The following is an email I received from a friend, that gives a first hand account of how artificial food dyes and other artificial ingredients can impact the behavior of a child. Her success in eliminating artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from her son’s diet speaks for itself!
Jonathan’s* behavior was awful. I used to dread when he would have to come home from school because his mood swings were really bad. He had so many tics and it was getting out of control. He seemed to have all the signs of Tourette’s. I really wanted to take him to a psychologist because of who he had turned into. I have been always careful about what I give the kids (food wise) but for a while due to budget constraints, I wasn’t able to live that lifestyle that I had become accustomed to. I was doing research and I just had a feeling that maybe getting him back on natural food would make a little bit of a difference.
Right after school let out, I put Jonathan on an all natural diet. I am so happy to tell you that when the dyes got out of his system, he became 100% tic free. I will remind you that he had motor and vocal tics all throughout the day. It WAS getting pretty severe. I repeat, he is 100% tic free.. As soon as he cheats, I can tell. He will get a tic in his throat. One night he had a fever and without thinking, I gave him Motrin. He started to tic. Then his fever got really high in the middle of the night and I had to give him Tylenol. He started hallucinating (that is what it seemed like). As soon as the dyes got out of his body, he was back to normal. He slept at my parents one night in the beginning of the summer and he was so restless. I asked my parents what he ate. He had pizza. I was surprised that pizza would make him that way. I asked what he drank and voila! He had pink lemonade.
Jonathan’s body is super sensitive to dyes and anything artificial. He knows that he has to stay away from this but when it is around him (at friends’ houses), he doesn’t always make the right choice. If he is unsure if he should eat something, he always asks me. If he spends the night at a friend’s house, I just pack a bunch of food for him and explain to the parents that he is sensitive to dyes/artificial food. I spend more than we can really afford on some things (like candy) but I don’t want him to ever feel left out. As time goes on, this will just be the way of life for him. I realize that when he was really bad at school with his tics, it was because everyday he was taking in dyes. I gave him jelly (dye) and roaring waters etc… I am relieved to have figured out Jonathan. I would also like to add that his mood swings are completely gone besides what would be typical for a 10 year old. I know this wouldn’t work for everyone but I am happy to share what has worked for us.
I believe we had this under control since June. His tics started in January. I really want to share my story. We can’t believe that we have our Jonathan back. It truly is amazing. Please share this on Babyminding.
I suggested that she check out The Feingold Association, which is a great resource for eliminating artificial ingredients from your child’s diet.
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*name changed to protect privacy