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mommy2Evyandalex

New To A Gluten Free Diet

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hi, Im Renee',

My son Alex was diagnosed w/ADHD and ODD. I refuse to put my just turned 4 year old on meds w/severe side effect. Ive been doing some reading and have come across this gluten free diet many times. We have a Whole Foods about 35 miles from my house and they have all organic, gluten free foods and shopping lists which I just printed out but am still very confused. WHAT IS GLUTEN? What should I be looking out for? Do any of you have tips for a newbie? Im feeling overwhelmed. I also want to take him off dairy, sugar and red dye. Which I believe is any red meat. Any tips for this? Should I buy organic chicken, turkey and pork? PLEASE HELP, my husband does very little to help me research and I really need some support and guidance here. Many THANK YOU'S in advance for any and all advice.

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Hi Renee'!

I don't know the answers to all your questions, but I can tell you a couple things.

What is gluten- gluten is a very sticky protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. In some countries, it's believed that gluten can be removed from wheat, to give you wheat starch. In the US, that is generally considered FALSE. If it's wheat, barley, or rye, or any derivative of those, then it has gluten. Here is a list of ingredients to avoid. https://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsaf...ents/Page1.html

I'm not sure about the red dye issues, although there are other people here more knowledgeable about it.

I think it's an excellent idea to try to help him with diet before meds!!! There is a thread here that I started a few weeks ago, about my younger son, that has info you may find relevant. I started him on a gluten-free diet almost three weeks ago, mostly because of behavior issues, and some gastro issues. The thread has gotten kind of long, but I'm betting you'll relate to some of it! My doc has suggested that my son may be Bipolar, and I, like you, refuse to medicate him unless it is absolutely necessary. He is also 4 years old. This is the thread:

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?s...mp;#entry352338


-Sarah

--Son, Lucas, age 7. Gluten-free since May 2007

--Son, Ezra, age 5. Gluten-free 10/13/07. Bipolar tendencies, massively improved on gluten-free diet! He's also allergic to a jillion antibiotics.

--My mother has Celiac Disease, dx'ed by Positive Blood Tests and Biopsy. Diagnosed Sarcoidosis 6/08.

--Myself, Gluten-free since 8/07

Time heals all hurt of heart... but time must be won.

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Great to try the diet before giving meds. I've seen improvements in behavior, but I don't have a diagnosed ADD child yet. What is ODD? For the gluten-free/CF diet you will need to check everything that your child consumes or has contact with. That sounds horrible, but it is not. Start small with the easy items and just work through it slowly. FYI: Play Dough is not gluten-free. Moon Sand is gluten-free. You can buy gluten-free dough at discountschoolsupplies.com.

Start out by eating unprocessed foods. Eat fresh meats, veggies, and fruits. I don't think organic is required at first. Since you are talking about rye dye and possible chemical sensitivities, organic might be something to look into later if you do not see enough improvement. Not sure how that connects to red meat?

Remove everything with obvious gluten - breads, cookies, pasta, pizza. You can buy some gluten-free breads, pasta, and pizza doughs at Whole Foods. Glutino pasta and pizza dough is very good. Then start checking labels and calling companies. I don't think I have ever found a plain canned fruit that contained gluten. The trick to Casien free cheeses is look for Vegan products. Tofutti is our favorite CF brand - great ice cream.

ClanThompson.com has some paperback lists that I found very helpful when starting out.

Everyone is very overwhelmed at first. Within a short time you will feel much more comfortable about the diet and the foods. In the end, people on the gluten-free/CF diet are very brand loyal. I don't buy new brands often. So your shopping list becomes easier in a way - it doesn't change much. Whole Foods is a great place and their hot food bar has a lot of gluten-free food. Talk to the manager and find out what your son can eat. We loved a Vegan Soy Chocolate pudding they made. It sounded awful, but the kids loved it and I thought it tasted great too.

Research this site and ask questions.

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Here is a discussion about a recent, doubleblind study showing the effects of certain food additives on hyperactivity in children with and without ADHD (it is the last study discussed in the link):

http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/oct/fav5.htm

You can read there about the specific additives involved. It is more than red dye.

If you google on Gluten-free Casein-free diet, you will find web sites devoted to telling parents how to do this. celiac.com has a good page on acceptable versus unacceptable foods as far as gluten is concerned, plus those that require further investigation. For instance, sometimes "natural" or "artificial flavoring" has gluten. Avoiding casein is easier, because milk is an allergen that has to be listed. If you see anything with a dairy-type label in the ingredients (milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, whey, etc.) or with the word "casein" or "caseinate" in there, avoid it.

It is important to check out any supplements or medicines. Allergens do not have to be listed for these things, so you have to check with manufacturers (or research online, frequently you can find your answer that way) unless the label specifically says gluten and dairy/casein free. Lactose-free, BTW, isn't the same thing.

Is it all sugars that need to be avoided or just certain kinds? I'm sure someone online has a list of all the ways sugar can be labeled. I once listened to an online lecture from someone who used to work for Kraft. He explained how they would put sugar in different forms into products so that "sugar" wouldn't be high up in the ingredient list. Let's see, there's sucrose, fructose, evaporated cane or other juice, etc., etc.

Hate to overwhelm you, but I've read about behavior problems improving among both troubled youth (in public schools or boarding facilities) and adult prisoners with vegan diets. I don't know of any studies, though; it was purely observational. This could be something to pack away in the back of your mind if the other dietary adjustments don't work well enough.

gfgypsyqueen, ODD stands for "Oppositional Deviant Disorder."


McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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I think you are a smart mom, no one needs dairy, red dye, soy, or gluten (wheat, rye, barley) or oats because they have cross contamination issues & I think they are just plain bad for you.

also please give your child a sublingual B12, it will help a lot. most people that have a gluten problem need the extra B12. It will not hurt him, excess is excreted in the urine.

I do not buy all organic but I get a few things organic, like apples, & kale & sometimes broccoli...

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Thank you guys all SO MUCH!!!! Tonight I will be sitting here on the net searching all those links you have provided. I love how supportive and helpful you all are. Its great to know there are other people out there to help, cuz my dr's dont agree w/the diet change, just meds, meds, meds and psychologists! What is it? Kickbacks?? I dunno. Thanks again everyone. I will dive right in tonight once the boys are asleep.

Renee'

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