It’s very overwhelming and somewhat alienating to have allergies and/or intolerances. It’s necessary to have help and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Obtaining knowledge is one of the key factors to living well with this condition.
General Celiac and Gluten-Free Information
Celiac Disease Foundation www.celiac.org
Gluten Intolerance Symptoms http://gluten-intolerance-symptoms.com
Believe it or not, some of the most useful and succinct info out there is from Whole Foods http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/nutrition/celiac-disease.php
Gluten in Prescription Drugs
My friend Mark is a retired pharmacist and has given me two great resources to check for gluten in medications:
www.glutenfreedrugs.com and gfmedications.com
Here’s some good information about lactose intolerance, which is quite different from a milk allergy, which produces an anaphylactic response.
Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say about soy intolerance – allergies and symptoms.
Known as the deadly nightshades, historically, this family of plants has been linked to shamanism and witchcraft. I know. It makes you think of a pagan ceremony with social outcasts stirring a giant cauldron under a full moon. But the truth is, there is a family of plants and vegetables that can be quite poisonous to the right person. Nightshades include white potatoes (but not yams or sweet potatoes), tomatoes, all peppers (but not black pepper), eggplants and tomatillos. This species also includes tobacco, poisonous belladonna and the toxic plants herbane, mandrake and jimson weeds. A particular group of substances in these food, called alkaloids, can impact nerve-muscle function and digestive function in animals and humans, and may also compromise joint function. There’s not a lot of information out there about them, but if you have a reaction to one nightshade, you have a 75% chance of being allergic to all of them. The most common symptoms are migraine, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, inflammation, stiffness in the joints and weakness/fatigue. Here’s an article I found that does a good job of explaining this condition.
Providing information and resources relating to the Gluten-Autism connection is a topic near and dear to my heart for many reasons. When my infant son was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance, we re-tested him by giving him food containing gluten. Within a half hour, he had horrible diarrhea and a distended abdomen. But what put the fear of God in me was that gluten in his diet produce the symptoms of autism.
My son would stop making eye contact with us. As he became a toddler and starting speaking, he virtually lost his powers of speech and sociability when he accidentally ingested gluten. He would literally back into a corner and not want us to touch him, but he didn’t want to be alone. I remember his face pulled into tight distress and nothing we could do would ease him. It took a few days for the gluten to work its way out his system and our son would finally return to us.
So the thought of “there but for the grace of God go I” is a sentiment foremost in my mind. Every morning when I wake him up for school, I am acutely aware of the path we might have been given. I am grateful that this little boy gave me the answer to my decade and a half struggle, which in turn gave us, his parents, the knowledge of what was happening to him. He was spared and for that I am eternally grateful. It’s one of the main reasons I created this blog and resource guide. It’s what drives me and keeps me researching and asking.
There are many resources out that that insist a GFCF (gluten-free, casein-free) diet is a must for children diagnosed with autism. The diet may not work for everyone, but it has been suggested that it may provide positive results in 8 in 10 cases. For those of you with children on the spectrum, I invite you to arm yourself with information so that you can advocate for your child.
Generation Rescue is an organization that promotes recovery through diet, treatment and advocacy. They offer assistance for families who can’t afford treatment as well as other support services. If your child is on the spectrum, please visit their site, as well as Gluten-Solutions.com to discover how you may affect your child’s treatment through, among many things, diet.
Want to know how to really read a food label? Labelwatch.com is a great site to help consumers determine what’s in their food and what the ingredients mean. Ingredients listed in green are beneficial; those in yellow are considered to be “okay and appear to be safe”. But watch out for the ingredients in red, which labelwatch.com considers to be “problematic,” and include ingredients like “enriched wheat, autolyzed yeast extract, MSG and Sodium Nitrite,” to name a few. This site provides opportunities to understand what these ingredients actually are, how they might affect you and government safety guidelines. Information allows you, the consumer, to make up your own mind. Be sure to check out their thoughts on food additives.