Food allergies/intolerances are a common issue in children with Autism.
- Skin Testing-Traditional pinprick skin testing is ideal for identifying true IgE mediated food allergies. However, it will not identify food sensitivities.
- Blood Testing-Available for both IgE and IgG testing by many commercial labs. For IgE reactions, skin testing is more accurate than blood. For IgG, blood testing is useful but has some limitations.
- Electrodermal Testing- Non-invasive option for both IgG and IgE reactions. Testing accuracy can vary with the tester.
Diet Log-Can be a useful though laborious tool in identifying food reactions.
Treatment of Food Allergies in Autism:
- Avoid allergenic foods.
- Consider digestive enzyme supplementation.
- Optimize the GI tract-Healing the inflammation in the intestinal lining ("leaky gut") can reduce food sensitivities significantly.
- Rotate foods every 3rd or 4th day to reduce likelihood of sensitization to new foods.
- Eradicate underlying chronic bacterial and/or viral infections causing the inflammation and "leaky gut."
The medical research is beginning to point to chronic viral infections in children with Autism as playing a significant role in causing inflammation both in the gut as well as in the brain. This unique form of inflammation, lymphonodular hyperplasia, has been associated with evidence of viruses on intestinal biopsies by some researchers. Properly treating these viruses may very well eliminate the inflammation ("leaky gut") and dramatically reduce the GI symptoms associated with food sensitivities.