There is still no evidence that a special diet relieves autism

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EJ Mandel
HealthDay Reporter

Monday, January 4th (HealthDay News)-A committee of experts lacks evidence that putting autistic children in a special diet may alleviate behavioral and other problems. It states.

Team report published in the January issue of PediatricsDoes not rule out the relationship between behavioral problems in children with autism and the underlying gastrointestinal illness, but requires more research on the relationship and broader awareness of physicians. ..

“Evidence-based recommendations are not yet available,” wrote a panel of more than 25 experts funded by consortia of autism groups such as the Autism Society of America and the Autism Institute. Meanwhile, panelists note that caregivers may be that behavioral problems in patients with autism spectrum disorders may be the primary or sole symptom of the underlying condition, including some gastrointestinal disorders. I need to. “

This issue is a controversial issue, with sporadic reports of special diets helping certain autistic children widely reported by the media.Actress Jenny McCarthy writes about such a diet in her bestseller Greater than words, She explained her struggles to help find an effective cure for her autistic son.

One expert agreed with the panel’s findings.

“The really important thing is that there isn’t enough research in this area,” said Geraldine Dawson, chief scientific officer of Autism Speaks, a leading advocate for families affected by the condition. I am. “There was only one randomized clinical trial, which was for 13 children. It’s very small. To support or not support the use of these diets. There is not enough data. “

That does not mean that parents and doctors should not consider undiagnosed gastrointestinal distress as a potential trigger for a behavioral outburst in autistic children, she added.

“What we know is that these kids are suffering from gastrointestinal problems. These are like constipation, diarrhea, bloating. And the problem is that they explain their symptoms. You can’t do that, “Dawson said. “Many of these children are non-verbal, and even those who have a language often cannot look back on their feelings or talk about their pain. Therefore, they are aggressive. People begin to become, throw tantrums, and self-harm, and people interpret this as autism rather than noticing that the child is actually experiencing a lot of pain. “

However, a committee of experts emphasized that reports that certain diets helped certain children should not be considered applicable to all children with autism. Such a result is because it “does not address the possibility that there are subgroups of individuals who may respond to such a diet.”

Dawson agreed. “We’re always looking for an easy answer-is it working or not? But in fact, it’s never easy with autism,” she said. “if [a diet] It turns out that being effective is probably only effective for a subgroup of children, and it is necessary to identify which children are effective. “

If parents decide to try some form of diet for their children, “restricted diet expert supervision is recommended to prevent undernourishment,” the expert committee said.

Dawson believes that more and better research is the key to helping children in the long run. The first really rigorous trial to examine the usefulness of diet changes among children with autism was conducted by a team at the University of Rochester in New York, and she expects results in the near future. Said. And next year, Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network will publish its own set of guidelines for the treatment of autism-related behaviors, including dietary recommendations.

In the meantime, “parents need to organize this individually because they don’t have enough data to determine if it helped,” Dawson said.

“For now, the most important thing is for doctors to be very aware that these children are suffering from these problems and to make sure they are receiving the treatment they need,” she said. Said.

Copyright © 2010 ScoutNews, LLC. all rights reserved.

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Source: Dr. Geraldine Dawson, Chief Science Officer at Autism Speaks. January 2010 Pediatrics

There is still no evidence that a special diet relieves autism

Source link There is still no evidence that a special diet relieves autism

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