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funkydesignergirl

Toddlers....gluten And Behavior?

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i know that behavioral issues can be triggered by food....and sensory and anxiety issues can be heightened by food, and food can cause sleep problems and hyperactivity. i

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Well, hon...I think I'd get a big bottle of something and lock the door.

My son is a positive reinforcement kid. Drives me up the freaking wall. He has to have immediate enforcement/consequences and you have to be consistent for a week or more. Repeat. He needs a carrot every day. Makes me NUTS.

I just had him tested for Celiac and am waiting. May try gluten-free regardless, maybe milk free too. I understand the confusion and frustration.

Perhaps you need to keep pushing the diet. Maybe they need more detox. Perhaps there were subtle changes in parenting style that relaxed after the first few weeks? I know I get tired and slack off then bam, Obnoxious Child is back. It's hard to pinpoint what they respond to, compared to what we want them to respond to.

Yes, people have emotional and behavioral consequences from gluten. I really don't know what to say other than it may be worth a try if you want to.

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my 3 yr old was terrible before gluten free, said the tv was too loud, 3 hr tantrums, very clingy, 1 month later she is a different kid. I'd give gluten free a try, what harm can it do?

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My own personal experience is that as much as food can effect how the body reacts and behaves sometimes you just need a professional to help you get some answers. My second who was diagnosed with coeliac at 7 has suffered from eating issues, behavioural issues, learning issues and none have been any different since him being gluten-free (he is now 11). We are going to see a peadiatrition next year (4 month wait here to see one privatly grrrr) in hope to have some answers.

I hope you find some answers because it can be really difficult in dealing with it and your right a lot of people dont understand and that makes it even more frustrating

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My daughter was 4 at the time of her celiac diagnosis. Her behaviors were similar....antagonistic towards her older sister, whiny, irritable (she crashed/melted every day around 3-4pm and making supper was a disaster!) Extremely clingy and attached to me, would not play independantly, no interest in playing, coloring etc just wanted to lay around and watch tv, extremely hungry and tired 24/7 even though she slept great at night, dark circles under eyes, pale skin, constipation, and sensitive to noise. (HATES fire alarms, vaccuums etc). Once off of gluten she improved very quickly and quite dramatically. It is easy for me to tell when she has gotten gluten accidentally because these behaviors return. I would try for a blood test before going gluten free. Once gluten free you are unable to test because the damage repairs itself and the antibodies are no longer elevated. It was hard waiting for a biopsy (the worst actually) but we are thankful to have the confirmed diagnosis from a GI specialist. I think it makes it easier to stick to the gluten-free diet and helps with others (SCHOOL!) accepting it as well. Good luck.

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thank you for your response divamomma...

i debate so much between behavioral, or sensory, or food...or maybe it is just kids being kids...but

when i read posts like yours it makes me think maybe i am on to something. i had hoped that

removing the artificials would have been this amazing 'ah-ha' moment, but it hasn't...so now I am

considering digging deeper, but i am also afraid i am creating a problem that isn't there. i'm just

struggling with how to handle this. so thanks for your replies!!

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thank you for your response divamomma...

i debate so much between behavioral, or sensory, or food...or maybe it is just kids being kids...but

when i read posts like yours it makes me think maybe i am on to something. i had hoped that

removing the artificials would have been this amazing 'ah-ha' moment, but it hasn't...so now I am

considering digging deeper, but i am also afraid i am creating a problem that isn't there. i'm just

struggling with how to handle this. so thanks for your replies!!

If you have a pretty good pediatrician, you may even be able to convince them to do the bloodwork for Celiac's Disease. They may be sensitive to gluten without having Celiac's, but if they did have it you would definately have an answer. Regardless it sounds like it may be worth going gluten free even if they tested negative.

My daughter's biggest issues were failure to thrive, but behaviorally she is a nightmare when she has consumed gluten. By 9 months old she was throwing herself on the ground if the tiniest thing ticked her off. Now, at 18 months I can tolerate being around her (in other words, she doesn't scream at me constantly).

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Hi -

My 3 year old son is autistic, not celiac, so I may not be a good person to respond b/c our situations are different. But his primary issues are a language delay, social issues (not knowing how to interact with peers), and repetitive behavior (spinning objects, opening and closing doors, etc.). We had him tested and he did not show a wheat allergy. But we tried the gluten free diet anyway starting in January and it made a huge difference for him. Over the course of 6 months he went from having a "severe language delay" to testing at age level (!). His repetitive behaviors went down, and he made great strides socially. He was/is getting ABA therapy, so it's hard to know what can be attributed to the diet vs. the therapy but the biggest thing for us that told us the diet helps was when we tried to reintroduce gluten. He was a mess. Big potty training regression, aggression (which is so not him - if anything he is overly passive), meltdowns (again not typical for him) ... We got a note from his teacher, who we did not tell we were giving him gluten, asking what on earth was going on with him and saying "I have never seen him like this."

Anyway my point is that sometimes the only way you know sometimes is to try the diet. We have always been in favor of interventions with low or minimal risk and we felt like the gluten free diet fell in that category. I'd say try it, give it a certain amount of time, and then "test" it. If it helps, then great. If it doesn't, then I agree with you that there is no reason to continue with the diet. Another option is to just limit gluten. We have found that my son can tolerate occasional gluten, like cake at a birthday party for example, as long as we are careful not to overdo it and not close together.

If you are worried something else is going on (you mentioned ADHD symptoms), you could also have your children tested by a developmental pediatrician. Even if you don't want to medicate, having a diagnosis if there is one can give you big clues on some interventions.

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hi Kelleybean.

just hearing those of you who had strictly behavioral (as opposed to physical) improvements does help me..so thank you for sharing.

i kind of keep bouncing from cause to cause trying to understand their behaviors...first i felt it was sensory, then simply behavioral, then back to sensory, now maybe i'm thinking it is food so i tried removing all artificials and preservatives and that didn't work too well, so now i am moving on to gluten. if i find something it will all be worth it...but i am so afraid that i am going to pull out every random allergen and spend hundreds in specialty food stores, and put my kids through all of this (again, basically just my 7yo who has a hard time at school etc), but what if i do all of this and in 10 years i look back and think 'omg, what was i thinking'?! so, that being said, your positive stories really are uplifting and give the rest of us the hope that we will have success stories of our own!

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