As parents, we face many difficult challenges and I know many parents who feel they could do more for their child which creates a feeling of guilt. This guilt can lead to frustration because so many of us are busy trying to balance caring for our children, with caring for our finances (working), with caring for our homes, with caring for ourselves, as well as maintaining some relationships with family and friends outside of our homes. With the economy in a seemingly constant state of chaos, the financial burden and stress can compound each of these factors. Then if you factor in food allergies or related disorders of ADHD, autism or asthma, the fear, anxiety and frustration can often feel overwhelming to even the strongest parent. The impact of these problems on families when the children attend day care, school, social events or extra curricular activities can be immense.
Many of us try to make New Year’s resolutions. Consider this one if you are dealing with food allergies for your child: Stop feeling guilty. Stop assuming any blame for your child’s allergies. If you fed them the peanut butter cracker or the almond when they were “too young” stop thinking that you made some sort of mistake. There isn’t enough conclusive evidence in the world of food allergies to know for sure what the right thing is to do. Specifically, do you avoid peanuts or dairy while you are pregnant to avoid creating food allergies in your child? Or do you eat those foods with the hope that those foods will desensitize your baby to a possible food allergy?
In addition to not feeling guilty about what has happened in the past, consider an additional New Year’s resolution of accepting what is. I.e. accept the reality of your situation and recognize that it could be worse. Specifically, once you accept the food allergy in your child you can (1) learn all the names and ingredients that are made from that food allergen (e.g. casein is made from milk protein or arachis is made from peanut); then (2) take the next step and clean cupboards of all foods containing any ingredient to which your child is allergic. Toss out garbage foods that contain more than five or ten ingredients including corn syrup. To that point, did you hear that most corn syrup contains mercury─a heavy metal that can lead to various disorders such as ADHD and autism?
According to Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, “Mercury was found in nearly 50% of tested samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup. Ben Lilliston of The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reports that in a follow up study they detected mercury in ‘nearly one-third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient─including products by Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker. In his report Lilliston claims that the average American consumes about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS and some kids and teens can be consuming up to nearly 80% more than that. Many parents of children suffering from neurological disorders have found that the removal of high fructose corn syrup from their child’s diet has been beneficial. These alarming studies prove that perhaps the reason moves beyond the argument that fructose sugar is bad for your metabolism or that a corn allergy is present in all kids who benefit from removing high fructose corn syrup from their diets. Perhaps the real underlying problem for some is a metal toxicity issue. We all want what is best for our children, and the recent spike in cases of children suffering from multiple allergies, autism, ADHD, and chronic multifocal tic disorders really proves that there is something rotten in our food chain.”[i]
In short, for the New Year, if you are dealing with food allergies, autism, ADHD or asthma stop feeling guilty and start helping your child by clearing out your cupboards of foods that contain the thing he or she is allergic to, as well as high fructose corn syrup. If you think your child who has ADHD, autism or asthmatic doesn’t have food allergies, consider the information in the blog entry titled, Delayed Food Allergies: Autism, ADHD, Asthma. In that blog entry there are references to resources that explain how and which foods tend to aggravate these disorders making symptoms worse. Remember, it takes about three weeks to clear out the body of these foods. In some cases, the food allergies can be mitigated to the point where the disorders are not apparent. That is truly something to celebrate in the New Year!
[i]Caryn Talty, Editor of Healthy-family.org, “Dangerous Levels of Mercury found in Products Made with High Fructose Corn Syrup,” http://healthy-family.org/caryn/1186/dangerous-levels-of-mercury-found-in-brand-name-products-made-with-high-fructose-corn-syrup, January 2009.