Autism and Dietary Supplements


Dietary supplements have become a very important part of today’s health industry. There are hundreds, perhaps evern thousands, of supplement products available now that can help you to ensure that your body has all of the nutrients it needs. Nutritional difficulties are frequently a problem for people with autism.  It is very important for them to take supplements in order to achieve balance in their nutritional state.

Adopting a gluten free and casein free diet in the first step in addressing autism and supplementation. Gluten and casein are proteins that potentially worsen autism symptoms. In fact, in many autistic children, gluten and casein have been shown to assist in the brains production of natural opiates.  This makes foods that contain gluten and casein practically addictive!

Implementation of a balanced and healthy diet is another important step. Because autistic children are so heavily influenced by routines, instituting healthy diet early and following it consistently will make it much more likely that autistic children will adhere to it.

Another important factor is to have a doctor’s input to determine whether the autistic child is absorbing proper amounts of nutrients. Nutrient levels can be determined by simple blood tests and this data can help to successfully adjust the diet to deal with any shortfalls. A good place to start is with Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) medical professionals because they have been given special training to help them understand the challenges facing autistic children.

A list of common supplements that autistic children often are either totally lacking or do not have at optimum levels includes calcium, selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamins C and E, folinic acids, essential fatty acid, taurine, cod liver oil, and a variety of amino acids.

When starting a regimen of dietary supplements, it is important to work them in slowly. It is also important to document changes in the child’s behavior as each supplement is introduced. Be very attentive to the effects the supplements seem to have on your child. Pay attention to any differences in behavior and be prepared to discuss them with your doctor or nutritionist.

Positive and negative effects that result from changes in diet, and the use of supplements, will be easy to see. Positive changes may include reduced severity of behaviors. Often, autistic children will show improvement in their ability to manage behaviors and in their social interactions. Regressions in behavior may also occur and it is important to note this as well. If you observe negative behaviors, you should reduce or eliminate the supplement that was added. Usually, the process of determining how to modify the diet and what supplements to give an autistic child will be accomplished primarily by trial and error. When you begin purchasing supplements, you should start with small packages. Later, when you have settled on what supplements to use, you can save money by buying in bulk. If you buy a lot of a supplement that produces no positive results, or even undesirable results, you can be stuck with useless product.

Remember, if you choose to try adding supplements to your child’s diet, you should do so in a controlled manner. You should not just haphazardly experiment with supplements. Working with your doctor or nutritionist develop a specific plan designed for your child’s success is the right way to go about it. This approach should include stool analysis, frequent testing for metal toxicity, and tests for various amino acids and peptides.

There is a great deal to consider when deciding on supplements for your child. This is a very important process that can significantly improve the overall quality of their life. Don’t get in a hurry and rush through the process. Make sure you cover all the bases before proceeding. Give time for the supplements to work. It will probably take time for the child’s body process the nutrients before you will be able to see any changes in their behavior.

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