Ever since I posted last week on What is a
Salicylate Allergy?, I've had about a dozen moms email me about
the possibility of a misdiagnosis for their child. The issues they
mentioned ranged from kids wetting their pants, chronic
bed-wetting, OCD in a 6-year-old and even schizophrenia in a
9-year-old. Reading their stories and corresponding with them makes
me believe we are "mislabeling" our children much too often. I
shake my head when I hear about very young children having suicidal
thoughts. Might this be a side effect of the powerful drugs they
are taking or eating the wrong foods for their body chemistry?
In my opinion, the connection between food sensitivities and
mood disorders is not looked at closely enough. It goes along with
the lack of mental health care we don't have support for in the
United States. You see, when I read about another child with a gun
in schools, I don't automatically think about stricter gun laws, I
think of how our health care system is failing. I think of the
brokenness of the child. I think of bullying. I ask what happened
in the home, the side effects of the mental health drugs they were
taking, and their diets. It is so very sad to me that no one thinks
about these possibilities.
Doctors are now "specialized" and trained to treat the disease
where it begins. So if one of us has a heart attack, we see a
cardiologist, right? Often doctors forgot that the father of
western medicine, Hippocrates, stated, "All disease begins in the
gut." But I will continue to repeat that we must begin looking at
our food supply: the chemical laden foods (food dyes, food
preservatives), the ways we grow our foods, they way we raise our
animals for food, the lack of education to read food labels, how we
watch cooking shows rather than cooking a homemade meal. If you
think I am the only one that questions the mood-food relationship,
you can read one mom blogger's story on
Diet and Mental Health. She is embarking on the Gut and
Psychology Syndrome diet for her anxiety and depression and is
feeling normal. She makes some great points from other alternative
health care doctors.
We must also look to our guts and gut bacteria. I recently
learned that we have more DNA in the gut bacteria than our entire
bodies. What does that mean? That means our guts control every cell
in our bodies in how disease occurs. Dr. Mark Hyman wrote an
excellent blog on this subject in which he states, "this bacterial
DNA controls immune function, regulates digestion and intestinal
function, protects against infections, and even produces vitamins
and nutrients." I encourage you to read his entire post on this
I realize there are small changes happening in the way doctors
are treating patients, and they are now looking to nutrition and
treating the gut. Dr. Hyman is one of a few. They are beginning to
understand the imbalances in our bodies, brains, hearts, lungs and
joints are caused by our diets and our gut bacteria that comes from
the overuse of antibiotics, lack of nutrients from tainted soils,
eating processed foods and taking other medicines.
Yes, the medicines. Those medicines we take also cause vitamin
deficiencies, often the very vitamin we need to help treat the
disease. Taking oral contraceptives depletes our bodies of folic
acid, as do antibiotics, antacids and anti-inflammatory drugs. (If
you want to see which other drugs cause vitamin deficiency, you can
see a list here.)
This is just an example, so if you are on any type of medication,
look for what key vitamins and minerals are being depleted from
your body by taking that medication.
One mom asked me, "Where can I begin? What can I do?"
If you are thinking your child has a salicylate allergy, remove
all fruits (that includes avocados and tomatoes), food dyes, food
preservatives such as BHA and BHT (think processed and packaged
foods) and MSG in any
form and change your cooking oil to Safflower oil only. It is
an easy start. If you are on a dairy-free diet, eliminate coconut
or almond milks and change to hemp or rice/quinoa milk. My son does
better on the rice/quinoa milk combo. Try it for a couple of weeks
and note any physical and emotional changes, such as better
behavior, better sleep, no night terrors, less bed-wetting, less
defiant behavior, less squirminess, more organized behavior,
After a couple of weeks, add some fruit into the diet for a day
and wait a couple of days to see what happens. Being sensitive to
fruit can mean an inability to properly absorb fruits (fructose
intolerance) or it can mean a salicylate allergy. You would have to
go on a complete salicylate-free diet to determine if it was or
wasn't a salicylate allergy, but that can be confusing and very
My goal is to make as many families as I can think differently
about our bodies, our foods and our health care and to be agents of
change in how we are treated by the medical community. If we can
truly let "Food be thy medicine," we will be much better off. We
must take that time to invest in our health now to save the health
of future generations.
Jasmine blogs to inspire you to make positive, healthy changes.
See more of Jasmine's stories here.
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