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EIR Reviews Treatment Reviews - Other Diets Gluten-free, Casein-free (GFCF) Diet

Gluten-free, Casein-free (GFCF) Diet Maff Hot

Written by Maff     September 11, 2008    
 
7.8
5475   0   0   0   0

The gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet involves the patient removing all sources of gluten and casein from their diet. The main sources of these proteins are:

Gluten

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Oats (can often be re-introduced)
  • Processed foods of all kinds

Casein

  • Dairy Products
  • Processed foods of all kinds

The GFCF diet is particularly popular as a dietary intervention for autism. The rationale behind its use is that incomplete digestion of gluten and casein proteins leads to the production of substances which act like opiates (e.g. morphine, heroin) in the brain and account for the behavioural and developmental problems associated with autism. Autism has also been shown to have a component of immune system dysfunction and It is suggested that food hypersensitivity to gluten and casein is common and symptom-producing.

The GFCF diet is also commonly recommended for people suffering from digestive disorders, particularly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Gluten and casein-containing foods are commonly found to cause symptoms in those with IBS. A review of research in this area found that: "Milk, wheat, and eggs were most frequently identified to cause symptom exacerbation." Additionally research using laboratory testing has found that IBS patients have significantly higher levels of IgG antibodies to gluten and casein-containing foods than healthy volunteers. Again, like autism, suggesting food hypersensitivity to gluten and casein is common.

Other conditions for which the GFCF diet might be recommended include chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, Candida/gut dysbiosis, and any condition where leaky gut syndrome is implicated.

For more extensive information visit our gluten-free, casein-free diet page

 

 

 

Editor reviews

As a long-term sufferer of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), amongst other complaints, I have tried many dietary changes in an effort to relieve my symptoms.

I have found that avoiding gluten and casein brings significant benefits. I have been found to have increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) using lab testing (as have others with these conditions in published studies). According to proponents of the GFCF diet this may increase the chances of opiate-like molecules from partially digested gluten and casein being absorbed from my digestive tract.

My experiences suggest there is substance to this theory as whenever I ingest gluten or casein containing foods I experience symptoms including brain fog, irritability, and restlessness a few hours later. I do not experience the same reaction from any other foods or food groups.

Additionally, I learned early on that removing casein-containing foods from my diet reduced excess mucous in my throat that I suffered badly from.

Surprisngly I can't report improvement in digestive symptoms when on the GFCF diet but it may well be that there are so many other factors causing these symptoms for any improvement to be negligible.

I will not pretend that the GFCF diet is easy, especially at first, but for me it has brought benefits that make it worth the effort. I am now used to a wholefoods diet free from gluten and casein and only run into problems when eating in restaurants. My advice would be to give it a go, you have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain.

Overall rating 
 
7.8
Effectiveness  
 
8.0
Easy to stay on?  
 
5.0
Lack of side-effects  
 
10.0
Would you recommend? 
 
8.0
Maff Reviewed by Maff September 11, 2008
Last updated: July 29, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (107)

Significant improvement in brain fog and mood

As a long-term sufferer of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), amongst other complaints, I have tried many dietary changes in an effort to relieve my symptoms.

I have found that avoiding gluten and casein brings significant benefits. I have been found to have increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) using lab testing (as have others with these conditions in published studies). According to proponents of the GFCF diet this may increase the chances of opiate-like molecules from partially digested gluten and casein being absorbed from my digestive tract.

My experiences suggest there is substance to this theory as whenever I ingest gluten or casein containing foods I experience symptoms including brain fog, irritability, and restlessness a few hours later. I do not experience the same reaction from any other foods or food groups.

Additionally, I learned early on that removing casein-containing foods from my diet reduced excess mucous in my throat that I suffered badly from.

Surprisngly I can't report improvement in digestive symptoms when on the GFCF diet but it may well be that there are so many other factors causing these symptoms for any improvement to be negligible.

I will not pretend that the GFCF diet is easy, especially at first, but for me it has brought benefits that make it worth the effort. I am now used to a wholefoods diet free from gluten and casein and only run into problems when eating in restaurants. My advice would be to give it a go, you have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain.

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