I’ve been talking a lot about inflammation lately, including inflammation in the brain and in the gut. That’s because it’s so important! Today’s post is about how we can reduce inflammation in our autistic children.
Almost all kids with autism have some level of inflammation. But we may not realize it because the symptoms caused by inflammation are so varied. Some of these symptoms are:
- Rashes and other skin issues
- GI issues like diarrhea and constipation
- Meltdowns and other behavior issues
- Poor sleep
Addressing inflammation as a root cause can relieve a whole host of symptoms. So how can we relieve inflammation?
One place where we can make significant and impactful changes is in what we feed our autistic children (and the rest of the family). Two types of foods in particular can cause a great deal of inflammation, and should be avoided or replaced with healthier options.
- Sugars. This includes natural sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and most artificial sweeteners. One key way sugars increase inflammation is by increasing insulin and cortisol. That doesn’t mean you have to live without sweeteners! In our house, we use allulose, monkfruit extract, and sometimes a little stevia, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
- Fats. In particular, we want to stay away from Omega 6 fats, processed fats, and other fats typically found in highly processed foods. When cooking, vegetable oil and canola oil are inflammatory fats to avoid. In our house, we focus on organic chicken, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught fish. For cooking, we use avocado oil or coconut oil for high temperatures and olive oil for finishing (for example, drizzling it on vegetables after they’re already cooked).
Other Causes of Inflammation
Diet is important, but there are a number other potential root causes of inflammation,
- Gut dysbiosis (bacterial or fungal overgrowth in the gut)
- Chemical or environmental toxicities
- Food sensitivities
Addressing these issues can help reduce many of the troublesome symptoms listed above.
Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing a great job.
I hope this information has been helpful to you as part of creating Your Autism Game Plan.
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