Get Rid of Sugar
Posted February 21, 2015
My two and a half year old daughter has been detected for speech and language delay and has several traits of ASD. She is undergoing ABA therapy at the moment and would like to know more about a specific diet along with anti fungal medications to improve her condition. Thanking you for taking time to reply. Best Regards, Cheryl
Answered: March 24, 2015 by Dr. Sidney Baker
Autism is a treatable complex chronic illness.
Autism is a complex chronic illness. Unlike acute problems of trauma, or infection it is not a situation in which you may simply do what you are told, or, if you are a physician, simply tell the patient or parent what to do. Why? Because all treatments go step by step and require sequential decisions about what to do next. Many such decisions are toss-ups - involving choices that cannot be really wrong, but may be favored in the sequence by the intuition of a parent or physician. Illness is a signal to change. Change is hard and none of us can sustain tough changes – especially those involving food – without having a grasp of the reasons for doing what we are supposed to do. Understanding all the variables in the different diets takes some study. There are good resources to be found for getting the big picture and the details of implementation.
Just tell me what to do!
I can hear you thinking that thought as you round this corner in your reading. So here are some suggestions: get some tests done, try complete elimination of sugar, gluten, casein, yeast, food additives and use only fresh organic food emphasizing colorful vegetables and supplement with some nutrients: vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, carnitine, methyl-B12, folinic acid, etc. “Some” tests?” “Some” nutrients? “Etc?” “Whoa,” you say, “Can’t you be more specific?” Yes but the idea is to tailoring treatment to the specific individual – and not to the disease and certainly not to the “spectrum.” We have to find out step by step what steps work the best and in what order.
The Real Expert.
For finding the best steps in the right order we need a real expert. Like, me? No! Like the person in the spectrum who is the target of treatment and the best source of information about what works for him or her. Doing something is really the only way to find out what is best for that person. Since just about every dietary option for action is safe in the time needed to judge its effect, then it’s just a matter of deciding what to do first, second, third, etc. What if we do more than one thing a time – considering that there seem to be so many options?
What to do?
OK, here’s the first step. Get rid of sugar. If you need details on how to do so get a copy of Grain Brain by David Perlmutter MD or The Blood Sugar Solution by Mark Hyman MD. You may say, “These are not autism books!” Right – It should be reassuring to know that the negative effects of sugar are universal. Why is it the first step? Three reasons: First - it is hard, and you have to be able to handle hard steps if you want the best treatment results. Second – it’s good for everyone so you don’t have to worry about tailoring: it’s really one-size-fits-all. Third - sugar is a poison because it feeds bad germs in your microbiome that produce toxins that interfere with your energy chemistry. Get it? Sort of, maybe, but that why reading will put you on the firm ground of knowing that without getting sugar out your judgment of other dietary interventions will be flawed.
The next step will be gluten free, casein free. There’s no reason not to start them now –chances are very good you will be rewarded after a 3 weeks of struggling with withdrawal symptoms. Next I will answer the antifungal question.