Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Science experiments

When we first noticed a difference in Carson, at the ripe old age of 18months, I questioned my pediatrician, as to whether she thought sugar played a role in his behavior. I pretty much had complete control over what he put in his mouth at that age, so I did not do any experimentation at that point. Fast forward about a year. He had developed quite the sweet tooth. I asked his pediatrician again, if I should control the sugar and see if we have any noticeable changes. She said it would not hurt to try him without. So we removed refined sugar from his diet specifically high fructose corn syrup. He still had natural sugars from fruits etc. We did not see a big change at all. He was still very active, and still struggling with language. So we allowed sugar back into his diet.

Several months ago I read a blog (it is posted in my blogroll as info on red dye #40). I read this and something kind of clicked.... Carson loves Popsicles... you know otter pops.. and he would eat 2-3 a day year round. Another favorite is gogurts..., also loves fruit loops, fruit snacks, and all sorts of artificially colored and sweetened food. I hesitate to even call this stuff food. I, in much the same way that the other blog poster, noticed that Carson's BMs were green (he doesn't always flush)... not just green... but almost neon green. I casually thought that was weird, but wasn't too concerned until I read Lou's blog on her son and his behavioral issues. Her son's issues are very similar to what we have been seeing in Carson.

In the past week or so I have slowly eliminated foods with artificial dyes.... particularly red dye #40. It’s also known as E129. It’s interesting to read that it’s not recommended for consumption by children and is banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Norway. Do you have any idea how many food products contain red dye#40. It is in many kids drinks, cereals, fruit snacks, gum, yogurt, sodas, puddings, chocolate cakes, popsicles, ice cream (specifically sherbet) cakes, icing etc. It is even in many medicines specifically designed for children.. Children's Tylenol...as well as many antibiotics. You get the picture it is a hidden product in tons of foods not just overly red colored foods. These are just a few of the ones that have been in our pantry. Fortunately Carson is very happy with a banana, carrots or a cheese stick as a snack... but one of his new favorite foods is vienna sausages (I know... way gross, but it is some protein he will eat)...guess what? Some sausages, as do hot dogs, have the dyes added... good news, most chicken ones don't.

So... I am embarking on an experiment of sorts...I am going to eliminate all foods with red dyes, and see how/or if his behavior changes. Then after a week or two with out, I will allow some red dye back into his diet and see if we see... a change. I am seriously hoping to see some differences, and hope that I don't pull my hair out with in the midst of this science experiment! So wish us luck and I will keep you informed!


Keri said...

Be sure and ask Beverlee about her experiance with this. We don't allow Cannon to have much if any red dye either for the very same reasons. You are right it is in EVERYTHING! Good luck. I can't wait to hear the results.

Kassie said...

Kari, I agree with Keri talk to my mom about this because Cameron was bad and I was not allowed to have things that were red or yellow because it bothers Cameron. My trigger is orange. Good luck and let us know