Why is diet such a critical issue for children with autism. Medical knowledge about diet is far more relevant for children with autism than anyone else. That is because most children with autism face a number of digestive and allergic problems. Medical researchers confirm that relationships exist between digestion, allergy, motility and behavior.
What are the common digestive / allergy problems faced by children with autism?
Autistic children have low stomach hydrochloric acid levels, which leads to incomplete digestion of food.
Lack of digestive enzymes is a common problem in children with autism.
They have lower pancreatic function and this lowers the production of bicarbonates and secretin.
Chronic candidiasis is a very common problem amongst autistic children. Candidiasis causes a release of arabitol compounds into the blood stream, which may then be converted into arabinose, which is found in excessive quantities in the urine samples of children with autism. This compound can impair brain function and triggers demyelination, which is a common finding in autism.
Increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome is commonly found in autistic children.
They tend to accumulate high level of transfatty acids. These substances coat over the cell walls like plastics, preventing the cells metabolizing and removing waste products.
Dairy and gluten maldigestion creates opiate compounds. Although rarely found in most people, these opiates are found in about 80% of autistics. The tests were determined by urine samples. Opiates interfere with normal cell growth, and can impede normal development.
The dietary ratio of omega6 to omega3 should be 4:1. Among children with autism the ratio is not maintained. Imbalance of essential fatty acids is associated with defects in brain function.