Oprah.com Forum Post:
The “Syndrome” of Autism- Food Intolerance, Viruses,
Vaccine, and Pollutants
My name is John B.Symes, DVM otherwise known as "Dogtorj" on the Internet. I joined the forum tonight after finding
my Website mentioned in one of the posts. I am a BIG proponent of the gluten-free, casein free diet for epilepsy and have
been studying the benefits of this diet in neurological conditions (e.g. epilepsy, autism, ALS, MS, fibromyalgia, and others)
for over 7 years now,
I became an Internet medical literature researcher following my own phenomenal recovery once I discovered that I had
celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and subsequently discovered my concurrent dairy and soy intolerance. I quickly went from
a sickly 45 year old on 5 different prescriptions to a bullet-proof 53 year old who has not taken a prescription drug in over
7 years. Within a month of being gluten-free I was a totally different person. Gone were my pain, depression/chronic fatigue,
food addictions, insomnia, gastrointestinal distress and much more. It was amazing to say the least and got my full attention
as a patient and as a health professional.
I began applying all that I had learned about gluten intolerance to my canine patients and watched as miracles happened.
The mist amazing was the control of seizures. I read that celiac children who also suffered from epilepsy often had dramatic
improvements in their seizure frequency and severity once on gluten-free diets. This grabbed my attention and I plunged into
how and why this could be. I created my Website to chronicle both my findings and the testimonials of those who had utilized
the diet. (I used to really dislike writing but that changed in a hurry.)
I quickly found that there were other foods that played similar roles in neurodegenerative diseases and as I eliminated
these, the success rates skyrocketed. Suddenly, I was writing about the "big 4" or "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" as
I lovingly call them when I want to be melodramatic. These are gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye), dairy, soy and corn. These
are the primary foods that are capable of inducing villous atrophy (damage to the villi of the intestinal tract, primarily
those of the duodenum and jejunum) resulting in the malabsorption of the nutrients that are CRITICAL to the health of the
brain, liver, immune system and every other tissue. The duodenum is responsible for the absorption of the vast majority of
our calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, C. and trace minerals (e.g. zinc, magnesium, boron, lithium, manganese and others.)
Wow! Imagine an individual that is deficient in these vital nutrients and you have a celiac, casein intolerant, soy or corn
intolerant or a combination thereof. That is why celiacs have staggering rates of every illness that plagues mankind, including
cancer, immune-mediated disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases.
How does this apply to autism (and epilepsy). Because, as the poster above states, things like thimersol are clearly
contributing factors but not the sole cause of autism for the reason stated. If vaccines were THE cause, then all who received
them would have autism. There has to be a distinguishing factor...or set of factors...that creates the autistic individual
while at the same time determining the spectrum of affliction seen in autism. It is not a black and while condition,
is it? Like so many other conditions, there is a spectrum of affliction, ranging from mild (the best of the worst) to severe
(the worst of the worst). What determines this???
Well, as stated by many of the forum members, there are multiple factors at work. BUT, I am a form believer that the
single biggest factor is diet. I have read...and now received...enough testimonials from mothers of autistic children who
employed elimination diets like the GFCF diet or my G.A.R.D. and had miraculous results to say this with all certainty. If
the diets were proper- non-harmful and fully nutritious- then the body could better handle the secondary insults/triggers
thrown at it (e.g. thimersol, air pollution, fluoride, MSG, NutraSweet, carcinogens, and other known toxins).
But what IS the distinguishing factor in autism (and epilepsy). Why does one child develop it and the other doesn't
when they have been exposed to the same basic diet, environment and vaccines? I now agree with researchers who believe that
VIRUSES are the true and ultimate cause and that everything else is causing/allowing/triggering the virus into causing the
severe neurological signs seen in both autism and epilepsy.
Everyone should do a search for "autism, virus" and read what researchers already know and what they suspect. Through
the eyes of the viral model, +everything+ starts to make sense, including the role of thimersol, food lectins, environmental
pollutants, fluoride and even the sedating effects of the casomorphins and gliadomorphins derived from casein (dairy) and
gluten (gliadin) respectively. The testimonials of the mothers who utilize the GFCF and GARD diets also make perfect
sense, as do the failures. The best of the worst will respond quickly and dramatically...miraculously.the worst of the worst
respond more slowly. BUT, I have yet to have anyone who contacted me about their autistic of epileptic child nor report a
measurable response. Most +are+ dramatic.
Why? Because the foods that are restricted in the GARD (The Glutamate-Aspartate Restricted Diet/ Gut Absorption Recovery
Diet) are doing soooooo much harm to those who are sensitized to the glycoproteins (lectins) as well as the sedating compounds
(casomorphins/gliadomorphins) and stimulants (glutamate, aspartate, and estrogens) they contain. These are the top 4 human,
dog and cat food allergens for very good reason, with the allergies being created at the time they damage the intestinal villi.
The allergies are screaming out at us to stop eating/feeding them...the acid reflux, chronic throat and ear infections, nasal
congestion, IBS, asthma, eczemas, and other warning signs.How much clearer does it have to be?
Well, there is one more common sign in the autistic and that is the food addiction that so many of them exhibit. How
many autistic children are addicted to wheat and dairy products? Every time I talk to a mother of an afflicted child or see
a news story about autism on TV, I hear about or observe them eating foods rich in dairy or wheat...the cereals, breads, pancakes/waffles,
milk, pizza, mac and cheese, cookies, etc etc. Sound familiar. I have had numerous moms tell me how hard it is to get them
to be in the same room with a vegetable or piece of fruit. They are addicted to the very thing (foods) that are making them
sick, just like a drug addict or alcoholic. It is the nature of addiction. And this addiction speaks to the truth about the
harm these foods are doing. There are +no+ healthy addictions.
And we no know that this process can begin before birth. The prenatal effects of celiac disease, for example, are potentially
catastrophic. Then comes the breast feeding. We also know that gluten, casein, et al pass right through mom's breast milk
and can directly affect the nursing infant.If the child is an undiagnosed celiac or casein intolerant and mom is loading upon
bread and cheese, then by the time that child is ready for vaccines, they can be immunologically incompetent and those vaccines
can do severe harm, not only the thimersol but the modified live viruses themselves. We learned this the hard way in vet medicine
with numerous cases of vaccine -induced disease.
Once that child has (one of) the viruses that is likely to be the true culprit, then all they need is an unhealthy
dose of immune incompetence and to be bombarded with lectins (dietary glycoproteins from the "big 4"), fluoride and other
pollutants, and the casomorphins/gliadomorphins from dairy and wheat and their brain is severely dysfunctional.
BUT...the good news??? Stop doing what we are doing and things can get better...and in a hurry. Believe the Success
Stories on www.gfcfdiet.com. The failures are also explainable. Hopefully this post will point you in the
right direction to help track down those failures and correct them. We MUST be strict. I will follow this post with what I
call The Glaring Example. It is a post from another forum that puts everything in perspective. Lectins are powerful things.
The worst of the worst can't tolerate the smallest quantity. Think "peanut allergy" and you will have the right perspective.
I hope this helps,
John B. Symes, DVM (aka "DogtorJ")
*Autism (New!!! as of 3/06)-
I will be writing much more on this in the very near future. In the meantime, here is a letter that I just wrote in response
to a question about the use of The G.A.R.D. for autism. I hope this at least starts the ball rolling. As always, please write to me if you have any questions about
I'm glad that you are interested in this approach. In
the past, I simply sent people with autistic children to www.gfcfdiet.com to read their success stories ( http://www.gfcfdiet.com/Successstories.htm ). But now I have had personal cases that have responded dramatically
to the elimination diet so I AM getting more personally involved.
The GARD in the strictest sense was mainly designed
for those suffering from "excitotoxin" related disorders...over-excitement by those neurostimulating, non-essential
amino acids glutamate and aspartate. I believe that this does include autistics, as some of the repetitive
and even self- injurious behaviors that many exhibit are due to over-stimulation by these neurostimulants. But in the autistic,
I am more concerned about the casomorphins, gliadomorphins and neurologically depressing substances like the mercury, chronic
latent viral/mycoplasmal infections, malabsorption induced malnutrition, and secondary allergens that are keeping them in
the depressed state. When there are repetitive behaviors, outbursts, and self-injurious actions, I believe that
they are in that same cycle that the ADHD child is in where the stimulants hit that brain that is malfunctioning from the
above things and over-react to those stimulants because the neurons of the brain are doing everything they can to overcome
the depressants, much like the drug addict's does. The brain, in these situations is in an interesting state, isn't it?
think "drug addict". If a person is addicted to downers, the brain adjusts to these depressants by "uploading"...becoming
more sensitive to stimulants in a desperate attempt to overcome the depressants. That is why this drug addict requires more
and more drugs to feed his habit and why he starts to SHAKE when his drug levels drop. His neurons are trying hard to overcome
the depressing action of the downer drug in order to reach homeostasis/equilibrium and they do this by "uploading". When the
balance is altered by dropping levels of depressant, the individual becomes OVER-stimulated...the DTs set in (just like in
alcoholism) and the person feels like they are going to come apart.
This also happens to people like celiacs with the "big 4" food
intolerances who have acute drops in their serotonin production because of sudden onset damage to their intestinal
villi, where 98% of their body's serotonin is made and the nutrients (B complex and C) that are required to make more (including
the 2% made by the brain) are absorbed. See that? Celiac disease can be and typically is very insidious in nature and development.
But it can also be very acute, sometimes following a viral or bacterial infection. And, we know exactly why this
happens. I suffered from "acute endogenous depression" in my 30's (In April, when the days are getting longer. Light is very
stimulating!!!). This was the very FIRST real sign of my celiac disease. Suddenly, I could not make adequate serotonin and
the resulting anxiety disorder preceded my years of depression that I later suffered from. The "reflex" action to overstimulation is
depression. That is the purpose of depressing...to help you deal with being over-stimulated, whether it be purely physical
or following severe emotioanl stress.
Conversely, if a person is addicted to stimulants, the brain "down loads"
to be become less sensitive to these chronic uppers" and the reverse of the above occurs. But with Ecstasy, the brain
levels of serotonin very specifically get depleted and all h*ll breaks loose (that's a Biblical term.:):):) ). Serotonin is
CRUCIAL to normal brain function and without it, severe emotional and physical symptoms can arise.
So, think of the
autistic as a "drug addict" who is addicted to casomorphins and gliadorphins and depressed by a myrid of secondary factors
but whose brain is desperately TRYING to upload to overcome this situation. (Did you know that there are some wise
autism clinics in this country that do a urinalysis to detect the levels of casomorphins/gliadorphins in the urine when making
a clinical diagnosis of autism?). Now, also think of autism as a spectrum disorder. We know that there are
degrees of affliction and this should not be a surprise to anyone. It IS a "syndrome" like epilepsy, with multiple
factors coming together to produce the result. Mercury is not THE issue but it can be a major contributing factor. Personally,
I now believe that fluoridated drinking water is potentially an even bigger problem. And, I am starting to research more into chelation
therapy for autistics.
So, believe the testimonies of mothers whose kids had dramatic results when taken off
of all gluten and casein. They are very real!!! I have had some cases just like this myself. BUT, we can also explain why
some do not have that miraculous response. They are "category two"...those with the more severe secondary issues above, including
viral infections, some of which they acquired from the same vaccines that provided the mercury. Hey, not ALL kids that acquire
the measles and mumps virus from that modified live virus vaccine are going to develop epilepsy/seizures (errrrrh).
Some are "just" going to experience severe neuronal dysfunction/depression. But have you ever heard of kids with both??? Of
course you have. I write on BrainTalk Communities Website and I hear about these kids all of the time.
These are your
"worst of the worst" and now, hopefully, you have a better idea of why. You can also now see why there are "splinter" groups
called Angelman Syndrome and Rett syndrome. These are of particular interest to me because they can be accompnaied by
growth abnormalities (small heads, short legs, etc), more signs of the malabsorption syndrome seen in celiacs. Down Syndome
has now been linked directly to celiac disease. Once we see the true underlying causes, we can start to understand these variances.
This basic understanding of the food issues is like passing through a doorway. Suddenly, there is a whole new
room of knowledge to enjoy.
So basically, there is a WAR going on in their brain. The brain is
scrambling to find homeostasis but between the casomorphins/gliadorphins, glutamate/aspartate, sugar, Nutrisweet ("because
sugar is so evil"...not
really.) and the DRUGS they are on (some of which do more harm than good), the brain is losing
the battle. These kids are horribly malnourished from the malabsorption syndrome being driven by the foods to which they are
horribly addicted...the wheat and dairy. These kids are notoriously addicted to mac and cheese, bread, milk, ice
cream, cake, pancakes/waffles, etc etc and it is like pulling teeth to get them to eat a vegetable. How obvious does
it have to be for us to see that they are just like drug addicts, with the drug
being their food??? And once again, ALL
addictions are bad...without exception. And we will become sick from the things we are addicted to.
main warning sign??? Cowmilk and wheat are the number one and two childhood allergens. "Warning, warning!!!"
That should be sooo obvious, painfully clear in retrospect. The allergies form at the time of the damage to
the gut, the malabsorption syndrome sets in, the casomorphins/gliadorphins flood the brain, the immune system goes down from
the malnutrition, the brain becomes unhealthy from lack of proper nutrition, the viruses/mycoplasma jump onto the scene, the
mercury/fluoride/air pollution/environmental chemicals, etc hit the brain, the secondary inhalant allergens kick in, and VOILA'
...we're sick. Surprise, surprise. :(:(:(
That's medicine in a nutshell. And what started it all? Yep...the FOOD. So,
how do we correct it again??? :):):)All we haven't covered is why some kids go down this road and other don't getting
the same diet, environmental challenges, etc. Is it their "genes"? No, but there is something IN their
Did you know that there is more viral information in our
DNA than there is are genes??? Yep. So, what is the truth about "genetics"? Do the genes that give you blue eyes
and blonde hair mutate and cause autism??? NO, but there are some guys mixed in between those genes that do. Wrap yourself
around that for a minute and then we'll discuss what "unleashes" these guys. For a clue, you can go to my newest section called
"Viruses...Friend or Foe." This IS medicine in a nutshell.:):):)
I hope this helps,
I hope you enjoyed your time here and got something important from your stay. It is
my goal to help all of mankind navigate through the jungle of medical information now available on the Internet and find the
truth about the origins of what we call "disease" as well as discover the natural solutions for these conditions.
We do have our health's destiny in our own hands more than we've ever
imagined, certainly more than most have ever been told. Think naturally and the answer will come.
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