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ODD, Allergies, Sensitivities and ALCAT

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I've posted in various forums about my DD's behavior. We've been going to a naturopath and he's had her on a homeopathic remedy, but it doesn't seem to work, at least not consistently.

She has severe tantrums, has HUGE anger issues, can be very rude and quite overbearing with other children, and can be pretty cold and calculating, esp. for a 4 yo. She is definitely explosive, I have the book "The Explosive Child" along with "Living with the Active Alert Child" and others. Her behavior basically plummeted about 4 months ago.

She wears us OUT. She's a very in-your-face child, very touchy, but very sensitive to others' emotions and actions. She has huge sensitivity issues - right now she pretty much refuses to wear anything but dresses and will only wear socks if she can pull them over her knee. She has to have the stool "just so" lined up perfectly, before she will get on it to brush her teeth. I could go on and on, ad nauseum.

The naturopath is not an MD so he can't run any tests. I am considering an actual MD who is also an official Homeopathic Dr. as well.

I really do NOT want to go the psych route. I have a degree in psych and am pretty aware of what that path will lead to. (No offense to those who are going this path). But I am a big believer in cause-and-effect, and I believe in my gut that there is something causing this, on a cellular level, and I am suspecting food of some sort. Or some other sort of sensitivity that is affecting her. She has had a runny nose for three MONTHS now and I can't get rid of it no matter what I do. The pedi says it's "normal" to have a constant runny nose for 3 months. But I can't help but feel like this could be some sort of allergy showing.

The naturopath was really thinking (hoping ?) that it was some sort of intestinal parasite/worm that was releasing neurotoxins so we had her tested for that. She pretty much came clean out of that test with no real "smoking gun".

He's sticking with the homeopathic remedy and says to "give it time" but she's been on it for about 2.5 months now and I really don't see any consistent improvement.

Is there any other kind of dr. that I can consult for a more natural approach? Or should I do an ALCAT myself? Is that the best test there is? Our other Homeopathic Dr. did the Genova Diagnostics test on my husband. Is that comparable? If so, which of the ALCAT tests should I order? There are so many it's confusing.

If you've read this far, thanks .
post #2 of 31
ALCAT tests for an inflammatory response to the food in the blood. I did it for two of my kids (DS for 150 foods, DD2 for 200 foods). Each child had one false negative, that I'd previously identified. For my DS, soy is a huge behavioral problem (10 day reaction as well). But other things caused behavior/emotional issues as well, and some of these I didn't realize. He was a needy/clingy child, wanted to be tucked in over and over at night, cried at the drop of a hat, took him a couple of hours to fall asleep. When we removed the foods that the ALCAT test recommended he became an independent child who got one tuck in at night, then would fall asleep within 10 minutes. I tried him on eggs again (one of the things it said was mild) just to make sure, and he sobbed for 2 hours the next day over a little thing. To me, it was just bizarre. The stomachaches, vomiting, bedwetting were easy foods to identify for us, but the emotional things were not as easy.

My DS also had a Genova stool test but that was to identify other digestive issues. Not sure what other Genova tests there are. I think Neuroscience does food intolerance testing as well. Some do IgG testing for intolerances, which isn't the same as what ALCAT does.

You could take out the top 4 intolerances (dairy, gluten, soy, and corn) and see what happens. I know one child who had explosive tantrums and hers ended up being sugar/carbs, when on a high protein diet, she does much better.

You could also try a food journal and see if you notice any highs/lows in relation to foods. If it's an all-the-time thing it's going to be a common food in her diet though.
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the understanding response -- it's hard to get even the pedi to understand that I definitely see a connection between foods and behavior.

I actually did the no soy/dairy/wheat/peanuts thing for a week or so and didn't notice a difference. But a friend of mine said that these things can take weeks or even months to totally leave the system. So how could you know if that was the problem? That's why I want to do some kind of testing so I don't feel like I'm on a wild good chase.

I think I will start with a food journal and see from there. I am thinking it's best for me to educate myself and try to take control. Even with the natural healthcare providers, I don't feel that anyone will give the time and attention to her specific details that she may need like her mama will. I am also starting to think I may need to do some kind of multiple approach -- combine some homeopathy, some supplements, some food restrictions, to find her exact cocktail.

Also, I bookmarked your blog to check it out in detail Thanks for that link.
post #4 of 31
For my DS, it takes 10 days for soy to leave his system (explosive tantrums). They say dairy sometimes takes 2-4 weeks and gluten takes 2-4 months. So a week may not do it, and you have to get the restrictions right to see a difference. I read somewhere the analogy that you have a bunch of rocks in your shoe, and if you take out one (dairy, for example) you're still going to be uncomfortable with the other rocks in your shoe.
post #5 of 31
MAGNESIUM. Low magnesium can cause outrageous problems, including all the behavioral stuff you mentioned (aggression, high maintenance, lack of flexibility, etc), and sensory issues. There is plenty of research showing significant mag deficiency in people with ODD/ADHD/OCD/ASD/depression/etc.

It sounds to me like your daughter may have reached a tipping point 4 months ago - anything change then? (Like she got sick, or something like that?)

There may be food reactions going on as well, but the first thing I would do is supplement her with a LOT of magnesium, and see what happens. You'd likely see positive changes within a few days if this is the issue. Get a well absorbed form of magnesium (I like glycinate best, but anything but mag oxide is fine). Ideally, split into small capsules and have her swallow them (most mag tastes pretty bad). I dip them into maple syrup for my son. You want to give 3-4 doses a day, and I'd start with 300-400mg /day (unless that much gives her diarrhea, in which case back off a little - but I give 250mg a day to my 3yo). Epsom salts baths can also sometimes help, but for us, oral magnesium was key.

There may be other nutrient deficiencies as well, especially with the constant runny nose - but I'd try the mag first, and then let us know where you're at.
post #6 of 31
You're right Mamafish, I always forget about Mg as it relates to that sort of thing, because for me it's only an anxiety thing. But low mg shows in different ways in different people. Has she been vaccinated? DS's last vaccine made him suddenly have low Mg symptoms so they can do it, in case something like that was around that time.
post #7 of 31
LOL Kathy - yup, we make a great tag team, I always overlook the people could be reacting to actual foods .
post #8 of 31
For almost a year now we have had dd off of dairy and her behavior changed for the better. Now we are having blood tests and allergy test done by our DR ( he's a chiroprator/naturalist). Dd's behavior has gotten worse once again and am wondering what else she could be allergic to. I have read the book "Is This Your Child?", by Doris Rapp and pretty much figured out the allergy on my own. DD is 5 and she gets very verbally and physically violent when she consumes dairy. Glad to have found this thread and know we are not alone.
post #9 of 31
Sometimes that happens with dairy when the issue is actually calcium, not milk. My son doesn't handle calcium well in his body, so too much (without the nutrients required to store calcium properly away in bones - D, mag, K2), and he gets aggressive (which is very different than his normal personality). Also, for some kids, the calcium outcompetes magnesium for absorption, so they end up mag deficient if they don't get a lot of mag in their diet (unusual) or get supplemental mag.
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks -- I haven't had a chance to come on here in a few days...

DD has been partially vaccinated, but hasn't had anything since she was 18 mo I think.

I am very interested in the magnesium/calcium connection. DD loves sunbutter, made with sunflower seeds, and I noticed from the bottle that one serving has like 25% of the adult RDA for mag. And I make a sandwich with it so she's getting even more. And I seem to notice somewhat of an improvement on days that she has that.....but I think there is still an underlying problem that perhaps the increased magnesium is temporarily helping ....

Also I've never heard what u said about calcium. I have supplemented with calcium since she was 2 yo since she is not on dairy. They really scare you with the lack of calcium from not drinking dairy .

I do think *something* happened/triggered/tipped over back in November for her. I so want to help her "fix it" so as to give her some relief from these behavior issues.

Right now she's on the Animal Parade D3, C (2 per day), probiotic, Greenz, multi and calcium. Also Dr. Sears' Go Fish. I give her 4 of those per day, but a friend of mine said that fish oil helps relieve some OCD issues so I'm thinking of upping that.
post #11 of 31
They do scare you about calcium - and not nearly enough about magnesium, IMO. For starters, if you are low mag, you can't handle calcium properly - and then calcium CREATES aggressive behaviors. (magnesium and calcium are really important for lots of brain processes - so they can directly impact behavior when they're out of balance or deficient).

I'd seriously consider an experiment. For a week, take her off all calcium supps, and put her on 300-400mg of mag a day (split into 3-4 doses). See what happens. If you are seeing an impact with sunbutter, that's very suggestive to me.

It doesn't work for everyone, but I know some people whose kids have literally transformed in a few days with this amount of magnesium supps. And it's a lot easier than most other approaches (food trials, etc).

If it works, once you've done the mag only for a couple of weeks, you can start adding calcium back in and watching the effects. But stopping the calcium for a week or two while you test mag supps will give you the best sense of how they'd work for your daughter.
post #12 of 31
You are getting some good advice re: calcium/mag.

I would also look into the Feingold and FAILSAFE diets:
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Okay I did not give her the calcium supplement today. Which brand magnesium supplement is recommended for children? It should really be chewable for me to be able to get it down her consistently.

The calcium supp I had her on has magnesium in it. In fact, most of the mag supps I googled also have calcium....

Re: feingold, she basically gets no food additives as it is -- I basically monitor every molecule that passes her lips.
post #14 of 31
You need a mag only supp. Some people like liquid natural calm, I just put mag glycinate into smaller capsules. The only mag chewable I know of is by kirkman labs, and it tastes pretty yuck. Mag's not a good tasting supp, so especially at the levels I'm recommending you use, I'd try getting her to swallow capsules (you can buy smaller empty capsules, e.g. size #3, open the big mag capsules, and repackage them). My DS will swallow #3 caps just dipped in maple syrup, or you can put them in a spoonful of yogurt/applesauce/etc, if swallowing them with water doesn't work.
post #15 of 31
Originally Posted by baby-makes-3 View Post
Re: feingold, she basically gets no food additives as it is -- I basically monitor every molecule that passes her lips.
There are some tricky things to know with this too... most lowfat milk is supplemented with the chemical form of vitamin A: retinyl palmitate. What they do not tell you is that it is also preserved with BHT which is not on the label. Feingold recs switching to whole milk (cholesterol is needed for their growing brains anyways).

Also, sadly, and my kid is included, many kids also react to the salicylates in fresh natural foods such as tomato sauce, honey, berries, cucumber, etc. We are doing Epsom salt baths which also contain large amounts of magnesium that is absorbed through the skin, and sulfates, which help process salicylates.
post #16 of 31
Funny, I just came back here this morning to mention salicylates. In particular, many fruits are high in sals - and fruit flavors used in vitamins are particularly condensed, so extremely high sals. This is a huge problem with chewable vitamins (here's the ones you said your DD is taking):

Animal Parade D3 - black cherry flavor
KidGreenz - tropical fruit flavors
Go Fish - orange flavor (probably not awful), rosemary extract (extremely high sals)
multi - don't know which one you're doing, but if it's a chewable, highly likely to be berry/cherry flavored

Any one of these would be enough to turn my easygoing kid, who is not nearly as sals sensitive as he used to be, into a screaming, hitting, wild, sensory overloaded mess. Think of it as the equivalent of giving a sensitive child a tsp of red food coloring .

There are things you can do to improve salicylates tolerance, and alternative, low sals options to the vitamins you give your daughter, if in fact that is a problem. But I'd suggest that for a few days, while you stop calcium and add lots of mag, that you stop these other vitamins. It won't hurt for a few days, and hopefully the combo will make a big difference.

Epsom salts baths are great, but they don't work for everyone - my son needed oral magnesium as well. So doing both is a great idea.

I know this sounds like a lot, but the good news about mag and sals is that you can often make some changes and see profound differences very quickly. Good luck!
post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
Okay the whole salicylates thing is a new one on me and I consider myself moderately educated on these things --

I have a call in to my old homeopath to try to get her a comprehensive test for allergies/sensitivities, etc. I really don't want to miss anything and end up having her tested multiple times.

She is already off dairy (known sensitivity to that) and does not eat meat. I don't eat meat (DH does) and she basically has chosen not to eat meat pretty much from watching me. I try to get her protein in from whole grains/lentils/eggs/nut butters. But I know whole grains (specifically wheat) is hard on the system and highly suspect as an allergen. My dad is clinically diagnosed with celiac so that specific allergy is definitely a possibility.

I don't know if it's connected to the OCD stuff (which creates a horribly vicious circle), but she is super/crazy/insanely picky about what she will eat. So she does NOT get a balanced diet at all. I have tried everything, including literally telling her, "This is your dinner, if you don't eat it, you will simply be hungry. I'm not fixing anything else for you." It's that bad. She basically lives on lentil soup, sunbutter sandwiches, pasta fagioli (with the cannellini beans), curry and rice, any kind of beans fixed in a mexican way, soy cheese quesadillas, homemade pizza, minestrone or vegetable soup. She does love any kind of pasta with red sauce. She snacks on Trader Joe's ginger cookies, peanut butter crackers or my homemade cookies/snacks. Before I had kids, I thought eating certain foods was just a matter of wills with the child. But she will literally gag on something that is most kids would eat, no problem. So that's why she's on the huge "parade" of animal vitamins. She gets very little fruits/veggies. I particularly liked them because they are pretty much allergen-free, as far as wheat/dairy/soy, etc. And getting her D3 and C is important so that's how we do it. So, if those have the salicylates and that's bad, I'm literally almost at the edge of my sanity!

She won't swallow a capsule -- I think I'd lose the house on that one. I'd have to sneak it in apple sauce. I will take her off all the vitamins for a while and see if that helps....but her fish oil! I've been actually upping that to help with brain functioning. That's gonna be some funky apple sauce if I'm adding all this stuff to it....

I found this: http://salicylatesensitivity.com/food-guide. Wow. Blueberries are pretty much the only fruit that she will eat with no fight. They are high in salicylates. As well as basically all mexican spices, and garam masala/ginger/curry/honey/vinegar/oregano - stuff I cook with nearly every day.

Not kidding, we're running out of foods.
post #18 of 31
One thing to consider is the possibility that her intestines are inflamed and the bad digestive feeling is contributing to the pickiness. I've heard this over and over again in the food chemical intolerant kid.

Food chemical intolerance will not appear on allergy testing b/c it does not involve the immune system but the inability of the body's enzymes and detox pathways to break down and properly eliminate the chemicals. So food elimination/challenge is the only way to uncover. I hope that this is not it however, it's a pain in the butt for sure!
post #19 of 31
10 months ago, my son was reacting to dairy, gluten, soy, corn, potato, and salicylates. And he's autistic and non-verbal, so there's no way to explain to him why all the foods he once knew disappeared. Trust me, I totally get how you're feeling.

A few comments - the big battles with food textures (and things like swallowing capsules) can be very magnesium related. One mom in this forum had a son who threw a fit with baths and having water poured on his head to wash his hair - and within 3-4 days of taking mag, he loved his bath.

It's kind of a mindshift, but a lot of the behaviors you are seeing could well be because she doesn't feel good and has lots of nutrient deficiencies and imbalances, not because those things are core to her personality and who she is. So they might change next week .

There are supps you can do to help with sals tolerance, and mag is one of them. The other two are molybdedum and B6. My guess is that magnesium is the culprit, since she eats lots of beans (high in molybdenum), and probably gets at least a little b6 from her multi.

I'd try things one at a time - so try lots of mag and pulling the highest salicylates first.

Omega 3s can also be really helpful for salicylates and some of the other issues you are dealing with - but the real issue is generally omega 3:6 balance in the diet, not just adding omega 3s. For us, the real success came from severely limiting omega 6s (and yes, that would eliminate practically all the other foods on her list - soy, nuts, processed foods made with soy/corn/safflower/sunflower oil). What I'm trying to say is it would surprise me if you saw an effect just from a few go fish. It will likely take more efas, and a lot less omega 6s. A really worthwhile thing to try, but I'd maybe try it after a week of lots of mag and lower sals. I'm going to guess that is the intervention you'll get the most results from, and once you do, a lot of other issues may be easier to sort out.

Hang in there, I know this can be really overwhelming at first.
post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks for the help. I truly know that this is not the child she is inside -- that's why I am trying so hard to figure out what's causing this -- to give her some relief and peace. I feel she has been out of balance for so long now and she really deserves to enjoy a happy childhood. And of course having a peaceful household is a nice bonus.

I printed off a lot of recipes from the website I referenced about salicylates. And I found this list of foods high in mag:

Table 1: Selected food sources of magnesium [5]FOOD Milligrams (mg) %DV*
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces 90 20
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 80 20
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce 75 20
Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup 75 20
Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 75 20
Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 ounce 65 15
Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 rectangular biscuits 55 15
Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared w/ water, 1 cup 55 15
Potato, baked w/ skin, 1 medium 50 15
Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce 50 15
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 Tablespoons 50 15
Wheat Bran, crude, 2 Tablespoons 45 10
Blackeyed Peas, cooked, ½ cup 45 10
Yogurt, plain, skim milk, 8 fluid ounces 45 10
Bran Flakes, ½ cup 40 10
Vegetarian Baked Beans, ½ cup 40 10
Rice, brown, long-grained, cooked, ½ cup 40 10
Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, ½ cup 35 8
Avocado, California, ½ cup pureed 35 8
Kidney Beans, canned, ½ cup 35 8
Pinto Beans, cooked, ½ cup 35 8
Wheat Germ, crude, 2 Tablespoons 35 8
Chocolate milk, 1 cup 33 8
Banana, raw, 1 medium 30 8
Milk Chocolate candy bar, 1.5 ounce bar 28 8
Milk, reduced fat (2%) or fat free, 1 cup 27 8
Bread, whole wheat, commercially prepared, 1 slice 25 6
Raisins, seedless, ½ cup packed 25 6
Whole Milk, 1 cup 24 6
Chocolate Pudding, 4 ounce ready-to-eat portion 24 6

I'm going to try to combine this list with the list of recipes and put us all on this diet for 2 weeks. Happily, lentils are high in mag and negligible in salicylates. Yeah. Most of the foods I mentioned in my other post (except the Trader Joe's ginger cookies) are not processed, but I make them at home. The only thing she gets from soy, except occasionally soy lecithin, is the soy cheese because rice and almond cheese both have casein, which she can't have. Also, I am going to do regular magnesium baths. And I'm stopping all her vitamins. I will occasionally mix in one of my Krill Oils in some apple sauce. Her multi is also by Animal Parade and is loaded with fruit powder. Not sure what to do about that. I would like to still have some sort of multi - maybe open one of my capsules and sprinkle some of it in her food every few days? Also, try to get shrimp in her at least 1x/week since she will eat that and it is low in sals. (Shrimp is supposed to be one of the safer seafoods, I think.)

Has anyone used magnesium lotion and have u seen any results?

Thanks again -- I hope this is helping others in addition to us .
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