Thursday, December 17, 2009

Food dyes and sensory issues

I wanted to respond to a question posted on my last entry. Do children who respond to food dyes also have sensory issues? In my family, I have one child with sensory issues who responds pretty strongly to food dyes with VERY SEVERE impulsivity and hyperactivity. My other two children do not have sensory issues, but they respond almost more severely to the dyes with irritability, tantrums, and pretty intense negative behaviors. These behaviors always last about 3 full days after eating the food dye.

My friend has a child who only seems to have sensory issues when she has food dyes. She becomes sensitive to clothing and temperature, etc. It makes getting ready for school on time almost impossible. The same friend and I have shared observations that we each have a child who could meet diagnostic criteria for Bipolar Disorder when they are on food dyes. What is reassuring, but also alarming to me, is that both children are normally well behaved, even tempered children. We are both trained child mental health professionals, so we find that very interesting that our children actually start to mimic symptoms of many clinical disorders by merely consuming petrochemicals in food. So my answer would be, yes children with sensory issues may very well be more sensitive to the neurological effects of the food dyes. But my strong hunch is that many many children are sensitive to food dyes and could be calmer and more stable with basic dietary changes. If only more parents knew this!!!!

If you are new to this blog and reading this, you read right when I said petrochemicals. Artificial colors and flavors are really made from petroleum and often manufactured in China. Need I say more? Why should anyone eat that? Get the word out so we all have more choices and options to eat real foods without chemicals. The trends are changing so hopefully it will be easier and less expensive too. I thought finding organic candy canes at Kroger was a great indicator of good choices to come.

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