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Allergies in Children with Autism Resources

Introduction

Allergies are defined as: "an acquired abnormal immune response to a substance that can cause a broad range of inflammatory responses."  The most commonly understood inflammatory responses known as allergies are the first level of allergic reactions triggered from something environmental or food related that occur in the case of an immediate response, such as skin rashes, tearing eyes, hives, swelling, congestion etc.  These reactions create antibodies (proteins) known as Immunogobulin E (IgE) which fight the inflammatory response.  IgE allergies are seen as more immediate reactions by the general population.  These involve hyper reactions to bee stings, peanuts, shrimp, etc.

The next level of allergic reactions trigger symptoms that manifest more than two or more hours later.  These reactions, called IgG allergies, cause the immune system to react in a more long term way creating issues such as sleep disturbances, bedwetting, asthma, chronic sinusitis, ear infections, bladder infections etc.  These allergies, known as Immunogobulin G (IgG), are much less understood as being allergies because the inflammatory reaction is affecting the immune system.

When autoimmunity develops due to Leaky Gut Syndrome, immune function is impaired and inflammation in the gastrointestinal lining causes the protective coating of antibodies called Immunogobulin A (IgA) to be released.  The body is unable to fight off infection and becomes vulnerable to pathogens, bacteria, viruses, parasites, Candida, fungus etc.  When the GI tract is unable to eliminate toxins, then these toxins overload the liver and deplete the liver of its sulfur containing amino acids so the detoxification process becomes impaired.  Furthermore, high levels of ammonia are created due to a toxic liver which affects brain functioning.  Any chemicals or toxins at this point that are ingested cannot be detoxified out of the body by the normal process and they in turn affect the brain.  This is the reason why children with autism spectrum disorders may have a "neurological" reaction to foods, environmental toxins and chemical toxicity.  Autistic behaviors and characteristics may be a response to an inflammatory reaction going on with the immune system due allergies which affect the child on a neurological level triggering unwanted behaviors, moods and poor cognitive functioning.

Related Sites

The Feingold Association of the United States
Description:  The Feingold site helps parents eliminate foods with harmful additives and toxic ingredients and environmental toxins. They provide lots of information and support for parents with children who have behavioral problems with no apparent answers from the medical community.

The Autism File: The Autism and Allergy Overlap
Description:  The Autism File is a bi-monthly magazine focused on all aspects of autism. This page focuses on autism and allergies.

Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET)
Description:  NAET is a non-invasive, drug free natural solution to eliminate allergies of many different sources by employing a variety of techniques which include energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures utilizing acupuncture/acupressure, chiropractic, nutrition, and kinesiology. There are also variations on NAET such as BIOSET and ZYTO; see http://www.cnmhealth.com/2006/03/04/bioset-naet/.

Allergy Kids Foundation
Description:  This site is committed to finding safe and healthy solutions for children on the autism spectrum. This site defines food allergies, provides research, and gives concrete solutions for families searching for answers.

Books

Is This Your Child? by Doris Rapp, MD
Description:  Dr. Doris Rapp shares an effective approach in dealing with a problem child by informing parents how to identify common foods, chemicals or allergenic substances that could trigger allergic reactions and unwanted behaviors. Dr. Rapp suggests that these reactions to foods and environmental toxins can be identified, prevented and treated. With this information many affected children can make the appropriate changes in order to act, behave and learn much better.

Answers for the 4-A Epidemic: Healing for Kids with Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies by Joseph A Cannizzaro M.D.
Description:  This book explores the 4-A epidemic: Autism, ADHD, asthma, and allergies including an overview and treatment plan for each condition.

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies: The Ground Breaking Program for the 4-A Disorders by Kenneth Boch MD
Description:  Allergies are one of the conditions that have been identified with autism spectrum disorder children. Over the last twenty years the number of children with allergies has literally sky rocked in America. Dr. Bock and his colleagues have gone to the root of the problem to find solutions which address the ongoing issues. Dr. Bock has a compelling healing approach that treats the underlying causes not the prevailing symptoms.

Why Can’t My Child Behave? by Jane Hersey
Description:  This book is based on the work of Ben Feingold MD who discovered that chemicals in our food have the ability of changing behaviors in children such as causing low frustration tolerance and irritability, hyperactivity, violent outbursts, inability to pay attention and focus, asthma attacks, headaches and so on. Artificial flavorings, preservatives, fake sweeteners, salicylates, dyes found in food, medicines, beverages and vitamins may be triggering unwanted behaviors and affecting learning in our children.

Tools

Alessio Fassano, MD
Description:  This video of Dr. Fassano, pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMDSOM), from a recent Autism Research Institute conference discussing the impact of gastrointestinal problems in children with ASD. Food allergies in this population are extremely common and can affect any site in the GI tract. Dr. Fassano points out the research and explains how baseline testing can help identify infections, allergies or food sensitivities.

ALCAT Test for Food Allergies, Food Sensitivity, and Food Intolerance
Description:  This test is based on immune stimulation and each patient has a unique set of responses to substances that may trigger potentially harmful immune system reactions. A customized elimination/rotation diet is provided to reduce the body’s ongoing burden and reverse the inflammation to help balance the immune system.

IGG Food Allergy Test and Candida
Description:  This test will help determine if food reactions are contributing to physical or mental symptoms of the ASD child along with foods that can be identified as allergens. Discuss this with your doctor.

Parent Forums/Blogs

Some forums require you to sign in to Yahoo or Facebook to locate forum names.

Forum/Blog Name:  Curing ADHD, Autism, and Allergies
Description:  Post successful information to help others who suffer from food created illnesses.

Forum/Blog Name:  Allermates
Description:  Allermates is a special blog for parents trying to protect their children with allergies and other health concerns.

Forum/Blog Name:  Autism and Food Allergy/Intolerance
Description:  This group is for parents, caregivers, professionals in related fields and relatives of children who have both an autism spectrum disorder and food allergies/intolerances.

Forum/Blog Name:  Phenols — How Common Foods Trigger Your Child's Symptoms
Description:  Phenols are compounds found in many foods and additives that could be a major contributor to your child’s symptoms. Find out how common foods can trigger your child’s symptoms and what you can do to identify what foods your child should avoid.