After a couple weeks (OK, a month) of trying to ramp ourselves up for going casein-free again, we have finally officially gone back, full-force. I saw evidence it had worked, Logan’s daycare teacher continued to tell us she was seeing a negative difference without it … but, first of all, my husband was not on board, second, I kept seeing articles trying to disprove GFCF pop up, and third, I was trying to again sort through the stress of working full-time job, desperately applying and interviewing for a new editing job, and muddling through homework. Even thinking about trying to find time to rededicate myself to a CF diet made me want to cry.
But then something happened, as things tend to do. Through a weird chain of events, I began talking with a woman who had brought her daughter off the autism spectrum. Meaning off—completely. No diagnosis anymore. I asked her if she had done a GFCF diet, and she said yes—but that was just the beginning.
That’s almost an understatement.
Beyond GFCF, she said, you need to eliminate all sugar. Candy. Muffins. Noodles. Spaghetti sauce. Smoothies. Bananas. Apples. Anything with sugar, which feeds yeast in the gut. The theory is that children with autism (at least, many children with autism) have an imbalance of bacteria in their intestines. Normally, everyone has both good and bad bacteria in their gut that balance each other out. But when the good bacteria disappear, yeast can grow, which causes both physical and behavioral problems (such as inappropriate laughter and aggression, which Logan has). To kill off the yeast, the diet needs to exclude all sugar. Once the yeast is gone, the good bacteria can be built back up (which is another process).
Of course, this is all theory—but this woman’s daughter, at least, is one proof. My husband and I have dived into research, and we’ve found plenty of support out there for this theory. So, with a renewed energy and encouragement from a new source, we decided to try it.
We completely went casein-free—we cleared shelves in our pantry and labeled them “OK for Logan” and “Off limits for Logan.” I read over Logan’s daycare menu for the month and went back to the natural food store to stock up.
More so, we also tried to eliminate as many things with gluten, sugar, and soy as we could (if I thought CF was hard before, it’s going to be a nightmare now). We won’t be able to rid our house of all sugar yet, but we’re phasing it out. At least reduction is a good start.
Here’s to our new gluten-free, casein-free, and now sugar-free adventure!
Feeling: Re-energized (and simultaneously re-stressed)