[1624] One-liners (October 2021)

Thanks for always keeping us safe and safer!! Love the community, how we can all help each other do better. Commend you both for all you have done to start this and keep it going – Diana

My life is definitely better because of you! - anon

Thank you for all the work that you and Sue do. I'm just finishing the additive challenges that we have chosen to do with our 4 year old and hoping to get to liberalisation before starting school next year, and have a 1 year old who is definitely Salicylate intolerant amongst a whole lot more. Without your work, there is no way I would have survived the past 7 months - Amy

I'd like to say THANK YOU for your valuable, relentless and inspiring work in the field of food intolerance! One cannot overestimate the support - both through information and self-empowerment - that you give to people affected by food intolerances and those caring for people who are affected - Sylke Sedelies, dietitian in Berlin, Germany

[1623] 'cultured dextrose' in gluten-free breads (October 2021)

We are from NZ.  I spoke to you at least 20 years ago on the phone regarding our 2 children who were intolerant to almost everything.  Your  support and website information has been a go-to and a life saver for us ever since. Our children have grown out of a lot of their intolerances and over the years I have become less obsessive with ingredient checking.  We live gluten free due to a coeliac being in the family and all of us feeling better without gluten in our diets ...We are very aware that 282 is the worst of all additives, so I'm very grateful for your heads-up...Sure enough, cultured dextrose is listed on Pam's Gluten Free bread that we have been having this week. I have also googled the ingredients for the Vogels GF loaves we normally buy, and it's in those as well!! I am so glad you mentioned it. I've just fed the remainder of Pam's loaf to the ducks …" - Linda

See why to avoid 'cultured dextrose'

[1622] Long-term effects of food intolerance – facebook thread (September 2021)

Q: When suffering from the symptoms of a food intolerance over a long period of time are there known detrimental effects on any other parts of the body like liver, kidneys or nervous system? – Anne

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I suffered for 40years before I discovered my intolerances, my health seems to have reversed. I’m in excellent health now. I was on prednisone for salicylate induced asthma, drugs for reflux & skin issues. Now no drugs at all. I’m still pretty sensitive, I can’t eat fruit ever, but my pretty dramatic symptoms (throat spasms, loss of vision) clear up pretty fast once I started FS, the challenges where really tough. It changed my life - Kath

I also feel so much better since going on this diet – Sharon

You’ll feel much better and may be able to ditch some drugs that were previously helping you deal with symptoms. But unlike coeliacs who’s gluten intolerance actually causes stomach damage, at this stage there is no evidence to suggest that other food intolerances cause damage to your body – Jody

My liver function wasn’t optimal and I had fatty liver - yet never had alcohol. I was also puffy and looked unwell. My iron level was way too low (7, when meant to be 45-55) and I was permanently exhausted. 6 months after being on failsafe: normal liver function; 15kg lighter; headaches gone; no puffiness; iron now normal – Susan

I’ve had chronic sinus issues my whole life. Was going to have sinus surgery due to CT Scan and severity of symptoms but I changed my diet (no wheat or dairy) and my subsequent CT scan showed much healthier sinuses. I also had positive Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) in my 20s, which disappeared when retested last year (15 years on). The body and brain are so fascinating - Katie

[1621] Food effects “like out of body experience” – facebook thread (September 2021)

Q: Has anyone had trouble with thoughts...like out of body experience? And thoughts not coming in chronological order and just all crashing around? My DS20 is having a terrible time! - Janine

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Salicylates trip for me - Narelle

Yep salicylates make me feel like I’m in a cloud & not really present. Makes me feel like I’m on the outside looking in 😒🙃 – Abbie

I was a complete space cadet on amines, turned up to a massage that had not even been booked, but really thought it had. Put wrong contacts in wrong eyes. Super tired and spaced. I get really cold too, when I eat the wrong thing ... - Peta

I get the same thing! Brain fog, feeling fuzzy or “feeling out of it” I call it. It’s so frustrating but so glad I am finding relief now I am on elimination 🙂. (And also glad that we can all understand what we are going through. It’s tricky explaining to people who don’t experience it) – Pam

Thanks for your comments! I'll pass it along. He said he felt sooooo bad. It was quite scary - Janine

See more in factsheet on withdrawals with antidote for salicylate reactions.

[1620] Eating disorder behaviours – facebook thread (September 2021)

Q: Has anyone found that the elimination diet has triggered eating disorder behaviours that weren’t present before? - Terri

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It can trigger orthorexia in some people, which is sort of like considering all the foods that are bad for you, as being inherently toxic to *everyone* and not just, bad for yourself - Belinda

Unfortunately going on any sort of diet is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder – Sara

I have done the failsafe diet for both my husband and our son (one in, all in) and I am a recovering anorexic (last hospitalisation was over 20 years ago). I found that I had to start seeing my psychologist again when we first started the failsafe diet 3 years ago. Together we came up with strategies to overcome the feeling of restricting food intake etc which was extremely helpful – Kath

Yes. But on a lighter note....any diet that allows me to eat chips and jersey caramels is going to cause issues! - Annie
 
It was partially responsible for triggering OCD for me (but trauma played a big part too) because realizing I react to things like wrong cooking method or food kept a bit too long or contamination from other foods was something my brain grabbed hold of and ran with 😬 - Rene

I am the opposite. I never liked eating as I often felt unwell after eating. Now, I can eat without feeling sick so I actually eat more & enjoy eating - Sharyn

Yes, to the point I made myself really sick from malnutrition. I was already struggling with medicine-related poor appetite before failsafe. Around week 3 it all went downhill as I preferred starving to the idea of eating the stage one food options again. It took months for anyone to realise how little I was eating. It is still very early in the recovery stages where it is a huge achievement if I manage one meal and a snack two days in a row - Becky

Yes, but my dietician was aware that this happened a bit last time I did a gut healing course. We agreed that I had to do all the steps properly and transition off properly and check in often and have a food diary and write honestly so that if I wasn't eating enough or focusing on things too much he would steer me away from that. I have been better than last time but I want to get off this diet because while it's been helpful I know mentally I need to more food options again soon – Megan

Yes, this diet made me utterly bonkers! I was obsessive to the point if throwing food away if it was cooked a minute too long. Would be wonderful if there was a support group for this – Anne


We always recommend a supportive and experienced dietitian to supervise the RPAH protocol, particularly if there are food disorder issues. Elimination and challenge is a diagnostic protocol, not a lifestyle, and it is important to liberalise diet to your limits. Ask for RPAH’s liberalising advice This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


See more in our excellent factsheet with scientific references

[1619] What was the best thing you got out of reading Fed Up? (September 2021)

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It was my go-to when I was explaining to school and health care providers what I was doing. It was reassurance when I couldn’t remember the details and also a go-to for troubleshooting - Kristan

The references. It's strengthens your case enormously when dealing with sceptics, or those that thinks it's another form of 'fashionable' diet fad, including hospital admissions folk, teachers, etc – Stephanie

Didn't read the book but use the website. It's really useful for navigating tricky stuff like how to avoid glutamates etc. I was making mistakes and this helped me see where – Sarah

It helped me understand that I wasn’t just a naughty kid as I was treated - Ruth

This book was my bible when my kids were little. I did the failsafe diet 16 years ago, and it was the only reference I had. What have I got out of this book? Boys that went from being the ferals of the school to the politest boys in the school (in three weeks). Boys who I could take places, without fear of a food based tantrum, peace in the household, some of my sanity back. This book re-defined food for us, and has made our life so much better. It gave us the tool to let them be the men they are supposed to be. Now my oldest is 22, and we have been on this way of eating for 16 yearsand they still check labels. I have two at uni and one aimed there, all doing engineering of one form or another. Thank you for giving my boys back to me - Liz

This book is the only book I source recipes from. Can’t live without it. Thank you both. I recommend it to anyone who suffers allergies - Jean

[1618] 13 millionth visitor to the Food Intolerance Network (September 2021)

In September we recorded our 13 millionth website visitor at www.fedup.com.au. Thanks everyone for being so supportive and positive! Feedback:

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Woah! What an achievement 🙂 . Another sign that you've made it: you have a hater group on Facebook, called 'Sue Dengate Failsafe Group Exposed'. Apparently your dietary advice needs to include much more about the impacts of vaccines and water fluoridation on dietary intolerance! 🤣 Last I saw, it had six members – Tiffany

That is wonderful. What a help it is to so many. Thank you both. I first made contact with Sue nearly 30 years ago – Robyn

Thanks so much for all the straightforward, practical advice over the last 22 years (in my case!), you have truly been life savers - Helen

1 million of them is probably just from me checking stuff over and over 😂. Thank you for helping me SO much! 🙏💕 – Kristy

Thanks for all the advice you have shared over the years – Judy

What an incredible service you have provided families for all these years...through my daughter's journey i also learned about my own issues with amines and it has made an incredible difference to my quality of life, thank you! – Silv

Wow. Thanks for being there for so many years. A great knowledgeable support for so many people - Lorraine

Thanks for being there for so many of us in despair, then to see the way ahead - Helena

 

[1617] Celebrate this failsafe win! (August 2021)

Whether you believe in God or not please celebrate this failsafe win with me!

My 8 year old son just told me sheepishly he wanted to tell me something god did for him today. His friend gave him 50c so he decided to get an icy at the canteen (full of flavouring and additives and we have been on strict elimination diet for 5 weeks)...then when he went to get it out of the cup the stick broke. So he went to the canteen and they gave him a spoon. Then the spoon broke. He thought in that moment god was telling him not to break the diet so he threw it in the bin. Bless his little heart ❤️- Kylie

[1616] ADHD diet approach – facebook thread (August 2021)

Q: My 12yo son was diagnosed adhd & specific learning disorder 3 yrs ago & medicated. His teachers feel as though he is not progressing at all & he seems to be getting worse. They question his diagnosis, hence they are reassessing. I was hoping to try the elimination diet to see if this would help - am I best to do the 4 weeks elimination or just the ditch foods with additives, being that the main issue is that he is particularly vague, switches off, loses focus? - Bella

Answers from facebook group:

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6, he’s now 36. He was put on medication that didn’t help. Find something he’s really interested in, my son loved lego, to boost his concentration span, also reading, something that he loves, you will be rewarded, it takes time and a lot of effort from you but worthwhile – Della

Couldn’t agree more avoiding additives (incl synthetic perfumes etc), eating 100% organic is very effective for me as an autistic adult with ADHD. Medication still helps—it’s just not enough if the body is assaulted by inflammatory chemicals - Miff

I was asked to take my son for testing for autism but when he went onto strict elimination he completely changed overnight. His teacher told me she could see no sign of autism (although I know he's still got more subtle sensory needs, fixates on some things like science, how things work, screens, minecraft)...If he has something like broccoli he will run around crazily, sugar gives him a high but then a low where he'd lie down and cry, carrot for example he'd be aggressive or argue, some things he'll be very sensory and touch all the walls etc. Anyways, not a 'cure' as I think it is how he's wired and he's a really beautiful smart child... but it makes his life a lot easier - Micky

Autistic and ADHD person here. An elimination diet can help an environmentally Sensitive Autistic person but that's not the only thing that can help. Autistic people are sometimes capable of something called "Masking" which means suppressing Autistic traits. It's exhausting to do and causes fatigue and burnout. Getting him to stop doing the things that make him ADHD will lead to burnout. I would suggest you test him for Autism anyway and make sure his accommodations are met. There's lots of tools to help with sensory issues; headphones, weighted blankets, chewelry, fidget toys, etc. These will help him regulate his emotions and sift through uncomfortable stimuli - Sam

Any diet will not "cure" your child. Diets will only help your child if they are environmentally sensitive to those chemicals. Even if diet does do something, your child still has Autism or ADHD and finding ways to accommodate their needs instead of suppressing them will lead to an infinitely happier child. Put it this way, if loud noises bother your child you can teach them not to react to the noise, but the noise will be as loud or bothersome as ever. They just won't feel safe enough to show that they're hurting - Sam again

I get so upset when people try to “cure” neurodivergence. I can confirm that whilst I get grievous mood swings from artificial flavours, no amount of bloody vanilla ice cream will get me through Kmart exposure for longer than 30 minutes. The sensory overload is hell. The language used around the discussion of diet and asd/adhd needs to change otherwise people will continue to feel unacceptable members of society – Kate

The thing is, the ND people who don't have these food and chemical sensitivities see the whole thing as a myth. They don't understand the relationship that things making us sick, tired, or in pain can impact our focus or our tolerance for sensory overload – Kate again

My son had behavioural issues at home and in classroom around age 8 and the elimination diet resolved most, it was amazing the difference within 3 weeks. He was found not to have ADHD as there was never an issue of concentration on things he was engaged with. He reacts to salicylate, amines, antioxidant, benzoate and glutamate all with different reactions. Although he has less adverse reaction to salicylate which make him more sensitive, emotional etc. I have always wondered if they contribute to his lack of concentration in class. My son now 14, eats relatively well at home but whatever he chooses away from home has fewer behavioural issues as he has grown but has zero interest in reading/writing school subjects and is behind for his age – Nicky

Everyone is different, so react to different things. So I'd definitely try full elimination. My 5yr old has ADHD, after 4wks we definitely saw improvements in focus and sitting still. Eg. from getting up from dining table 20+ times while having dinner to only getting up 2-5 times; finally sitting at group time and not running around the classroom and touching the child next to him; sat and focused on colouring in a picture for the first time. So hopefully he will be able to sit long enough to actually learn something now. Sals made him return to previous non-focus behaviours – Lena

It is very hard at first, I may have had a bit of a meltdown in the first week of planning menus. And being out and about or birthday parties is hard. My son has delays also, but has noticed himself that his speech has improved (his oppositional behaviour has reduced considerably so that he actually partakes in his speech sessions). He is so proud of himself, so I use that to remind him at parties etc, so he understands why he's on the diet. Plus I give him marshmallows and chips so he doesn't completely miss out – Lena again

It's easier with the assistance of an RPAH trained Dietitian - Samantha

[1615] Amine challenge causes nose bleeds (August 2021)

My nose bleeds have finally stopped 4 days post Amine Challenge 😁👍 My ENT has been trying to work out the cause of sporadic nose bleeds for years! They even happen mid race up mountains but I know why now. I have heard so many crazy reasons for my nose bleeds over the years 😂. Pat yourselves on the back all of you celebrating failsafe wins out there 😁🤗 - Pam

Erin: Me too! Amines also. Unbelievable that I put up with it for so long!

Mary: Happens to me too!

See Amines factsheet

(Howard's comment: amines and other food chemicals can also alter blood pressure, see [1129] for instance)

[1614] Vertigo and salicylates (August 2021)

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Just wanted to report my good news about the elimination diet working to stop vertigo!  It's the salicylates, after trying to include some moderates, (too many at once) the vertigo came back mildly.  Next time I try some moderates I will have half a cup every second day to start with. My 'healthy' only wholefood diet before Failsafe was VERY high in all the natural food chemicals.  So thankful to the Dengates and RPAH for sharing their knowledge about how to relieve food intolerance symptoms – Laura

More in blog on vertigo

[1613] “He was a totally different child” (August 2021)

We started the strict elimination diet 8 weeks ago. After 5 weeks we reached baseline - it was incredible. He was a totally different child - calm, relaxed, focused, went straight to sleep and slept for 11 nearly 12 hours, was easy to reason with, had increased self control etc etc. Then we trialled dairy nearly 3 weeks ago......many of the behaviours returned, his sleep was instantly affected and his skin broke down in cracks and rashes. We are still trying to get back to baseline after the dairy challenge - could be weeks, months before we do. But at least I know dairy is part of the problem. We consult a dietitian regularly - one recommended by Sue Dengate. And I've read everything I can get my hands on. It makes so much sense to me now - Jacqui

[1612] One-liners (August 2021)

UPDATE to [952] 5 years later: I must say also, thank you so much you have changed my eldest's life!  In fact, you have changed our whole family's life (including the Grandparents!) as we have all been avoiding additives for the past 5 yrs and wow what a difference it has made biggrin - Emma

I'm not too sure what the big words mean but the irrational defiance my kids showed vanished when we removed their food triggers through the diet – Mimsy

Failsafe changed our world - Charlotte

After suffering for some years from quite debilitating and embarrassing problems caused by food intolerances I finally found the RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook.  I have been using it now for the past 11 years.  It has become an essential part of my life and is always close by.  When slips happen and problems start to return I go straight back to the charts.  The Failsafe Newsletters are a great source of information and inspiration, please keep them coming!  I am very grateful to the RPAH and the Dengates for shining a light on the terrible problems intolerances and food additives can cause both adults and children – Lynda

Carpal Tunnel in both wrists is gone. No more braces for me. Salicylates caused the inflammation – Jo (Carpal tunnel syndrome is possibly the most common nerve disorder experienced today affecting 4-10 million Americans)

Amines were our trigger for "hating the world", sleep and anger which is supposedly common. However unfortunately everyone is different so you will need to do the elimination – Jane

My daughter diagnosed with ADHD, severe anxiety and reacts really badly to high sals, artificial colours, dairy and wheat. Definitely worth trying elimination process, it has helped us heaps – Lucy

My son (7.5) had a lot of success with the diet and teachers comment on his new found concentration. I would suggest doing in conjunction with a Failsafe dietician – Emma

Failsafe changed our lives. Our son couldn’t stay on task long, struggled to deal with other people changing what he was doing/playing with, etc. We have been failsafe for over a year. We did doctors first but got nowhere even with sample testing, hydrogen tests, ultrasound tests, etc – Donna

Our 9yo was very angry, upset, defiant. Often he would wake up and he “never relaxed” that day. That was our term for how he was emotionally when anything just seemed to trigger him. The diet really helped - Peter

[1611] Restless legs (August 2021)

A note on my food intolerance journey: one of my myriad symptoms used to be insomnia, which was really, really annoying. My symptoms are much better now, and in recent months I've been able to incorporate a lot more foods into my diet as long as I don't overdo it. Insomnia is 95% gone. But when I do eat some of these non-fs foods, one of my exciting new symptoms is restless legs. This is worst when I'm watching TV before bed, not in bed, fortunately. Sometimes I feel it in bed but certain positions relieve it. So still way better than insomnia, but a strange new one. I had blood work done recently for magnesium and Vitamin D and those numbers were fine. It's quite specific to after eating higher chemical foods. Anyone else get restless legs from food chems? – Teresa

This was something my husband suffered from, but it eased when I stopped dairy in his diet when at home. I used to occasionally get it before I stopped eating dairy many years ago – Mary

Yes, I get them when eat something I ought not to, I also get bad cramps when I do as well! Nights not the most fun for me, although, like you - I DO seem to be sleeping better, instead of waking every 2 hours, I now can sleep 3 hours straight – Di

(Howard comment: 16 other reports if you search our stories and see Factsheet on sleep disturbance and insomnia)

[1610] How long does it take on diet to get changes? – facebook thread (July 2021)

Q: How long did were your kiddos on the elimination diet before you saw significant changes? - Kylie

A: Answers from facebook thread:

Immediately - Sue

Fast, I had a completely changed child within 3 weeks - Nicky

3 days and that wasn’t even full elimination. It then got worse before it got better again - Nadine

4 weeks for us but glad we hung in there - Shellie

3-4 wks - 4yr old; included moderate foods - definitely better results when less of the mod foods; done for ADHD; can concentrate/sit for 20 min as opposed to 3 seconds previously, way less oppositional/defiant, less meltdowns, improved speech. Was subtle at first, but when we did the first challenge it became apparent just how much he'd improved - Lee

About a week. Then there were behaviour upsets for a few weeks until week four when I think he realised he felt better and just decided he was ok eating failsafe for the one that was a toddler at the time - Michelle

I am on week 5 and found I had to drop from moderate to low food to clear my migraines & other side effects. (my nose still runs at every meal though) - Pam

A few days. 2-3 weeks for big change. But, we had to do low. We keep failing all of our challenges and I have recently realised that most rice products I thought were okay, are actually not. Once we cut out rice products (except for actual rice) we finally got to the end of it. I feel amazing. Then I eat out and curse myself for how sick I am feeling – Erin

48 hours max! I must confess there were a few emotional withdrawal moment. Relatively minor though – Lyn

(Howard comment: don’t forget withdrawals, a good sign that you are reacting to food, typically on days 4-5 after starting elimination – see factsheet)

[1609] Salicylates: “comfort food doesn’t always bring comfort” (July 2021)

I never post but I am feeling overwhelmed today!! All I wanted with sick kids and no sleep, I have a 4 yo girl, 2 yo boy and 4.5 mth old baby.. all sick .. went off the low salicylate diet for 2 weeks .. I just wanted the foods mum cooked me .. now I have a 4 yo tantruming and peeing and pooing herself .. 2 yo hitting everyone but still well mannered .. baby is neutral .. don't know how long it will take for kids to reset but God it is hard being on this diet for kids – Danna

(Howard comment: great support from facebook group including recipes, seeking dietitian support, getting the Failsafe Cookbook and antidote “to help them reset you can put a cup of Epsom salts in their bath for the next two baths. This will make it faster. It clears all food chemicals. To help clear salicylates get a quarter of a tsp of bicarb into a drink that will help too”)

[1608] Wein Personal Air Purifier “very helpful” for MCS (July 2021)

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I'm finding the Wein AS300R very helpful. It has definitely helped lift a lot of my brain fog (I've been diagnosed with MCS which has a huge impact on my diet and food tolerance). I did find the Wein smelly from VOCs (unwearable) when I first received it and put it outside in the fresh air and wrapped in carbon fabric overnight which helped a lot and it's now wearable. I can see how others might struggle. It has also helped in the car. I use an air purifier in the car but I was still struggling. Wearing the Wein as well while in the car, means I arrive at work after my morning commute with a clear head and start my day able to think. At work I have a small office, also with an air purifier in it and I do reasonably well in that room. However, every time I leave that room I'm exposed to building VOCs, cooking smells from a cafe in the building, air "freshener" (!) smells in the toilets, food smells where people prepare lunches and general perfume,  laundry powder, deodorant smells - the typical stuff that causes problems for us sensitive folk. Here the Wein really works well. I do notice it struggles with any of these if they are very strong. My husband is thrilled with my improvement so far. Thanks for making this great tool available. I can see I'll be using it a lot and I plan to buy a second one as back up -  Frances

UPDATE OVER A YEAR LATER:

I wanted to give you a follow-up update on the Wein. I used it flying to Queensland, back in the time where we could fly around the country, however that trip did not go so well.

On the return journey, I used the Wein and a face mask and that was fantastic, the best I have ever been while on a plane. No brain fog, nausea, or fatigue.  Well worth it.

[1607] Danielle’s story - ‘every day felt like groundhog day’ COURAGE AWARD (July 2021)

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

[1606] Salicylates and nasal polyps (May 2021)

I have been on the RPAH low salicylate diet for many years with tremendous success in controlling very severe asthma … My doctor … has been very interested and supportive of all the food intolerance information. He is quite a convert! As well as asthma, I also had very bad nasal polyps. Had two lots of very painful surgery to remove them. When I stopped using the nasal spray the specialist prescribed they went away and never came back. My GP was totally convinced!!! - Krys aged 78

[1605] Seizures: "I need to tweak my sals" (May 2021)

I was delighted to read the latest newsletter and see the information about seizures. I have had food and chemical intolerance since the 1970s, diagnosed in the US.I am 77 and really my whole life has been a struggle with allergies! Now I live in the UK where doctors are very scathing about these problems, particularly the seizures. I have been ridiculed and shouted at by medical staff and had concussion when I was allowed to fall on the floor. For the last few years I have been steadily getting worse in spite of low sals diet, no nasty chemicals etc. I now very rarely go out because strong fragrance (detergents etc) gives me seizures, also only one friend who went Fragrance Free can visit me.

In March 2020 I got Covid 19 when I had to go food shopping due to deliveries being unavailable...there was no food to deliver! That developed into Long Covid, which is only now starting to improve. I had a few days in hospital and had a major seizure there, (and fell as already mentioned) due to all the chemicals and awful diet I am sure. I had several more when I came home, what my doctor called 'funny (?) turns'. The good news is that on the Low Phenol diet, I have steadily improved! But due to the Covid brain fog and feeling so awful I needed some motivation and found your Failsafe Cookbook on Amazon which just shows that every cloud has a silver lining or somebody is looking out for me. I see that I need to tweak my sals in light of latest research now I have been on the website, and also watch out for propionate, which I today found in both gluten free and normal bread! Thank you so much for all the hard work you do - Sarah from the UK

[1604] Sharing the positives – facebook thread (May 2021)

For people like us, with complicated medical conditions, it is sometimes hard to focus on the positives. I have been on a restricted diet for about ten years, going from strict elimination, gluten and dairy and soy free to being able to eat gluten, amines and some glutamates and moderate salicylates. I'd like to share some of the positives I've discovered on this diet:

•    When I've been bad, (broken my diet) I get to reward myself with a nice luxurious bath with epsom salts.
•    Pancakes are still possible.
•    I have found a partner who not only enjoys my cooking, but is willing to change all his cleaning and personal products to fragrance free.
•    Roku gin is absolutely delicious and still failsafe!
•    I can breathe without prednisolone - Jennifer

Roku Gin is failsafe!? emojiDISMAY I am literally crying. Thank you for making this post emojiSMILE it's really much needed for me as I'm just at the start of my journey and trying not to be down about it - emojiHEART Kay

No migraines, diarrhoea, hot flushes & nausea for 4 weeks!! emojiHEARTemojiHEARTS - Sandra

My daughter sleeps and isn’t in pain from my breast milk - Amy

I can sleep better and are more clear thinking and less fatigued. I can do more exercise and cope with stress better. Less anxious and have lost weight! And my memory is returning - Charlotte

I very rarely cough now, I no longer need a ventolin puffer, my skin is clear and my husband eats everything I cook, which means not having to cook two meals - Sandi

Less mood swings and depression, no hot flushes, no more daily migraines or headaches!! I don’t miss running to the toilet all night long either – Elise

No mood swing roller coaster for my son, who now checks labels himself and chooses to avoid triggers because he recognises how awful they make him feel. Winning!! Oh and all our family and friends are super respectful of his needs- emojiBIGSMILE Rebecca

The best post ever. Thank you everyone for sharing your positivity. If I stick to the diet I sleep and have no headaches and since dealing with sibo I have no bloating and no regular trips to the toilet. And how good is finding failsafe food options? Regular eaters just wouldn't appreciate the excitement - Petra

•    My relationship is better thanks to minimised mental/emotional health reactions.
•    I spend a fraction of the amount used to on topical steroids for my skin.
•    I sleep.
•    My child is not considered 2e (2e is twice exceptional and is used to refer to kids who are intellectually gifted as well as neurodiverse or have other learning difficulties) any more, just gifted, and hasn't been sent to the principal's office for 3 years - Stephanie

My baby’s gut is healing, she’s gaining weight and growing well. If nobody was told they’d have no idea the food challenges we have faced so I could breastfeed her - Kylie

In 2 months my baby has shown massive improvement in his behaviour and since he was partially breastfeeding I was on diet too, including Gf and DF. After 6 weeks of diet I found that my thyroid (which I had for 10 years and GP always said I have to be on medicine for life) is getting better and doc has reduced my medicine. It even helped me with my knee and back pain, plus bursitis with which I have been struggling for few years - I literally don’t feel any pain in knee atm. So so happy that I am able to walk and climb stairs without any pain. Even though I was doing it for my baby it proved to be a blessing for myself too and my family - Kassie

•    My daughter is becoming more calm and herself again.
•    Our sanity might just be saved (what's left of it emojiUPSIDEDOWNSMILEemojiQUIZZICALSMILE)
•    We are all eating a lot healthier and it has been a huge wake up call to go through and see just how much CRAP is in our everyday foods.
•    We are all feeling better for it emojiHEARTS - Jasmine

My skin is back to beautiful now and I no longer feel like an ugly itchy cranky monster. Most days I am in a good mood and feel good overall. On the days I don't, I know tomorrow is a new day and I will feel better - Molly

My aches and pains have stopped. I've cut out SOOOO much medication. Haven't had an asthma attack in 10 weeks (been fs for 12 weeks). I sleep!!!!! and only need 6-7 hours instead of 11-12. I have energy. I've lost 11kgs - emojiHEART Nicola

I’ve lost that uncomfortable, yuck/shabby pain feeling (stomach/oesophagus). I’ve lost 10 kg. My anxiety/stress levels have never been so low. I feel awesome. Life is good and I’ve energy to burn. Just as an aside I’m 60. Thank you - emojiANOTHERSMILE Annette

I have lost weight, am not as ill as used to be, feel more "human" most days - Diane

[1603] 5 positives about finding the right dietitian/health professional – facebook responses (May 2021)

My 9 month old has made incredible leaps and bounds working with (a dietitian). Our main symptom was terrible sleep quality and night pains and some very mild eczema and mucus nappies. Baby girl is amazing now after 2 months of guided heavily strict nutrition, and tolerating so much more now and sleeping though - Amy

My son was 3 or so when we started FS (now 14) and the paed basically said we were over reacting. But I had an amazing and supportive GP and used RPAH and Sue Dengate books as guide, kept a diary of every response and figured it out on our own (we were in Darwin at the time). It just took time! - Kim

I saw (my dietitian) via Skype, she was incredibly knowledgeable, understanding and lives failsafe with her family. Lots of email contact and food diary, asked me to send pictures of poop etc. She did get quite busy towards the end but I was really happy with her for the six months we saw her – Penny

My issues nearly killed me with severe lack of sleep and the kids with diarrhoea and vomiting. Worst time of my life and we are still recovering years later. However I went to (a dietitian) directly linked to the RPAH, even phoning them to discuss several times. We had monthly appointments plus email contact and a GP specialising in allergies and dietician team. Things changed the moment we started the diet, such a relief!! -  Michelle

(My dietitian) has been amazing. We did a Skype/telehealth appt within three days of this original posting, she did plans for me, answers questions that I email even when I am sure she should be in bed! Managed to pinpoint what our main problem was - amines - and I have plans with her to broaden – Melissa

See list of experienced and supportive dietitians in Australia and overseas who can support you through this protocol (some consult in languages other than English)

[1602] Eczema: Looking back 2 years (May 2021)

These pictures popped up in my phone memories. First before we started failsafe diet, 3yo and battling daily asthma and eczema head to toe for 2 years. Second from last night, indulging plain purple cabbage and carrot - Emily

1601A   1601B

See Eczema, hives and rashes factsheet

[1601] Chronic migraines and Hemicrania Continua – facebook responses (May 2021)

I have recently been diagnosed with chronic migraines and a rare neurological condition called Hemicrania Continua (constant fluctuating pain on one side of my head for the rest of my life). I came across failsafe many years ago for my then 4 year old child, whom is now 17 and doing well! 😀

I am interested in hearing from migraine sufferers or if anyone else may have HC also?  I am reactive to histamines, I also react to preservatives and additives, dairy, and possibly gluten, I have IBS, anxiety and PTSD. I see a neurologist and am on preventative meds and also medication for my migraines if I get a bad one – Shelley

Response from Lisa - I've been a migraine sufferer for over 30 years. I ended up in the allergist’s office in 2018. After working out my allergens they put me on the RPAH diet. The only times I've had a migraine since has been when I've eaten high chemical foods or chemical exposures. I react to the smell of fragrance, plastics, smoke etc which can cause pain and I wear a Vogmask for that as well as make my home safe. I have damage to the trigeminal nerve on the right side of my head. It used to be bad after the initial trauma but the pain isn't continuous and now I get it approx 48 hours before rain arrives. Basically I'm a walking weather barometer. I can do mod sals in small portions and I can eat chickpea and buckwheat but in small amounts. Vegan doesn't work for me - too many veggies would overflow my bucket back to migraine territory.

Response from Peta - It didn’t help with my migraines, I avoid amines anyway if I can but the salicylates don’t seem to make a difference.

Response from Michelle - Removing all scents from our house fixed almost all mine... I've only had a couple of milder ones in the last couple of years which is fantastic.

Response from Vanessa - I have had severe migraines and other symptoms. I follow failsafe plus I can’t have dairy, wheat or gluten. I see a neurologist and am on meds. I don’t have migraines unless I eat the wrong thing or are under high stress - I have other weird neurological symptoms that my doctor said could be an unusual form of migraine or something else - I put a huge effort into my wellbeing in general via exercise, meditation, mental health exercises and other things. I have a Masters degree in Public Health so have used that knowledge to develop a program for myself. I am now going really really well as long as I stay in my limits, working 3 days per week plus I have three children and have never felt better. This is a far cry from 2 years ago when I couldn’t work at all due to severity of migraines and other symptoms.

See factsheet on headaches and migraines

[1600] Prostatitis as a possible food intolerance reaction (April 2021)

At 73 I have been eating failsafe for more than 20 years. Last year, after recurrence of an eye problem from my 20s, I attempted to considerably increase my intake of non-failsafe but eye-friendly lutein and zeaxanthin (yellow plant pigments) by eating four non-failsafe foods I hadn't eaten before: kale (high in salicylates), honeydew melon (canteloupe, high in sals), goji berries (very high in sals and amines) and capsicum (bell pepper, very high in sals).

Within 24 hrs I had symptoms I had never experienced before: extreme pain on starting urinating, frequent night-time urination (nocturia) and constant prostate pain.

The doctor was mystified since I had never had any prostate issues at all, had no infection, and didn’t even have the enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia BPH common in men of my age) because as a vegan I do not follow the Western diet. After 72 hrs I stopped the four hi-sal foods. The pain disappeared completely within 24 hrs and has not recurred within the following 14 months. It seems likely to me that this incident was caused by excessive salicylates - Tom by email.

See blog on Urination issues and food intolerance

[1599] 160b annatto: serious allergic reaction to popcorn (April 2021)

I ate microwave popcorn lunchtime on a Tuesday and lamb for dinner and became very itchy around 7pm. I broke out in hives and the next day I got antihistamines which didn't help so Wednesday night I went to the hospital and got steroid tablets but it flared up even worse all night.

It went to my face and throat. Thursday I had the popcorn and within half an hour this time my throat was on fire with spots around my mouth and I was back at the hospital Thursday and Thursday night where they gave me 5 days of steroids and 2 types of antihistamines. My aunt is a nurse and after investigating the popcorn ingredients we put it down to Annatto. Saturday night it felt like it had moved to my chest I've had to get a chest xray today and my heart has been having palpitations so that's being investigated also – Anna

1599a   1599b (comment was sought from Greens customer relations, no response to date)

[1598] 160b annatto: “completely out control” (March 2021)

Yesterday Nanny and Tylah cooked some Green’s cupcakes. She thought she was doing the right thing, she made sure that there were no artificial colours or flavours in them.... however the Green’s ‘Trolls’ cupcakes designed for kids contained Annatto.

When I got home from work miss 3 was completely strung out, tantrums, uncontrollable crying, bouncing off the walls mood completely out control. Poor bubba - Rob

1598greens (comment was sought from Greens customer relations, no response to date)

See Annatto 160b factsheet

[1597] Salicylate-induced nosebleeds and asthma (March 2021)

In your article about low salicylate diet what intrigued me was the issue regarding ibuprofen. Looking back I would suggest that ibuprofen was the first thing which caused problems for me. In my case it is nosebleeds. Any foods with heavy salicylates would trigger nose bleeds. It is almost instantaneous. Spinach for me is the worst but as time has gone on I have found tomatoes, blueberries, avocados etc. will also cause  them. I did not make the connection with my asthma either until reading the article on your website. It also started around the same time that I had the reaction to ibuprofen. Very strange indeed. Thanks for this information - Sue L

Aspirin, dietary salicylates and nurofen side-effects

[1596] 160b annatto: "I did not sleep for an entire night" (March 2021)

I first learned about 160b affecting me when I ate a Magnum icecream. I did not sleep for an entire night.

Occasionally I slip up and eat something with 160b in it and of course I suffer the same effects like my brain is speeding, lasting for hours.

I am sensitive to other additives as well including MSG which is hard to detect at times. I am 75 yrs old now and have suffered food intolerances for years and have had to live with sleep deprived nights regularly.

Why do they do it? White icecream tastes the same as yellow icecream! - Suzie

[1595] Frequent night waking in breastfed baby (March 2021)

My son is 4 months old, breastfed and was waking every 45 minutes at night and very unsettled / uncomfortable all day. I knew it was food related but struggled to get the doctor to even acknowledge this was possible. Having gone on meat and veg he is sleeping 4-5 hours in a row ... I want to find a dietician to work through the strict elimination diet with me - Beth, UK

[1594] Teenager with autism and depression (March 2021) COURAGE AWARD

I am 18, turning 19 in March … I’m currently in university, studying on campus. I have ASD (Autism), GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder), ADHD and Depression…  I have struggled all my life with food intolerances, in fact my mum tells me I almost died when I was a baby because of them. I was failsafe until I was 5 and then mum eased off a bit. And I recently went back on because my symptoms were getting out of hand. I have found massive improvements - Jemma  WATCH VIDEO

BlogteenJ  9min 25sec

[1594] 282: Bread preservative in breastmilk

The worst additive in my experience thus far is the preservative 282 used in most commercial breads. This additive is so strong that when breast feeding my 6 month old baby boy Chris if I ate only 1 slice he got enough through my breast milk to cause him to start screaming in agony with stomach cramps and have diarrhoea within 12 hours of me eating the bread containing 282. Chris is now 21 months old and if he eats anything with 282 he is in terrible pain and has diarrhoea within hours - report given to Sue Dengate in 2002

littlechristopher

[1593] One-liners (February 2021)

Thank you FAILSAFE - despite late nights, lots of people, excitement and travel we enjoyed two happy, cooperative children who, even now, are sitting quietly happily playing together 🙂 – Rebecca

I’ve been experiencing this same phenomenon the last few days since we cut sals. My 6 yr old son walked in the back door this arvo with his arm draped over little sisters shoulder. It was the cutest thing! - Annabel

We are truly grateful for the work that you do, with much appreciation, the XXX family

Your website and detailed information has helped me immensely with my food and chemical sensitivity – Tim

Thanks as always for your continuing support & advocacy for all of us with food intolerances – Jenny

You guys are doing great work so thankyou :) - Adam

I'm most grateful for The Failsafe Cookbook and website which have and continue to be a lifesaver to me. Your educative work is invaluable - the support and guidance it has given me has changed my life - William

I would like to say thank you for what you and Sue, and all those who assist you, do. Since listening to Sue speaking at the Fedup Roadshow in Clare in 2013 our family has been avoiding the colours, flavours, preservatives, synthetic antioxidants & flavour enhancers listed as problematic, and boy do we know when we stray!! It's not easy to keep up with so I rely constantly on the information you provide in your shopping list re additives in foods. It is always kept up to date, and problems/changes noted. I'd be lost without your resources. There must be so many people like myself who you never hear from, who follow silently, but whose lives you have changed. So, THANK YOU! 🙂 - Lisa

I'd like to say THANK YOU for your valuable, relentless and inspiring work in the field of food intolerance! One cannot overestimate the support - both through information and self-empowerment - that you give to people affected by food intolerances and those caring for people who are affected - Sylke (Berlin Dietitian)

 

canstockphoto588415small

 

[1592] 200 sorbate: serious allergic reaction (February 2021)

I can attest to sorbate allergies that started with my cheeks flushing, heart rate going up and coughing in 2006. In 2007 I broke a rib trying to suppress a cough after eating at a restaurant. I went on an elimination diet for 1 month eating only rice, then re-introduced fruits and veg, then meats and dairy products. By then I had worked out it was an additive because I reacted to yoghurt but not milk. Eventually a fruit juice gave the reaction. Since then I have avoided it as far as possible. However despite my best efforts sometimes one still gets exposed. The allergy has progressed to bronchospasm, upper airway obstruction and hypotension requiring 4l of IV fluids to restore. I now carry adrenalin (Epipen) on me.
 
Different countries contain sorbate in different things. In South Africa butter only contains salt, in Australia some butter contained sorbate. The same brand of ice-cream in South Africa does not contain sorbate but in America it does… - Josie (South Africa)

See Sorbate factsheet

[1591] Obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD and diet? (edited facebook thread) (January 2021)

Has anyone here ‘cured’ OCD and severe eating related anxiety/preferences using the failsafe diet? Asking for a friend’s 5 year old who is really suffering ❤️. At the moment he eats a gluten bread with propionates, dairy cheese, a gluten brioche with preservatives, orange juice. He won’t eat anything else. I think he accepted water the other day as a sub but she tried GF bread and that was not acceptable. Wouldn’t even touch it. Really tough situation - Emma

Yes. Immediately. Cut out food dyes and processed foods. Immediately a different child. Found out it also helped my migraines and lead me here and autoimmune diet. But it was hard and a lot of trial and error - Kay

My little boy displayed some strange OCD type behaviours before FS and all went away within a short time of beginning the diet - Maria

Yup. Honestly, it turned out that all of the foods I had childhood anxiety around, I'm severely reactive to - Becky

Have they looked into pans/pandas? - Elendel (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) is a clinical diagnosis given to children who have a dramatic - sometimes overnight - onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms including obsessions/compulsions or food restriction. Said to affect 1:200 children. https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/service/pans-pandas/what-are-pans-pandas

Yes and am finding out the hard way what happens when a 10 year old, (usually gluten free and simple failsafe) has some Tim Tam treats as a school holiday treat – Rose

I’ve found out with ‘messy monkeys’ ... a “healthy” breakfast cereal gifted to my boys for Christmas – Fi

My son had motor and vocal tics that went away with the diet changes – Cath (see Factsheet on tics and Tourette symptoms)

Anxiety/OCD could be related to something entirely different that is just manifesting itself in food issues as it is a means of ‘controlling’ something in the little ones life. A good psychologist or counsellor might be beneficial. I know if a little one who has anxiety around food cos she was told to chew her food slowly as she might choke and then the next night her brother almost did choke. So now she takes forever to eat. So, as I said, it depends on the issue at hand – Ruth

[1590] Salicylates: over-indulged on cinnamon candies (January 2021)

Back in the late 80’s I was dashed to RPAH after I over-indulged on cinnamon candies. I was under the care of Anne Swain and Dr Robert Loblay and also met with Sue Dengate at the time.  I was found to have severe salicylate intolerance and have pretty much remained on a very restricted diet for decades. After a decade of living abroad and recently returning to Australia , I am absolutely OVER the MOON to see the leaps and bounds in the understanding of salicylate intolerance! There’s so much more understanding, information, education!

THANK you so much for your amazing work. So many more people are now aware of the dietary restrictions of salicylate intolerance. So thankful for finding this group! – Mimi

[1589] ASD: “Please give me some hope” (edited facebook thread) (January 2021)

This thread has been edited to preserve the flavour of a recent long discussion in the closed Failsafe group 

Question to parents of autistic kids: Did you see them getting worse before getting better after starting the diet? Today we are on our 5th day of diet. I saw benefits like good sleep, less anxiety and good energy. But today he is irritated, looks sick, crying, pinching and inattentive. I’m feeling very low. Please give me some hope.

I must also mention my son gets horrible symptoms after eating stuff like okra , eggplant. He becomes uncontrollable with his silly laughter and hyperactivity. Which lasts for some time followed by crying/cranky days.   Problem here is our 7 yo can’t say what is bothering him and we are already on gfcfsf corn and soy free diet since many years. Now he is much better now focussed , happy , energetic but still stimming eeee and playing with his saliva – U.

The diet worked here, but it was very important for me to keep a food diary of all foods/ingredients eaten by my child. Sometimes something you might think is okay is actually a trigger. It’s a bit of detective work, but well worth it in the long run - D.

Symptoms can be from foods eaten up to 3 days prior! It also depends on the cumulative effect of repeated foods or food chemicals groups eg salicylates. So it might appear that a food is tolerated one day and not after a few days as the body has reached capacity - L.

I have one child that failsafe was amazing for, and the other it made no difference. Both have Autism - K.

If you see withdrawal reactions pretty quick there is absolutely hope, unfortunately it can get worse before it gets better. Sleep improvement was 1 of the first things I noticed within days. Hang in there, get through the withdrawals, you will be glad you did - S.

We had over a week of withdrawals and looking back I could see each of our food reactions being stripped away one by one. Aka the withdrawal symptoms mirrored her different intolerances (Sals make her vague, amines make her antagonistic, glutamates make her hyper, antioxidants make her crazy). After withdrawals she calmed right down - R.

We had no withdrawal symptoms but did find extra foods he was not ok with. And as he was having extra of those due to the more limited diet it can be confusing... the dietician and allergy specialists we worked with were very helpful in this - M

Mine had both digestive issues which improved dramatically and one child had behavioural issues and had been asked to do an autism assessment. His teacher later commented that she could no longer see signs of autism. He is currently having attention issues,  sometimes after adding a few new foods so will have to scale them back again and experiment. He is still extremely focused on certain things and is very sensory and somewhat emotional at times, but no longer screams, cries, hits, can't focus etc unless he eats the wrong foods – M (again).

I have symptoms of autism and work with autistic kids. My experience is that we aren’t sensitive to natural foods as a rule - we’re reactive to food additives and additives in other products. I don’t believe in withdrawal symptoms in my experience if you’re still reacting that means you haven’t eliminated all your triggers yet – M2.

We can't say that all symptoms will be gone if he's avoiding his true triggers. I don't think autism is something to "cure", but manage – M2 (again).

I guess that the other thing to keep in mind is that not everything is going to be about food chemicals. Stimming and playing with saliva are potentially sensory seeking behaviors that allow him to engage with his environment – M3.

[1588] Autism: “ASD improved out of sight” (January 2021)

My eldest son had already been through some trauma by the time he was 4, but when we moved to a new house and he was covered in head-to-toe bites I assumed it was insect bites, midges, mozzies at the new location.  So, I covered him up, and put-on insect repellent and still they came up, we went to Dr after Dr who all said they were insect bites.  After a period of months, I mentioned this to my mother who told me that if the ‘bites’ appear symmetrically on the body then maybe it was food reaction.  One of my first obvious clues.

By now he had started school, an event I had eagerly anticipated as my son was very bright and loved to be engaged.  However, school did not go well, my son was angry, aggressive, violent.  At home he made constant noises, threatened to hurt people (in his mind he was joking), couldn’t sleep, he had weird breathing patterns, he itched all over (and was covered in scars for years), his hair stood on end, he had potty words in every sentence, I also noticed echolalia and palilalia, he couldn’t sit in a chair (literally), was never ever still, he couldn’t focus, on timeout he would smash his toys and ruin his furniture, I was constantly called in after school by the teacher for his behaviour, by the time I had him home he was so uptight he would start punching me.  Things were not going well.  Unfortunately, things at home were also difficult, my partner at the time had taken an adversarial position against our son’s behaviour which did not help at all.  Due to his critical and difficult positions I did not feel I had any support in trialling the elimination diet as I knew he would not help and would certainly not change his diet in any way at all.

By now I was beside myself with strain and stress.  I again mentioned my son’s behaviour and skin to my father, who is severely food intolerant.  He told me that skin rashes like that are the tip of the reaction iceberg and often only show after all the other ‘hidden’ reactions like soft tissue swelling which can occur all over the body including the brain and nasal passages.   The penny finally dropped. I realised just how much my son was suffering from what was most likely a severe food intolerance.  My then partner worked FIFO 3 on 2 off, so I waited until he was on for 3 weeks as I knew it would be enough time to dive right into the elimination diet.  I also spoke to my sons P & C canteen ladies who were super supportive and made sure there was food and drinks he could order at the canteen for lunch like the other kids.

Both my sons and I started the elimination diet, focusing on ‘what you can have’ rather than ‘what you can’t have’ attitude.  I had read that if it works you might get a strong reaction on day 4 or 5.  Well, on day four my eldest son and I both squared off for war of the worlds.  Grrrr! We were both so mad.  I though ok, this is good. I’m hopefully on the right path.  We stuck at it 100%, toothpaste, cleaning products, food, everything.

The changes revealed themselves slowly, one by one little miracles occurred over the next three weeks including the following:

•    No more hives.
•    No more constant noises.
•    Breathing improved.
•    Sleep improved.
•    Behaviour became much less aggressive and defiant.
•    Digestive issues settled down.
•    Swearing in every sentence disappeared!
•    Echolalia and palilalia disappeared!
•    And after three weeks, the child who could only hide in the corner and hiss in response to upset, turned around to me and announced: “You know mum, I really don’t like it when you boss me around.”!!

The elimination diet wasn’t a cure for ADHD and ASD, but for us it resolved much of the worst behaviour and allowed his true nature to come through.

His ADHD symptoms settled a great deal but he was still hyperactive, but I believe that was largely due to the home situation and that he was also suffering from trauma, additionally having ASD and being in a regular classroom was challenging for him.  His teachers worked with him and gave him two desks.

His ASD improved out of sight, he was still himself, but such a different more comfortable and happier version that could communicate and manage himself with greater skill.  I asked him how he felt after about 4 weeks, his response “Better than you’ll ever know mum”.   I never had to force him to stick to the diet, he did it voluntarily for years apart from the odd slip up.

To me the changes were so dramatic, he was like a new person, still himself, but different.  I realised after years of battling I couldn’t cope with him reverting, so we didn’t do the challenges. I was sure he was reacting to everything anyway. He stayed on the diet for years, but over time I very slowly reintroduced things.   Every now and then we would slip up, and I’d be scratching my head trying to figure out why I was so cross with him.  Then I’d do my homework and figure out if he’d eaten anything or been to someone else’s place and sure enough I’d find the culprit.  Sometimes it was a well intentions friend’s mother feeding him treats, one time it was a wart patch (made with salicylic acid) that was enough to change his behaviour - Mary

[1587] Autism: “so many improvements in all areas” (January 2021)

My daughter is 18 now. She is salicylate, amine, glutamate, colours, soy, SLS in body care products intolerant and can only do small amounts of lactose free milk and very minimal wheat. She has Autism, ADHD, Depression and anxiety. She was not interested in doing failsafe during her teens because she had to be too different (we did it from when she was 18months). She paid the price!! She has now removed all the offending items from her diet and she has seen so many improvements in all areas. She is not free from autism, ADHD, anxiety - but greatly reduced. She still is on medication but we are optimistic that she will not need it in the near future - or be only very low dose – Cheryl

[1586] ASD: “his defiance, stimming and yelling has reduced significantly” (January 2021)

Master 6. Diagnosed ADHD & ASD. Removed Gluten completely, reduced Sals & Amines (also no preservatives or colours or MSG) and he is a different child.

He can sit still for an entire movie now, and his defiance, stimming and yelling has reduced significantly – Carol

[1585] ASD: “have seen huge improvements” (January 2021)

I have a gorgeous 5 year old son who is ASD and also has had a lot of very aggressive meltdowns. My close friend Debbie recommended I look at his diet and specifically amines, salicylates and glutamates. I found the courage as it’s been a very tough 6 months with him to finally look at all of this - we are under a dietician and have seen huge improvements with reducing and removing a lot of these foods in his everyday. So much less aggression and better behaviour and communication. When he eats any of these foods I see a nearly instant reaction and negative behaviour.

It is a work in progress and I am using a modified elimination diet. I would highly recommend you looking further into this as you can. I have found Sue Dengate Failsafe group on Facebook to be very helpful and supportive – Brenda

[1584] Autism: “all those pre-failsafe foods caused his autistic traits” (January 2021)

For us gluten, lactose, sal's (salicylates), amines, preservatives, additives, MSG, colours. My son has a hyper-sensitivity. When he was 5 he was diagnosed with autism, mild intellectual disorder & severe language disorder. He originally got an aide due to him being seen as a danger to himself & others. He was always in pain, aggressive outbursts, very difficult behaviour & emotional. When he was 12 I had him assessed again, this is after 5 years of following failsafe (but it took several more years to fine tune). The change was so dramatic that the psych no longer considered him autistic (all those pre-failsafe foods caused his autistic traits). The diet gave him the ability to be able to concentrate, think more clearly & articulate himself & allow his body to heal. Hez now 17, still has to follow the diet, finely balanced with only minor tolerances of a few moderate veg. If he has too much of one thing his speech is greatly affected - jumbled & can't concentrate. But day to day he is really happy, beautifully behaved & in great health. In primary school he had an average of 35 days off school now he might have 1 or 2. It changed his life but it also changed ours. I wish I had understood Failsafe earlier - Annette

[1583] 220: Lana’s story: sulphites and instant asthma (October 2020)

In my late 20s I started to notice I would cough a lot after having a glass of wine. I remembered coughing a lot as a kid when I drank a certain brand of orange juice popper. Soon the wine brought on something new to me - asthma. I only recognised it because my youngest child had asthma attacks and I had learnt a lot about asthma and managing it.

Then it started to accelerate - balsamic vinegar brought on instant attacks as did vinegars in general. I figured out that sulphite preservatives (220-228) in foods always brought on a reaction.

I went to see an allergy specialist who explained I was not crazy, and that the allergy to metabisulphites was real.

She cautioned me: sometimes the reaction will be small but with time it will build like adding drops of water to a teacup. One day that cup will fill and your reaction will be big - so go carefully. Asthma is no joke and I take that caution very seriously.

I do my best to check for 220-228 sulphites in what I eat. I try to cook everything myself from raw and - bonus - I have a really good diet! Lemon juice does the work of vinegar in my cooking (fresh, not bottled- that bottle is laced with sulphites).

Now I am in my early 60s and it has become second nature to check - most of the time! My family all do the eyeroll while I explain to restaurant staff, cafes and cake shops about the allergy and ask exact ingredients - no bottled lemon juice, no vinegars at all, no wine, no fermented sauces, no grapes or anything from a grape - no, taking the grapes out the fruit salad doesn't work because the sulphite is likely on the grape skins, no dried fruits etc etc. I avoid antipasto, take my own salad dressing. My friends accommodate me when they entertain, and generally all goes well as long as I keep patrolling the ingredients. Sometimes I slip up like with Woolies mince.

Avoiding these additives for nearly 30 years has been quite a commitment and also a lot of detective work.

This week I purchased some mince meat from Woolworths which claimed to have veggies added. When I got home I realised it was a "fresh" product with the dreaded additive, see photos. I am so angry with Woolworths for once again presenting a "healthy and fresh" product which is anything but that.

BLOGsulphitessmall  BLOGsulphites02small

My daughter has developed the same allergy.

Sulphite preservative is a nasty product and should not be in the food chain. Its application is impossible to control evenly so sometimes amounts in a mouthful of food are very high.

It is all over organic food too as it is a 'natural' pesticide. And with wine it is all over wine production from the grapes on the vine which are sprayed and especially when the wine is pressed, it is liberally sprayed on the juice to stop it going off before fermentation. The vines being sprayed mean sulphite/sulfite-free wine is not a possibility.

See below for my specific areas of concern food-wise – Lana

  1. Wine is the number one baddie.  As are all grapes and grape products.  On researching wine production, I found out how much sulphur spraying goes on in the grape's growth phase and in the pressing stage and vatting stage of the wine. As a result, 'preservative free' wine is always useless, as sulphur has been added plenty of times long before that stage.
  2. I have found that, disturbingly, a lot of 'organic' produce, not just grapes, is allowed to be sprayed with sulphur as an allowable  insecticide.
  3. All sun dried  products (dried fruits).  I have found freeze dried fruits to be ok.
  4. Balsamic vinegar gives a really bad asthma attack, not sure why - I avoid it particularly. (Sue’s note: All vinegars contain sulphites, wine vinegars contain the highest doses and balsamic is made from a special variety of grape).
  5. Bread (except bakers delight/brumbies).
  6. Restaurant notes - areas to watch:
    Meat/fish marinades in restaurants.
    All salad dressings, hollandaise, mayonnaise (watch out for balsamic).
    Vinegar is added many sauces and sometimes desserts!
    Restaurant cutlery rinsed in vinegar/water mix - while eating at a restaurant and explaining (yet again) my problems with sulphur, to the kindly waitress, she alerted me to a little known fact: most restaurants soak their cutlery in a final rinse water of water and vinegar to give the cutlery a shine. It all adds to the load of sulphur we ingest.
    Vinegar used on baked vegetables to encourage caramelising etc

(Sue’s note: See also our Beware sulphites blog post)

[1582] 15-20 wakings a night in six months old baby (October 2020)

My partner has severe eczema and I have severe hayfever. Our breastfed six month old little girl has been progressively sleeping worse and worse, some nights she was unable to sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time. She was just so restless I could not figure out what the issue was. We tried a gentle sleep program, and her settling got easier but she was not sleeping any better. When I suspected a food related issue my maternal health nurse suggested a dairy intolerance but I had a gut feeling this wasn't right. I had distinct memories of particularly bad nights after consuming tomato based dishes, sticky date pudding and apple and raspberry juice.
 
After some investigation I came across your website and it all made sense. I cut down my salicylate intake and that night she slept ten hours without any wakings. Since then she has had really good nights, nothing like the 15-20 wakings we were getting previously. Within a week of coming across your website our lives have improved vastly. I am now intending to see a paediatric allergist/dietician from your list for help determining exactly what I should be avoiding and to help create a plan to reintroduce these later down the track. Thank you for all the amazing information - Kylie

[1581] You know you are failsafe when.....(September 2020)

... your friend posts a photo of the frog in her letterbox with a caption that her friend is back, and you assume her friend is a neighbour who has gifted her a choko! - Sam

1581a

... you stumble across a failsafe outfit 👍😂  lettuce leaves mod sals – Sarah

1581b

... you get excited about pear socks at the supermarket. In the words of Anna: “That’s my fruit!” – Sam again

1581c

... you want to buy this low sals solar powered house in Bunnings for the failsafe fairies among us 😂 (note skins on though) – Sarah again

1581d

 

[1580] Food cravings and hunger as a food intolerance symptom - facebook thread (September 2020)

Tell me if I'm crazy, but I feel like every time I get a food reaction (for me it is zero energy for days on end, sleeping almost all day, brain fog, anxiety, depression and sore joints) I also get really hungry and crave loads of carbs. I’ll be feeling in pain, but starving at the same time 🤣. Open the fridge and find it’s only the things that I know will only make me feel worse that stand out and get my attention 🤦♀️.  Not sure what sort of sorcery is at play here, but it’s hellishly evil 😈. Have recently been able to re-intro gluten and so this has made me a little more crazy at the wider options. Is this just me? And what do you do to get rid of this craving?  I will balloon at thus rate. Just got over a 6 day reaction and had some meat last night now back feeling low... We initially began the diet for behaviour - but as soon as we did a whole bunch of other problems also resolved (blood noses, ongoing congestion/runny nose/cough, rash to name a few). Another weird one is that our boy seems to feel hotter. As in he doesn't want to wear a jumper when the rest of us are cold lol - Clare

I have had the same reaction reintroducing gluten after years being gluten free. Haven't linked the craving to a reaction before though - Jen

But I found the same thing when I couldn't eat gluten... would eat gf pasta, rice and potato like it was going out of fashion – Clare again

Yes 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 It is the weirdest sensation ever to be both feeling terrible in your gut, yet be ravenously hungry (for all the wrong things too) 😭. My diet is quite unique as I’m been strict carnivore for nearly 4 years so when I reach for the wrong things, my main culprit will always be cheese 😭. In fact, I had a moment of weakness and stuffed my face full last night. Only problem,  there I was feeling better, just dead tired...but now I’m dealing with a reaction due to gorging 🤣. I’d say 95% of the time now, I’m able to refrain and just let the sensation pass, and remind myself that putting more food in just won’t help the problem. Fasting actually is the best thing you can do when you’re caught up in a reaction! - Fran

Sometimes I can’t tell whether I’m hungry or have an upset stomach or both – Deb

My 5yr old son often becomes very hungry when reacting to sals – Bec

Sue's comment: I've always found the foods you are most reluctant to give up are the ones most likely to affect you. As a temporary antidote for food intolerance reactions of any kind we generally take 1/2 tsp of soda bicarb in a half glass of water (half or less for children). It makes you feel better within a few minutes and the effects last for about an hour or two. But it should only be used occasionally (definitely NOT every day) because as well as hastening the excretion of food chemicals such as salicylates, this home remedy also hastens the excretion of essential nutrients. More in Fed Up page 222 and reference https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14428719/

[1579] Salicylates, not insulin resistance (September 2020)

When I first got sick a doctor looked at my frequent hypoglycemic episodes and diagnosed insulin resistance. I was put on a strict low carb diet. It helped because I cut back drastically on fruit and I lost heaps of weight. But I was miserable, hungry all the time. It wasn't until I discovered salicylates that I learnt I was reacting to the salads and not the bread – Jen

See salicylate-induced hypoglycemia in factsheet and many scientific references here.

 

[1578] 160b: Remember annatto causes allergies as well as intolerances (August 2020)

My daughter (aged 13) currently has hives from eating Old El Paso Crispy Chicken meal kit which contains annatto colour - she ate last night. It is the only uncommon food she had eaten this week and 30 mins after consumption her face was red, swollen, hot and itchy. We had to double dose her with an antihistamine, and after consult with the doctor we have confirmed it is caused an allergy and the only ingredient we can ascertain which she would normally not consume is Annatto 160b. The hives lasted for 3 days on her face and was very itchy. We will certainly not be consuming this product again – Lisa

(The allergic issue including anaphylaxis has long been known. See factsheet with links to many more reports)

[1577] 250: nitrates and migraine - reactions from facebook (July 2020)

I suffer chronic migraines and my Neuro has suggested I avoid foods with nitrates. My head is constantly foggy, difficulty concentrating, always tired. Looking at getting some ideas on what to avoid - Jen

I suffered from migraines my whole life until I completed the elimination diet. Definitely nitrates for me but also other chemicals like sulphites and amines and glutamates. It’s best to do the full diet as it could be nitrates or another chemical – May

Migraines are why I am failsafe. I react to the whole lot – sals (salicylates), amines, sulphites, nitrates, glutamates – Sue

For me the migraines disappeared when I eliminated all scented products. I had no idea they were the trigger. Perfume is the most common allergen ... and can also be linked to diet – Michelle

Avoid processed meats - Sarah

I react to glutamates hugely. Seem to be fine with the others however – Sandy

My son in law tried everything for years, but once he went gluten-free he only gets migraines when he accidentally eats gluten - Georgia

Gluten for me too, so gave up and (have been) free from migraines for the last 20 years – Eunice

Amines are a trigger for my migraines look into that too - Cassie

I did the RPA Elimination diet for 4 weeks, my migraines completely stopped and shoulder/hip/neck pain dropped from 9/10 to 1/10. My physio couldn't believe the reduction in inflammation throughout my body. Found and contacted a dietician suggested on the RPA website and she is helping me do the food challenges. Salicylates are a huge problem and are the cause of my migraines and pain. Just working out a tolerable level of salicylates for me atm - Jo-anne
Personally I get migraines from cocoa (milk & dark chocolate), oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, peas, green beans, peanuts (sometimes almonds and cashews), perfumes and some scents. Once I started failsafe diet, I then started developing a sensitivity to chickpeas, Brussels sprouts, chokos, cashews- all of which are allowed on RPA diet. If I avoid all those foods it helps – Naomi

Most of the above for me, I also found after switching my breakfast from toast with butter to plain porridge with milk, it really helped. Not sure if it's the gluten, wheat, or yeast, but there has been a noticeable difference. My migraines are hormonal too, which makes an additional impact – Trish

I get migraines from essential oils, sals and amines. Most especially dark chocolate and meats also yeast extract – Lara

I get migraines from fresh tomatoes only. Not cooked. Only fresh. I can’t work out what it is in them that effects me - Kirsty

It is at least one food that you are intolerant to in my experience. But eat that and that causes migraine. You may not react for a couple of days after you eat it, or you may feel the migraine or headache coming on, almost as you eat it. Foods I avoid that used to cause me headache, and migraine are dairy (particularly cheese), gluten, citrus, chocolate, eggs, coconut.  The amount I eat makes a difference, and eating more that one of these at a time makes it much worse - Maggie

See factsheet on nitrates

See factsheet on headaches and migraines

[1576] 621: "grand mal seizures and memory loss" (July 2020)

We recently figured out that my husband's sudden bout, at age 69, of grand mal seizures and memory loss are caused by MSG.  The 3 different seizure meds they prescribed for him made him feel drugged and "out of it".  We don't know if they would have helped with the seizures because he wouldn't take them long enough to know.   Taking MSG out of his diet has stopped the seizures, most of the hand tremors he had and the auras and dizziness he would get. The work you do is incredibly important, keep up the great work! - from USA

See MSG factsheet

[1575] 220: "sulphites/sulfites put me into Atrial Fibrillation" (July 2020)

canstockphoto9393471small

Sulfites put me into Atrial Fibrillation within 45 minutes.  Liquids, like wine, will do it within seconds, foods take a little longer.  Every time I go into Afib I end up in the hospital being cardioverted (shocked) back into rhythm.   I don't think all people's Afib is caused by sulfites.  However, I doubt I am the only one.  Most people have no idea what they are and what foods they are in, so they would never make the connection - Carey USA

See sulphites factsheet

[1574] Anyone noticed a correlation between salicylates and appetite levels in children? – facebook thread (July 2020)

We’ve been on elimination diet 2 wks with Mr 3yr Old and his food intake has decreased considerably – Fay

Yes, the more sals (salicylates) I give my 5 yo the more food she craves. Same for myself - one of my biggest reactions to sals after challenging for a week was uncontrollable eating. It was horrible I knew I didn’t need the food but I couldn’t stop until I stopped the challenge and detoxed – Jay

10 fold less food; on low sals she is satisfied with food and content. High sals levels and I could feed a house and she still wouldn’t be satisfied. 10 years old – Tina

For me I find one of my reactions (not specifically to sals, just food chemicals in general) is an increased appetite. Which over time can lead to weight gain – Rose

Same with my child. The more sals the more food he craves! – Vera

I get very hungry from sals. Even have to get up in the middle of the night when I overdo them. I have to eat something to be able to sleep again – Yvonne

My girl is low salicylate foods for 3 weeks and her appetite has increased greatly – Gia

As a 48 yr old I discovered this for myself. Always having a battle with obesity. I too cannot find enough food in the house when I eat too many sals. Some baby tomatoes are enough to set me off on a huge binge. I love tomatoes – Isobel

I get hungry with high salicylates, but it's a 'nervous' hungry, and my food just tends to sit there, not get digested well at all. Since going low sals, the gastroparesis is improving – Don

So great to hear this, I am a hungry hungry hippo when I eat sals. Within a couple of days without my appetite drops right off, I don’t even think to eat snacks – Sarah

Factsheet on failsafe weight loss

[1573] What made you go failsafe? – facebook thread (July 2020)

I’m wondering what you’ve seen with your children to make you go failsafe? Was there an existing diagnosis? Did your child’s behaviours/ symptoms resolve completely with failsafe? - Fiona

Amines makes my 5yr old aggressive, sals make her adhd and very defiant. Both affect her sleep. She is fine on low chemical, above that we have a problem. We knew immediately when we tried to introduce food. My LO (loved one) has had a brain bleed and had major problems with reflux diagnosed with cows protein allergy and major intolerance to soy and has this chemical sensitivity – Deb

My 2 yo would wake up screaming at night and nothing we did would settle him. When we went into him he actually got worse. He also has bigger meltdowns and would soak through nappies, his clothes and bedding. All related to salicylates, within a week or so of starting the elimination diet he started to sleep through the night – Sara

My 2 year old had loose bowels and rash on cheeks that we could never pinpoint. Also is much calmer now - Jen

Salicylates made my 6yo so defiant. Probably didn’t help that he was eating about 5 apples a day but he is a different child. We were seeing OT’s and looking at a diagnosis for ADD & ODD and he is so amazing now – Kath
Bad eczema. Not resolved but under control – Emma

We started for eczema. Then the bed wetting and night terrors stopped within a fortnight, and she was getting to sleep easily and sleeping through. Then she just calmed, completely, and was more focused. Then we saw that her bottom lip reduced in size - we’d never noticed that it was always enlarged because it was constant. It’s now our first indication of many reactions – Tracy

My 11 year old gets aggressive with amines, he actually transforms before our eyes into what can only be described as the incredible hulk’. Sals give him ADD symptoms – Sue

Within 3 days of being on the elimination diet my 6 year old started sleeping through the night, was not as non-compliant and his stomach cramps eased considerably. Taking out all milk products from any mammal helped to cease the tummy issues and the rashes he’d get. After a period of being salicylate and dairy free we tried challenges - the instant reactions meant that for the next 10 years he remained on the elimination diet with occasional treats over holiday periods so that any reactions were dealt with whilst at home – Diana

Long term reflux and bad attitude with my 8 yr old and self-regulation/ eczema/ post nasal drip with my 3-4 yr old. We were already mostly dairy free, then saw a huge difference in these symptoms after the elimination. We started a year ago.... I notice the symptoms returning as we slip up which has happened this term as I have been unwell. It is hard and takes a lot of headspace especially with school and socialising and explaining to others. I mainly was doing it for my daughter but noticed how much my son benefitted especially with concentration levels at early intervention. He has a moderate hearing loss and it made me realise that the post nasal drip was affecting his hearing and learning. I need to remind myself of this when I get off track. So I learn all the time, I’ve realised egg really affects him as well. No one is perfect, we do our best, it’s helpful to remember that for me and my children. Salicylates and artificial colours and flavours are our main triggers – Ella

[1572] “You can't tell me food isn't the problem” (July 2020)

People who don't believe in food intolerances need to speak to me.

Over the last 6 months I have gradually relaxed and slipped back to eating foods I know I can't tolerate. During lockdown I reached my worst, pretty much eating everything wrong over that couple of months.

I have been back on track for a week now, after having the worst migraine (hadn't had one the whole 2 years I have been failsafe after suffering monthly for 20+ years). I decided enough’s enough. For the last 4 nights I have been sleeping through the night again. Sleeplessness is one of my reactions. I had been having broken sleep over the last 6 months, moody, irritable and no tolerance and no energy always waking tired and unmotivated. I am starting to feel myself again and it all turned around within 3 days of getting back on track. You can't tell me food isn't the problem. 😀😀 - Sarah