Monday, July 12, 2010

Diet Problems...

So we've been trying an elimination diet with Mitchell and it was seeming to help, but i'm not sure if this is going to work.  Every time i'm not around, well meaning people are constantly giving him all kinds of things on his no-no list, often without realizing it.  For example someone told Grandpa it was okay to give Mitchell beef jerky, but since he didn't actually read the label, he picked out a brand that had wheat in it (you wouldn't believe all the places they stick wheat).  Even my husband (whose idea this whole diet was) is guilty of not reading labels all the time and accidentally giving Mitch stuff he shouldn't have.  So lately his behavior has been worse and i'm not sure if it is because it was just a fluke and the diet isn't really helping him after all, or if its because people have gotten more lax lately and there have been lots of food accidents.

To complicate matters, he just got back from camp, where for three days he ate all kinds of no-no foods.  His counselors said he did great and his behavior wasn't a problem.  So that says to me that the diet isn't a big factor.  But then again, it was the perfect environment at camp too.  He was with all kids his own age or older, hanging out with a group of boys and teenage boy counselors, doing fun outdoor physical activities.  That's the least likely time for him to act up anyways.

So i'm just really confused.  I liked what was happening for a couple weeks there but we seem to have lost it.  This week we are starting a renewed commitment to Mitch's diet, but we are not going to try to cut out gluten anymore and see how that goes.  We are thinking that should be an easier diet to follow, and part of the battle is having a diet that you can live with day after day and stick to.  Neither the Feingold diet or Dr. Jay Gordon's ADHD diets eliminate wheat so I think doing a diet that includes gluten still has a shot at working.  We'll just work on eliminating dairy, added sugar, HFCS, MSG, dyes, preservatives, and pretty much anything artificial that we can.  Whole and homemade foods will be the order of the day (and pretty much have been anyways lately).

The hard part about these elimination diets is not so much the follow through as it is the uncertainty.  I mean, if I could have a doctor tell me 100% that such and such foods are bad for Mitch and that eliminating them would help him, it would be much easier to enforce the diet.  But when I'm always second guessing myself and I'm not sure what the problem is exactly, it makes it tough.  It's hard to stand your ground when you're not sure if it can even hold your weight.


  1. I doubt any dr could or would give 100% certainty that something would work.

    Are you a member of the Feingold Association? If not, I highly encourage you to join. You need to know that the foods, etc. your child is getting are truly free of the unwanted addtives. Reading labels just isn't enough--or accurate. You want the right information. Stick with it 100% following the guidelines of the support group.

    You may also see improvements beyond behavior--better focus, better sleeping, less anxiety, etc.

  2. No i'm not a member of the Feingold Association, though i've thought about it. As you may have guessed though, we have a tough time sticking to ANYTHING 100%. But we've seen quite a bit of success lately with our own elimination diet so i'm feeling pretty good about it now. If we decide we need to kick it up a notch at some point in the future, we may consider that. Thanks for your comment :-)

  3. Update: We stuck with it and yeah, it's working. When he sneaks stuff or accidentally has gluten we can tell, and when he hasn't (which is more and more), it's really helping him. Going casein-free too helped a little bit, but it was such a big weight off of our family's shoulders to add dairy back that we decided it was a reasonable trade-off. So now we're gluten-free only and have been for three years and glad we did it.


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