Gluten-free, and it seems to be helping

Well, there’s no hard data yet, but I’m feeling much better. I managed to make it to work on time, and to stick with it all day on a new project. I’m less tired, less irritable, and less sensitive to my normal triggers for sensory defensiveness than I’ve been in months. I think given another week or so, I’ll be well enough to start practicing meditation again, and hopefully I’ll be able to reopen my second blog.

I’ve been looking back through my food diary as I’ve been moving it into the mobile app, and I thought I’d post an updated list of the symptoms I was having.

  • Headaches
  • Poor focus
  • Numbness in extremities like hands and feet
  • Tiredness
  • “Woolly” head
  • Tummy tenderness
  • Irritability
  • Increased sensitivity to irritating sensations
  • Increased sensitivity and aversion to intense smells/tastes
  • Difficulty maintaining eye contact
  • Bloating and wind
  • Joint paints
  • Nervousness
  • Clingyness/dependence
  • Not wanting to be touched
  • Tearfulness
  • Persistent low mood
  • Vivid dreams/visions
  • Waking in the night (more than usual)
  • Spots and bad complexion

I didn’t even realise how sad I was until very recently, when I recalled drinking microwaved ice cream as a comfort food. Yes. Drinking hot ice cream. I think I must have been in pretty bad shape. It’s been nearly two weeks and I’m feeling the benefits:

  • More energy
  • Sleeping better
  • No more hurty tummy
  • Less clingy
  • Less irritable
  • I can look at people’s faces!
  • My joints feel better, and the headaches are going away
  • I can think straight enough to work again
  • No more aversion to that fish and chips smell

I’m not suggesting anyone just goes ahead and gives up gluten to fix their autism. I’m still autistic, this isn’t a cure, but it has improved my quality of life and I suggest that anyone who’s concerned they’re being triggered by a specific food group keeps a detailed food and symptom diary and goes to see their GP about it. You never know, you might be able to reduce the severity of your symptoms just by making a few small dietary changes.

I should also say that while wheat and other gluten containing foods aren’t a vital part of our diets, some other foods are, and if you believe you (or your child(ren)) are sensitive to something, you need to get some advice from a medical professional about how to ensure you’re getting a complete and healthy diet if you’re going to try cutting it out.

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