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Ari's mom

10 year old celiac and irrational, awful tantrums

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Hello, my 10 year old son, who is celiac, ate some potato chips (which likely had wheat or dextrose as ingredients as they were flavored chips) today at a end of school year gathering. He became very argumentative and misplaced several items in his room and blamed his siblings and us. As the evening wore on, my son became increasingly irrational, yelling and screaming, saying that he felt fine and that he couldn't understand why he was acting badly. My husband and I had no success reasoning with him over the course of hours and eventually he ended up in his room and fell asleep. Tonight was a "severe" outburst with my son almost picking an argument with everything and anyone. It was extremely difficult just to be in the house with him as he makes "grumping" noises and is incorrigible when he gets into gluten. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this age kid and the behavioral manifestations of accidentally eating things that contain gluten. My husband and I felt completely wiped out after this episode. I fear that my son's behavior, if not contained, will lead him to bad choices/ irrational choices and I know I can't be with him every minute of the day. After this episode passes in a few days, he will likely be reasonable but how do we get him to understand how he is when glutened? Should we bring up this episode and talk about it?

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Hi,

Welcome.

Have you taken your son to the doctor yet? If you believe gluten is his problem, then I suggest you talk with your doctor about getting him tested.

Could he be behaving badly due to reasons other than diet?

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Potato chips are usually gluten-free. If there is a concern, it is in an added flavor. I haven't seen a problem except for some BBQ flavors, and even then rarely. Wheat must be declared on the label in Canada and the USA. Rye and Barley do not need to be declared in the US, but in practice they are not hidden. That leaves dextrose which is a pure sugar and is gluten-free no matter where from what it was derived.

Potato chips are very high in salt. The potatoes themselves provide a lot of sugar through carbohydrates. Just saying...

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Are you sure he didn't eat pizza or a cookie?  If you weren't there.....  just a thought.  And, is this his usual reaction to gluten?  Do you really know that it is from gluten..... I mean...positive he got some gluten and this happens?  For example - I realized after I ate something that it wasn't what I thought it was.... so I know my reaction from gluten for certain.  

The thing is, it just seems extreme for a teeny amount of gluten.  I just don't want you to miss something because you blame it on gluten.  It's a natural thing to blame everything on gluten. I feel this is his reaction to gluten, he needs to learn to recognize that it is irrational and learn to manage it.  If that means he stays in his room with soft music and a punching bag....

no matter what the cause of this episode - you definitely need to talk about it.  Maybe several times.  I know with my boys, you might have to explain what concerns you and maybe a brief why it concerns you ( tho this behavior probably needs no " why "it worries you).   They may need to think about it for a while or give you a partial answer today and discuss more in depth tomorrow.

Edited by kareng

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Hello.  I was wondering what flavor the potato chips were.  Some flavors have dairy in them, like sour cream and onion, or ranch, or cheese.   Sometimes people with Celiac Disease develop an intolerance, or even an allergy, to dairy which can affect behavior, too.

Some chips have flavor enhancers akin to MSG that might trigger a reaction.  

Potato chips are processed with sulfites to prevent them from discoloration.  Some Celiacs develop a sensitivity to Sulfites in the diet.  

And some Celiacs find it helpful to remove nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers) from their diets.

Every one is different and reacts differently their own triggers.  

I agree with Kareng.  You need to talk to your son.  I bet he feels embarrassed by his behavior, and is perhaps scared of not being able to control himself.  Your reassurance that he has your support can be invaluable.   You and your son might want to figure out together a plan of action if the situation arises again.  Help him learn to recognize when he's reacting and help him get through it.  Skipping rope to burn off the extra energy, puzzle books to focus the mind, soft lights and music, writing in a journal or coloring, or a clock ticking are things that may help.  But your love and support will be most important.

Hope this helps.  Be encouraged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Might be something else in there, perhaps he ate something else with gluten, something was mixed in the chips, the chips were flavored or in a snack mix with pretzels. I get that way with gluten, but the last 2 times the gut issues render me unable to argue like that but I do go Mr. Hyde like =. Seems to be linked to my mental confusion that arises when I eat gluten the fog and looping of thoughts causes extreme anger and makes it where I can not connect things and think rationally leading to anger, outburst, random acts, and punching and breaking things out of frustration.

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This is my 11 yo daughter's reaction to eating gluten. I can't confirm she has celiac because she gets so crazy trying to feed it to her long enough to get the testing done and is physiciallt miserable. Other reactions are inconsistent (stomach upset, rash). But she always flips out. It's like she's a different person. The only thing we can think to do is continually discuss it when she's not glutened and overall strengthen her coping skills so she can pull from that when fed gluten. 

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Thank you for your support! My son seemed better this morning (eyes didn't have the glazed over, opiate look from gluten) and he and I were able to talk about yesterday and what happened. I do believe it was the sour cream flavor on the chips that led to this. He has also shown intolerance to potatoes and nightshades so we stay away from those. And, like most 10 year olds, I asked him why he ate the chips when he knows he should avoid those. He shrugged. I do think talking through strategies is good. We were able to talk through what might be helpful if this situation arises again. 

Thank you.

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15 hours ago, Ari's mom said:

Hello, my 10 year old son, who is celiac, ate some potato chips (which likely had wheat or dextrose as ingredients as they were flavored chips) today at a end of school year gathering. He became very argumentative and misplaced several items in his room and blamed his siblings and us. As the evening wore on, my son became increasingly irrational, yelling and screaming, saying that he felt fine and that he couldn't understand why he was acting badly. My husband and I had no success reasoning with him over the course of hours and eventually he ended up in his room and fell asleep. Tonight was a "severe" outburst with my son almost picking an argument with everything and anyone. It was extremely difficult just to be in the house with him as he makes "grumping" noises and is incorrigible when he gets into gluten. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this age kid and the behavioral manifestations of accidentally eating things that contain gluten. My husband and I felt completely wiped out after this episode. I fear that my son's behavior, if not contained, will lead him to bad choices/ irrational choices and I know I can't be with him every minute of the day. After this episode passes in a few days, he will likely be reasonable but how do we get him to understand how he is when glutened? Should we bring up this episode and talk about it?

My 7 year old son has this happen.  I too get highly angry, like could flip a vehicle kind of angry.  It's hard for the little ones to understand what is going on at the time, only knowing that they can't control themselves....  The glazed crazy look in his eye are always a tell.  Sleep helps, along with lots of water the following day.  The next day we talk about everything and try to figure out what could have glutened him.  We've had talks with our school and teachers letting them know that our son is to not eat anything unless we bring it.  I think the last time this happened to him was from using shared supplies after a treat party.  Now he's very cautious of putting his hands to his lips or mouth. 

 

Now as far as chips, my kids stick with Kettle Brand Chips.  They are certified.  Potatoes aren't my friend so I can't really say if they taste great. 

 

 

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I used to completely flip out on gluten. I would pick a fight with my loved ones. I would know I was doing it but be unable to stop. I think it was my first symptom something was wrong with me. Only way to deal with it for myself was to not ingest gluten, as even as an adult, I could not control it. That said, it was particular types of gluten, such as anything pepperidge farm brand and certain others. I sure don't miss that.

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Thank you, again, for the support and help! The suggestion of sleep and lots of water and discussion the next day seemed to help a lot. 

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I sympathize, I get very mood swingy on gluten too. I have the same reaction to corn, actually. You might want to make sure he doesn't have a corn sensitivity, as a lot of potato chip brands use corn oil and corn-derived maltodexrin is a common ingredient. 

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My 12yo daughter has similar reactions - irrational, looping behavior, rage-y. I can't tell if it's a direct effect of the gluten consumption on her brain, or if it's secondary, meaning that the gluten's effect on her stomach causes so much pain that her ability to manage her behavior is shot, but either way, it's terrible. Sympathies. 

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Hello all! I am brand new to the site. I came here hoping to get some insight on gluten, kids, and behavior. I have a 9 year old boy who rages after eating anything with gluten. This morning, he had a bagel and his behavior was awful all day. I have yet to get him to a behavior specialist that deals with behavior and diet.  I just put the two and two together in the past few days and have come to the conclusion, he needs to be gluten free. 

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1 hour ago, starbuckmom said:

Hello all! I am brand new to the site. I came here hoping to get some insight on gluten, kids, and behavior. I have a 9 year old boy who rages after eating anything with gluten. This morning, he had a bagel and his behavior was awful all day. I have yet to get him to a behavior specialist that deals with behavior and diet.  I just put the two and two together in the past few days and have come to the conclusion, he needs to be gluten free. 

Welcome!  

Please consider getting him tested for celiac disease before you put him on gluten diet.  All celiac testing requires a person to be on a full gluten diet.  A formal diagnosis can help a person adhere to the diet and get the school and medical support needed.  

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5 hours ago, starbuckmom said:

Hello all! I am brand new to the site. I came here hoping to get some insight on gluten, kids, and behavior. I have a 9 year old boy who rages after eating anything with gluten. This morning, he had a bagel and his behavior was awful all day. I have yet to get him to a behavior specialist that deals with behavior and diet.  I just put the two and two together in the past few days and have come to the conclusion, he needs to be gluten free. 

Should test for celiac, if offical diagnosis the schools will adhere to it and make sure he stays away from it....otherwise they will probably let him slide a few times and think of you as a overprotective....read up on it here https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/diagnosing-celiac-disease/screening/

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On 5/21/2018 at 1:07 AM, cyclinglady said:

Welcome!  

Please consider getting him tested for celiac disease before you put him on gluten diet.  All celiac testing requires a person to be on a full gluten diet.  A formal diagnosis can help a person adhere to the diet and get the school and medical support needed.  

Absolutely going to do this.

On 5/21/2018 at 4:20 AM, Ennis_TX said:

Should test for celiac, if offical diagnosis the schools will adhere to it and make sure he stays away from it....otherwise they will probably let him slide a few times and think of you as a overprotective....read up on it here https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/diagnosing-celiac-disease/screening/

We homeschool so no issues with the school. 

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On 5/24/2017 at 10:02 PM, Ari's mom said:

 

 

My daughter, age 7 3/4, has very similar issues. Starting at abou age 2, she started sobbibg and screaming uncontrollable. Doctors thought it was everything from the autism spectrum to ADHD to  bipolar disorder. It took years to figure out what was really going on. Finally, this year she was tested for food sensitivities and the results came back showing intolerance to gluten, egg and dairy (casein). Withing three weeks of going on the diet, she was dramatically better, but we kept having relapses, 

over the past couple of months, I have learned to weed out carmel color, citric acid additive and Natural Flavor. Depending on how much she has eaten, any of those things can lead to rage to the point of running away and not allowing herself to be approached fir close to an hour. The recovery can be anything from 8 to 48 hours. I basically cook almost everything she eats from scratch, and will not allow her to eat sny packaged product with anything in it that I don't recognize. It is a pain, but the alternative is really unliveable. 

I want to know how long it takes for kids like tiis to fully settle down. She still has a lot of anxiety and emotional ups and fowns, even if the extreme irritability is largely under control. 

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