Hello from Holly. I am curious. My child has apparently got problems with connective tissue-joints, gut etc (EDS III/hypermobility). However, we also discovered, working with a dietician and I guess my gut instinct, that dairy, wheat and things like apples do not agree with her. She has no known IgE allergies, but clearly reacts to some things in a hay fever type way, or gets gut reactions (and I think behaviour change, which is really understandable!!). Only recently started reading your books, and tapping into your blog.. really interesting stuff.. (and just what we needed!!)
Joan: The researchers who assessed behaviour and mood change also noted that food sensitive children often also got tummy aches and other physical symptoms, and I found that in my patients too. You will like all of the info in my thesis which shows the many different behaviours that diet does change. You are one of the people who would like to dip into the articles in the Evidence Base in the Articles section of my website too. I will put you in touch with another mother with hypermobility in her family.
One paediatrician had mentioned histamine intolerance, but also said something about foods chemicals – but that it wasn’t really his area and to work with a dietician. Unfortunately I just didn’t find one specialising in this area. HOWEVER, she had suggested I do a low FODMAP diet myself.
Joan: The low FODMAP works via decreasing the gut flora which produce gas, therefore bloating and wind. The FODMAPS diet also reduces the load of salicylates by significantly lowering fruit, and since you home-cook more your food is often also lower in additives, MSG and amines, so you get the benefits of the low chemical diet at the same time.
So.. fascinating reading your info, which I think will help enormously..
But I am also curious to find out if you see hypermobility/gut issues in your practice?
Joan: Many, many food sensitive people have gut problems. Hypermobility is quite rare, but important where it occurs.
My hope I guess is that if nutrients have not gone through because of perhaps inflammation, eg Vitamin C for collagen etc? then perhaps things don’t have to be so bad, if get nutrition right?
Joan: Food sensitivity is not affected by nutritional status, except that those with very low weight become more sensitive. I see similar degrees of food sensitivity in well nourished and poorly nourished children. And supplements do not improve tolerance of foods. [I did read an article that said that the evidence for omega 3 fish oils in arthritis is good enough, but no evidence it affects food sensitivity symptoms.]
My mother used to swear that certain foods irritated her joints.
Joan: Do try and remember which ones as they are probably important for you and your daughter. I have certainly met women who reported that certain foods upset their joints, but not often. The one thing that does come up often is limb pains. These happen often in food sensitive children, unrelated to growth spurts, especially in the ADHD group, and they were remarkably reduced where diet had a positive effect. I well remember one lady who said of those who did not believe in the seriousness of her condition ” I am thirty, they can’t be growing pains now!!”
I worked in the health area prior to having children.. a brief stint was in rheumatology-where a physio swore that some of her patients should avoid certain foods or they exacerbated their condition..
Joan: It can be in some but not others. One important point that I hope is coming through in my Articles and my books is that “Food sensitivity is in the person, not in the diagnosis”. And it is in the family, which is why the Family Sensitivity is so important.
I know for myself that the low FODMAP made a huge difference to me-energy, focus wise . Also if a food shoots through, causing gut spasm, that initial feeling could be interpreted as anxiety, but cognitively I know I am not anxious. (if this makes sense). I realise also when at its worse (gut, and incidentally thyroid nodules) food going through too fast probably affected blood sugar.
Joan:I assume that if you get gut “spasm” it is after eating a high FODMAPS foods which has caused bloating and then spasm from the stretching. You have raised many issues here, so you will really love reading Tolerating with its discussion on ‘What to expect when you are reacting’, about all the symptoms in your family, and factors affecting reactions, plus the info on over 300 foods so you know what is likely to be more risky. There are some important foods that are low in FODMAPS but high in suspect food chemicals, both salicylates and amines which can cause gut cramping pain often with gut urgency, as distinct from bloating and spasm. They are the ones that often causing mood changes. I have met others who say that if they eat tomatoes or another high risk food they wake with anxiety, some even to the extent of a panic attack. So they are like your comment on “anxiety'”. Likewise in children there are those who have behavioural reactions with gut symptoms and others who just do not. “The particular set of symptoms” can also be said to be “in the person not in the diagnosis”. Each food sensitive person has their own cluster of symptoms and they decrease on the diet. The changes in ADHD described in my thesis apply mostly to boys, girls have different changes. I like the word “touchy'” re irritability in children. When I first worked in the area I thought reactions may relate to blood sugar but they do not correlate. Instead a reactive food appears to product a ‘happy high’ phase and later a drop in self confidence and energy that many describe as ‘lethargy.’ I think we are looking at a pharmacological change rather than a nutritional one. Having said that I would stress that most food sensitive people are normal weight or lean and do need to ensure they have all main meals and two snacks over the day. Do read all the articles on Irritable Bowel Syndrome and how FODMAPS and food chemical sensitivity overlap. http://foodintolerancepro.com/category/irritable-bowel-syndrome/ Anyway, just curious.
Joan: Keep being curious! This is a new area and we are finding much, as you can see from my books, but there is much we do not yet know.
Thankyou so much for the work you are doing. It is refreshing that there are highly experienced folk out there with potentially answers (and questions!)
Thank you for your kind words! Keep reading and understanding more! I have written much so curious people like you can better help their families. Warm regards Joan