How long to do the glutin diet before you see a difference?

Kelcey - posted on 04/04/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a 2 year old that has not yet been diagnosed but we are thinking that this will be his case. We have had the OT come and he has lots of little issues. He is extreme with his diet. I would love to try the diet but I was wondering how long to do it before you know if this is something that is going to help or not?

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Sue - posted on 05/18/2009

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About 18 months ago, my son's OT told us that she strongly believes that most children with sensory issues suffer from some sort of food allergy/sensitivity and that in her experience, the most common culprits for foods adversely affecting behaviors are wheat, corn and artificial food dyes. My husband and I debated about trying it for quite awhle before we actually did it. We chose to eliminate artificial food dyes and saw a 75% improvement in Matt's behaviors after about 3 weeks. (The first two were terrible as he went through withdrawal symptoms.) We also had Matt tested for allergies to several foods and it turns out that he is highly allergic to both wheat and corn (as well as a bunch of other stuff). Most foods take a few weeks to get out of your system, but I've heard that gluten/yeast can take a few months. And it's sometimes hard to see a difference when you first eliminate it, but if you are strict about it for several weeks and then allow them to eat it again, that's when you really see what the food does to a child. Our Matt's reponse to wheat manifests as more typical respiratory symptoms, but his response to corn is totally behavioral and completely eliminating that from his diet has taken care of most of the rest of his behaviors. He still have a few issues, but the really awful sensory-related behavors have almost disappeared. In fact, he was so much improved after about 9 months on his very-controlled diet that his OT discharged him from therapy and we only consult with her on the occasional basis when something unusual comes up. I've talked to several others who have had very positive results from dietary changes, so I strongly recommend every family with a child with sensory issues explore these diet changes.. I'm sure that not every child will see that kinds of results our Matt has, but it is so worth trying.

Andi - posted on 05/07/2009

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I'd say give it good two or three months -- in our case, the improvements were relatively gradual so they weren't as noticeable at first. At about two months, we were considering challenging the diet and talked to his OT about signs to look for when we re-introduced gluten, and as she was describing the symptoms, my thoughts were "Oh yeah, I remember that being a much bigger problem a few months ago but he seems to be doing better with that these days -- maybe it's the diet." We haven't challenged it yet (mostly we're waiting for a two-day block of time that we're ready to handle any adverse reaction should there be one) but I definitely will do it in the next couple weeks -- they say it should be obvious when you reintroduce it whether it was causing a problem or not, and you'll either feel freed up to let them have it again or more convinced than ever that it's worth the work.

Dee - posted on 05/07/2009

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I started it with my son, and didn't see too much of a difference.
It's helpful to do both the Casein free and Gluten free diet together.
Every child responds different, so you have to see if it will even work for your child.
However, wheat and dairy is really bad for all of us anyway, so i'd say it will be beneficial either way.

Jennifer - posted on 05/01/2009

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I've recently read that gluten can stay in your system for three months. If you are doing that you may want to think about a casein free diet as well. I really good book I recommend...Healing the New Childhood Epidemics by Dr. Kenneth Bock. Very informative. Although he does not talk so much about SPD, certainly very indirectly he addresses it. My son was diagnosed last July and through all of our therapy, diet changes and other medical advancements I now considered a normal child.

Beneal - posted on 04/06/2009

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Usually within the first few wks you should see some improvemnet. Most parents that did the diet a year said thats when their child started eating new foods.  Good Luck!



Beneal ;)

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