This week my article on this topic was published in the peer-reviewed North American Journal of Medicine and Science. I believe that this paper is important for several reasons. To my knowledge this is the first time that the concept that a brain disease can be caused by diet has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. The article describes how many people with autism also have a second disorder—Carbohydrate Associated Reversible Brain syndrome or CARB syndrome. CARB syndrome is a form of food-induced brain dysfunction likely triggered by long-term exposure to processed foods.
The idea that your diet can cause a common brain disorder is nothing short of revolutionary. That’s because changing your diet has the potential to reverse CARB syndrome and put the rabbit back in the hat. People with CARB syndrome can develop up to 22 brain dysfunction symptoms that can interfere with your ability to function. Some of these symptoms overlap with other common brain disorders like autism, depression, PTSD and bipolar II. Because CARB syndrome is a new concept not yet well known in the medical community, when clinicians are faced with someone with autism they assume that all their symptoms are coming from this disorder. They don’t realize that many people with autism also have CARB syndrome.
Although autism can be very challenging to treat, the treatments for CARB syndrome are relatively straightforward and easy to implement. I outline the basics of treatment of CARB syndrome in this article. When you treat the CARB syndrome and a person is just left with their autism, they often feel and function much better.
Although CARB syndrome is a new and unproven concept, it does have a lot of support in the medical literature. I think it also reflects what many clinicians are seeing in their patients. It is exciting to envision that simple dietary changes might help many patients struggling with autism. Changing your diet carries virtually no risk and in my experience if you leave your CARB syndrome untreated, you are condemning yourself to a life that doesn’t match your potential. Hopefully this article will stimulate the medical community to take a closer look at the connection between diet and brain function.