So... it has been about 4 months now that Dylan has been on the GFCF (Gluten and Casein Free) diet. And, we are not seeing what we had hoped to. He still has cirles under his eyes (allergy?) and he is still constipated. (Currently being helped by the introduction of dried prunes)
Back in August after Dylan had his cleft revision repair, tonsilectomy and adnoid removal - he would not eat or drink any dairy products because when he tried an UNBELIEVABLE amount of mucus would build-up and just pour out of his mouth - Grross!!
It was around this time that he started to say some spontaneous words, Ani Ina (Auntie Linda) Ella (Lisa), Hun (something me and Keith call eachother often), Ana (for our cat Shana), Ayla or Aylala (for Kayla), Ama (for Grandma and Grandpa)... We were learning about the diet and thought that the major reduction in dairy attributed to this (and it may have) BUT going back some - to July - we started Culturelle, which greatly improved his constipation issues, whereas at one point, he went every few days, he was every or at least every other with it. We stopped Culturelle for his healing period after surgery (couldn't get him to eat/drink anything) and restarted around the time that he started to name things.
When starting the DAN protocol we switched to ProBio Gold because Culturelle has a slight amount of Casein in it. The constipation issue soon returned, but we were changing so much that we decided to give it some time.
Although Dylan has improved (is doing much more independent walking!) We do not believe that the diet itself is helping in his situation. Most families that are seeing great things from the diet, see it much sooner than this and I believe in some cases where the diet is unnecessary it can actually cause regression.
That brings me to Enzymes - Many people have found that they can go off the diet and still get the same (or better) results with using Digestive Enzymes to help breakdown food - and although we have been giving them since November - we have not given them at the beginning of the meal as we just recently found out is the way to give them for maximum potency and we have not challenged Gluten or Casein.
Dylan is not allergic to Gluten (he was tested specifically for Celiac's Disease) we went off Gluten because it can be hard for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) children to breakdown and in many cases being Gluten Free has been a major key in healing these children - for us, it is not proving as such.
We aren't going to jump back into giving Gluten and Casein... We ARE going to order Houston Enzymes and use both Peptizyde and Zyme Prime together while reintroducing individual meals here and there to see what happens. If there are no adverse affects we will go back to a normal diet using Enzymes to aid in digestion and help heal his injured gut. If we notice that he can't tolerate dairy for instance, we will then go back to being dairy (casein) free. I have to add that we are very lucky that Dylan is a very good eater and LOVES his fruits and veggies. What other kid do you know that actually prefers artichokes and asparagus over french fries and mac & cheese? Diet or not, he will continue to eat healthy, organic and artificial color, dye and preservative free (as often as possible).
The exciting thing about this is that children that do well on the Enzymes with the reintroduction of these food groups sometimes get much better as they are now able to absorb the nutrients and minerals from the foods and they are able to discontinue some of the supplements they are on.
In addition we plan on having an IgG Allergy test done, this will point out his food intolerances - so if he has an intolerance to eggs for instance we will be able to take them out of his diet and see if we get results. Sometimes Enzymes can help to eliminate food intolerances as well, but for now knowing what to avoid specifically might bring some positive changes.
Doing biomedical for your child is a never-ending learning process - there are so many alternatives out there and the best you can do is try what seems to pertain to your situation and hope for the best. Nobody knows your child better than you do - so even though there is often controversy - going with your own gut, can be the key to healing his.