We are doing the elimination diet to try and help my oldest daughter.. She is 8 years old. Her main problem is that she has suffered from regular, unexplained and excessive fatigue for several years. We have also recently realised that she suffers a lot of dizziness and light headedness too. She has good days and bad days, as well as long good stretches and bad stretches of 1 - 4 weeks. When bad she can miss quite a lot of school, hates getting up in the morning, hates school, and spends all the after school period on the couch, until bedtime. Other symptoms which bother her are periods of excessive irritability, difficulty getting to sleep at night, being very sluggish in the mornings, difficulty focusing and applying herself, daydreaming and being slow to get anything done, being very pale in the face at times, fainting (at sight of blood), periods which seem like depression, and at times, poor appetite and feeling of nausea after eating. It was only after thinking through everything written in Fed Up that I realised she had so many symptoms. These things have become apparent gradually since she started school, but seem to be trending to get worse. On the plus side, she is very clever, has always put in a big effort at school and is consistently a very high achiever, is well behaved, patient, sensitive, thoughtful, kind, and hardly ever gets into trouble. In fact, one teacher thought she was "too good" - which could make it hard for her to stand up for her own needs.

She has had blood tests a few times, which found nothing, but she is absolutely terrified of medical procedures (and will faint) so we have chosen to explore dietary options. We are in the second week of our elimination diet, it has been very interesting. I think I believed nothing would happen. We took ages to get ready (mentally and in terms of stocking the pantry) so we were additive free for a month or so before starting. During this time she was gradually improving but nothing drastic. On day 3 and 4 of elimination she "lost it" - picked fights, became over emotional, almost hysterical, restless, teary, irrational, and claimed we were all against her. I was a bit scared as this was not in the least her normal behaviour. She also had some nausea. However thankfully these withdrawals eased off by day 5. The first improvement she noticed was that she didn't feel irritable any more. Then she started to say she had more energy. She has clearly been getting more involved in activities and spending much less time on the couch. She has been focused enough to do good piano practice, and she has stopped saying she hates school. - by