I’m new here and wonder if there are any others on the forums who have Asperger Syndrome? It’s a very significant condition with regards to diabetes/pre-diabetes due to the cortisol constantly being pumped out in response to anxiety (I am hyper sensitive to noise and have the neighbours from hell). I was only diagnosed last year after a lifetime (56 years) of high anxiety and all the problems that brings. I’m convinced, after reading the book, that the almost constant anxiety I suffer has contributed in a very big way to my weight gain, high levels of cholesterol, high BP, and pre-diabetic state, so naturally I’m concerned that my success will be directly affected by the over production of cortisol, and will mean I’m not going to be as successful as less stressed folk. I’m determined that this new regime will work for me because I don’t want to end up sick and dying early, as my mother did. But since reducing stress is a big part of this diet, I wonder how other Aspies manage? Thanks for reading this, and please don’t ask me to ‘just chill’ – my brain’s programmed differently from the majority so it’s largely out of my control!
We have not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you are have any health related symptoms or concerns, you should contact your doctor who will be able to give you advice specific to your situation.
I have a 16 year old ASD son who is overweight. Whilst I won’t put him on a diet I am hoping that the lack of sugar and simple carbs in the house will help him. He suffers immensely from anxiety so I do my best to keep it to a minimum plus he goes to a special school who are brilliant at managing it and suggesting techniques to reduce it. I had no idea about the cortisol I will check it out. Have you had any counselling? Son has it 3 times a week plus I also want him to have CBT as he is doing A levels and is simply unable to get round to doing independent study – he knows he has to do it, the thought of it stresses him and then he has a meltdown so I don’t push it and we are back to square one. I would say just do your best. Anything is better than nothing and is still going to help. Ask about counselling and have a look on the Autism Society website. I am sorry I can’t be of more help and I must ask why you think doing the diet will stress you? Do you think it will be the idea of menu planning, shopping or will it be a kind of performance anxiety if you think you aren’t doing as well as other people? I’m sure I don’t need to tell you we are all different but I do understand where you are coming from. Keep in touch.
Hello Katy, thank you for your reply. I read somewhere on the web that people with AS did not have a very good outlook if they were unable to control or avoid stressers (easier said than done!). So I assumed there was a link between stress hormones and general health. Seems I’m right from what I read in Dr Mosley’s book. I have had CBT in the past but it had no effect; I get so overwhelmed by the anxiety when a trigger kicks off, or I have too much sensory input,that nothing else figures. I hope that now I have the diagnosis it can be treated more appropriately because before that the people I saw didn’t actually know what they were dealing with (over 30 years in the mental health system, it took my own research to get a diagnosis). Getting help as an adult is difficult to impossible depending on locality and I am doing lots of research myself, contacting various people and trying to get some support. It’s pretty exhausting! I can fully empathise with your son’s distress, and I really hope he can get through his A levels OK.
I don’t think the actual diet will stress me, but I am concerned about the fact that still being in a continually stressed condition might mean the total effect of the diet will be compromised – does that make sense? – as Dr Mosley emphasises the importance of de-stressing. First thing I do when anxious is eat whatever I can lay hands on that is sweet – bad stuff. Shopping is OK, I go to ASDA at 5am on Saturday mornings to avoid people! There’s one cashier on then who knows me well, so I get through it OK. x
Ahh Asda at 5am sounds like bliss but I can’t drive. You obviously need some stress and anxiety relief and I understand how hard it is to get help. Son was briefly on risperidol after his father died but whilst it worked he piled on the weight and I’m sure you don’t want to be on medication. I don’t know what to suggest, I’m sure you have spoken to your GP so all I can do is say is keep posting. Maybe the weight loss and BS reduction will have a positive effect. X
Google meditation and/or mindfulness for aspergers. You’ll find a range of websites. Try to find a class that’s specifically for those with ASD. Surely there must be something available by now through one of the societies?
Mindfulness, practised regularly, changes brain structure, and is fantastic for stress reduction. I suffer from PTSD and find it wonderful. I know yours is a developmental disorder, but there is evidence out there to demonstrate its effectiveness with Autism.
I don’t drive far, Katy, as I get lost easily but I’m glad I can drive because it gives me much needed control. I’m also hoping the diet will help – I am so big right now and was always a tiny thing until life just got too difficult to handle a few years ago. I’m sorry about your loss; I hope your boy is now doing OK and without those drugs.
Hello Jessie, I’ll check out what you advise, though not likely to be anything much especially for Aspies round here – they have only just got an Autism Lead for the county! I’m realising that despite the relief of having a diagnosis at last I’m still very isolated. I know one or two Aspies via Facebook but they lives a long way off. I can empathise with the PTSD; I was diagnosed as having Complex PTSD 2 years ago and did some work with a wonderful trauma specialist. She helped me with 2 very big issues from the past and these are now safely processed. I understand mindfulness can be good, though I need a quiet safe place to practice it – which at present is definitely not in the home as disturbance from next door is constant, but working on getting a move. Last year was the ‘finding out stuff’ year this needs to be the ‘getting well’ year. I know I will never free of Aspergers but am sure that the lift to my self esteem once I’ve lost weight will help me feel better about myself. I’m glad the mindfulness is working for you. x