The Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet And Autism

Many parents with children who have autism are moving towards a strict gluten/casein free diet.  Although this diet has not been medically proven to help with the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD’s), many feel that it does.  The following from Web MD discusses the pros and cons of the gluten/casein free diet and the connection to ASD’s.

Web MD: Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets for Autism

We want to hear from you!  Has the Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet worked in your situation?  Would you recommend it to others?


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  1. Donna says:

    I know Dr. Amen a world renoun Psychiatrist out of California has studied patients with different mental and physical disabilities for 30 years. He recommends Food as medicine to cure or at least decrease many symptoms. You can look him up on Google and even watch him on PBS. I cant add any personal examples for autism but cutting out breads decreased my sons ADHD stress behaviors. Good luck with your research 🙂 Donna OTR

    1. Erin Ridpath says:

      Great comment! Thank you.

  2. Looking at the CF/CF diet from the point of view of helping ASD is in my humble opinion all wrong!!. Look for intolerance to these Gluten and Casein and if found even mildly intolerant then it will improve symptoms of ASD in the the individual will feel relief from pain in gut or general discomfort and will also be able to assimilate nutrition that is being obstructed by the intolerance. But generalizing is dangerous at any rate in any diagnosis because underlying it all each human is an individual and as such has individual differences.. It is additionally dangerous to look at it the way presented in the post is that there is a specific elongation or something (sorry I fail to recall exactly what the defect is in this instant) on one of the chromosomes where symptoms appear like those of ASD, but where the child deteriorates further if put on a CG diet because their particular metabolism given that defective chromosome is a need for Carbohydrates and specifically gluten to survive!! So making silly generalizations is really dangerous to a point of being deadly for some.

    That being said my son is on the spectrum and had horrid gut issues. We tested him and found gluten intolerance but no Casein intolerance so we put him on a GF diet but continued with Casein and his symptoms improved in that the physical gut issues diarrhea stopped and he did start gaining weight etc. and obviously was less uncomfortable and therefore more available to learn and grow.

    So if there are no intolerance then it is silly to restrict an individuals diet and it will not make any change, but if on the other hand there is an intolerance then it will help. So advice??? Look at each individual as an individual and a simple blood test panel will tell if there are intolerance to whatever and at that point everyone can make an informed decision that will impact the individual’s life.

    1. Erin Ridpath says:

      Thank you for your comment. Hopefully as time passes there will be more conclusive research.