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Why The Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) Diet Works . . . Then Doesn't

February 17, 2007

Super brief version:

  • The gut cannot properly digest most complex carbs and some sugars such as lactose
  • Removing dairy (casein free) and bread (gluten free) removes many of the indigestible complex carbs and lactose
  • The individual on the GFCF feels better. (psychological symptoms lessen/disappear, gut begins healing itself)
  • To augment the GFCF diet, the individual begins to eat more rice, soy, potatoes--all of which contain complex carbs which aren't properly digested
  • Progress on the GFCF stops and/or symptoms return. Trying a "stricter" GFCF diet fails . . the problem is the body's damaged intestine (leaky gut, etc.) and the inability to digest certain carbohydrates.

This pattern/story is often heard when parents switch from the GFCF to the SCD. A strong example comes from one practitioner, an early GFCF adapter who now uses SCD. When first starting the GFCF, the practitioner closely tracked a small group of children (less than a dozen). All of the children showed initial improvement, however, after many months, only two showed sustained improvement/lack of regression. In those cases, the parents had not added 'bread substitutes' such as rice/soy/potatoes/etc.

For more information related to the SCD and ASD, see the video entitled "VIDEO: Gastrointestinal Pathology and the Use of SCD in ASD - Pamela J. Ferro, RN". It appears on this page:

Also, check the website