See more at the Fedup Roadshow 2011 report
‘I had severe migraines all my life. Then I came to a talk eight years ago – as a stall worker, not to learn anything. During the evening, I realised that my migraines were due to amines in my favourite foods - chocolate, cheese, avocado and cheesecake. Now I avoid those and I don’t have migraines any more’.
'The reason I came is that my neighbour has a Down syndrome kid and the diet has made a huge difference, he is much easier to manage'
The mother of a 6 year old who reacts to salicylates said, 'when he eats salicylates, he can't control his emotions and cries all the time'.
Audiences laugh when I tell them ADHD medication makes children better able to focus on being oppositional, but that’s what one family was there for: 'Ritalin makes him focus, he annoys the hell out of other people and doesn't give a s..t', they said, requesting a diet for oppositional defiance.
'We're here about our 9 yo son with oppositional defiance, we've already realised tomato sauce is probably bad, he lives on it. Also wraps, he eats those all the time. We'll be checking the labels when we get home.'
'I failed Tresillian', said one mother, and we heard the same about other baby management centres. Typically, there were extreme sleeping patterns – e.g. sleeping for 30 minutes at a time - with reflux, breastfeeding difficulty or other problems. Yet none of the mothers who spoke to us were warned about salicylate intolerance. This breastfeeding mother was eating a diet exceptionally high in salicylates through foods and supplements.
‘We’ve been on the GFCF diet since October – it has helped a bit but over the last 2 weeks he has been really terrible again – angry and throwing his train set around the room’, said the mother of a 4 yo autistic. We worked out that Soylife vanilla yoghurt was introduced 2 weeks ago. This yoghurt (but not Soygurt brand) contain annatto 160b. (A US study earlier this year showed that the GFCF diet alone does not work for autism and this is just one example why, you have to avoid a lot more than just gluten and casein).
‘I thought sultanas were okay as long as they are sulphite free’, said the ADHD mother of an ADHD son. Wrong! Sultanas are one of the worst foods for a child with behavioural issues, and diet won’t work if you make daily mistakes. I sometimes wonder if the best use of Ritalin could be for parents with ADHD so they are better able to be focus on doing the diet.
‘I’m too embarrassed to tell parents that their children have eaten instant mashed potato’ said one child care worker at another talk. ‘If they ask, I just say they’ve eaten potatoes.’ Yet 'instant mashed potatoes' may contain sulphite preservatives and MSG type flavours – this is important information for parents trying to work out why their children have problems, for example, from story  about stuttering and speech difficulties.
‘My daughter reacted to annatto in fish fingers with head banging, rocking and making whoop whoop silly noises - this lasted for about three days, every time she tried to concentrate, the headbanging, rocking and noises would start up again' said the mother of a 6 year old
‘We haven't switched toothpaste, but most of it goes in the sink, would it affect him?’ asked the mother of a 6 yo for whom ‘the diet is working but not fully’. YES. Especially as they were using a children's toothpaste with artificial colour (it can be listed as a CI number or the American system, e.g. red 40). See alternatives http://fedup.com.au/information/shopping-list/personal-medications-and-supplements
‘My son has severe eczema’, said a mother, showing me a phone photo of her 3 year old’s terrible rash. What does he eat? High salicylate products such as honey flavoured cereal, strawberry jam and strawberry yoghurts … we hear over and over again that salicylates are a major contributor to eczema, yet many mothers do not know about this.
‘Salicylates and preservatives including sulphites - in dried apricots - turned out to be the major problems for our son’s severe eczema’, said one mother.
‘Even though tests showed my daughter had grown out of her egg allergy, her eczema improved when we took egg out of her diet again, as well as salicylates and additives,’ another said.
‘I came to your talk a few years ago and switched to preservative free bread – we saw an enormous improvement in our son’s behaviour. Then we went ahead and removed more additives and natural food chemicals, and saw even more changes,’ said one mother.
'My asthma has gone since we started the diet' said one mother. 'It started when I finished my nursing degree, moved out of home and started buying processed foods. That was 13 years ago, and I've spent the last five years on preventers. I was able to give up preventers one week into failsafe.'
'We've been following your books for 3 years and it saved our lives' said one couple. 'I know others say that, but it did'.
'We have been on our diet now for six weeks' said a mother in the front row. 'It took my 2.5 yo daughter a full 3 weeks to improve. (I was glad you said in your book that some parents get despondent in the second week). It had got to the stage where I loved her but I didn't like her and neither of us were enjoying our day. Now she is more compassionate, sympathetic, helpful, cooperative, listens to instructions and follows them, and stops when asked.'
'We read your website and only made 3 changes – took out Vegemite, margarine, and switched to A2 milk. And all our son's problems went away. We are going to pursue it further - but I still find it hard to believe food can have such a huge effect.' This father had been referred to our website by his young son's paediatrician for possible autistic symptoms, and told his story with utter amazement
'Thank you, I am blown away by your information. My son just loves his fruit' - mother of an 11 yo with encopresis who had been avoiding additives but didn't realise about salicylates.
'When we read Sue's book we thought she must have had a hidden camera in our house because she was describing our family so well' – comment from a mother.
‘My 6 yo son has dental enamel problems. The dentist said it was very rare’, one mother said. Dental enamel issues in a young child can be due to gluten intolerance. We have received 3 reports of this problem in children with coeliac relatives. Research shows that relatives of coeliacs often do better on a gluten free diet. http://www.everydayhealth.com/celiac-disease/understanding/dental-enamel-defects.aspx . It is now thought that gluten intolerance may affect one person in 100.
‘I remember our son about 18mths to 2yrs thumping his head on the ground or wall to the extent that he would end up with bruising. At the time his favourite food was Shapes flavoured crackers. It wasn’t until the first time we saw your talk in which you showed us what had the head banging additive in it that we realised what was happening, and they have never been seen in our house again. – from a failsafe father
‘I’m a food nazi. My kids aren’t allowed any sugar but when I look at the screen, that’s what I feed them – flavoured Rice Wheels’, said one mother whose son has suspected ADHD. Many mothers think rice based snacks are healthy because they are in the health food aisle. We recommend plain, unflavoured rice cakes and rice based snacks.
‘When my son was 18 months old he did headbutting for 6 months – he would do it on any surface, walls, floor, glass – and it was obvious he was really hurting himself. A friend told me to cut out ice cream - yes, it was Streets Blue Ribbon ice cream with annatto in it - and the head banging stopped,’ said one mother whose son still has behaviour problems. No one reacts to only one additive. If you have ever seen a food reaction, even once, it means there are many others you haven’t noticed.
‘In the 1960s, all pharmacists were compounding pharmacists’ said a retired pharmacist, ‘then the pharmaceutical companies took over’. Medication free of nasty additives can be made by compounding pharmacists. Of over 7000 pharmacists listed in the yellow pages, only 177 are compounding – they will usually take orders by phone and mail.
‘Could pesticides sprayed on a farm cause asthma in a salicylate-sensitive asthmatic?’ asked another mother. Yes - pesticides can be yet another of the inhaled salicylates or other inhalants that can affect food sensitive children and adults.
‘Before going dairy free, my son had 30 ear infections including 4 in the last two months. This has dropped to NONE in the four months since going dairy free.’ – mother of a 3 yo. Throughout the roadshow, we met many parents who were extremely reluctant to give up dairy foods.
‘When we lived on a farm, we ate our own fresh meat, grew our own vegies and didn’t eat a lot of fruit. After we moved to town, we soon realised it was easier to drive down to the shops and buy something for dinner. A lot of junk (and behavioural problems) have crept in. I’m going to pretend we are back on the farm and start cooking like that again,’ said one mother.
‘Your seminar was great. I have had my 5 year old ADHD son on the diet now for 2.5 weeks. His tantrums that had been occurring nearly every day at school - kicking the teacher and often spitting and having to be carried to the office - have stopped, and I believe that 160b in yoghurt has largely been the issue. He is now sitting and reading his reader in one go which for us is a MAJOR change. We have eliminated all additives, colours, and only have low salicylate and no amines or nitrates, we still have dairy and wheat. We had positive results by the end of week one with continuing improvement so plan to stick with the diet. We are attending the group you recommended.’