Behavior issues related to food dye or sugar? Can't figure out DS? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-09-2010, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I've recently been stumped by DS's behavior and have begun wondering if it's related to sugar or food dye. He has been hitting and poking and generally hyper recently. His actions don't seem emotionally aggressive, more that he has this energy that he needs to get out. For example, when we meet up with his good friend for a play date he will sometimes "drum" his friends back too hard out of excitement, and other times give him a gentle hug. There are some days when he is NON-STOP, poking, hitting, running, swinging anything he can get his hands on, etc., etc. and other days when he is even tempered. Now, he is 3.5 and those LO's are known for their erratic behavior, but this seems a little extreme.

We eat whole, organic, non-processed foods for the most part. All of our snacks and treats come from natural food stores which I know is no guarantee... He started pre-school this year which includes snacks provided by parents and includes many things I would never buy, and cupcakes for birthdays, but I was willing to look the other way in the interest of his being a part of the group. The end of the year picnic the other day was the big light bulb moment for me though, they served a cake from the supermarket that had huge gobs of neon colored frosting on it! Today I noticed that part of his stool was an unnatural NEON GREEN color and he was SOOOOO difficult all day long. Does this make sense??

He had a dairy and egg intolerance at birth until about 2.5. He is a very sweet, connected, intuitive and happy kid but so much of that was not evident today!! Am I on the right track here? Would the earlier food intolerances indicate a greater sensitivity to sugar or additives/dye?
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#2 of 4 Old 06-10-2010, 01:41 AM
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Could definitely be the food dyes. And kids that react to food dyes are also sometimes sensitive to salicylates, which is a naturally occurring chemical in foods (particularly high in most fruits, especially berries, see list here). His behaviors are classic sals reactions.

Another possibility would be magnesium deficiency. You could try giving him some oral magnesium (ideally mag citrate or glycinate, and 250-300mg/day, split into a couple of doses, and away from calcium/dairy). If that's it, you'll see an impact in a few days. Mag deficiency is also one possible reason for salicylates sensitivity, so it's a good thing to try on two fronts. The other two supps that can really help with sals sensitivity are molybdenum and B6.

Third possibility is that he's still sensitive to dairy and/or eggs, but his reactions have changed. My DS initially had GI reactions to dairy, but around 2.5 they turned entirely behavioral.

Good luck with your detective work!

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#3 of 4 Old 06-10-2010, 06:10 PM
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Wow, our sons sound similar! We have those same types of excitability/aggression issues. I agree, could definitely be food dyes. My DS had a similar reaction to food dye when he was younger - bright green stool that burned his little butt immediately on contact. He also has dairy and egg (and a few others) allergies and I imagine if their bodies are not tolerating foods then they are less likely to tolerate additives of any kind. I make 'safe' cupcakes/desserts and keep them frozen so I can just pop one out for special occasions. Good luck and keep us posted!

Mama to DS (4/07), DD (3/09),  and DS (5/13)
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#4 of 4 Old 06-14-2010, 03:31 PM
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YES! I posted a similar thing recently about BLUE food dye (check labels so carefully now, it's in everything, even marshmallows!) -- search my posts to find it, I can't recall where it went...
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