Behavior Improved After Removing Gluten | Allergy

Behavior Improved After Removing Gluten

by Allergy Guy

Might the behavior of your children improve after removing gluten from their diet?

Gluten is not the cause of all misbehavior in children, however it can play a major role in some cases.

To put it another way, gluten may have nothing to do with your child’s behavioral problems. But if your child has a gluten allergy or has celiac disease, going on a gluten free diet will have a profound effect on their health, and most likely their behavior as well.

This makes me think of my niece, who was really a piece of work from day one, through to when she was about six or seven years old.

When I say she was a piece of work, there were quite a few issues.  She was hard to put to bed.  My sister used to spend an hour or two with her every night by her bedside, until she fell asleep.  Leave her before then, and she yelled and screamed and carried on.  She needed to have everything her way, wouldn’t listen, wouldn’t behave herself, and did not socialize well with adults or children. 

She almost seemed autistic, but not quite.  Mostly she just had bad behavior.

Also, she was always getting sick.

For some reason, my sister decided to take her off gluten.

The results were dramatic.  She became a normal child, with above average intelligence and creativity.  The intelligence and creativity were always there, but now they were packaged in a child who behaved about normal – as in certainly she is bad sometimes (I’d worry about any child who is never bad!), but over all she is fairly well behaved, socialized normally, goes to bed properly, and has much more patience than she ever did before.

While age has something to do with it, there is no doubt that her character changed quite remarkably once she went on a gluten free diet.  The behavioral problems lasted for years, and stopped suddenly as soon as she went off gluten.

You may feel that maintaining a gluten free diet for your child is a chore.  You’re right.

The benefits if a gluten free diet far outweigh the effort of maintaining it for those with a gluten allergy or celiac disease.  For children (and adults) with these conditions, the benefits of a gluten free diet go far beyond behavior.  They reach into every aspect of mental and physical health.

Avoiding gluten is well worth the effort.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dena December 24, 2012 at 14:06

I can not express enough how important it is to reinforce this idea of gluten virtually ruining children who have an intolerance to it. We were at our wits end wondering what the heck was wrong, outbursts, easily agitated, lining cars and toys up, in a fog all the time. All the while, GLUTEN was the offending agent. Not bad parenting or rearing. Please respect what is written here and understand the gluten and especially geneticallly modified wheat is ruining many of our kids brains. We all need to pay attention to this!!!

-An extremely concerned mom

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2 Sarah August 2, 2012 at 07:52

Well after a year of peace and happy child my GP decided we really needed to check my son for ceilaics disease. So back on gluten. His tummy issues didn’t come back so we didn’t do the test. Four months on and I have an aggressive hysterical kid again. We had the blood test done on Monday but regardless of the results I have put him back on gluten free. It makes him go loopy!!!

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3 Allergy Guy August 3, 2012 at 23:03

Well, you certainly did the ultimate test! Too bad about the result but at least you know what to do about it!

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4 Valerie April 15, 2012 at 15:40

WOW! We experienced similar “issues” with my son. We did research on autism & aspergers syndrome. We went to a psychologist. He was diagnosed with night terrors, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and a long list of other things. I could write a book about the behavior “problems”. After going GF, he is a wonderful, healthy, HAPPY kid!

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5 Dena December 24, 2012 at 14:12

The more I read these comments, the more the American Academy of Pediatrics should be aware and start getting some hard research done on this! So happy for you Valerie!

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6 Valerie December 31, 2012 at 16:41

I agree! Thank You!

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7 Sarah March 21, 2012 at 03:41

My son has had a “tummy” issue from birth. His stomach was always bloated and he strained to poo but then exploded. The Pead said he would out grow it. Our GP said it was toddler diareah. Then the behaviour started. He was horrid. Violent outbursts up to 5 times a day. The pooing got worse and then there was vomiting. Every specialist said he just had a virus. At 4.5yrs he was rushed to emergency with suspected appendix issues. Again NOTHING! Argh I was going nuts. The behaviour was getting worse and I was at my wits end. Then I tried GF. WOW!!! 8hrs thats all it took. No more sloppy 10 times a day poo. A normal child emerged within a few weeks. Now 8mths later I LOVE that I have found what is wrong. Not one specialist could give me an answer. But the biggest change is my son is happy. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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8 Allergy Guy March 26, 2012 at 16:38

Glad you found the problem, Sarah. That’s the problem with specialists, they’re too specialized, as in you didn’t take your son to a GF specialist LOL!

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9 dena March 15, 2012 at 19:16

i was never one to consider dietary changes affecting our child , but he was diagnosed with with sensory processing disorder and i read that gluten often affects autistic childrens behavior. i then saw there was a link with autism and sensory , so i gave it a try and within 4 days my son is literally a new person off gluten. figits less, listens better, less sensory seeking, unbelievable. not sure if this is too good to be true…but it seems it. jsut wanted to pass along the possible positive news for parents of kids with sensory issues.

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10 Allergy Guy March 15, 2012 at 21:26

That’s great news, Dena, I hope the improvements are permanent!

Do please keep us posted.

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11 M&S May 16, 2012 at 08:18

Dena, we’ve had a very similar experience. Our 4yo was very hard to handle. He was also diagnosed with SPD. At the same time that he started his SPD diet (exercise program developed specifically for him), we also removed gluten from his diet. He transformed almost over night. For two months he was absolutely great. We recently re-introduced gluten to his diet to see if it was the Sensory diet or the removal of gluten that caused the dramatic results (we were afraid to remove either because he was doing so well). After adding gluten for 2 days his behavior reverted. It was like day and night. We recently removed gluten and it took 5 days for him to ‘recover’. We’re now into day 8 of a new ‘gluten-free’ diet and he’s our little boy again. My wife and I are always looking for others that are in our position, so please don’t hesitate if you have questions/comments/or discover something that helps your child – we’d love to hear.

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12 Dena December 24, 2012 at 14:10

SOOOOO Happy to hear I am not the only one and others have seen these vast improvements also! To say the least we have such a great life with our son now, we continue to see continued cognitive improvement in our smart beautiful boy. The diet is not always easy, but man is it not worth it to have a slip up! Good luck to all the parents who have found improvement with a gluten free diet…Now we just have to get the word out to all those families suffering!!

Happy Holidays and thanks for the feedback!
Dena

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