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Pioneering Achievement Center Recognizes Link between Neurobehavioral Issues and Gluten Intolerance
Brain Balance Achievement Centers Provides Tips in Support of Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Jersey City, N.J. – According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), approximately 3 million people have Celiac disease, a genetic autoimmune disease which damages the small intestine and prompts intolerance to gluten. In the United States, approximately 21 million people are sensitive to gluten.
May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, and Brain Balance Achievement Centers, nationwide specialized achievement centers for children with neurobehavioral issues, is educating families on the direct link between gluten intolerance and neurobehavioral issues. Such issues include ADHD, processing disorders, learning disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“Gluten plays a very large role in many neurobehavioral issues. For example, children with ADHD do not respond positively to wheat. Also, in Autistic children, their brains produce too much glutamate which results in gastrointestinal problems,” says Dr. Robert Melillo, founder of Brain Balance Achievement Centers. “An alarming 85 percent of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have gluten or other sensitivities, while less than 10 percent have true food allergies, which are much different and easier to recognize.”
The following are tips for parents to identify and care for their child’s gluten sensitivity:
- Get tested for food sensitivities: Parents often confuse food sensitivities with food allergies. Food sensitivities occur when a particular food compound stimulates the immune system, causing changes in behavior, attention and hyperactivity. Reactions may not be noticeable for up to three days after the food has been ingested. On the other hand, a food allergy is an adverse immune response to a food protein, which occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly identifies a protein as harmful.
- Try an elimination diet: If you believe your child may be sensitive to a certain food or chemical, such as gluten, try an elimination diet and see if you observe changes in their behavior. First, remove said food from your child’s diet for at least four weeks. If you notice an improvement in behavior or other positive changes, reintroduce the food for one day. Observe for the following four days to see if the negative symptom returns. This will indicate whether or not a food sensitivity exists.
- Things to avoid: For parents who already know their child has a gluten intolerance, there are various other foods and chemicals that should be avoided beyond just wheat, rye and barley. These include soda, caffeine in general, artificial sweeteners, and processed sugar in general.
- Things to add: For gluten-sensitive children, there are certain types of foods that will help with gastrointestinal problems, such as fermented foods and pickled foods. It is also vital to have your child eat a wide variety of colored vegetables every day as they are full of essential vitamins and minerals that are easy for the body to absorb. Berries are another vitamin-rich food, and are a great source of antioxidants and minerals.
ABOUT BRAIN BALANCE ACHIEVEMENT CENTERS
Since 2006, Brain Balance Achievement Centers has helped thousands of children between the ages of 4 and 17 reach their, academic, social and behavioral potential through a non-medical, brain-based program. The individualized and customized program utilizes sensory motor, cognitive exercises and nutritional guidance to address the root cause of most neurobehavioral issues. There are nearly 50 Brain Balance Achievement Centers nationwide. For more information, visit www.brainbalancecenters.com.