Family Ideas Network for Down Syndrome (FINDS)

Gluten Free - Could solve a lot of issues

I want to preface this by saying this article is the opinion of the author (MIchael Fisher) and not to be construed as dietary advice from a professional.  Seek professional advice before making big changes to your child's diet.

Over the years, I know I have suffered from a sensitivity to wheat products.  Through deductive reasoning or trial and error - I can't remember which - I came to the conclusion that I should limit my wheat intake in order to control my gas, bloating, diarrhea, foggy head, and a number of unsavory characteristics that I lived with way too long. 

I have had formal allergy tests and no allergic reaction was detected for wheat.  I can't remember if wheat was specifically tested, but I do know I reacted to grass and wheat is a type of grass.  It may not be a true allergy or a sensitivity of some sort or another.  I do know when I dropped the wheat for a period of weeks, I began to feel better.

This brings me to my daughter with Down Syndrome.  Leah is a fun loving 10 year old girl who has had pretty good health overall.  However, I happened to catch a Dr. on TV (I know, I know) who was discussing the effect of wheat on children and what some of the common symptoms were.  Holy cow!  Leah had most of those symptoms.  I discussed this with my wife and we discussed it with Leah.  We decided (with Leah's agreement) that we would remove wheat from her diet for 6 weeks and see how it goes.  We printed out a calendar so Leah could keep track of it. 

It took about one and half weeks before we saw any changes.  The first thing we noticed was her speech was much clearer.  The second thing we noticed was her handwriting was much clearer.  After another week or so, he nose cleared up and stopped running.  Her eyes, however did start running, so we took her to the doctor to find out why.  The doctor determined it was seasonal allergies.  She also checked Leah's ears and said they were really clear.  Surprise.  They haven't been really clear in years. 

The next big surprise came when we went to the park.  Usually, we walk to the park and Leah plays for a few minutes, then sits down and watches the other kids play.  This time, she played the who time.  She even hung from that rolling glider back and forth about 8 times.  She had never been able to hang for even a single pass.  She climbed over the entire jungle gym which she had never done before.  Then, amazingly, she walked back with us.  She didn't have to stop once.  She never rested.

OK, I was convinced she was feeling great and had more energy, but the problem was finding foods that didn't have wheat.  Well, fortunately, more and more stores and restaurants are carrying gluten free / wheat free products.  I even ordered some in bulk from Amazon.   There are several manufacturers and there are definitely favorites.


The Gluten Free Pantry brand is pretty tasty.  Their Favorite Sandwhich Bread is a favorite and the whole family eats it.  Betty Crocker has a line of gluten free products as well.  Their brownies are really good as well as their chocolate cake.  Though the cake is more tender which makes it more difficult to frost.  Pamela's Ultimate has a baking mix for creating pancakes, waffles, etc. and is really quite good.  Again, the whole family eats them.  I understand that Bisquick has just come out with a Gluten Free baking Mix as well, though I haven't seen it in stores.


Anyhow, I don't know where the sensitivity is coming from in Leah, but I do know the results have been pretty amazing and we are going to continue on this diet.  I do allow her to occassionally have wheat in the form of pizza for a special event (Birthday Party, etc), but in general she is pretty close to wheat free.


If you click on the links below and order any of the products, FINDS will get 4% of the sale as a donation from  Thank you.


If you want any more information on this information, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Michael Fisher

The products listed below are sold in bulk which explains the higher prices.