Feingold Diet for Autism
Autism is neurological disorder based in metabolic derangement, and as such it can be treated with Feingold Diet. It is a form of elimination diet where foods containing certain harmful additives are removed and replaced with similar foods that are free of those additives.
When starting the Feingold Diet, certain foods and non-food items containing salicylate are also eliminated, and later tested for tolerance. There is a huge selection of foods of every kind, including snacks, desserts, convenience foods and mixes that are acceptable for Feingold Diet.
Autism occurs in about 1 in every 68 children in general and it has gone from a rare disorder to a syndrome that is tragically common in the U.S.
First, the diet is used as a diagnostic tool to determine if any of the eliminated items are triggering some or all of the problems you are seeing. When successful, it is continued as a treatment, and can also be combined with any other necessary medical treatments. The diet occurs in two stages, the first stage involves eliminating all of the offending foods, and the second stage involves reintroducing one substance at a time to see which can be tolerated.
There are four main groups of chemicals and additives that are eliminated during the Feingold diet. The first of these are all forms of synthetic coloring. These are often made from by-products of petroleum and are believed to be one of the causes of hyperactivity. This means that any food products that have artificial colors which include many popular children’s foods and treats are strictly forbidden.
There are many benefits for children who eat a balanced diet including many fresh fruits and vegetables. Because the Feingold diet excludes many forms of artificial additives, it may limit the amount of processed food available to consume, leading to a more balanced diet with more healthful food. Many children with autism have symptoms overlapping ADHD.
The Feingold diet itself often helps some of these symptoms. Some doctors recommend starting the diet as a first intervention resulting in a cleaner diagnosis. Parents have reported that when the child is on the Feingold diet, other necessary treatments appear to work better. The reason for this is not yet known, but we are happy to be a piece of the puzzle.
The diet may result in reduced symptoms of ADD and ADHD and is reported by the American Feingold Association to be able to resolve other psychical, emotional, and sleep complaints, but for most families, nutrition is only a part of the answer.
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