I am a mum of 3 boys and all of them have food intolerances….even my little 9 month old baby. My oldest is lactose, gluten and soy intolerant, the middle boy is intolerant to just about everything except nuts and the little bloke, so far, is intolerant to dairy.
Kiddywink 1 is 9 now but at age 6 was diagnosed with depression. It was suggested to me to put him on anti depressants which of course I refused to do, instead I employed the services of a child psychologist as I believed his problems were the direct result of his father and I being divorced (and not a nice divorce mind you).
Kiddywink 2, 7 years of age, was diagnosed at 5 with ADHD. It all began with a diagnosis at 3 of ODD, Obsessive Defiance Disorder. This kid was something else! He had the face of an angel but the temperament of….let’s just say, a very spirited child. I discovered early on that artificial colours and flavours set him off, like someone had put a firecracker up his bum. It was intolerable. The journey with him has been somewhat interesting (well to me at least) and over the years I have discovered more and more things that triggered his impossible behaviour and hyperactivity.
Kiddywink 3, my little bubba had some trouble with reflux and GORD which lead to a lot of sleepless nights, sleep deprivation, frustration, heartache….the list goes on. I was getting up to him an average of 8 times a night and after having a complete meltdown, decided I needed to do something about it. So off to the doctor we went. He was put on Losec to see if that made a difference. What a difference it made!! Instantly, the 8 times a night became just 2 and after a visit to “sleep school”, life has been much better, except for his vomiting and, since starting on solids, his very runny, incredibly frequent poo. Off to the docs again and out with the dairy….problem solved.
So this brings me to my journey of discovery. In my frustration with Kiddywink 2, I discovered the food intolerance network, http://fedup.com.au/, established by Sue Dengate, and her book “Fed Up With ADHD”. Wow, what a read! It was like I was reading about my own life, to a degree of course. So much of her story rang true to me and the issues she faced with her daughter who also has ADHD. I also found it very interesting to read that she has, through years of research, discovered that childhood depression and anxiety is often food related to food intolerance too. I decided immediately that we needed to try this “Failsafe” diet she spoke of, so I contacted a dietician and got the ball rolling (not an easy task at nearly 8 months pregnant but certainly worth the effort).
So this is my journey through the world of behavioural issues and food intolerance, the RPAH (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital) elimination diet, food challenges and of course the recipes I have developed and discovered along the way.
The RPAH elimination diet takes you right back to basics with a huge long list of foods you can’t eat and of course a guideline of what you can. There are no additives (colours, flavours or preservatives) in anything and all food groups are broken down into salicylates, amines and glutamates. All foods contain some level of chemicals but those levels vary greatly and each have a different effect on our bodies and minds. The idea is to eliminate as many of these chemicals as possible from the diet to cleans the system, then once “baseline” (the term used for when you reach the point of “normality” which in our case was good behaviour, no depression, no anger, no defiance, etc) has been reached, you start re-introducing foods, one chemical group at a time. If there is a reaction then of course you eliminate that group straight away and go back through the cleansing process again before moving onto the next group. Ok, yes, it’s a little involved so I won’t bore you with all the nitty gritty but if you’re interested and would like a little more information then have a look here http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/