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Testing For The Impact Of Gluten And Dairy On Autism:

Testing For The Impact Of Gluten And Dairy On Autism: Should We Be Testing For Gluteomorphine And Casomorphine?

 When treating autism, the most common functional medicine laboratory tests that we run at the start include screening for toxins. In this area, gluten and dairy are possible culprits that warrant particular attention.

The Hidden Dangers in Gluten

 Gluten, for neurodivergent children, can cause inflammation, with two peptides standing out: gluteomorphine and tissue transglutaminase-6.

Tissue Transglutaminase-6

 Tissue transglutaminase-6 (tTG-6), a gluten peptide that localises in the nervous system, can cause gluten ataxia, which is characterised by poor coordination, gait and balance problems. A test for the presence of tTG-6 is an important screening tool for essential working with autism or any neurological and autoimmune condition.


 Another gluten-derived peptide, named gluteomorphine (gluten morphine), behaves like morphine. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain, and the resulting reinforcement leads to deep-seated neurological and cognitive symptoms. Inflammation driven by gluteomorphine can aggravate many of the stereotypical symptoms of autism.

Dairy's Double Trouble: Casomorphine

 Gluteomorphine has a counterpart in dairy products called casomorphine, an opioid peptide similar to gluteomorphine that crossreacts with brain receptors and could cause the same kind of neurological and cognitive disturbances as gluteomorphine itself. The effects could be potent, leading to inflammation in the central nervous system and persistence of autism symptoms.

The Solution: Elimination and Testing

 Presumably treated using anti-inflammatories to prevent the cognitive impact of these inflammatory peptides, removing gluten and diary from the diet can help to balance their effects while, screening for them is easy, and simply involves sending in a finger-prick or blood sample to one of the test companies listed.

The GAPS Diet: A Holistic Approach

 Another fine dietary intervention we use in our clinic is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet; in addition to removing many inflammatory compounds from the typical Western diet, it also reintroduces nutrient-rich healing foods into the diet, helping to balance the nervous and immune systems.

Laboratory Testing for Gluteomorphine and Casomorphine

 Here, we sometimes use reports from Vibrant America, such as the Wheat Zoomer and Dairy Zoomer, which can screen for these peptides. Testing like this can be very helpful in an autism patient, as it sheds more light on how gluten and dairy might be having an impact on a person.

Get in Touch

 And if what’s written here resonates with you or someone in your life, please contact us. We can discuss how this material might apply to you or your child, and offer any guidance on supporting measures.

 Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation. We are here to support you and your loved one in designing a care plan that enables her or him to thrive and find a sense of joy in the world.


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