In recent years, we have learned a lot about food and diet. We have come to understand, for instance, that crash diets do not work and that there are certain things that we should and certain things that we should not eat. One of the substances that’s come under recent scrutiny is known as gluten, which is found in wheat and grain products. Many people are allergic to this substance and many others are avoiding it because they feel that they will lose weight if they eat other things. There are even gluten-free restaurants popping up all over the United States.
As it turns out, gluten is also a substance that can create problems for people with autism. For years, the medical science world has been trying to figure out why so many children in particular who have autism suffer from gastrointestinal problems. According to the results of a recent study, it could be because of elevated levels of immune system antibodies in the gastrointestinal tracts of children with autism. If children who have this condition eat foods containing gluten, they can and often will become ill as a result.
The research was done by scientists at the Columbia University Medical Center, and the research team reviewed the records of blood samples of 140 children, of whom 37 had autism. The subjects had samples of their blood tested for antibodies to a marker of coeliac disease and antibodies to gliadin, a marker of gluten. They found differences in the blood of the children with autism and they concluded that the heightened immunity response to it exists.
However, the researchers also stated that this was a relatively small sample and that additional study would be needed in order to fully understand the potential differences between autistic children and those who do not have autism at this cellular level. If the findings in this study prove themselves out then it could lead to recommendations regarding changes in the diets of autistic children that would feature less gluten.
This type of research is important because it helps to potentially identify yet another important difference between children with autism and the rest of the population. These differences that are identified can help medical professionals come up with treatments that will help their conditions and they could help other people understand better how to relate to those who have autism. While there is still much to be learned, the progress we are making on the whole is quite encouraging for many different reasons.
We have been representing families of children who were diagnosed with autism because of mistakes made by medical professionals as New York medical malpractice lawyers for 42 years. We have seen firsthand just how difficult it is for a family to learn to live with autism and how to properly care for a child who suffers from this condition. We hope that this type of progress continues to be made and that people will someday be able to provide more tangible help to those with autism.