Autism diet theories contend that autism develops as a result of a dysfunctional immune system, food allergies, poor nutrition, viruses, and more. Trying to keep up with all the latest "information" published can send caregivers running in circles to sort through it all.
Some claim there is growing evidence the intestinal tract of autistic children is impaired. Researchers have documented yeast overgrowths (candida albicans), low levels of phenyl sulfur transferase, and measles virus in their intestinal tract. An autism diet of eliminating certain foods is being tested by many parents.
There is some evidence that autism is linked to problems in the immune system. Autistic individuals often have other physical issues related to immune deficiency. Some researchers say they have developed effective treatments based on boosting the immune system. The evidence is not yet strong enough to show a relationship.
There is a theory that allergies to certain foods contribute to autistic symptoms. Most people who hold to this theory feel that gluten (a wheat product) and cassein (a dairy product) are the most significant culprits. Explore the Autism Institute's website for more on this theory.
It seems unlikely that malnutrition, can cause autism. But megavitamin therapies have been used for many years to treat autistic symptoms. Dr. Bernard Rimland, of the Autism Institute, has been a leader in this area.
There is also evidence that a virus can cause autism. There is an increased risk in having an autistic child after exposure to rubella during the first trimester of the pregnancy. Cytolomegalo virus has also been associated with autism.
There is growing concern that toxins and pollution in the environment can trigger the development of autistic characteristics.
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