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Kelgs

Was Angry Child Because Of Gluten

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Hello Everyone,

My husband has celiac disease and has been gluten-free for almost 5 years now. I have three boys ages 8, 5 and 1. My older two had a blood test 4 years ago and we were told they were not celiac. However, they do have occasional tummy troubles and joint pain but the biggest problem is behavior. Since my husband is gluten-free many of the things we eat are also gluten-free. When my boys have gluten they really seem to change. Could they really be affected by it? My 8 year old becomes very angry, mean and aggressive, my 5 year old starts crying over everything and loses control easily. I took them 100% off of gluten 2 weeks ago and they seem like totally different children! The house is actually peaceful! I homeschool them so I can REALLY see a difference! I am happy but also sad if gluten is really the cause. I just can't believe gluten could cause such behavior problems. Most everyone tells me if they don't have constant tummy trouble, gluten is not the cause. Does anyone else have children where gluten causes behavior issues.

Thanks,

Kelly


Kelly

Mom of Alex 9 - Gluten free since 1/07

Ethan 6 - Gluten free since 1/07

Zac 1 has never had gluten

Wife to Mark - Gluten free since 2003

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Most definitely YES. Actually negative behaviour and a negative attitude was one of the things that precipitated my search for a solution. My daughter was so so angry, nasty, hated all new things. She cried when she was dropped off at daycare EVERY SINGLE DAY for 7 straight months. she cried at dance class. She cried at gymnastics class.

At the 3 week mark of gluten-free diet, she transformed. She started singing in bed in the mornings (something she hadn't done since she was 1 but used to do all the time before then), she absolutely loves school, dancing. She loves trying new things. She is happy happy happy all the time. And I mean all the time.

When we hit the 3week mark and were just astounded at the changes in her attitude, we made a mistake and she was glutened. She turned back into her nasty old self almost immediately and it lasted for a seemingly-endless week. It was so disconcerting.

So my answer is absolutely yes. Behaviour is a biggie. And since for celiacs being gluten-free also means (quite often) a better night's sleep, the child is probably much better rested and able to cope (makes me think of one of your children that you mention cries at the drop of a hat - both of my children can be that way when they're sleep deprived).

You're in a great place if you homeschool. You can experiment in a controlled-environment.

mamatide

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Thank you so much!

I feel better knowing I'm not crazy and that my boys are not the only ones out there like this. LOL I feel so bad that my boys can't have gluten but it really seems worth it. Oh yes, they often wake up with night terrors. Hopefully that will stop now too.

Now to figure out their b-day party! It's coming up in 2 weeks. Yikes! You don't happen to have a wonderful cake or pizza recipe do you? I may use Amy's gluten-free pizza but it's not too good.

Thanks again,

Kelly

Most definitely YES. Actually negative behaviour and a negative attitude was one of the things that precipitated my search for a solution. My daughter was so so angry, nasty, hated all new things. She cried when she was dropped off at daycare EVERY SINGLE DAY for 7 straight months. she cried at dance class. She cried at gymnastics class.

At the 3 week mark of gluten-free diet, she transformed. She started singing in bed in the mornings (something she hadn't done since she was 1 but used to do all the time before then), she absolutely loves school, dancing. She loves trying new things. She is happy happy happy all the time. And I mean all the time.

When we hit the 3week mark and were just astounded at the changes in her attitude, we made a mistake and she was glutened. She turned back into her nasty old self almost immediately and it lasted for a seemingly-endless week. It was so disconcerting.

So my answer is absolutely yes. Behaviour is a biggie. And since for celiacs being gluten-free also means (quite often) a better night's sleep, the child is probably much better rested and able to cope (makes me think of one of your children that you mention cries at the drop of a hat - both of my children can be that way when they're sleep deprived).

You're in a great place if you homeschool. You can experiment in a controlled-environment.

mamatide


Kelly

Mom of Alex 9 - Gluten free since 1/07

Ethan 6 - Gluten free since 1/07

Zac 1 has never had gluten

Wife to Mark - Gluten free since 2003

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Most everyone tells me if they don't have constant tummy trouble, gluten is not the cause. Does anyone else have children where gluten causes behavior issues.

Kelly - wow... I also have 3 kids, ages 8, 3, and 1. :blink:

My older son has the gluten induced behavioral issues. =( We are in the process of waiting for an appointment to have him formally tested, again. He has already been tested twice, once at 2, again at 4. He's now 8 and is vomiting on and off, has the behavior issues, and has problems with stomach pain and headaches. Gee.... I wonder, just wonder what his test results will look like.


Jayhawkmom -

Mom of three....

Jay - 11

Bean - 8

Ian - 3

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I was always irritable and would sometimes get angry at everything before I went gluten-free. I think that part of it for me was that there was a lot of low-level pain involved. It wasn't excruciating, but it was just constant and it was day after day, year after year. It's exhausting and kept me from sleeping well. I was always tired and just didn't want to deal with anything.

If you can imagine the last time you had the flu, and that headache/body ache thing that just wears you out. That's kind of how it felt to me.

It wasn't until I went gluten-free that I realized how much I had been aching all over.

Now if I get glutened, one of the worst things is that pain/headache/bodyache aspect of it. It just makes me irritable and I start snapping at everything. After a couple days of the gluten-reaction, I'm also just so exhausted that I'm easily upset too.

That was one of the things that made it so easy for me to spot a potential problem in my kids. My 4yo daughter slowly went from being fearless, to being scared of and crying about everything. Ithought it was a phase, but when she started complaining about tummy aches and I noticed her being insatiably hungry all the time (one of my symptoms), I knew I needed to look into it.

My M.D. testing was all negative, so I decided to have her tested through Enterolab, which came back positive. We put her gluten-free and she's been doing so much better since then. Her tummy aches went away completely and so did her moods/irritablity/crying about everything. She's so much happier and healthier. This time last year, I think she caught every cold that went through her preschool. During this cold/flu season, she's only been sick once and it was just a cold. (I better go knock on wood now...).

My 2yo also is gluten free. His main symptom was autistic-type behavior. I didn't notice it myself because he reminded me so much of just how kids in my family act; very quiet, shy, stayed to himself and didn't connect with other people. I didn't notice that last part because he always connected with me, but apparently it was JUST me. He also was very irritable around his sister. She was always being loud and screaming/crying about everything. It always gave me a huge headache and I thought that it must be doing the same thing. I didn't think it had anything to do with how he might be feeling. I just thought he was reacting to her behavior. It was only after we tested him through Enterolab and his tests came back even higher than our daughter's did that we put him gluten-free.

The change in his personality was pretty dramatic. He's now a friendly, silly little boy. The teachers at the drop-in babysitting center I use had the most eye-opening reaction to it. After just a few weeks, one of them got tears in her eyes and told me that he was played the song/dance games with them instead of sitting and looking at books. A week later, another teacher told me that he had started giving her hugs. They all said he was like a totally different child.

I also was told by several family members after the fact that they saw the same thing, but because he was still so little, they didn't bring it up to me yet. They just wanted to see how he progressed.

When we got the enterolab results and put him gluten-free I thought I was just preventing him from having tummy issues in the future. It turns out his reaction to gluten was just as strong as his sister's, but in a totally different way.

Nancy


The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

~Chinese Proverb

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They all said he was like a totally different child.

That's how it was with my daughter. She's a completely different little girl gluten-free. It's amazing. Her concentration is greatly improved as well. She hardly ever says "I don't remember" any more whereas it used to be all-the-time.

On the Pizza and Cake for their first party, here's what I did:

I cooked Carol Fenster's gluten-free pizza (chewy and tasty and no one said it was anything different than home-made pizza at my 7-y.o.'s party. Go to Glutenfree101 dot com if I'm not mistaken. She gives step by step instructions. The crust is thin, has Italian seasoning in it and you bake it for 10 minutes before you spread the sauce and toppings on it.

Alternatively you can try Annalise Roberts' pizza crust which is more like a rising-crust pizza (guess it depends on your preference). It's very good pizza crust but it takes longer to prepare. Tastes much more normal and more bread-ish (as opposed to Carol Fenster's which is chewy and thin).

Her cookbook is called Baking Classics and it also has a terrific recipe for coconut cake that is to die for - hard to tell from real cake especially if you use the superfine brown rice flour (Authentic Foods) in it - superfine makes it non-gritty.

But for a kid birthday I would probably prefer to serve pogo sticks (corn dogs) made from the recipe in Incredible Edible Gluten Free Foods for Kids (it's a blue cookbook). The recipe in there is actually better than the real thing. They're downright delicious and they can be reheated for a party. Kids will absolultely love them. That's what I'd do.

In that same book (incredible edible) there is also a waffle recipe that is worth the price of the book. Oh, and the deep-fried chicken nuggets make excellent chinese chicken balls (just coat them in cherry sauce or sweet/sour or plum sauce).

So there you have it. Kid parties are easy gluten-free. Fruit, Veggie trays, corn chips and salsa or half-and-half salsa and cheese whiz dip (warmed up), bowls of candies (swedish red berries, skittles), plain chips (check ingredients), corn dogs, pizza... cake. One year we had gluten-free brownies warmed up as the main feature in a make-your-own ice cream sundae (instead of a cake) and the kids absolutely loved that - we put a number candle for the Birthday girl and a regular candle in everyone elses and they all blew out the candles together.

Hope this helps!

mamatide

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After our youngest DD's diagnosis I read about others here who had behavior issues with gluten. We'd dealt with behavior and anger issues for many, many years ending up at a psychologist once who told us DD had "excess energy" and needed more activity.

We took the other 2 off gluten and within days they were so much better. We had the most peaceful calm week of their lives! We let them go back on gluten over Christmas weekend Iwell, except the confirmed celiac) and it only took 1 meal to make it obvious to me that it was the right decision. An hour after toast for breakfast, they complained of tummy aches. My oldest got mean and angry. My middle DD got whiny and cranky. One had D and the other had C all weekend long.

By Christmas Eve we had them off gluten because we just couldn't stand it anymore. They were completely different children. DD hates needles and at 9 we agreed to let her decide. She is doing a gluten free trial with 3 challenges. We are keeping a diary and she has agreed that if these issues crop up all 3 times, they're gluten free for good. She wanted it to be a coincidence the first time, but we agreed on 3 challenges.

We had our 2nd challenge this past weekend. I can't wait for the gluten to flush out of their system so we can have our kids back. They've also had tummy issues all weekend. DH and I are convinced, but DD really wants to call it a coincidence again. Our 3rd challenge will be next month and then we can keep it out for good for nice, healthy kids.


Mom to 3 girls

DD1-diagnosed by allergist 10/2006

DD4 & DD9-diagnosed by Mom 01/2007

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I know this is about kids, and I don't know if anyone else sees a pattern here, but on my dad's side of the family every single one of my family members falls into one of the categories of behavior problems that we're talking about.

Grandma - anger issues, cranky, irritable, snappy.

Grandpa - same but less than grandma

Dad - irritable, exhausted, ADD (diagnosed), not social, brain fog, depression/anxiety, nightmares

Me - irritable, exhausted, ADD, not very social, brain fog, depression/anxiety, nightmares

Cousins, aunts, uncles, etc., - everyone has a combination of at least of few of those.

This created a family that would do nothing but bicker and get irritated and offended by every dang thing everyone did. We don't get together much because it's so much drama and nobody wants to deal with anyone else's crud. The sad thing is that whenever we got together, my grandma would make the most wonderful homemade bread (!!!!!!). The bickering would usually start about a half hour after we started eating the fresh bread out of the oven.

I'm working on getting the nerve up to send out some information to everyone on that side of the family to learn more about gluten intolerance and celiac.

So by putting our kids gluten-free, we're not putting them through something trivial or unneccesary. We're saving them from becoming adults like this. Because it's a horrible way to live. Even if they go through a rebellion or that adolescent remission that I've heard can sometimes happen, they will ALWAYS know about gluten. Even in the most strong rebellion, I don't think anyone would regularly and voluntarily eat something that is making them sick.

My husband has brought the rebellion thing up to me and asked me what are we supposed to do if they decide to eat gluten when they're older (hanging out with friends, etc.). Which is kind of funny because even at 4 years old our daughter loses total interest in even the most yummy looking stuff if it has gluten in it. She even asks her preschool teacher about the food I send for her to make sure there's no gluten. If she's that smart at 4, I think she'll be fine at 14.

Well, enough from me, I went off on my own tangent. Just sharing some thoughts. :D

Nancy


The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

~Chinese Proverb

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Kelly; you are absolutely on the right track. I just wanted to add that for birthday cakes for kids, Namaste has an absolutely fantastic chocolate cake mix that turns out great every time. It is better than a 'regular' cake. The mix makes 2 8" or 9" layers.

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Pamela's Products Chocolate Cake is also excellent - No one ever knows the difference. I normally do the "Ultra" mix, but any other way is good, too.

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Thank you! Now to start really planning the party and stop feeling bad about what they can't have. There are SO many worse things my children could have than celiac. Also we are so lucky to know about it!

Kelly

That's how it was with my daughter. She's a completely different little girl gluten-free. It's amazing. Her concentration is greatly improved as well. She hardly ever says "I don't remember" any more whereas it used to be all-the-time.

On the Pizza and Cake for their first party, here's what I did:.........

Hope this helps!

mamatide


Kelly

Mom of Alex 9 - Gluten free since 1/07

Ethan 6 - Gluten free since 1/07

Zac 1 has never had gluten

Wife to Mark - Gluten free since 2003

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Thank you. I'll will give it a try! :)

Kelly

Kelly; you are absolutely on the right track. I just wanted to add that for birthday cakes for kids, Namaste has an absolutely fantastic chocolate cake mix that turns out great every time. It is better than a 'regular' cake. The mix makes 2 8" or 9" layers.

Kelly

Mom of Alex 9 - Gluten free since 1/07

Ethan 6 - Gluten free since 1/07

Zac 1 has never had gluten

Wife to Mark - Gluten free since 2003

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Thanks! I will try this out too. We have 3 parties in Jan. :D

Kelly

Pamela's Products Chocolate Cake is also excellent - No one ever knows the difference. I normally do the "Ultra" mix, but any other way is good, too.

Kelly

Mom of Alex 9 - Gluten free since 1/07

Ethan 6 - Gluten free since 1/07

Zac 1 has never had gluten

Wife to Mark - Gluten free since 2003

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First of all I want to thank everyone who has replied - you have ALL helped me feel much better about this.

Second : I just had to share with everyone. Last night as I was tucking my 8 year old in, he just couldn't stop laughing! Something he has not done in FOREVER! We just talked and giggled for about an hour - it was wonderful!!!! Then as I was leaving his room he said " Mommy, it feels good to not be so angry." I came down to my room and cried like a baby.

Kelly


Kelly

Mom of Alex 9 - Gluten free since 1/07

Ethan 6 - Gluten free since 1/07

Zac 1 has never had gluten

Wife to Mark - Gluten free since 2003

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I just wanted to add my 2 cents about the angry child thing.

I went gluten-free in Aug. After my 15yo daughter saw so many of my symptoms go away, she asked if maybe she should try gluten-free (she had stomachaches, headaches, terrible shedding, joint pain, etc.) She went gluten-free for 2 weeks and felt much better. Then she and I went on an overnight trip and she decided to eat whatever she wanted - pasta, donuts - everything gluten filled. She was a miserable person to be around for a whole week afterward!! It was like a major case of PMS irritability. She said "Mom, I can't explain it. I just don't feel good. I'm off gluten forever."

Now we're trying to convince my DH and DS to go gluten-free too. But they're not willing to give up the goodies. I'm slowly introducing wonderful gluten-free baked goods (as I learn to make them). Eventually I will have them mostly gluten-free. Wish me luck.

:P


Jackie

hypothyroid 1991

back surgery for herniated disk 1997

gallbladder removed 2004

knee & back pain, depression and headaches for too many years to count

Negative labwork for IGG & IGA 8/3/06

Decided not to have anymore tests. Started gluten-free on 8/7/06.

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Oh, now you've got me crying... Thanks for sharing such a sweet moment with us.

:D

Nancy

First of all I want to thank everyone who has replied - you have ALL helped me feel much better about this.

Second : I just had to share with everyone. Last night as I was tucking my 8 year old in, he just couldn't stop laughing! Something he has not done in FOREVER! We just talked and giggled for about an hour - it was wonderful!!!! Then as I was leaving his room he said " Mommy, it feels good to not be so angry." I came down to my room and cried like a baby.

Kelly


The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

~Chinese Proverb

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I'm so happy to read you are having positive response!

We pulled gluten for a week, and the change in our son was not dramatic, but noticeable. He's going in for allergy testing tomorrow, and I will request - yet another - celiac panel.

I hate seeing him so angry, he's such a good kid and has always been very well mannered and even tempered. Right now he's just downright mean, mouthy, backtalking, and I wonder if it IS something to deal with a low level of pain.

I just want tomorrow over with though, he does NOT do well with doctors. =(


Jayhawkmom -

Mom of three....

Jay - 11

Bean - 8

Ian - 3

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Good luck! I'll be thinking of you. Let me know how it goes.

Kelly

I'm so happy to read you are having positive response!

We pulled gluten for a week, and the change in our son was not dramatic, but noticeable. He's going in for allergy testing tomorrow, and I will request - yet another - celiac panel.

I hate seeing him so angry, he's such a good kid and has always been very well mannered and even tempered. Right now he's just downright mean, mouthy, backtalking, and I wonder if it IS something to deal with a low level of pain.

I just want tomorrow over with though, he does NOT do well with doctors. =(


Kelly

Mom of Alex 9 - Gluten free since 1/07

Ethan 6 - Gluten free since 1/07

Zac 1 has never had gluten

Wife to Mark - Gluten free since 2003

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Kelly -

I noticed in your initial post that your family was, in general, eating gluten free. It is possible that this gluten light diet could have caused your kid's results to come back falsely negative. And since you are noticing such a marked improvement, I'd suggest you stick with the diet. Best wishes!

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I went gluten-free in Aug. After my 15yo daughter saw so many of my symptoms go away, she asked if maybe she should try gluten-free (she had stomachaches, headaches, terrible shedding, joint pain, etc.) She went gluten-free for 2 weeks and felt much better. Then she and I went on an overnight trip and she decided to eat whatever she wanted - pasta, donuts - everything gluten filled. She was a miserable person to be around for a whole week afterward!! It was like a major case of PMS irritability. She said "Mom, I can't explain it. I just don't feel good. I'm off gluten forever."

Woo hoo Jackie! Good for you and good for your daughter. I have a 15 yo daughter who decided the same thing and she's very committed to it. These girls are probably avoiding all kinds of health problems as adults. I wish everyone that comes on here complaining about how "hard" this diet is and wondering if it's really worth it could get as much sense as these two 15 year olds. Keep up the good work mom!


Liz

Started Specific Carbohydrate Diet on 8-16-09 because son was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and want to give him moral support.

Diagnosed with Minimal Change Nephrotic Syndrome in 2003. Discovered that going completely gluten-free put me in remission.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13

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Took my son in for allergy testing today. He has asthma, so he always has pulse ox and spirometry readings done prior to even seeing the doctor.

His spirometry was great, but his pulse ox was 95 - should be 100. So, no skin testing today folks. But, they did do RAST testing as well as a Celiac Panel. now I"ll be counting down the minutes till we get the results.


Jayhawkmom -

Mom of three....

Jay - 11

Bean - 8

Ian - 3

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