Monday, May 26, 2008

Holistic

I've been hesitant to blog about what's been going on with us health wise, but now that we've been going through this for a bit, I figure it's a little more okay.
Ever since the baby was little she has been struggling with gas. Long story short, but after visits to the doctor and eventually the hospital I was frustrated by no answers and went to a naturopath who suggested eliminating dairy from her diet. The visit for the baby was short.
The long part of that visit was a conversation about Doodle.
This doctor was very concerned about his behaviour. She thought it was very erratic and basically blamed it on sugar and his diet in general. Her bedside manner was horrible and I left pissed off that she had blamed me for his hyperactivity, but part of the problem is that she was right. For quite awhile now I have been concerned about his behaviour.
ADHD has been whispered to us. Hyperactivity has also been mentioned.
But, what I had noticed is that he's not constantly hyper. And as a parent it's incredibly frustrating that one day he can listen and behave and follow directions with no problem, and then you catch him at the wrong moment and he can't. I know part of this is being a little kid, but it's not that. For instance today I was at my sister's place. Her almost 3 year old was having a rough afternoon. She was having temper tantrums, and just not listening. But, my sister could pinpoint it to a lack of sleep and needing a nap.
With Doodle it's not like this. Sure he has his moments where we know he needs sleep. But, the hyperactivity is not that. It's like he physically can't stop himself.
Recently he started karate. He loves it. I love it. His teacher is an amazing woman who is a former kindergarten teacher. She works magic in her karate classes - and gets a room full of 3-5 year olds doing various things in tandem, quietly. I have a lot of respect for her.
After the last class she asked to speak with me.
She was concerned about his hyperactvity also. But, she explained it to me.
Basically she said that once he enters the school system he will be recommended to be on Ritalin because of his hyperactivity. She has noticed that sometimes he seems to have uncontrollable energy, and said that from her experience with children she doesn't seem this as a behaviour/parenting issue, but rather as a chemical one that may be triggered by something. At one point in the class she was helping him with something and he said his brain hurts. She asked him why and he said "it's the food my mom gives me." (oh the mommy guilt from that comment, but that's a whole other issue!)
She suggested that we do allergy testing and see a naturopath.
Interestingly enough I'd been doing a lot of research since the initial naturopath visit. My mom and I had just attended a lecture given by a naturopath who is about 20 minutes away from my house. And I liked her. And spoke to her after.
So, we're going to go and see her and see what she suggests for Doodle. Actually, I have been e-mailing back and forth with her along with reading as much as I can about the link between diet and behaviour. It's scary what's in our food - and it's scary what I've been okay with.
It looks like we're in for an "elimination diet". Seriously. Want to know what it's about? Here's what she said in an e-mail
"If you are up for an elimination diet, you may want to try avoiding the following foods: any food additives or preservatives (colours, preservatives, nitrates in hot dogs or cold meats), dairy, cane sugar, and wheat. Definitely prepare for this one, find substitutes that Doodle enjoys and get a good cook book ( I like The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook by Cybele Pascal) before embarking on the elimination period, which should be 3 weeks. You should notice a shift in his behaviour if he is sensitive to any of these foods or additives."
I know it sounds crazy, but I think we're doing it. It may kill me. But, if it doesn't I'm sure I'll be a stronger person for it. And, I'm doing it right along with Doodle. And if I'm doing it, the Baby's doing it. And by some stretch so is Phat Daddy.
I think June is going to be a Long month!
If anyone has done this before I'd love to hear your input.

6 comments:

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Our kids eat a very holistic diet. Lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and very little processed sugar (cake at birthday parties notwithstanding). No juice, either.

It is very interesting to me to see the effect of a change on their demeanor. Not the little one (yet), but my older one.

One day he came home from preschool and was absolutely crazy. Even my nanny called him "wild". And he was.

Turned out, he had a chocolate cupcake at school that day.

I have noticed a marked correlation beween his behaviour and his diet (although I know when he is tired, too).

I am a firm believer in diet affecting health. What we put in our body is our fuel, and if it's not working properly, of course our body will respond in kind.

Good luck!

AndreAnna said...

I'm with Naomi. No one is perfect, and my kid has her fair share of diet blunders, but for the most part, we eat organic, whole grains, fruits and veggies. And I can definitely see the difference in her on a day when her diet has sucked (i.e., every family party) LOL

I wish you luck and I'll be following your progress!

SciFi Dad said...

I hope this works for you. I'm sure it's difficult to deal with everyone seeing only the difficult or the negative in Doodle, and not the positive stuff. Hopefully, this will let the sweet kid inside come out more.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Just remember that whatever anyone recommends to you about Doodle, doctors, teachers, etc., YOU are the parent and all of the decisions are yours to make!

It is very difficult to pinpoint reasons for childrens' behaviour when their behaviour is more then just a meltdown here or there.

It sounds like you are on top of things and have made a great start at getting to the bottom of this.

LoriD said...

I don't have any specific experience with this, but I do believe that you are what you eat.

Awhile back I watched a fascinating series called The Truth About Food (hosted by Dr. Oz - love!). Anyway, they did a study on sugar and hyperactivity. Here's a synopsis, if you're interested.

citygirl said...

I definitely feel and act different according to what I've eaten during the day. If I haven't eaten enough or have eaten garbage, watch out!!