The Feingold Diet (that saved us)
Three years ago our family started down a road we didn't want to go down. Our eldest son started to exhibit some behaviors that were devastating to see. Our 3 year old son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder.. and while that can mean a lot of things, for us it meant his behavior was wild, uncontrollable and aggressive.
No way could we leave him with his baby brother for even one second. The fits were out of control, his moods were up and down and I honestly thought he was autistic or heading that way. It was a very scary time.
Before we were married and still living in England, my husband and I used to watch Super Nanny on occasion and joke that we hoped we would never 'have one of those kids'. Well we got one. Right before he was due, he was up to no good (kidding). Two weeks before his due date I felt strange. I just knew something wasn't right. We went to the hospital and within an hour he was out! His heartbeat was not detectable and my blood pressure was dropping. After a very stressful and unsuccessful spinal block (the doctor missed my spine and I went into shock), I got to snuggle a furry red haired and beautiful tiny boy. I want to say he was an easy baby but by three months old when his friends, all born at the same time (our Prenatal group), were quiet and snuggy, lennon wanted to bounce around on our laps, trying to shake his legs and be nosy. I didnt get a hug until he was 18 months. Devastating but we knew something was affecting him. FOOD. When we gave up Formula, he made giant leaps, he was talking full sentences, sleeping 12 hours a night. He was on track, but behaviors were never typical.
When L's behavior was at an all time low. I discovered The Feingold Diet. Here is a link if you would like to take a look. This is one of the many support groups on Facebook that was an absolute lifesaver. You can post your questions, get amazing advice, learn about all kinds of triggers etc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/19355996898/
I battled with the idea that an apple could trigger emotional outbursts, anxiety, aggression. An apple? Or a piece of organic bread could lead to a hour long tantrum? What ??? We thought he had an issue with sugar, but healthy food? No way. I think the Feingold members thought I was a nut. It took me six months to really join in with the online group and start testing foods to see if there was an issue.
Feingold has a program called 'Baseline'. Baseline is where you strip back your foods to a basic diet, eliminating possible triggers then eventually adding new foods back in. A reaction shows, and BINGO, you have found your culprit. For L. the culprits were Salicylates. What the heck is a salicylate you say? Exactly. But oh boy these naturally occuring 'Sals' are very very dangerous if your child is sensitive. Here is a link for more info on these beasts: http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/salicylates. Another culprit and one that affects a ton of kids with ADHD-like issues is gluten. I hate you gluten!. Some people do ok with it, but we dont. We avoid it like the plague. One bite of gluten can send L into a dark place. Plus.. what is in it that is any good? Nothing. Especially non organic gluten which is usually sprayed with pesticides at the start of its production. Really? Yes really. Read here : http://drkateklemer.com/2011/11/organic-wheat-is-wheat-with-lipstick-and-still-poison/
So we took lennon off dairy, gluten, DYES (OMG dont get me started), and salicylates. WHAT A DIFFERENCE IN THE BOY. Almost immediately, he changed. The week prior, he had torn his nails all the way off his hands with anxiety. We were desperate. We got some relief and it was amazing.
Lennon is now 6.5. He is a sweet, wonderful, typical boy. Yes he still has a few fits, still has moody days and some aggressive outbursts, but hes not the boy he used to be. He is my hero. But one slip up from eating the wrong thing, we are back to square one. One bite of a raisin or an apple and we are back to the behavior he exhibited at 3.
Feingold has an amazing support group. I continue to learn something new every time I log on. Please check it out for yourself.
If you have any questions on thier program, please ask away!
Your kids are counting on you!