Please welcome guest writer, Steven Hogan, as he gives his perspective on how gluten can lead to restless and sleepless nights for your little one.
Being a parent often means nights when your little ones are ill. If you suspect that gluten sensitivity is at the root of your child’s restlessness, you may be right. Here is what you should know:
It is common for adults and children with gluten sensitivity to experience sleep disturbances. This is true whether or not the person has a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Food sensitivities and a leaky gut can prevent a person from being able to enter and remain in a proper state of rest all night.
As a parent, this can be frustrating and frightening. Feeling powerless to help your sick child while suffering from long sleepless nights yourself is a recipe for disaster. Knowing what is likely the cause will allow you to begin correcting the trouble.
Also make sure that your child is not having related digestive troubles such as heartburn or constipation. Similarly, if your youngster has emotional or mood issues, you can address them at the same time to improve the overall quality of treatment and the effectiveness of it.
Related to the issue of poor sleep, those with gluten sensitivity often suffer from fatigue. This can create poor performance at school and social issues there and at home. It is likely that the fatigue is due to the inability to fall and stay asleep.
Some children who are experiencing gluten sensitivity might also have genetic factors that contribute to the problem. For instance, certain genes are instrumental in anxiety reduction. Serotonin and melatonin production can be disrupted by improper genetic coding.
The first thing you should do is make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician. Have tests run for allergies. There will be a period of trial and error to be sure you understand what is at the root of the condition. While skin prick tests for allergies can be a beneficial tool, you will need more than that to be certain.
The general rule of thumb is to eliminate the potential allergens and monitor what happens when reintroduced. You can start by removing all products containing gluten and any other potential allergens from the child’s diet. Wait a couple of weeks, allowing the body to adjust to the new diet.
Then, introduce gluten, in very limited amounts and note any changes that occur. If so, remove it and move on. Those foods that do not cause any reaction can remain in the diet. Those that do should be checked again. If products with gluten consistently create restless nights and the other symptoms that caused your suspicion, ensure that your youngster remains gluten-free.
You might also need to provide healthy probiotics and other means of healing to help your child find peaceful rest at night faster.
Take a proactive stance and determine if gluten sensitivity is the reason your child cannot sleep at night. If so, reorganize the way food is presented and viewed in the home to ensure the little one has an appropriate diet and all can sleep soundly!
Steven Hogan is a natural health and nutrition enthusiast who shares his passion for living a gluten free lifestyle at www.glutenfreewire.com