Second Nature Care Blog

Autism and Gluten

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 12, 2016 7:32:45 AM / by Isadora Guggenheim & Winter Ninivaggi

Autism and Gluten

Gluten-free Autism awareness.

Hey it's Winter. It has been months since I revamped my liestyle and stopped eating gluten.

But I have poisoned myself. Poisoned by a matcha green tea doughnut (I love my green tea).

It tasted absolutely amazing, but boy was I feeling it after, and it was in NO way worth it. I'm bloated and in pain, I feel sluggish and uncomfortable.

Being gluten-free has helped me manage severe endometriosis pain, pain I was still feeling from my gall bladder that was emergently removed probably because of gluten and being gluten-free even reduced the puffyness in my face.

In accordance with Autism awareness, removing gluten from the diet is also beneficial for people on the spectrum.

Hey Winter, It's Dr. G.

Parents of children with autism see a significant difference in their child's behaviors when gluten is removed from the diet.  Even adults notice a difference in their concentration levels and cognitive abilities when gluten is removed from the diet. The science behind this shows that gluten damages receptors in the brain.

Have you experienced a family holiday meal where everyone is getting along and then a loud obnoxious and late family member barges in and changes the harmonious dynamic?  You end up expending energy to confront and defuse the situation in order to achieve homeostasis or balance and it's difficult.  Sometimes the situation gets out of hand; people become verbally hostile, the situation escalates,some leave the table, doors slam, in short nothing is the same in this disruptive state especially the food which has become cold and unappealing. The food loses all nurturing capabilities. The perpetrator or pathogen usually settles in and feels fine.  In fact, they feel more powerful. That power correlates to the amount of destruction. The same thing happens in the intestinal microbiome when a disruptive pathogen comes in who does not get along with others.

Most of the studies came to the same conclusion.  "Early elimination of gluten may prevent the manifestation of autoimmune conditions."  Gluten-dependent autoimmune disease is a family disease.  The whole family needs to become involved with all dietary shifts.  I recommend that families transition to being gluten-free, then dairy-free and finally grain-free.  This is an individual family process and can be done without tears, deprivation and unproductive power struggles.  The patient who comes through my door is the catalyst of change for the whole family.  Today, there are many resources for uncontaminated foods, testing, gluten-free supplements to rebuild and repair the intestinal microbiome, gluten-free food expos and gluten-free vacations.  There is life after gluten and it turns out that it is a better life.   

Here is a fun gluten free recipe that the children will love, and you can jump start your way into a gluten free life. Eventually, you can work towards a sugar-free household, but we all need a way to transition.

Here are some cookies that everyone can have fun making:


  • 12 organic eggs
  • 2 lbs. brown sugar
  • 1 T. real vanilla
  • 8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 3 lbs. peanut butter or almond butter
  • 18 cups of gluten-free oatmeal
  • 1 lb. gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 1 lb. dye-free Sunspire candies (like M and M's)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Mix all ingredients together. Spoon onto baking sheet.

3. Bake for 13 minutes or until cookies are firm but still gooey.

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Topics: Neurological Conditions, Chronic Illness and Disease

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963