.  It said:  “Get Monistat, Get the Cure”. In other words, if you are a woman with a yeast problem, don’t change your diet. Instead, use a cream that covers up your body’s message that you are eating too many carbs and sugar.   It’s a beautiful piece of propaganda and it’s such an effective strategy created by the pharmaceutical industry and their slick Madison Ave partners, that most of us buy into it by choosing a drug rather than addressing the underlying problem (which is often remedied by altering our diets.)

So now, despite hundreds, if not thousands of parents reporting that their child improved after they correctly administered  a healthy diet that did not contain gluten and dairy, this study says the diet doesn’t seem to make a difference for children with autism.

Second  Dot

If Susan Hyman, MD the main author of the study had bothered to fully investigate the exhaustive body of research from Karl Reichelt, MD, PhD and other scientists who have been examining this issue for over a decade, they would have realized that it can take up to 3-6 months for the peptides (that are generated from the poorly digested gluten and casein proteins) to leave the body and for symptoms to improve.   Instead, in this study, some kids were offered a challenge with a gluten or casein containing food after only four weeks, not nearly enough time for improvements to be seen.

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