Are You A Mum Of Children With Intolerances?
I am one of those mums! My kids were the babies that woke every few hours as newborns and constantly spilled everywhere! I remember the Plunket nurses saying it was ok and they would grow out of it and to be fair, a lot do. But mine didn't and so I did what mums these days do! I took to Google LOL.
Blogs were a godsend! I found so many other mums who were going through the exact same thing, only they did not call it reflux but 'intolerances'!
That was my introduction to the elimination diet and the start of a year long process of figuring out what was causing the hives, mouth ulcers, eczema, wakefulness, sore tummies and often very questionable behaviour!
For our family, the culprits were amines and salicylates. They can tolerate some but as soon as they tip over their threshold things go rapidly downhill! And the problem with food intolerances, and amines in particular is that the effects of eating too many, appear two to three days later, so it is often hard to make the connection between the food and the reaction!
Children with food intolerances have a wide range of symptoms; and not every child's reaction is the same. My youngest had the Jekyll and Hyde behaviour. An angel one moment and then completely defiant the next with spectacular tantrums! But the giveaway was that the behaviour was always accompanied by ulcers on her tongue. My middle child was the complete opposite, he would get tearful and be covered in hives, and both were terrible sleepers. And my oldest had sore stomachs and eczema. Who would have thought it was all caused by the same thing!
Unfortunately intolerances are not usually something children grow out of. Although, as their bodies get bigger, they do tend to tolerate more before a reaction occurs. This is because the reason you have a problem with certain food chemicals (like amines, salicylates, gluten, lactose etc) is that your bodies ability to make the enzyme that breaks the food chemical down is less optimal than other people for a variety of reasons. Therefore the best way of avoiding the symptoms is to minimise the amount you eat of the offending food!
Another noticeable effect of food intolerances with my children was the brain fog. One day they could read to me perfectly and the next they would be struggling to recognise the same words. It was as if the connections in their brain had disappeared overnight. So they were always in the lowest reading and writing groups. Watching their pride as they caught up and passed so many of their peers at school made the elimination food journey worthwhile. As believe me, it is not easy and it really is two steps forward one back for the first few years. But as you educate your children on what they can eat and they start to feel better, we found that they started to police their own food intake and would avoid the worst culprits themselves.
So often as a mum we have a gut instinct that something is not quite right but we can not put our finger on it. If your children seem like they are underachieving through no lack of trying, or their behaviour goes up and down and is often accompanied with other physical symptoms it may be worth looking into food intolerances and trying the elimination diet. For our family it was a life changer and we have never looked back.
There are great resources on the web now about food intolerances and slowly people are getting more supportive and aware of how important what we eat is to some people.
Some good sites to start with: