Case History 1 tummy aches, behaviour and sleep disturbance
Connor, aged 5, came to see me as he had been suffering from severe tummy aches for the previous 6 months. They had begun very soon after he started school full time, and his mother and his teacher had concerns that he might become a school refuser. He was missing on average 3 days school weekly. Connor was also finding it hard to concentrate when at school, and was constantly in trouble because of his behaviour. He was waking every night at least twice. He had a disabled younger sister, who took up much of his single mother's time and attention.
On testing I found that his problem foods were aspartame, orange, monosodium glutamate [E621], hydrolised vegetable protein [in many stock cubes, packet sauces and ready meals] and the flavourings in coca cola, lemonade and many sweets. His mother had been giving him daily treats of Haribo sweets,[containing artificial flavours] or flavoured crisps[containing Monosodium glutamate] She had noticed that he had behavioural reactions to coca cola, so did not allow him to drink it. Connor's preferred drink was sugar free orange squash, which he drank several times daily. Connor's usual 'free fruit' choice at school was a satsuma. I advised mum to encourage Connor to drink more water, and if he struggled with this, to let him drink fruit juice diluted with water half and half, but to provide a variety of juices so that he was less likely to develop another intolerance. For a 'treat' I suggested either ready salted crisps, or crisps that were labelled 'No artificial flavours' As a sweets substitute I suggested Starburst or Fruitella, as these are made with fruit juice rather than flavourings. Of course he would need to avoid the orange ones.
Two days after commencing his new diet, Connor had no more tummy aches, he was sleeping through the night, and his behaviour and concentration in school had improved by an estimated 80%.