Autism is a developmental disorder that affects brain function. It usually shows up during a child’s first three years of life, with delayed speech being one of the early signs.
Despite the fact that autism is quite common, there is no known cause for autism, and questions still remain regarding best treatment methods. And studies have shown that diet does not really address behavioral issues or other primary symptoms.
However, if you notice that your child’s symptoms get worse when consuming certain foods, talk to your pediatrician or dietitian. They may recommend an elimination diet to see if removing certain foods from their diet helps.
7 foods to potentially avoid with autism
It’s important to note that while these foods have been reported to have the potential to make autism symptoms worse, there is no conclusive research or evidence to support these claims.
- Sugar: Since children with autism may show signs of hyperactivity, it may be best to avoid sugar to maintain balanced sugar levels.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG): Similar to sugar, MSG can cause overstimulation in the brain, leading to hyperactivity.
- Artificial ingredients: Avoid foods with artificial dyes, artificial flavors, additives, and preservatives, as some studies have shown potential links between autism and ingredients found in processed foods.
- Toxins: Avoid large fish that contain mercury, which is an immunotoxin that can impair the immune system. Avoid meat and dairy products that contain toxins such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, pesticides, brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
- Dairy products: Dairy is pro-inflammatory, which can impair immune function. Some people have also experienced brain fog and the inability to concentrate when consuming dairy products.
- Gluten: Gluten may cause inflammation and decrease cerebellum function, which is involved with motor and thought coordination.
- Corn: According to the USDA, corn has been the foremost crop in the U.S. that uses pesticides. A 2013 study has suggested that there is a potential link between exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and autism risk.
What are risk factors for autism?
Risk factors for autism may include:
- Genetics: Various genetic factors appear to be involved in the disorder, although the genes themselves rarely directly cause the condition. Rather, some genetic variations may predispose the child to become sensitive to the increasing environmental stressors associated with modern life and leave them ill-equipped to respond.
- Environmental stressors: Research is underway to explore whether viral infections or exposure to environmental pollutants are linked to autism.
- Medications: Increased use of medications such as antibiotics and acetaminophen can cause negative changes to gut flora and oxidative stress, especially in the developing brains of young infants.
- Fertility treatments: Studies have shown that there is some correlation between autism and certain fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- Prematurity: Extremely premature babies may be at greater risk of developing the disorder.
- Advanced age of parents: More research is needed regarding this, but there may be a link between autism and babies who are born to older parents.
Latest Healthy Kids News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Augustyn M, von Hahn E. Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evaluation and Diagnosis. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/autism-spectrum-disorder-evaluation-and-diagnosis
Top What Foods Should Be Avoided With Autism Related Articles
aripiprazole (Abilify)Aripiprazole (Abilify) is an antipsychotic medication used to treat psychoses such as schizophrgenia, bipolar mania and mixed manic/depressive episodes, major depressive disorder in adults, irritability associated with autistic disorder, Tourette's disorder, agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania. This drug should not be taken by patients with certain diseases and health conditions.
Autism Spectrum DisorderAutism in children and adults is a developmental disorder, characterized by impaired development in communication, social interaction, and behavior. Autism is classified as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), which is part of a broad spectrum of developmental disorders affecting young children and adults. There are numerous theories and studies about the cause of autism. The treatment model for autism is an educational program that is suitable to an individual's developmental level of performance. There is no "cure" for autism.
Autism SlideshowWhat is autism? Learn about the signs, symptoms, and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Get information about the causes of autism and available autism treatment options.
Autism Screening and DiagnosisAutism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis requires two steps -- developmental screening and comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Develpmental screening helps tell if children have delays. Comprehensive diagnostic evaulation may include looking at the child's behavior and development and interviewing the parents. It may also include hearing and vision screening, genetic testing, neurological testing, and other medical testing.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) FAQsAutism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental disorders that do not appear to be linked to vaccines. More people than ever are being diagnosed with an ASD, including adults. Children with autism may receive special education services. A child with an ASD may or may not have a mitochondrial disease.
Autism QuizTake the Autism Spectrum Disorder Quiz related to the causes, reasons, symptoms, treatment, diagnosis, and therapies for this behavioral disorder.
Brain Foods SlideshowLearn how to increase concentration and boost memory. Brain foods such as fish (omega 3 fatty acids), berries, fruits, nuts, chocolate, vitamins and more can help.
Brain and Nervous System: Brain-Boosting BeveragesThese drinks might improve your energy level, cut down on brain fog, and help you concentrate.
Autism: Early Signs and SymptomsAutism is known as a condition that falls under the category of the "autism spectrum disorders" because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior of an individual. Autism is said to be a "developmental disorder" because the signs and symptoms of the disorder generally appear in the first two years of life. However; toddlers, teens, and adults also can have autism.
Early signs and symptoms can vary amongst infants, babies, toddlers, teens, and adults that may include; no eye contact, not responding to his or her name; doesn’t babble or “baby talk”; does not use language correctly; rocking; twirling; and head banging.
How Do Family Members Cope With Autism?Autism is a developmental disorder that encompasses a variety of symptoms like communication difficulties, behavioral challenges, and social interaction problems. Families cope with autism by managing stress, maintaining energy levels, sticking to a schedule, nurturing other relationships and managing financial stress.
How Does Having an Autistic Child Affect the Parents?Being a parent to a child with special needs is associated with various challenges. Having an autistic child may stress the parents so seeking the help of family and friends and a licensed therapist is important as is taking breaks.
Is Asperger’s Syndrome a Type of Autism?Asperger's syndrome or Asperger's is a developmental disorder. Asperger's is thought to be a similar but less severe form of autism.
Brain Foods for Kids: Healthy Food for Kids’ BrainsUse this brain foods list to make your child smarter and healthier with these brain-boosting meals! Developing brains needs the right foods to boost learning and improve concentration.
What Are the 3 Main Symptoms of Autism?Autism or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) can manifest as different symptoms in different children. The average age of diagnosis is 2 years, though some children may be detected at around the age of 5 years.
Why Is Autism Increasing Dramatically?ASD includes a broad spectrum of disorders that affects social skills, speech, movement, learning, cognition, mood and behavior. Rates of autism are increasing dramatically because of increased awareness and screening, better access to healthcare and broadened diagnostic criteria.