A gluten and casein free diet involves giving up all wheat or other products that include gluten and also giving up all products that include casein or milk sugars and milk solids. This diet has been developed in response to more and more research about how gluten and dairy can negatively affect the body. Various forms of the diet have evolved over the past 15-20 years.
The gluten and casein free diet focuses on a variety of physical and psychological benefits. One primary focus claims to improve the symptoms of autism in children. It also claims to help cleanse the colon of harmful bacterial build up and thus restoring the body's immunity and ability to effectively absorb nutrition. The diet claims to help rid the body of several pounds of unwanted material from the intestines and to help reduce bloating in the belly. Other potential results include increased energy, vitality, and even improved appearance in the skin and eyes.
On a gluten and casein free diet, all wheat, gluten, and dairy must be avoided. There is a long list of foods and even everyday products to avoid. Gluten especially comes in many hidden forms including lip balms and lipsticks, makeup, and even bran products and most vegetarian protein products. The casein is milk sugar so it may be included in sweeteners. You'll also need to avoid whey and all related products. Look out for "lactose", "malt", oats, barley, and many forms of health foods that contain wheat. The best thing to do is to find a good resource that has a list of foods to avoid. Also learn to read labels carefully, and if you're not sure about an ingredient, do some research on it before purchasing the product.
A strict gluten and casein free diet holds hope for people with severe health problems. Many people also report that going gluten and casein free has helped them reduce their blood pressure, improve their mobility, and helped them with a myriad of other health problems.
The gluten and casein free diet, like any diet or health regime, is not a solution to all health problem. The hopes included in the claims of helping with autism and other serious disorders can lead to a false expectation of a completely changed person in every case. The diet is also really hard to follow and you may feel worse before you feel better. It requires a firm commitment and a large amount of lifestyle changes. It also requires buy-in and support from other family members. It can be very difficult to stick to the diet for 90 days in the face of family members' and friends' doubts, feeling worse, and seeming like a food extremist. It may take up to 90 days for the positive effects of the diet to take place.
The gluten and casein free diet is definitely worth an honest try because so much research and clinical evidence supports the amazing health benefits. Take the time to do the research, get prepared, and take it one step at a time.