What physical medical ailments can cause or exasperate low frustration, explosive meltdowns, etc..? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-07-2011, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Without going into too much detail is there anything physically that could be going on with my oldest ds (8.5 years old) that could be causing or exasperating his symptoms?  He is inflexible, easily frustrated and has an explosive personality.  He is extremely active (just very strong and needs to participate in active activities).  I heard once that thyroid issues can cause lowered frustration levels.  Long story short we have had some intervention through our local children's health centre and been told he might have some sensory issues, some anxiety issues, might be "emotionally young", etc...  Nothing really concrete and the help we were offered is very similar to stuff we are doing already.  We have kind of reached the end of the line in terms of the help they can give.  We had been waiting for an appointment with a pediatrician and finally got the call today for an appointment in June.  I am thinking they will say the same thing but because they are a doctors office they might help us rule out any physical reasons for the issues we are having with ds.  Ds does sleep quite well - no tossing/turning and sleeps approx. 10 hours/night.

 

We did cut out dairy for about 4 months but there was no real change in ds's behaviour.  I've read about gluten-free diets being helpful but haven't taken that step yet.

 

Cross posted in Special Needs. 


Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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Old 04-07-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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I was going to suggest looking at his diet as a first step.  You might want to google the Feingold diet to see if it interests you.


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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Old 04-07-2011, 12:02 PM
 
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I was going to suggest the same. We've recently identified Red # 40 as a trigger for my DD5. Thankfully we don't eat too many processed foods, but it has a tendency to sneak in when I'm not paying attention (like in the pale pink bubble tea bubbles she put on her frozen yogurt at the toppings bar), even when I think we're eating well and carefully.

 

I would also try the gluten, definitely. I've heard so many stories about the various ways gluten affects people, and i know how it affects me.

 

Has he always been this kind of kid? I ask because while I know the Red 40 affects my DD, she has always been a strong-willed kid. I can tell you stories that date back to when she was 2 months old. She wasn't colicky or reflux-y, she was just...annoyed. Impatient. Bull-headed and single-minded. In short, a lot like me, and a lot like my dad. It has been eye-opening to raise her--both for me as I gain insight into myself and my mom, who has gained a lot of insight into my dad.

 

If you think this is new-ish, though, I'd start with keeping a food journal and go from there. The diet is the easiest thing to monitor and change.

 

(((HUGS)))


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Old 04-07-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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low blood sugar?

 

If this is new, it could be hormone changes.

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Old 04-07-2011, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He does not eat much with dyes in it.  I'm sure it gets in there every once in a while but I would be surprised if it was there more than once/week.  I've always watched for the dyes but I'll have to keep closer eye on it.  Gluten free is something to think about but seems overwhelming when you have a picky eater who consumes a lot of gluten and have 3 other children to feed.  We'll think about it.  I don't think he has any other symptoms of diabetes but it's something I can look into and mention to the pediatrician.  

 

It is not really new behaviour.  He has always been a strong-willed, intense child but as he has grown into an 8 year old he is at times behaving like a 2-3 year old in terms of tantrums over things and being completely inflexible.  A 2 year old trying to hit me is completely different than an 8 year trying to hit me, slam doors, throw things, etc...  I don't doubt a lot is his personality but I can't help feeling there is something else going on.   


Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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Old 04-07-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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I was going to say dairy - that is the type of behavior I see in my son when he has dairy. 

 

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Old 04-07-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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Quote:
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I don't think he has any other symptoms of diabetes but it's something I can look into and mention to the pediatrician. 



I'm not sure that the pp was implying diabetes.  My take on it was that maybe he is extra impatient/cranky/etc when his blood sugar gets too low (I'm speaking from personal experience here as a person who gets really grumpy really quickly if the old blood sugar dips too low).  Is it possible he isn't getting food often enough throughout the day?  Are his snacks high-protein? 


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure that the pp was implying diabetes.  My take on it was that maybe he is extra impatient/cranky/etc when his blood sugar gets too low (I'm speaking from personal experience here as a person who gets really grumpy really quickly if the old blood sugar dips too low).  Is it possible he isn't getting food often enough throughout the day?  Are his snacks high-protein? 



Sorry, I had cross posted in Special Needs and someone there mentioned diabetes so I was getting the two threads mixed up.  He does eat quite frequently.  Like I said he is very active and needs to fuel that pretty frequently (at least every couple of hours).  He does eat fairly healthy although the protein is probably lacking.  He tends to gravitate towards carbs and fruits.  He is very picky so it's not easy.


Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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Old 04-08-2011, 12:09 AM
 
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There are a few books that are highly recommended in this area: The Explosive Child by Greene is one of them. I also own, but haven't read yet, Transforming the Difficult Child. I've heard great things about it though. Eventually I'll get to it!

 

The dyes aren't the only things that can cause the behavior, so take a look at what else he's eating. Sodium benzoate is currently under the microscope at the FDA for its behavioral consequences. I have no doubt that any of those kinds of things--MSG in all its sneaky forms, dyes, preservatives, nitrites, sulfites, etc.--could cause the same behavior. And our trigger, the dye, causes behavior similar to what you describe. DD5 has a strong personality, but I can see when she's ramping up into that kind of meltdown--like you said, it's just different, and before she and I both understood the trigger, nearly every one of those incidents ended with me dragging her into her room, kicking and screaming like an animal and trying to punch and bite me however she could get at me greensad.gif For awhile it seemed like the overall crazy behavior had escalated, and I started thinking about child psych evaluations again. Then the period ended, like magic, like it always seems to just when I'm about at the end of my rope. A few days later I managed to confirm the dye trigger, and I realized that she had been eating a tiny packet of fruit snacks that I thought were natural (instead, they were "naturally flavored" irked.gif) once every few days over the course of a few weeks, until the Costco-sized box was finally empty and her behavior normalized again.

 

Anyway, all that is to say, it could be any of those additives that seem to be EVERYWHERE. I agree with the Feingold suggestion and still suggest the food journal. It may help you connect the dots you didn't even realize were there. I've been agonizing over DD5's behavior for years, and like you, I just knew something else was underneath it all, but I just never got around to focusing on it until a bit of info showed up in my face and I made the connections. I don't know what access you have to pediatric healthcare to investigate further, but it may also be worth getting him evaluated overall--there are other things that could cause this as well.

 

If you think you can help him, mama, go for it. I'd give a lot to be able to go back a few years and pay closer attention. We had some really bad days, weeks, months in that time, and I'm not proud of how I handled a lot of it, especially now that she's old enough to articulate how badly she feels when she's in the throes of the rage.


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Old 04-08-2011, 05:37 PM
 
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I was thinking more along the lines of hypoglycemia & not diabetes.  Eating often isn't always enough for hypoglycemia, it is WHAT they're eating.  Eating more fruit & carbs can be a cause behind it as they're both full of sugars(especially if they're not often complex carbs) and can cause blood sugar to be instable or crash.

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Old 04-09-2011, 04:38 AM
 
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For us it was ADHD.

Yes, do read The Explosive Child!!!
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:25 AM
 
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For my DD(5), I haven't gotten it entirely nailed down yet, but I do feel strongly it's related to food. It might be sugar, or it might be preservatives. 


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Old 04-09-2011, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissel View Post

There are a few books that are highly recommended in this area: The Explosive Child by Greene is one of them. I also own, but haven't read yet, Transforming the Difficult Child. I've heard great things about it though. Eventually I'll get to it!

 

  


I am halfway through The Explosive Child right now wink1.gif.  Thanks!


Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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Old 04-10-2011, 11:19 PM
 
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Quote:
He does not eat much with dyes in it.  I'm sure it gets in there every once in a while but I would be surprised if it was there more than once/week.  I've always watched for the dyes but I'll have to keep closer eye on it.

 

 

 

To clarify, the Feingold program cuts out all of these:

--Artificial dyes.

--Artificial flavors.

--BHA, BHT, and TBHQ (which are all preservatives).

--Artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartame, sucralose... sugar, xylitol, vanilla, stevia, even corn syrup are allowed)

--Optionally some salicylates from natural fruit and veggie sources.

(And it's not just a diet. It also avoids these substances in shampoos, cosmetics, medicine, chap stick, soap, laundry detergent, etc.)

 

It's fairly easy to avoid the dyes and sweeteners, but the three preservatives are the sneaky ones. Small amounts of those substances can be in darn near any food without being on the ingredients label.

 

From what I've heard, the effects of these things can last long enough that your kid will show signs constantly if he has one dose of dyes per week.

 

I remember another mom on this board had a problem with her child because the child was taking naturally flavored fruity vitamins, because the flavoring involved a very high concentration of the salicylates. Normally the child didn't have a problem with salicylates, but that amount was just too much. Oh, I found it.

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Old 04-11-2011, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to everyone for your ideas and thoughts.  I really do appreciate it.  I can't help but feel overwhelmed though.  Just surviving and feeding and living with 4 kids is enough some days.  Thinking about tracking food intake, excluding some of ds's favorite foods and worrying about him getting a balanced diet scares me.  He is already pretty picky and we are vegetarian so diet is already limited.  I will check into the Feingold diet.  Thanks again. 


Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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