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Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Autism in the Daily Mail

March 10, 2009

image 1Today, the UK's Daily Mail printed an article titled "Can diet really improve the symptoms of autism? Read this family's story and decide"

In the article, a two year Sienna's parents struggled together:

'She had tantrums, slept badly and would line up her toys obsessively,' recalls Simone, 'but I just thought she had a strong personality. As she started to talk, she didn't use conversational language, but there were no other children around to compare her with so we didn't realise anything was wrong.

'But her behaviour deteriorated as she got older,' Simone says. 'Eventually, she would be awake for seven hours a night. She was very much in her own world, and wasn't interested in other people.

Luckily, a doctor who heard of the couple's situation, approached them and suggested dietary changes.

Blood and urine tests suggested Sienna's gut was indeed inflamed, and she was placed on a gluten and dairy-free diet. 'Within a couple of days, Sienna said "water" and pointed to the tap - something she'd never done before,' says her mother. Though they cannot prove this was linked to a change in diet, it seemed more than coincidence.

The next step was a 'specific carbohydrate diet' - a regime avoiding complex carbohydrates such as bread, cereal and pasta to rid the gut of harmful bacteria and reduce inflammation. [boldface added]

Her behaviour improved within days of the special diet. [boldface not added]

The article uses a family's story to illustrate the connection between the gut and autistic behaviors. As more articles like this come to light, the mainstream medical community has begun to take more notice--and gain a better idea of the mechanisms at play.