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Lizzie89

When will my 7 year old's moods improve?

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My 7 year old was found to be gluten, casein and egg intolerant in March. Since then, I have done everything I can to eliminate those things from her diet, and have been pretty successful. 

She had had terrible issues with rage and tantrums and general irritability since before she was 2, but after 3 weeks on the diet I saw a calmer, happier girl. Unfortunately, however, as the weeks have passed, She has hand numerous incidents wgere the rage returns. I have determined that she also reacts to citric acid additives, Natural Flavor and Caramel color. That rules out 90 percent of prepackaged food, even at the health food store, so I make more and more from scratch. She genuinely seems better, but we still have some rough days - even when I know everything she has eaten has been OK. 

Does anyone have experience with this? I have seen some on this forum say it takes a long time to fully get over the psychiatric symptoms of gluten, but there hasn't been a lot if detail. Can anyone provide any insights? 

 

Edited by Lizzie89

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21 minutes ago, Lizzie89 said:

My 7 year old was found to be gluten, casein and egg intolerant in March. Since then, I have done everything I can to eliminate those things from her diet, and have been pretty successful. 

She had had terrible issues with rage and tantrums and general irritability since before she was 2, but after 3 weeks on the diet I saw a calmer, happier girl. Unfortunately, however, as the weeks have passed, She has hand numerous incidents wgere the rage returns. I have determined that she also reacts to citric acid additives, Natural Flavor and Caramel color. That rules out 90 percent of prepackaged food, even at the health food store, so I make more and more from scratch. She genuinely seems better, but we still have some rough days - even when I know everything she has eaten has been OK. 

Does anyone have experience with this? I have seen some on this forum say it takes a ling time to fully get iver the psychiatric symptoms if gluten, but there hasn't been a lot if detail. Can anyone provide any insights? 

 

Was she even tested for celiac disease (the full panel)?  A firm diagnosis might be very helpful in filing a 504 plan with her school.  I do get your desperation.  

Little is known about the effects gluten may have on  the brain.  For example, Gluten ataxia is still not understood well.  What is known is that neurological issues can be very slow to heal or maybe even never heal.  Damage to nerves or brain can be permanent.  Just think of all the spinal injuries and the rate of complete recovery.  Not good.  

There is a steep learning curve to the gluten-free diet.  Kids, especially need to be trained to avoid it at school and at friend’s homes.  If she was diagnosed with celiac disease, you could have her antibodies re-checked to see if she is diet compliant (away from you).   So, is your daughter on board with the dietary changes?  

Recovery from celiac disease can take months to years because of little set-backs like you have experienced.  It is estimated that 2/3 of celiacs never heal.  You read that right.  It is better in kids, I think, 1/3.  Why?   Dietary compliance and knowing that even 20 ppm may be too much for many celiacs. Not enough testing has been done, but in countries like Australia where gluten restrictions are even less that 20 ppm, they have better recovery rates.  Again, you do not know where your daughter stands on the gluten spectrum.

I think going non-processed is a good thing.  Food allergy testing accuracy  is about 50-50 (google it).  Keep a food journal.  But I also think you should be a referral to a psychiatrist and/or a neurologist.  Not everything she is dealing with could be related to food.  Forgive me, if you have already gone that route.  

My heart goes out to you.  I hope your daughter gets well.  I firmly believe that our processed food way of life has been too much for so many people.  

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Cyclinglady, thank you so much for your thoughts! Yes, my daughter is on board with the diet. She says she feels better physically and hates it when she gets mad. That means I don't have to worry so much about her cheating. There are screw ups, however, like when she didn't realize that the dip for sone carrots at an event she went to could cause her problems. Also, some products that we had been eating and thought were ok contain citric acid, which she reacts to, but she doesn't realize it. I am very proud of her self restraibt, but I also think she must have felt awful for a long time. 

She has not been tested for celiac, and we have only done the blood tests that found the intolerances. 

She has been to many psychiatrists, but they all missed the gluten connection. She is now on Zoloft, but one of them wanted to out her on abilify. I refused, thank goodness! Do you know of any psychiatrists or neurologists who understand this?

At this point, I want to nail down this gluten/food sensitivity thing and see where our new baseline is. 

Thank you again so very much for your your insights. I have had very bad luck with mainstream doctors and psychiatrists and find myself turning more and more to groups like this for ideas. 

 

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Definitely get her tested for celiac but don’t automatically assume that is what is causing this. There are other things which can cause these rage reactions in kids. Has she had a strep infection? In rare instances it has been known to cause neurological problems. We had a child at my school who had this happen and it was terribly frightening for the family. Here is a link to a group with more info: http://www.pandasnetwork.org/understanding-pandaspans/what-is-pandas/

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Along with celiac disease comes malabsorption syndrome. Get her tested for vitamin D. The mental health benefits become obvious when the blood level is in the middle to upper range.

Quote

 

"The Vitamin D Council suggests that a level of 50 ng/ml is the ideal level to aim for. This is why the Council recommends that adults take 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D supplement in order to reach and stay at this level.

"In 2011, The Endocrine Society issued clinical practice guidelines for vitamin D, stating that the desirable serum concentration of 25(OH)D is >75 nmol/L (>30 ng/ml) to maximize the effect of this vitamin on calcium, bone, and muscle metabolism [37]. It also reported that to consistently raise serum levels of 25(OH)D above 75 nmol/L (30 ng/ml), at least 1,500-2,000 IU/day of supplemental vitamin D might be required in adults, and at least 1,000 IU/day in children and adolescents."

 

I had to stop taking my Buspirone for anxiety after a few weeks at 10,000 iu/day. The buspirone was making me woozy and I finally was less depressed and I no longer needed it. My daughter in law was always angry until she took D and was so impressed she decided to try GFD and her gut is now much better.

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I take a complete multivitamin, fish oil (for extra omega-3 fatty acids), and extra niacin. It is common for people with celiac disease to be deficient in vitamins and minerals. It can also take a while for the body to absorb different vitamins and distribute them to proper cells.  The body can convert neurotransmitter precursors into niacin if deficient.

Other food in tolerances are linked to emotional problems. You can google "h pylori natural remedies"

Citric acid is in lots of fruits and vegetables and I wouldn't think it would be a problem. Maybe it is a problem with other ingredients?

I don't do well with processed food or natural flavors or carmel color, I don't think. I am guessing it is a corn sensitivity issue for me. 

I avoid dairy, grain, legumes,  and processed food.  I just eat fruit, vegetables and meat. That seems to work best so far. Otherwise I get confused and irritable. 

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A bit late but maybe my answer can still be helpful. The caramel coloring and citric acid you are talking about are both (if not natural) made of corn. Corn in itself is gluten free but some do respons to it and there is a facebook group with people who are not celiac but do react to very small amounts of corn and corn derivates. Since corn is gluten free the flour and starch are used a lot in gluten free products and you might be even using it yourself while you're working from scratch. 

Second thing, citric acid is in A LOT of things and not always mentioned in the ingrediënts. For example your supermarket bought chicken might very wel be rinsed in it to keep up the fresh color and the package won't tell you. You might want to search the internet for citric acid allergy and the word ninja. The blog you will find has been very helpful to me!

Sometimes pantothenic acid can help out with the citric acid intolerance, it did in my case. 

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Thanks everybody for your insights. There are lots of pieces to this puzzle, it seems. At this point my daughter is on a strict whole foods diet with no gluten, eggs or dairy. We avoid corn as well. I give her 750 mg of GABA daily, and that seems to be helping a lot. 

After much research, I think my daughter's intestine was made very leaky by years of gluten exposure, and continues to let through lots of things that shouldn't be in her blood stream. Those things are causing inflammation that affects her moods. To heal her gut, I am trying the REID diet. Impossible to say what it is doing for her gut, but she is behaving much better. Not perfect, but I'll take it! 

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Nice to hear she is improving.  

Zonulin (as discovered by Dr. Fasano (PED GI/celiac expert at Massachusetts General/Harvard and team) is higher in Celiac patients.  It plays a role in the gut acting as gatekeepers.  Too many Zonulin and the gates malfunction leading to what is known as leaky gut.  It can help explain the many intolerances a celiac can have besides gluten. 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/09/459061317/a-protein-in-the-gut-may-explain-why-some-cant-stomach-gluten

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wha30RSxE6w

Dr. Fasano and other celiac experts have been researching mental illness  and gluten as well.  

https://www.allergicliving.com/2014/04/16/qa-with-celiac-expert-dr-alessio-fasano/

Continue to keep us posted.  You may help other parents in your situation.  

Edited by cyclinglady

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Lizzie89,

Be aware some depression meds can cause anger issues.

See this Livestrong article about it.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/266958-can-depression-meds-cause-anger-issues/

I would suggest a B-complex 2 to 3 times day.. .

Homocysteine levels have been tied to hostility and anger.

see this research research about this topic entitled "Plasma homocysteine concentrations are positively associated with hostility and anger".

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10855948

Taking a good B-complex plus Magnesium Glycinate covers most of the Vitamins/Minerals used in Psychiatry.

see this research about this topic entitled "The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Psychiatry"

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3046018/

You might also have then check her Vitamin D levels.

You might also try some Zinc lozenges if she has a lot of anxiety.

I used to have nervousness and taking/using Zinc lozenges helped calm my nerves.

They will become bitter/metallic tasting when you /she has enough zinc.

Stars (white spots) in the nail bed can be a sign of low Zinc.

I hope this is helpful but it is not medical advice.

I  had depression most of my life . ..It can and does get better often when you find out what your kiddo is low in  ...... I had to find out by myself as an adult by trial and error.

She is lucky too have you being her advocate.. ...keep digging.

As the X-files motto says . .. .the truth is out there.

the problem is we often don't know where to look.  These are somethings that helped me!

I hope this is helpful as always but it is not medical advice.

 “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” this included. 

2 Timothy 2: 7 

Posterboy by the grace of God,

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