Food allergies and behavior

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

http://www.feingold.org/pg-overview.html

I've seen a number of Moms question the link between food and ADHD. Here is a site that guides you through determining if your ADHD child might have food sensitivities or allergies that contribute to ADHD symptoms. It helps us tremendously!

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Melissa - posted on 02/05/2009

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my child's diet has changed and it cured him. I have used different methods though than what this website says.



 

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Chere Jasmine - posted on 11/30/2010

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hi there! Which diet are you reffering to? I have a 9 year old with ADHD and have been serfing the net with no luck. I need a diet for him that works. Help? chere_taylor@yahoo.com

Nicole - posted on 05/14/2009

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I have actually removed [almost entirely] red dye 40 from my children's diet, and my daughter with ADHD has shown drastic improvement!

Lyndsey - posted on 04/07/2009

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I'll be honest. I'm not sure about the link between food allergies and AD/HD. I have a son with AD/HD and a son with food allergies. Neither one has both. I also have food allergies and was diagnosed as an adult with them, yet I don't have AD/HD or ADD.  However, I have found that there is one food ingredient that does set my son off and makes him worse, so we avoid it and just find him other alternatives to enjoy. Even though he knows it's not a true allergy, it's treated as one (he does know the difference), it makes it easier for him to remember what happens to him when he does digest it and he is also more tolerant of those who truly have allergies or other disabilities.

Melissa - posted on 02/05/2009

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wow. this sounds like my family. My son is sensitive to alot of foods too but the three biggest are wheat, dairy, and corn. I have found a good bread that he likes. by the way he is 8 and I found all this out when he was 7. The name of the bread is wheat-free,dairy-free bread mix by pamela's products. Some bigger grocery stores sell it. It is in an orange colored bag.I buy it in quanities online from amazon.com. You get 6 bags for around 20-25 dollars. I forgot the exact price. I freeze slices and get out slices everyday to pack in his lunch for school. I have found that if you make it in a breadmaker it turns out so much better. You can substitute using eggs with egg replacer. I have heard that the best kind of bread that turns out the most like sandwich bread is made with sorgum flour and this mix has that in it. I hope that I was a help to you. I would recommend finding it at a grocery store to buy one bag and try it out first before buying the box of six. Good-luck. oh by the way, there are 2 other supplements that my son is on that I can recommend to you if you would like. That helps alot.

Melissa - posted on 02/05/2009

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Quoting Jill:

Hello all. I have a son that is 7 and we are going through so much with this ADHD stuff that the poor boy is just questioning everything. We have recently experimented with the food sensitivity stuff and Lucas is sensitive to dairy, corn, msg, & wheat. So far I have been able to eliminate dairy & wheat. I am still looking for a very good gluten free bread. I will also be working on eliminating the corn. Corn is in everything, it is so hard to eliminate, but it takes villages to raise children so we will get there. His behavior has gotten so much better and worse at some times. I know it will continue to get better. Do I think the food diet is a cure all, NO. He will still take his meds, I also have put him on fish oil, he goes to OT for small motor function help, speech for reading help, and is active in Cub Scouts. He will also continue to see his chiropractor, who has helped us with the food sensitivity.


 

Jill - posted on 12/19/2008

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Bonnie,



I totally understand the self confidence thing. My son has very low self esteem and is trying to figure out what exactly it is that he has. I just keep telling him people have different things; ie auntie Jamie is a stage IIIC breast cancer survivor, I have RA, and you have ADD. He is trying to compare himself to our little friend with downs, and I am like no, that is something she has. I have him in OT, speech and language, and he is going to do a soccer clinic. It is all working out and I hope soccer does too. He needs some more boosts in his esteem. Any other suggestions would be very helpful.



Jill

Angel - posted on 12/18/2008

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oy bonnie, do i know what you mean about being worn out.

i find myself focusing so hard on keeping my knucklehead on track that i hardly have time for anything else till he's asleep!

there are good days and bad days, which is why my email tag line is "come play on my rollercoaster"- but i am determined to get him through as much as i possibly can before he has to do it all himself.

[deleted account]

Angel,



You are exactly right. I had addressed only the food connection, but it was not a treatment by itself. My son was on meds in the beginning and it was about a year and a half before we attempted to wean him off. We also had to rethink our approach to parenting and introduce behavior modification as well as get him active and involved in things such as boy scouts and sports. That activity is crucial for him. It expends some of that excess energy so it is easier for him at times when he has to sit still and concentrate. Plus, he's invested in those things so they are incentives and goals for him. Getting him on a routine is crucial and with proper sleep. We also see a family therapist. He had us set everything up as goals. One thing that ADHD did to my son was destroy his self esteem - he would say something was wrong with him and he's bad. Meeting small goals on a daily basis over time has really helped him feel like he can accomplish things and gain pride in himself. So I would most definitely agree that there is no one treatment for ADHD children - it will probably be a combination of treatment.



And this combination treatment consumes a great deal of time and thought. Even with these efforts, my son will probably have me worn out by the end of this holiday.

Jill - posted on 12/18/2008

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Hello all. I have a son that is 7 and we are going through so much with this ADHD stuff that the poor boy is just questioning everything. We have recently experimented with the food sensitivity stuff and Lucas is sensitive to dairy, corn, msg, & wheat. So far I have been able to eliminate dairy & wheat. I am still looking for a very good gluten free bread. I will also be working on eliminating the corn. Corn is in everything, it is so hard to eliminate, but it takes villages to raise children so we will get there. His behavior has gotten so much better and worse at some times. I know it will continue to get better. Do I think the food diet is a cure all, NO. He will still take his meds, I also have put him on fish oil, he goes to OT for small motor function help, speech for reading help, and is active in Cub Scouts. He will also continue to see his chiropractor, who has helped us with the food sensitivity.

Deborah - posted on 12/17/2008

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Since the post prior to mine was removed, I decided to remove my response.



Thanks to both of the last 2 posters. As I said in a much earlier post, we are just starting the process with my 5 (almost 6-year-old) daughter. She has her first appointment with the university child health specialist in January. Since we removed all or most processed foods from her diet she now sleeps better and her teacher has even commented on how much better she is in class.



I have not had a problem getting my daughter to understand and accept that certain foods need to be eliminated from her diet since she has always had a known egg white allergy. For as long as she can remember, she has had to avoid anything with egg. Now for her, she's simplying avoiding other things too. Others in our extended family have a varity of food allergies so she sees people who avoid certain foods all the time, which I think helps her understand too.



I had not thought about corn and soy as problem foods. Thanks for the heads-up on that one. My daughter drinks soy milk all the time.

Angel - posted on 12/16/2008

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having a child diagnosed with ADHD is a lifestyle change- never mind the treatments and therapies!!

feingold can work, but not exclusively (in my humble opinion).

we tried doing the exclusionary diet "thing" with no meds and a regular school for more than two years and it made absolutely no difference for damien. it frustrated us both because he couldn't think for himself to watch his diet when he was little (and often didn't eat at all) and i couldn't be with him all day every day. and some of the logic made no sense to me either- for example: excluding stimulants like caffeine when the stimulant medications essentially do the same thing.

my approach is now holistic - as in dietary changes, meds, supplements, psychotherapy (if necessary), a private school catering for ADHDers (if possible) and behaviour management.

the conclusion i have come to over the last 3 years of research and reading and such (my son was diagnosed almost 12 years ago) is that a combination of factors can aggravate an ADHDer's perfomance or mood, and a combination of "treatments" (for lack of a better word) is needed to help them cope.

and of course, every child reacts differently to various therapies and what works for one doesn't work for another. and each child changes with time as well- so what worked last week for my son may not work this week any more!

holistic treatments, support from family and other ADHDer parents, patience and consistency (a doctor who knows what he's doing helps tremendously).

and don't wait too long to change therapies if something isn't working.

[deleted account]

Hmmmm, Hey Deborah, it seems Teri Ives removed her postings. I didn't get to see them, but I did get two notifications of hers around your post.



Just to be clear to other Moms out there, I am not pushing this diet or any other diet. This diet helped guide us to find what worked for us. As it turned out, my son had food allergies that had gone undetected (except the rashes and exczema and behavior). It took awhile to find out what I thought caused his allergies which we then were able to prove through blood tests. We now follow a natural foods diet (minus corn, soy and peas), which may or may not be the Feingold diet. I also must point out that we worked with a locally renoun allergist who had no interest in the diet until he saw it help me isolate possible allergens. He and I were both surprised when those tests came back very positive for those foods.



Is it a 'cure'? No. I'm still perusing a mother's ADHD board. But life now is SO much better than before. I explain it to my son like this: Mommy has a hard time seeing so she wears glasses. Then she can run around and function well. I can function without them, but poorly. This diet helps his mind's eye to see and helps him to function better. Eating foods he's allergic to makes him stumble and not see so clearly. He has seen me try to function without my glasses so he gets this.

[deleted account]

I hope it is helpful to some children out there. I can't tell how much it has helped us. It probably is not as big a lifestyle change as you might think. It is a diet change. But that has helped us in having a healthy diet. Actually, all I cared about was finding my son some help. I had a mother's intuition that he was being effected by his environment (food allergies it turned out) and I stuck with it. But things had gotten so crazy with his behavior and doctors wanting to try more and/or different (potent) drugs that I was worn out and had no clue how to find out. I'm very thankful this site gave me a guide to proving that food connection for my son.

Deborah - posted on 11/22/2008

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Thanks so much. I'm going to check out the site now. My daughter was diagnosed with severe egg white allergy and mild dairy allergy when she was very young. Now at almost 6 yrs old, she's being evaluated for ADHD. I've been wondering whether there is a link betweeen her allergies and ADHD.

Jen - posted on 11/21/2008

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I have researched this method, and it makes sense. It is a complete lifestyle change, but definitely worth the effort.

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