Increased sugar intake can lead to Type II Diabetes, as well as weakened gut flora or candida which all means a weakened immune system. This leads to both physical health symptoms like stomachaches and headaches, as well as many behavioral problems.

Many foods eaten during the holidays such as sugar, gluten, dairy and food dyes can be harmful to anyone. Typical holiday eating for children with autism can cause exponential harm to your child’s health and behavior. These foods bring common food allergies, inflammation, colds and flu, as well as other physical and emotional instabilities. They are not good for anyone, but children on the autism spectrum and with ADD are particularly sensitive to these chemicals.  Their detoxification systems are not as capable as others to handle them. Their brain cells are particularly vulnerable also.

By the time my son was in middle school, his prior behavior issues had improved greatly, so I was surprised when I received a call from his teacher telling me that he had really been acting out in class. He had begun having a hard time sitting still or leaving other kids alone and had become disruptive again. As I began thinking about the possible cause, I finally realized that Halloween had been the week before and he had eaten a bunch of candy.  With his system still healing and sensitive, his candida problems returned and old behavioral issues crept back in until I could remove the candy and boost his system up again.

When candida or yeast increases in the system due to increased stress or poor diet choices, you will notice a change in behavior. By increasing your child’s probiotic intake, starting with one per day, you can help to bring good bacteria into his gut and crowd out the bad.  Any increase in probiotics must be done very slowly over several days. It won’t cause harm, but die off of the bad bacteria may be too rapid for the liver to keep up with and the toxins will create worse behavior. It’s a fine line but one that is easy enough to walk if you are careful. It is very important to use a quality probiotic.

Food Coloring

Food coloring agents are known to cause hyperactivity, asthma, anger, and other behavioral issues. Be sure to avoid them as best you can.

If you are going to eat sugar, I offer these tips:

  • For a few days prior to a stressful event or an increase in sugary or high carbohydrate foods, increase your probiotics to one in the morning and one at night to build up your good bacteria ahead of time.
  • Chromium Picolinate as a supplement may help balance blood sugar levels, assist metabolism and help fight food cravings.
  • Take liver support to assist detoxification.
  • Eat sweets with some nuts or other protein source to slow down the effects of blood glucose or insulin release. Chocolate with almonds is far better than chocolate alone. Dark chocolate is best because it has more antioxidants and a higher fiber content than milk chocolate.
  • Choose candy that does not contain food coloring.
  • Eat your sweets within an hour and be done with it. This is better on your system than dragging it out over several hours.
  • If you know gluten is a problem for your child, be sure of the ingredients before he eats it.
  • Sugar is better than high fructose corn syrup.
  • Avoid the artificial sweetener aspartame. It kills the good bacteria in your gut, creating as much as three times the obesity of regularly sugared drinks.
  • If candy of any kind is tolerable, let your child choose a couple of his favorite pieces of candy on a holiday and limit his intake.

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