Recent research is now indicating that there may be a link between Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other developmental and child psychiatric disorders and an allergy or sensitivity to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, and wheat, and it is estimated that millions of Americans have a sensitivity or allergy to it. Gluten intolerance can affect the entire body, leading to a variety of troubling physical as well as mental symptoms.
Upon a change in diet, various developmental disorders have been documented to lessen in some cases. Some of the disorders the symptoms for which were relieved are autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), non-verbal learning disorder (NLD), and pervasive development disorder (PDD).
These studies which link gluten intolerance to autism and other child mental disorders have noted that gluten-sensitive children will also display physical symptoms such as bloating, frequent gas, constipation, diarrhea, dark shadows under the eyes, excessive sweating, and pale skin. These physical problems can clue parents into whether their autistic or ADHD child may have a gluten allergy.
So what can you do if you suspect that your child has a gluten allergy? Thankfully, a gluten allergy can be confirmed with a simple blood test. Also, gluten can also be eliminated from the diet and then the child observed for improvement. It is important to check with your doctor before significantly changing the child’s diet.