Many children today experience food sensitivities and intolerances that are known to have adverse effects on their mood and behaviors. Unfortunately, when parents see unwanted behaviors, depression or mood swings in their children, their pediatrician may want to prescribe medication instead of examining the child’s diet and looking for the triggers that are creating food sensitivities and intolerances. Some children, especially when they are young, will have frequent upper respiratory infections such as sinus, throat, ear or chest. Others may be fatigued with joint and muscle pain. Many children develop learning disabilities or have focus and concentration and cognition problems. While still others develop skin issues such as psoriasis, eczema, skin irritations or skin rashes. Bedwetting and unexplained weight gain or loss may also be signs of food sensitivities and intolerances. Frequent antibiotics and NSAID usage (Motrin, Advil, and Tylenol etc) tend to worsen food sensitivities and intolerances due to increased Candida and yeast overgrowth. Food sensitivities and intolerances in children with autism spectrum disorders are known to develop elevated anxiety, moods swings, meltdowns, hyperactivity, non compliant behaviors, aggression and inability to sleep. It’s best to address root causes and identify food sensitivities and intolerances and remove them from your child’s diet to stop the inflammatory process that develops.
What are food sensitivities?
Very often food sensitivities in children can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because of the delayed reactions which can manifest in different ways in the body and may be difficult to detect. In addition, food sensitivities are also characterized by an inflammatory response but are not antibody induced. What is extremely important with food sensitivities is the integrity of the gut lining. For instance when the gastrointestinal system has a permeated gut lining called the Leaky Gut Syndrome, then food and/or toxic pathogens particles, to which a child may be sensitive, will pass through the lining of the gut and end up in the blood stream triggering a reaction and causing chronic systemic inflammation (IgG reaction). The results of chronic systemic inflammation can be pain, migraines, headaches, hyperactivity, skin disorders, gastrointestinal disturbances (diarrhea, constipation, and gut pain), mood instability, anxiety and behaviors. Food sensitivities can also trigger asthma attacks, bladder infections, bedwetting, sinus infections, respiratory infections and eczema.
What are food intolerances?
The symptoms of food intolerances are usually less serious then food sensitivities and are generally limited to digestive problems. How do you know when your child is experiencing food intolerances? Many children develop digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach aches, acid reflux, belching, intestinal gas, bloating, and nausea which are all signs of possible food intolerances. Another way to detect a possible food intolerance is to recognize that your child eats one particular food continually or a select number of foods constantly and has behavioral issues if the food is taken away or not given. Food intolerances are associated with food cravings. If your child’s digestive system does not break down specific foods very well, their fight or flight stress hormones are released and glucose (sugar) elevates to make sure the body has enough energy. An increase in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) can increase the neurotransmitter dopamine which triggers addictive behaviors and cravings. Foods such as refined sugar, white flour, refined carbohydrates, dairy (milk), wheat, eggs, soy, gluten, MSG, yeast-containing foods, food dyes, aspartame, glutamates, casein, nuts, peanuts, garlic, shellfish, and corn may cause children to become picky eaters and prone to craving foods their bodies are intolerant to. Children with ASD and ADHD develop picky eating due to the chronic inflammatory response from the gastrointestinal system (Leaky Gut Syndrome) which exacerbates their symptoms and creates a vicious cycle unless the food intolerances are removed. ASD children are very sensitive to foods and develop food intolerances very easily, so what’s the next step?
What to do when food sensitivities and intolerances are suspected?
- Have your child tested with an IgG ELISA Food Allergy Test
- Begin an elimination diet of the culprit foods for a two week period and reintroduce one by one to see what subsequent reaction your child undergoes.
- Remove gluten and casein food products
- Only choose antibiotics when necessary
- Heal the microbiome and the digestive tract [see link]
- Give your child prebiotics and probiotics
- Feed your child fermented foods
- Do NAET allergy elimination treatment, BioSet, Field control Therapy or Neuromodular Therapy to eliminate food sensitivities and intolerances.
- Antioxidants reduce inflammation caused by food sensitivities and intolerances
- Incorporate omega 3s and omega 6s in your child’s diet/ supplements to reduce the inflammatory response
The following is a list of IgE, IgG and IgA testing:
- http://www.elisaact.com/ LRA Lymphocyte Response Assay by ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies. LRA is delayed hypersensitivity testing looking directly at lymphocytes to detect delayed food and chemical hypersensitivities up to 504 items.
- https://cellsciencesystems.com/ – Food and Chemical Sensitivity Testing by ALCAT. Alcat tests over 450 substances to determine which food and other substances trigger chronic inflammation.
- http://foodallergy.com/ Allergy and Immunology Overview by ALLETESS Medical Laboratory. Testing environmental allergens, food allergies, yeast and mold allergies and gut immunity.
- http://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/igg-food-allergy-test/ IgG Food Allergy Test and Candida by Great Plains Laboratory. 93 foods are tested with Candida. Candida increases and produces toxins that create holes in the intestinal lining leading to Leaky Gut Syndrome. Once in the blood it causes an inflammatory immune system response.
- http://www.immunolabs.com/patients/ Bloodprint Test (IgG) Airborne and Food Allergy Test (IgE) by Immunolabs. Bloodprint delayed food reactivity test also comes with a nutritional program. The Airborne and Food Allergy Test is the immediate reactivity test for IgE.
- https://www.gdx.net/ The Bloodspot IgG4 Food Antibody Profile by Genova Diagnostics measures levels of IgG4 antibodies specific to 30 commonly offending foods clearly identifying foods causing patient reactions.
- http://www.cyrexlabs.com/CyrexTestsArrays Multiple Test Arrays and Food Reactivity Screens by Cyrex Labs. Cyrex offers a large variety of different tests pertaining to food and chemical sensitivities.
- http://meridianvalleylab.com/E-95 A – 95 Food Panel by Meridian Valley Laboratory. This basic food allergy test panel which is a combined IgG4 and IgE by ELISA Method consists of 95 commonly eaten foods and includes a free Candida screening.