However, with more time Jerry'ssymptoms returned regardless of the increase in Ritalin.
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Finally, Jerry's therapist learned about the effects of food allergies on children. When questioned, Jerry's mother told her therapist about Jerry's inability to tolerate milk when he was an infant. He also received blisters on his skin when eggs touched his skin. Doris Rapp and started Jerry on a diet free of milk and eggs. Within three days Jerry was as calm as the first day of Ritalin. Three days later Jerry ate a slice of cheese cake. Ten minutes after eating the cheese cake, Jerry went into a rage.
His mother was then convinced that most of Jerry's symptoms were related to food allergies. Today Jerry is calm, not aggressive, does not rage, and does not talk about sex. He is described as a sweet little boy. Ritalin is no longer required for Jerry. He continues his diet free of milk and eggs and only sees his therapist occasionally. This story illustrates several important concepts. Did Jerry really need therapy to begin with? If Jerry's mother started the diet at the beginning of therapy, would Jerry need Ritalin?
It is probable that if a controlled diet was used at the beginning of therapy Jerry would never have needed Ritalin. Because of the history of domestic violence and the ongoing sexual abuse it is unlikely that diet alone would have resolved those issues. It is likely that therapy would not have been as lengthy if the allergies to food would have been addressed initially.
This story represents the complexity of some cases in therapy. It also illustrates the need to identify allergies early in therapy. Environmental allergists estimate that 80 percent of the populations have allergies in one form or another. Some people sneeze and have a runny nose when they have an allergic reaction to pollen. Other individuals get asthma symptoms. Still some children develop ADHD symptoms as a result of an allergic reaction to food, chemicals or pollens.
ADHD symptoms caused by allergies is a very complex topic and much debated among physicians. Even conservative sources estimates that five percent of the ADHD children have their symptoms because of food allergies.
Thus, not all children with ADHD have allergies. Many ADHD children do not react to sugar or yellow food dies or any other substance. How do you tell if your child's ADHD symptoms are caused by allergies? There is no simple answer. Below are two symptom checklists to help answer this question. One checklist is for toddlers and the other for adolescents. If you check many of the following items, it could mean that some or all of your child's ADHD symptoms are caused by allergies.
As you complete a checklist, compare your child with other children you know. For example, if you feel that your child wiggles his legs more than your other children, then you would place a check in front of item number eleven on the following checklist. Intestinal complaints such as bloating, belching, gagging, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, rectal gas, and halitosis. Repetition of the same phrases e. If you have checked many of these items, then there is evidence that allergies may be causing some or all of your child's ADHD symptoms.
Children who were once allergic to milk as an infant or experienced asthma or currently have season alallergies are at high risk of having allergic reactions that negatively effect their behaviors. If many of the above symptoms were checked, we highly recommend you take the following steps. Obtain more information. The best place to obtain information on the effects of allergies on children and adults is in the book: Is This Your Child? Rapp, M. The book was written by a physician to explain the symptoms of ADHD and aggression that arecaused by allergies to foods, chemicals, and other allergens.
This is the best book on how allergies influence behaviors thatwe have found. It is a good best place to start in obtaining information. Get an allergy test.
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See your physicians or an Allergist to obtain an allergy test. Caputo, a highly recommended allergist knows much about food allergies.
He works at the Allergy Center in Mobile, Alabama. He can be reached by telephone at There may be an Allergist in your area that uses methods to get at food allergies that cause behavior problems. Not all allergists are good at this. Testing will give you a list of substances that your child is allergic to. Once you have this list, you are ready to take action in controlling the cause of your child's misbehavers.
Keep a journal.
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Observe you child's behavior and keep a journal of your observations. Allergy tests may not confirm all that your child is allergic to or reacting to behaviorally. Armed with the knowledge of what your child is allergic to from the allergy tests, continue to observe your child's behavior. For example, one mother observed her child become more hyperactive when they passed the bath and beauty store in the mall. Such children react to the chemicals found in perfumes and fragrances.
Others react to the chemicals in household cleaners. By keeping a careful journal of your child's behaviors, you will notice patterns that will give you clues to the cause of your child's allergic reactions. Start a diet. Once you have an idea as to what things your child is allergic to, the next step is to avoid these items. If your child has food allergies, try a diet that illuminates these foods. Careful planning is needed before you start the diet.
Before you start the diet you will need to know what behaviors you wish to measure to determine if the diet is successful or not. Some behaviors might include a reduction in temper tantrums, decrease aggression, or better hand writing. Be careful that when you start the diet that other variables do not interfere with the success of the diet. For example, if your child is allergic to certain foods and pollens, do not perform the diet in the spring or the fall when pollens are at their highest levels.
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Make sure that you do not do a diet when the school or your home has new carpeting or has been recently remodeled. You will need to plan how to keep your child away from certain foods when your child is at school and other places.
If your child is uncooperative you may have to wait for a vacation from school. Armed with the above information, you are ready to try a diet. Rapp's book gives good guidelines on how to do a diet. Basically the diet involves eliminating all foods and food additives e. A good health food store will have supplements that will make the diet easier. For example, almond milk can be used for children that are allergic to dairy products.
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You may wonder why start a diet if you know from the allergy tests what your child is allergic to. The answer is simple. You need to know how much the allergens actually affect your child's behavior. Some children's behavior is not affected by allergies. Their ADHD symptoms are caused by something else. For other children their allergies cause almost all of their misbehavior. The diet will help you determine if your child's ADHD symptoms are caused by food allergies.
If you child's ADHD symptoms are caused by food allergies, you should see a significant difference in your child's behaviors within four days. We recommend you follow the diet for two weeks as instructed in Dr. Rapp's book.