Specific Carbohydrate Diet ( SCD ) For Those With Down Syndrome.
This topic on specific carbohydrate diet and Down Syndrome has been a long time in coming. Originally a parent told me about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet ( SCD ) due to her daughter, with Down Syndrome, having an autoimmune disorder, which her mum was desperate to fix. Gluten free and sugar free diets have been found beneficial for some disorders, but I hadn't heard of such specific carbohydrate diets being a treatment for Down Syndrome. She mentioned to me that kids with Down Syndrome ( DS ) are more often diagnosed with Celiac Disease ( CD ) than what is commonly found in the general population, so she gave the specific carbohydrate diet a try on her daughter. Celiac disease is very painful and as her daughter was battling constipation as well. Her mum diagnosed that there had to be a Gastinal Intestinal ( GI ) problem with her daughter - another common problem with kids with Down Syndrome.
Her mother was very happy to find that it not only helped her daughter's auto-immune problem, it fixed the constipation and, unanticipatedly, the specific carbohydrate diet appeared to cause a developmental spurt - these events can stand out markedly when one's kid has Down Syndrome, because progress in those with Down Syndrome can seem quite slow. One explanation: The illnesses that afflicted her daughter may have been causing a developmental lag, by being a big distraction for her for most of her waking hours, fighting pain and so on.
This mum believed that one of the reason the specific carbohydrate diet can be so helpful to kids with Down Syndrome ( DS ) is because of related malfunctioning Gastinal Intestinal tracts that are causing people with Down Syndrome lots of problems. The Gastinal Intestinal doctor they saw had mentioned it was as much a brain issue with regards to mis-firing gastrointestinal valves, poor coordination of muscle movement, as it is diet. The poor muscle coordination - hypotonia (low muscle tone) - is frequently found in those with Down Syndrome, but we don't normally go on to equate hypotonia as affecting them at a gut level. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet foods are apparently ALL easily digested and don't require a lot of work or efficiency on the part of the person's gut to ingest.
The higher incidence of auto-immune disorders, 'food allergy' and Autistic Spectrum Disorder ( ASD ) in Down Syndrome ( DS ), is a good indicator that Gastinal Intestinal problems are possibly happening in many kids with Down Syndrome. Milk and gluten intolerance are not disease, they are symptoms that the gut is not functioning properly. Diarrahea is also a symptom of gut dysfunction. When the gut is not working, food absorption is much reduced and so nutrients are not making it into the body - this could also be a big issue for many people with Down Syndrome, as the metabolic imbalance many people with Down Syndrome have, means they really need to get the nutrients out of their food and into their body, so that their body can cope better with the metabolic issues.
All these issues with the gut, can also cause a 'brain fog', which is something we would also desperately try and avoid in someone with Down Syndrome, because of their lowered intellectual abilities. On one internet forum, someone had posted some very interesting abstracts regarding high cortisol levels in Alzheimer's Disease ( AD ) and also in Down Syndrome. Reducing and or removing all the high glycemic carbohydrates (carbs) is going to lower some of the cortisol levels and maybe that is why this diet has such a profound effect on brain function, is one line of thinking the lady had for her daughter's developmental spurt.
Anyway, her daughter has been on the specific carbohydrate diet for three years and her mum believes it has apprently cured her daughter of many problems. From reading the issues of other kids with Down Syndrome, her mum firmly believes they could be significantly helped by the specific carbohydrate diet. Her mum wrote to me to help get her message out about the specific carbohydrate diet as a treatment for Down Syndrome, asking me to place information on it on www.cdadc.com.
She also relayed to me information about a few other mom's who have tried the specific carbohydrate diet and said it helped their kids with Down Syndrome.
In short: kids with Down Syndrome have a hard time with digesting foods, which is evident in the number of kids with Down Syndrome with health problems, such as food 'allergies', constipation, poor fat absorption, immune problems, brain fog and odd behaviors. Auto-immune issues, high rate of Atrial Septal Defect ( ASD, a congenital heart disease ) and so on and on.... the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a diet that is very easy to digest, heals the gut and allows it to nourish the rest of the body along with restore immunity and start producing seratonin which our kids with Down Syndrome also seem to lack as seen in the number of sleeping problems.
It also helps with getting the kids to eat a wider variety of foods and stop the carb/sugar cravings!! Adults with Down Syndrome and with gut issues, once they kick the startchy carb addiction, say food tastes better. Previously, good healthy foods had tasted horrible and often made them gag. Carb addiction is also a symptom of gut dysfunction. How many of our kids with Down Syndrome do you know who ONLY want to eat carbs???
She was lucky that the painful autoimmune disorder had kept her daughter on this diet when will power was waning.... it's hard to make the big jump from the nice sugars, without motivation.
I lost contact with Ms. C some time ago, as we both got really busy, but I took the time to finish this Down Syndrome and Specific Carbohydrate Diet page, as it seemed pretty promising as a treatment for Down Syndrome when she relayed her experience and information to me some time back. Jacob, our son with Down Syndrome, already has a low carbohydrate diet and has all along shunned sugary foods and chocolate. Jacob also has none of the major or minor Down Syndrome health issues mentioned above, so maybe his diet is protecting him.
On a final note, the specific carbohydrate diet also refers to a book by the same name. Ms. C. informed me, that to implement the diet properly, one has to follow the advice in the book: " Specific Carbohydrate Diet". Going on Jacob I don't necessarily agree with that, but you may want to check out your local library anyway.
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