So I and my hubby are at our wits end. My toddler (our 4th babe) is very, very high needs. She is angry, irritable, cry's most all day and night, hits, screams, screams, screams. She is rarely happy. I have slinged her for her entire life, have breastfeed her up to 19months, co-slept, homebirthed, non-vax home yada yada. We have NEVER had the issues that we have with her from the other children.
I have a gut feeling this might be food related. She does not appear to have Autism symptoms-she is very, very smart, sings her ABC's, loves to be held and kissed, she thinks about abstract ideas and talks extremely well for her age- in fact many times she speaks clearer then her four year old sister.
So if it's food where do I start? I've been reading and I'm thinking dairy is what I should try first- this is tough because the child LOVES dairy you name it string cheese, yogurt, milk ect.
I can't afford to see a naturpath- we do have child insurance from the State. Can I get a regular pedi/family doctor to do a allergy test?
I really need support and wisdom- my house is breaking, my other children get little attention and are also having a hard time coping with the screaming and crying all the time. My husband the other day in total desperation said he is so done and it was a mistake to have her
This was after he had watched her all day (I am a full time student) and she went on a two hour straight screaming rampage. thanks for any and all support and suggestions
Some of the more common food sensitivities are dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, corn, and of course food colorings/preservatives/etc and refined sugars. So if you do pull dairy, I wouldn't replace it with soy products.
I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
Also, FWIW, I read an article about a toddler who would crave his allergens until they were out of his system. So if he was allergic to dairy, he would CRAVE chocolate milk for two weeks until it was out of his system. The mother of said ds would have to lock her fridge to keep him out of things or he would gorge and the cycle of behavior probs would repeat.
Also, I think a food diary is a good idea, but sometimes it takes a couple days to process out a food, so it didnt prove accurate for me.
GOOD LUCK its worth it!
And, FWIW, some children on the autism spectrum can indeed talk very well (those with PDD or Asperger's) and many of them are very smart. It's also possible to be both on the autism spectrum AND have food allergies/sensitivities. (Speaking from experience here.) My DS was very similar to the way you describe your DD. A large part of the irritability, discomfort, and screaming was due to food sensitivities. Things got much better as his trigger foods were eliminated, but it wasn't overnight. He has a lot of trigger foods, so it took awhile to find them, plus he had issues even eating solids in the first place.
Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
I've started the food diary, and I will be making an appointment with the PED tomorrow. This seems really scary, as eliminating foods with a family of 6 could prove to be difficult, at least my initial thoughts.
Thanks for the support and would love more stories and suggestions.
Sometimes the behaviors you mention can related to mag deficiency, and it's an easy one to trial before you start looking at food reactions (which could very well be the culprit, I just think it's worth ruling out easy stuff first).
You can try oral mag citrate, as much as you can get in her (200-300mg a day, spread out, or less if that much causes diarrhea).
We went a little backwards: We actually eliminated all grains briefly and when it made a huge difference we determined that wheat/gluten was the most likely reason it was so successful. We are now sparsely eating gluten free grains but still using a lot of grain free recipes. Our 10yo ds has Asperger's and he has had such a tremendous improvement in behaviors. He is much more lucid and in control of himself. He gets some crackers and he is completely out of it again. Our younger two daughters aren't wheat free because they are eating school lunches.
Going off as a household has been the best path. There are no forbidden foods at home, which would be stressful. I think we are all sensitive even though it's not as dramatic for all of us. The girls have some behavior volatility that we have just thought was "normal" (compared to our child with an ASD) that I now suspect isn't. Symptoms don't always jump out: My own biggest improvements have been mental clarity and more energy, so I really didn't have significant sensitivity symptoms beforehand and had no special reason to pursue diagnosis. Since we have three people clearly sensitive including both parents, I think genetics suggest the whole family should eat the same diet anyway.
DS was the type to totally crave the sensitivity food. Bread, toast, mac n cheese, spaghetti, etc. were about all he cared to eat. Dh and I made the change first and talked about how good we felt and I think that helped. DS has been amazing about the change and is now pretty gung-ho about it. (Like obsessively telling our friends how unhealthy grains are and they shouldn't eat them .)
This has not been as hard as I thought it would be. I am spending extra time in the kitchen. We have eaten a lot of meat and eggs and such, though, and I will say that being very open to animal products and high fat dairy has helped make this easier.
I wish I had made changes sooner, though I suppose it was at the right time for me to put the extra energy into navigating it. Anyhow, I encourage you to make a strategy and not be too intimidated. The benefits for us have been priceless.
ME&HE... loving our: dd(18) ~~ds(13) dd(13)~~ dd(10)
You can be sensitive to a food and have that food NOT show up on an allergy test, because most physicians testing for allergies only test for true allergies (IgE) and not sensitivities (IgG). Food journaling and rotation/elimination is a good way to start if you don't have the funds to pay for a food sensitivity test.
The high needs part makes me think that salicylate intolerance could be it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all for sharing. I'm going to look at all these suggestion s. I'll keep you updated as I go. This is a scary experience, but much easier with other who have been there done that!