When I stumbled upon your website, at the time with my eldest 2 kids behaviour, every  day felt like groundhog day. I was a mess, at my wits’ end and barely surviving, not to mention the toll it was taking my relationship with my husband.

When we started our failsafe journey in 2019, our 4 year-old was the worst of the 3 kids with:

* hyperactivity * no impulse control * didn’t like loud noises * defiance* OCD * hard to get to sleep * phases of night wakings * sensory issues * mood swings * extremely fussy eater * anxiety * autistic traits (salicylates and amines) * no volume control * strips off his clothes (salicylates) * aggressive behavior * constantly running away.

It was at the point where we didn’t want to go out as a family, play dates or dinner because we had to keep our eye on him 24/7 as he would run off and we couldn’t find him. He would across roads and car parks without looking if there were traffic coming and we have had a couple of really close calls that got my heart beating out of my chest. Even in a play cafe he would head straight to the fire exit... when the alarm went off he would continue to run off through the carpark away from the play cafe staff like it was a game! It was just too stressful and we would get home physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from it.

I got to the point where I was too scared to take the 3 kids even to a playground in fear he would go missing, or while I’m tending to him something would happen with the other two kids. I was frustrated, tired and the anxiety was overwhelming that we mostly just stayed home or we would have to have the 4 year-old strapped in the double pram with the 2 year-old and the looks or comments I would get having an older kid strapped in a pram was gave me anxiety so I stopped giving eye contact to others or pretending I didn’t notice them talking to me to avoid having to awkwardly respond.

But even when we stayed home the fighting between the kids was full on, the aggression and yelling was horrendous. The 4 year-old would do things like drag the 6 year-old down the hall way by her hair and the even got into a fight while I my husband was making lunch which ended up in the 6 year-old going to hospital to have her head glued as the 4 year-old pulled her by the hair in a rage and smashed her head into the corner of a cupboard. It didn’t finish there either, the 6 year-old got into a fight with the 4 year-old and sent his head through the glass of his bedroom window, it couldn’t keep going on or one of them would be badly injured!

The first I’d ever heard of food chemicals was an Early Childhood Educator at the local Occasional care because she approached me one day in 2019 as she could see I was desperate and she suggested we look into diet to start with. We went dairy and gluten free to begin with (we were already dairy free as all 3 kids have never tolerated dairy since birth) big improvements with going gluten free and stopped most of the lack of impulse control including running away from us and some defiance but there was a pieces missing, so she suggested we look into salicylates and possibly amines only because her child had the same issue and picked up on the same behaviour issues but because I didn’t know much about them I dismissed it for the time being thinking it was mainly gluten that was the issue.

Our 6 year-old was the same but slightly different where these behaviour traits would be supressed at kindy or school and unleashed at home:

*hyperactive * extremely aggressive towards 4 year-old * no volume control * has to be making a noise all the time * fighting with sibling constantly * OCD * extreme defiance * frequent night wakings * screaming/shouting * trouble getting to sleep * mood swings it felt like we were dealing with a teenager not a 6 year-old * extremely over emotional like crying for no apparent reason.

She already had food intolerances‚ since a newborn with dairy and even with that eliminated through my breast milk she has never been a good sleeper, always frequently waking. It progressed at the age of 2 where we noticed that she was having night terrors and I started to realise it was when she ate strawberries that day, the night terrors still randomly happened.

My husband thought I was crazy with the strawberry theory and I was 'looking' for an intolerance that wasn’t there... until the day he discovered carrot and apple was also setting her night terrors off. As she approached 4 she was able to tell us it felt like ants crawling up her nose and that’s why she woke screaming and she also could breathe through her nose, so we made a food diary and found other fruits contributing to the problem.

Countless doctors looked at us puzzled, one day a different doctor put it down to allergic rhinitis and prescribed a nasal steroid and told us to use kids zyrtec as it was only spring and summer it would happen. This worked initially then stopped working and progressed through winter too so we went to an ENT who ruled out tonsils/adenoids and confirmed allergic rhinitis. We also found a link: her extreme emotional outbursts were a result of yeast extract (MSG) like vegemite and it lasted for 3 days before it wore off.

We were tired, exhausted and severely sleep deprived from waking constantly from the night terrors and I would try absolutely anything at this point, I was scrolling through facebook one day and found an article on histamine intolerance and thought 'that’s exactly what happens to my child'! So in September 2020 we started limited histamine triggering foods and the nose itching and night terrors decreased so we didn’t need to use the zyrtec or steroids as much.

So I then started looking at multiple websites for something dietwise that could help not just our 4 year-old but also help the 6 year-old’s self diagnosed histamine intolerance but there was so much mixed information on the internet I just wanted to cry. It just broke me and I wondered how on earth I could actually do this at all! I typed in 'fed up with hyperactivity' in frustration and there was..... The Fed up website and it has changed our life for the better and helped us in so many ways, I am forever grateful for being able to find all the info that covers the histamine intolerance too.

Our 6 year-old was still having gluten but when COVID-19 hit Australia and we were forced to home school it was easier for the whole family to go completely gluten free instead of making several meals when there was barely anything left at the shops.... and would you believe it, our missing piece for her histamine intolerance was gluten!! We haven’t used nasal steroids or zyrtec since going gluten free and have discovered my husband’ seasonal hayfever (I think its histamine intolerance too!) is triggered by gluten also, so I know if either of them have had gluten as their noses play up and the 6 year-olds 'night terrors' and itchy nose/congestion occur for 3 days following gluten.

The 4 year-old’s sensitivities are dairy, gluten, salicylates (including inhaled), amines, any artificial/natural colours, preservatives, antioxidants and artificial flavours. The 6 year-old is much the same as our 4 year-old but instead of amines she is sensitive to glutamates.

Basically in a nutshell all of the behaviours even the autistic and sensory traits disappeared around week 3 of the failsafe diet it was such a transformation - we got to see these two completely different kids for who they really are not who the food turned them into!

Doing this diet as a family has also uncovered my own sensitivities as I get a migraines when I eat dairy or smell fragrances/ chemicals and I know why now! Our 2 year-old hasn't had any issues prior to the failsafe diet but does seem to sleep better than before so we will continue to do the diet as a family because it’s honestly changed us all for the better and we are eating so much healthier with cleaner eating without all the additives! 

It was really hard at first changing our diet, I’ve cried many tears and thought a thousand times it’s easier to give up on the failsafe diet and just deal with the behaviour but after the 4 year-old had 2 weeks of antibiotics to clear up 2 infections I realised that the diet had made a huge difference and didn’t want to go back to how it originally was EVER!

So we haven’t looked back since and now we have got our heads wrapped around recipes that work for our family it has become so much easier! Thank you again Sue and Howard for all the work you have done and time you have put into the website for people like myself that don’t know where to turn next - Danielle

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio