“This is Jason. Just thought I’d let you know that the diet has been a big game changer. I have started to have way more control over my impulses and I don’t feel the need to eat any excess food, it has been a real life saver. I find it is a lot easier to identify and stop my cravings and I am able to distinguish them from normal hunger much easier. Thank you for your help. It has really worked.”
A very dedicated mother recontacted me about her son in his late teens. His restlessness, excitability, impulsivity, and tantrums had improved with diet as a 5 year old. His bedwetting had also resolved. Salicylates were the biggest contributor to his problems [mint was particularly bad].
As he grew his tolerance improved so diet was able to be relaxed somewhat.
But in his late teens he did not notice any direct diet effect, but he really just wanted to eat sugary foods and found this craving hard to control. He also had eczema to deal with in his teens. At home his mother was providing healthy foods with minimal processed foods.
They got my new book Tolerating Troublesome Foods as a revision and update and returned to a ‘good results’ level of the Family Elimination Diet. His mum reported very obvious changes in Jason’s behaviour, attitude and cravings for food. He no longer craves food unnaturally and his mum can have allowed sweet foods in the house which do not disappear!
It was interesting that the other changes were not the same as the ’small boy behaviour’ that changed years earlier. They were having a less demanding attitude, not being ‘as loud’, more aware of himself , improved concentration and not as itchy.
Overall the baseline diet has been a great success and the family are managing well. The food Jason seems to miss the most is sauce to have with his meal, so they decided to make gravy in the pan with meats, and the low salicylate chutney in the book.
Jason is happy for me to tell his story so other teenagers can benefit from going back to using diet to help with whatever symptoms are bothering them at that stage in their lives.
Joan Breakey – Dietitian specialising in food sensitivity
Hi I’m trying to find where your private practice is?
Dear Beck, We found a dietitian to suit you in Sydney. Since I am semi-retired I only work one day a fortnight in Ipswich Queensland. I am happy to help people find dietitians experienced in diet investigation. I will continue providing comments on this blog and articles on FoodIntolerancePro.com. Joan
Dear Lucia The work done by Egger and team was very important. And you are right that whole foods may cause reactions even if there are no positive allergy tests. In Egger’s group no child was sensitive to additives only. We are not sure just what type of allergy reactions they are but Egger’s good work has been built on by several other researchers. You can see the very interesting story of all the early research up to the turn of the Century in Chapter 1 of Are You Food Sensitive?
Egger did say that allergy and idiosyncrasy may coexist. The allergy side of the reactions is in addition to and complicated by the reactions to suspect food chemicals: additive colours, flavours and some preservatives, and the natural chemicals, which can be summarized as those high in flavour. We can remember Egger also reported reactions to perfumes.
Your reminder that whole foods can be implicated brings up thinking of just where we should start diet investigation. Egger’s suggested diet [and here we recognize the good work of his colleague, dietitian Christine Carter who I enjoyed meeting] is the “few foods” diet which greatly limit intake of most common allergen whole foods.
After working with food sensitive families for over 30 years now I have found that beginning with the low chemical diet is wise. Then the addition of whole foods suspect in the family can be made, and investigated over time [especially with the guidelines for maximum tolerance provided in my new book Tolerating Troublesome Foods]. Many do react particularly to dairy, and wheat.
With most suspects excluded any foods mistakenly included are likely to be noticed by the family if they are using a “diet detective” approach. As a dietitian I am keen on this approach as it minimizes the likelihood of families getting into a muddle whereby they cut out many foods and are afraid of putting them back in, and are criticized by the medical profession for possibly undernourishing the child. Thank you for reminding us of how complex this whole topic is. Fortunately Jason is doing well attending to the food chemicals his family excluded and tested when he was young.
Lucia J. Nolan says
Many physicians have described diet revision treatment for children’s’ behavioral and learning problems. Egger remarked: “A role for food allergy in the hyperkinetic syndrome has been postulated since early this century.” ADHD can be seen as a symptom of a food-driven hypersensitivity disease. Many children with ADHD will have symptoms and signs of delayed pattern food allergy. We are not talking about common allergy, diagnosed by skin tests. We are talking about delayed patterns of food allergy that cannot be detected by tests. The “normal” foods that cause delayed food allergy effects are milk, wheat, eggs, soya, beef, pork, chicken, and corn.