My first anaphylactic reaction (almost ... swollen throat and tongue) came about just about 8 hours after taking Orthoxical for a dry cough. The hives began fairly soon afterwards and got slowly worse, until I saw a specialist and was diagnosed with salicylate intolerance. Had it now for 20 years. -Jackie, NZ

Sue's comment: What causes salicylate intolerance?

It is common for people to report to us that they developed salicylate intolerance after taking a course of salicylate containing drugs such as aspirin or drugs with known salicylate cross-reactivity e.g. anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen.

However, in this case, Orthoxicol dry cough mixture contains paracetamol (safe) and Dextromethorphan (an opiate derivative unrelated to salicylates although known to cause rare allergic reactions). Of the inactive ingredients, possible problems include:

-artificial red colour (allura red E129)
-menthol (very high in salicylates and known to cause anaphylaxis
-raspberry flavour (very high in salicylates).

Triggers of food intolerance listed by RPA Hospital researchers include exposure to environmental chemicals, illness, medications and stress. It seems possible that one, or a combination, of the ingredients in this medication, may have led to longterm salicylate intolerance.    

Further reading

Orthoxicol Dry Cough ingredients http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/regulatory/ProductDetail.asp?ID=1441
Allergy to Dextromethorphan, medical journals http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1398-9995.2004.00474.x/pdf
Allergy to Dextromethorphan, patient reported http://www.steadyhealth.com/topics/is-anyone-else-allergic-to-dextromethorphan
Anaphylaxis in an infant caused by menthol-containing cologne http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22209027
Allergic reaction to methol in mint leads to asthma http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390130/

Salicylates fact sheet

My 8 year old son, who was very close to baseline on the diet, came home one evening stuttering so badly my husband took him to the ER, fearing maybe he'd gotten a bump on his head at tae kwon do, although he denied this (we had to have him write his answers because he couldn't get two words out in more than 3 minutes.) He'd never stuttered before.

I called the headmaster and the school, and two panels in his classroom had been painted the same day. The kid came home after 10 hours in hospital, all tests normal. Since then he's been stuttering on and off (I believe the Israeli craziness for repainting walls, "nice smelling" floor cleaners, laundry powders and fabric softeners plays a role here)... I've learnt the hard way to keep the kids at home when repainting is going on at school. - Emma from Israel

I have just started the failsafe diet because I have Crohn's Disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and GORD among other illnesses. Last week I could barely walk due to RA joint pain, this week since I've been on the FS diet (day 5) my morning stiffness pain has gone and my RA pain is virtually non-existent which is fantastic cause I have been struggling with the pain for a long time.

TWO WEEKS LATER: I’m having marvellous results with my RA through my dietician who put me on the low to mod salicylates diet. Although I only have very minor pain it would seem even bananas and red delicious apples (peeled) are a contributing factor for me.

I love being pain free, and being able to get out and enjoy life again. As an added bonus the diet has helped me in other areas of my health as well - Leann

Here is selected edited feedback from the petition for Unilever Australia to remove the natural colour Annatto 160b from Streets food products, with 5,511 supporters to date.

PLEASE sign the petition if you have not yet done so

image002

Following some reports from health professionals, the feedback is organised by symptom:

Allergy type reactions
Violence, anger and self-harm
IBS Irritable Bowel Symptoms
Hives, eczema and skin conditions
Depression and anxiety
Insomnia and night terrors
Migraines and headaches
Head banging

Clearly this additive has not been adequately assessed by those entrusted by the government to protect us and our children.

Feedback from professionals:

As a dietitian with decades of experience in helping clients with food chemical sensitivity, I have certainly come across numerous people who react to annatto during food chemical challenges. These people are then advised to avoid any products containing annatto. IT would be great to see more companies remove this troublesome additive - Melanie (dietitian)

So many of my clients test up with a reaction to annatto 160b and once eliminated from diet their lives change for the better - Trish (dietitian)

I have a child affected by Annatto 160b and as a dietitian I see many other people affected by this food colour - Jodie (dietitian)

I am a neuropsychologist who is determined that science should be used to inform – Clare

   Allergy type reactions:

I am one of many adults adversely affected by 160b. In fact, I have come close to dying on three occasions due to 160b – Marian

160b effects children's behaviour and not for the better. How do I know this? Because I have witnessed and a number of occasions now my well behaved daughter turn into a hyper active, defiant and aggressive child within 2 minutes of consuming products within 160b in it - Patricia

I've spent many nights in the hospital emergency with my daughter suffering severe breathing difficulty after consuming 160b. I have repeatedly asked to have some sort of medical certificate stating that she has an allergy to the additive 160b only to be told that the tree growing the nut that the colour is derived from does not grow in Australia so they were unable to provide it. I have been met with "crazy lady" looks at every which turn. My son also exhibits behavioural problems after consumption. What are we really exposing our children to in unnatural proportions? All for unnatural aesthetics – Sandra

1 Daughter anaphylactic 2 all artificial colours including 160b & other daughter gets asthma & it's in a lot of ice creams & I'd like the girls to b able 2 have more choice & not miss out – Katrina

My child is allergic to 160b and this means we have ONE choice of which product we can buy – Cara

We have allergies to annatto - Brooke

   Violence, anger and self-harm:

160b affects my son. He says it is like a switch flicks in his head and he can't stop – Julie

I have 2 daughters that become violent and angry after consuming 160b – Rebecca

I have a daughter who reacts badly to annatto 160b. Anger, sleeplessness, slapping her own head repeatedly when angry and not coping: all due to this additive, which is in so, so many food products. Please listen companies, and use alternatives!  - Mel

Eating foods coloured with annatto 160(b) causes irrational anger and increased impatience in my 35-year-old self, so I'm not surprised that it causes such self-harming behaviour in children. I would love to have a greater variety of dessert products available to myself and my family – Keira

My child reacts with aggression every time he consumes annatto – Susie

I’m signing this petition as my 3 children react aggressively when they ingest Annatto (160b) - Alison

I see my children turn into monsters when they eat 160b – Kristina

My children react to 160b, it makes them angry. We don’t buy *any* products which contain it – Daryl

My kids go crazy for up to five days after eating things containing 160b. We've avoided it for years now as the consequences were just awful and profoundly affected – Elizabeth

Discovering the cause of our daughter’s opposition and aggression when she was around four was life changing for us. Who would think that a a "natural" ingredient could cause so much angst. To this day I can guarantee if she has 160b I will get a call from her teachers the next day. Please remove it - we only buy peters icecream without 160b. Would love to be able to buy your products but not worth the reaction.  – Maryjo

My son acts so insane when he accidentally gets annatto that I have to keep him home and send everyone else out of the house for three hours. He races around like a maniac, climbs people, laughs hysterically, talks rapidly, is completely defiant. I read labels very carefully. My daughter and I have both put products back on the store shelf as if it might bite us if we see annatto in the ingredient list and I was considering buying it.

That's because it might just cause her brother to bite her. He's broken her skin open after ingesting annatto, once in vanilla ice cream, and once in white cheddar crackers.

Our daughter is like Jekyll and Hyde after eating anything with Annatto in it! She crawls on the ground instead of walking, babbles incessantly, has epic meltdowns (kicking and screaming). – Michelle

My son Riley's ODD completely disappeared over a 2 week period after removing this chemical from his diet. – Robin

My son too reacts to Annatto 160b. Within 5 minutes of eating food with this additive, he becomes hyperactive, aggressive & violent. Please remove this additive from your ice cream! – Nicki

   IBS Irritable Bowel Symptoms:

I am in my 40's and it took a long time to discover that Annatto 160b is one of the triggers of ibs, sinus and arthritis. It is unnecessary and should be banned – Hilary

A family member is intolerant to 160b. Diagnosed with IBS, Gastro-oesophageal reflux, oesophageal ulceration with associated anaemia from bleeding at 5 yrs and recommended steroids for life. All fixed by removing 160b. This family hasn't had a Streets ice cream in over a decade and a half – Eve

160b is one of the main causes of my colitis, clinically proven at RPA hospital! It is terrible stuff – Kate

My son gets terrible stomach aches from 160b - Sarah

   Hives, eczema and skin conditions:

I am in my sixties and I react to Annato160b with dreadful hives. Please remove this colouring and therefore increase the range of foods I can eat – Ann

Both my daughters have severe reactions to 160b. Both behaviorally and with nasty eczema-like rashes. I want them to be able to eat ice cream without pain! – Zoe

Through the elimination diet we discovered that two of my daughter’s severe eczema was caused by 160B. I've decided, after seeing what it does to those two children, that no one in the family should consume it - Stephanie

My son reacts badly to annatto. Raised white spots all over his ears patches over his face. Gets extremely confused can’t concentrate on anything and feels very ill – Danielle

   Depression and anxiety:

My emotions go 'all over the ship' when I eat anything with 160b in it. I avoid it like the plague – Julie

This food colouring always sends my daughter into depression - Nicole J

My children react to 160b with aggressive behaviour, sleeplessness and depression - Jennifer

   Insomnia and night terrors:

160b has a terrible effect on me causing insomnia and migraines. I can't buy products with this chemical in it. Please take it out for my sake (and the kids affected too) – Peter

We have been avoiding annatto for years as it keeps my husband and 3 children awake and feeling wired for hours if they have it at dinner time – Jessica

Annatto causes my son to head bang and have night terrors. We do not by streets products currently due to the fact that this colour is used. Please think our your consumers, many whom are children – Lauren

My kid eats food with annatto and has insomnia, restlessness, anxiety and extreme behaviour. It's not needed. It's a colour. The food tastes the same – Marney

This interrupts my 6 year old daughters sleep for several nights in a row. We will not buy streets ice-cream because of this – Amanda

I want to be able to feed my 4 children and myself icecream which isn't going to keep us awake all night – Madeline

160B causes me to have post nasal drip as well as insomnia – Carol

My son reacts badly to 106b we had sleeping issues, anxiousness and hurting himself, tantrums since removing it he is a lot calmer I don’t buy anything with this additive in it. It is sad that every ice cream has it in it and also yoghurt particularly children’s yoghurt. Food companies need to start doing something about it. – Colleen

160b kept my daughter from sleeping well until she was almost 5. With it not in her diet she now sleeps well. – Joanna

   Migraines and headaches:

I am signing because 160b gives me migraine. Please remove it from all products – Judith

I have adult children that have reacted to 160b all of their life, nasty additive that adds nothing to the icecream except a headache, bad behaviour and rashes! We have only ever purchased icecream without this additive – Janelye

160b is an unnecessary food additive. Natural does not always mean good, as in this case with massive headache and irritation a common effect – Kathleen

An ice-cream headache I can deal with. Annatto gives me chronic pounding migraines... – John

My 10 year old son gets pounding headaches from this additive: it now seems to be in nearly every 'natural no artificial colours or ingredients' food. There are better alternatives (beta carotene, turmeric) – Iris

This additive is harmful to adults as well as children, if I accidentally eat a single serve of food (ice-cream, yoghurt, pastry) which contains it I get a violent migraine which lasts for several hours. I would urge you to cease using it in all of your product lines – Ben

   Head banging:

My son was also negatively affected by 160b. He had a permanent bruise on his forehead and sleep issues until it was completely removed from his diet - Lisa

My son reacts to this additive with headbanging – Heather

This turns my 3 year old into a head banging crazy mess! Horrible stuff :(  - Annette

My 2 daughter had a permanent bruise on her forehead for about 6 months when she started solids from banging her head on walls, her cot, the porcelain tiles, on the floor and head butting me. I was so worried she was doing permanent damage and I asked about it on a mothers’ forum. Someone suggested 160b was the cause and it was in the cheese singles that she ate everyday. I stopped the 160b and it turned off like a tap. The headbanging only began again when she ate something containing 160b. It is banned in my house now! – Anita

My son reacts to 160b. As a small child he would bang his head on the doormat or concrete floor to get rid of the headache. When we stopped the yoghurt with 160b, the behaviour stopped - Claire

Thank God we connected annatto 160b with our (then) 4yr olds head bashing and aggression, shudder to think where we'd be if we hadn't removed this entirely from his diet – Carmel

My son banged his head against the bed for over a year and a half before I eliminated it from his diet, once eliminated he stopped within 2 days. BAN ANNATTO! – Katie

Other comments:

I'm signing because my daughters deserve to eat safe food. 160b causes seizures in my otherwise healthy 11 yr old. Listen to the families who live it, its not safe! – Lisa

Your company is just NOT LISTENING to the many, many people who have TOLD you they react to the "natural" colour 160b

My three grandsons have proved to me time and time again that this one additive causes major behavioural problems in them. They also know this and even the 6 year old will ask if a product has 160b in it now, because they do not like how they feel when they have consumed it. Small amount or not ... it IS a major problem!! Please acknowledge that. – Jenny

I always check labels before I buy, and if a product has annatto it's disappointing, because it goes straight back on the shelf – Caroline

I don't buy anything with annatto in it. Even a teensy tiny bit! – Ingrid


This feedback includes material from [1352] 160b annatto: feedback from petition 1 (September 2015)

More information and scientific references on annatto 160b

Sign petition please

I have been aware for a few years that my daughter's behaviour is severely affected by annatto (160b). She becomes loud, aggressive and irrational (cries and tantrums at the drop of a hat and cannot be reasoned with).

The past few months she has been becoming very anxious and has been developing a habit of pulling her hair out, and running it through her teeth, numerous times a day. It has been increasing fast, and I could see she was unable to control it.

I was starting to stress about it and think about the impact this may have on her life, long term. Then I had a lightbulb moment- annatto- it had slipped back I into her diet.

I immediately talked to her about this, cut it from her diet and within a couple of days it had drastically reduced. It has now been a week. Still reducing. She is much more relaxed and just generally calmer in herself - Carla

See more about compulsive hair pulling

We took tomatoes out of our diet almost 5 years ago as we were heading down the ODD road with our then 8 year old. I happened across something on the fedup website which said to try stopping tomatoes if you are thinking ODD. We have not looked back. Within 48 hours I was no longer being hit or sworn at and there was no more punching doors or walls. We were already trying to cut out all additives and preservatives and basically as many numbers as we could. The results were life changing, at home and school. We started the elimination diet in 2015 and have seen even more results, from everyone in the family! I definitely agree with everyone in the family doing it at the same time - Penelope

After all these years of checking labels and numbers I have found I am now super sensitive to anything with MSG 621 and its friends 627, 631 and 635 especially.

Yes I was sensitive to MSG before - it made me thirsty and gave me a headache but just this year I got caught with Aldi products (cheese and bacon balls, I had about 10 of them !). They say “no additives” etc and it has “NO MSG” in big letters on the packet but it was full of 627 and 631. They are worse than 621, 50 and 100 times more potent. After the pain I suffered Ii believe it.

The bowel pain and diarrhoea was instant, that is my first bad attack since I have been on a strict “no 600’s” diet.  The pain was so intense I thought I was dying ! - Enid by email.

See 129 ways that MSG is hidden from consumers.

I have never felt better over Christmas than I did this year on the elimination diet!  The salicylate challenge resulted in a small breakout of rough skin on the face, headache and shortness/acidity creeping back into persona. In the quiet of going to bed I became aware that my ears had  a buzzing/whooshing sound pulsing in them ...  The next day they felt as though they were blocked and I couldn't clear them or hear properly, like I had a cold but I didn't - Vanessa, by email

My son is sensitive to sals (all the classics - citrus, berries, tomato sauce/paste, pineapple, dried fruit), and amines (not so much). We recently had a family dinner conversation about my food cravings during pregnancy and my husband rightly pointed out, when I recalled the various cravings for each child, that I had major salicylate cravings during that son's pregnancy - I had orange juice and dried apricots till they were coming out my ears! I haven't found anything much about pregnancy and salicylate foods, just aspirin, so I thought you may find this interesting. - Peta, by email

Responses on facebook:

Never thought of that. I had a monster craving for strawberries and ate several punnets a day sometimes. My mother warned me that I would have a child with strawberry birthmarks (old wives' tale but I actually did much to her repeated "told you so's!!). Interesting question though as my daughter was subsequently very sals intolerant (and yes, especially strawberries!) - Susan

I have often wondered this. I ate A LOT of fruit salad when pregnant with my son. I also worked in a flavour and colours factory, surrounded by chemicals. Coincidence? - Sarah

I went mad on tomato and avocado sandwiches when pregnant with my daughter - she is fine with sals and amines - note - I hated avocado before and after pregnancy. Avocado is her favourite food - Teresa

Mandarins, tomato, chillies...and a son who is sensitive to salicylate. Very interesting! - Louise

Milk. Milk like it was going out of fashion! I mean I was up in the middle of the night chugging a litre of milk almost every night! Ds can only handle a2 and fresh cheese or fresh yogurt. Any other dairy and his turns into a stink bomb lol - Kyra

I ate lots of fruit, juice, dried fruit and my son is intolerant to salicylates and now after eliminating from our family diet, I can't tolerate much of them either - Fionna

I agree with this link. 3 of my 5 show clear links. One it was additives. One fruit and milk. One I had no cravings and she has no major problems with anything. My youngest it’s too early to see. But had the milk and fruit craving for him so we will see soon enough - Kristie

One explanation for this may be that intolerances are linked to the kind of gut bacteria you have. Mum’s gut bacteria is passed to baby during particularly vaginal birth as well as through close contact and breast feeding thereafter. Any individual quirks are likely to get passed on too - Paulyn

I am so intrigued by this! A recently pregnant work mate of mine, who ate very healthily, was violently sick through her entire pregnancy. Luck of the draw? I don't think so! Of course everything we put in on and around our bodies must be affecting us. We are just so naive to it! I'm positive her morning sickness was caused by the 'very healthy' foods (ie plenty of fruit and veg) she was consuming. But how do you tell anyone in this society that something they deem as healthy may not particularly be, for your body, at that particular time. Honestly, sometimes I feel like you lot are the only ones who truly 'get' me - Rachel

Sue's comment: We wondered if pregnancy cravings would indicate possible food intolerances in the infant, but this set of stories seem to suggest that cravings don't necessarily result in a food intolerant child. However, the last two - and maybe three - stories do confirm the idea that morning sickness during pregnancy seems to be connected to food intolerance in the mother. There are similar stories in the Women's Health & Diet factsheet. Like Kristy ("Seriously, you guys need to advertise in the newspapers or something - I would have had a much different experience if was eating failsafe then!"), I wish I had known about this when I was pregnant!

See also http://www.fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/womens-health-a-diet#morningsickness

I hope my experience is of help or encouragement to someone.

I first did the RPAH Elimination Diet (strict dairy and gluten free) in 1997 after experiencing chronic hives. I had the help of a dietitian and had seen an immunologist. The diet showed I was sensitive to salicylates and amines. For many years I successfully managed my hives by taking a daily antihistamine and also by reducing my intake of very high chemical foods, although I wasn’t very strict at all with managing the food side of things.

Over the last 5 years, I rarely had hives anymore, and thought maybe I had outgrown my intolerance. So I gradually increased my food chemicals again. Then in 2012, I experienced a Major Depression for 8 months. I was feeling so low, so hopeless, and crying all the time, it was the darkest time in my life. I work as a Graphic Designer, and I found my creativity totally vanished when I was depressed. This was very frightening, being creative always came so naturally to me, and losing this ability had a big impact on my livelihood too.

I was perplexed as to why I would be depressed, my life was wonderful, I couldn’t see a reason for the melancholy that had overtaken me. I remember telling my GP that it felt more like a ‘chemical thing’, like something was out of balance with my internal chemistry. In hindsight, I should have trusted my instinct on this... instead, I took my GP’s advice and I tried therapy, exercise and rest, and then antidepressants (SSRIs). Nothing worked and the antidepressants gave me nasty side effects (nausea, migraine with aura, hot flushes, diarrhoea, nightmares, anxiety, muscle twitches, split tongue, light sensitivity, foggy brain, blocked ears), and then some nasty withdrawals (brain zaps, teary, lack of appetite, insomnia). During the depression, I was also suffering badly with muscle pain. I was seeing a physio very regularly, and taking maximum doses of Panadol every day, but still had chronic pain.

At the time, I was taking fish oil supplements because I believed it may be beneficial in treating depression. I was also taking probiotics, believing it would boost my immune system – I never felt well! I stopped taking probiotics after I saw no measurable benefit, and when I stopped taking them, I noticed my muscle pain actually improved a bit. Then the penny started to drop... maybe my food intolerance symptoms had switched from hives to depression and muscle pain! I realised that the fish oil supplement I was taking was very high in amines, so I stopped taking it, and noticed a further improvement with my muscle pain and eventually my mood. Then I started searching online to see if depression and muscle pain were known symptoms of food intolerance. Back in 1997 I don’t recall being informed that these could be symptoms, but sure enough I found myself reading about other people’s experiences on FedUp! Thanks to you for all the work you have done and continue to do, to shed light on this complex and misunderstood issue. Your forum and website, and cookbook really helped me put the pieces of my own health puzzle in place.

So then I also began to reduce my food chemicals, and other chemicals such as perfumes, and cleaning products, and I saw a slow but steady improvement in my depression! I wanted to be sure I was on the right track, so I booked a dietitian to help me through the RPAH Elimination Diet again. I started elimination with a local dietitian, only to quickly realise she didn’t have enough experience or knowledge in this area. For example, she advised me to liberalise my diet as I went through the challenges, adding back any foods I didn’t respond to. I knew that this was likely to confuse my results, and immediately lost confidence in that particular dietitian. I voiced my frustration about this on your forum and thankfully another member recommended a marvellous failsafe dietitian to me. I was so happy to find that she was able to help me straight away. It was such a relief to have her insight and also her support through the rest of the process. She really took the time to consider my case, treating me as an individual, and showing great compassion towards any struggles I had. With anxiety and depression being triggered during my challenges, she was wonderful at encouraging me to stick with it until the end.

The results of my elimination this time were much clearer and more accurate than last time, and this was mostly due to her attention to detail, and ongoing support. She was very generous with her email support and this made all the difference during the tricky challenges. I am now finished my challenges, and have discovered that salicylates trigger ringing ears, acne, restless sleep, mouth ulcers, and anxiety. Amines cause depression and muscle pain. Food has always been a real source of joy for me, and although it is tough to accept that I have to restrict certain foods, it is immensely empowering to be able to manage my health this way. My lovely dietitian is now helping me to liberalise my diet, and has been brilliant with offering me a few different approaches for how to manage this stage too - Rachel by email

See our recommended dietitians

I'm happy for you to share our story, maybe it will help some other poor mum out there who is ready to strangle her kids.  Life just shouldn't be this hard.

My life has changed immensely since embarking on our journey in January 2014 after the heavy prodding of my husband. I will admit I was a cynic, however after 3 days of eliminating a few things just to get started while I was researching, I have become a massive convert and preacher of elimination and food intolerance! I saw my 4 yr old turn into an emotional loving boy within just 3 days. It was a massive change.

I am still nowhere near getting the diet right, in fact I have just gone back to full elimination to start again because I was unsure how to challenge correctly and I totally messed it up. I am currently reading Fed Up with ADHD (unfortunately out of print but incorporated in Fed Up). You have the best description of it in there and I now finally understand. NOTE that the content of Fed Up with ADHD is available as an ebook

I have 4 yr old and 7 yr old boys and life is hell on wheels most days. My 4 yr old suffers from intolerance majorly and I'm still unsure whether my 7 yr old does or if he is just frustrated with the almost intolerable behaviour of his little brother and acts out.  My husband and I are at our wits’ end or, fed up you might say.

My 4 yr old (Alex) would be diagnosed with ADHD any day of the week when he is off fs diet. His behaviour is extreme, we walk on egg shells every day and are anxious every time we leave the house as we never know how he is going to be. On fs diet he is a gem and very bright.

From my observations (still needing proper challenging) since we started are that he is extremely sensitive to amines, sals and preservatives, artificial colours and flavours - the works. I'm hoping with proper challenges we will find he can tolerate small levels of some of these things. Some reactions are almost instantaneous (sals and some preservatives, thinking sulphites  antioxidants and sorbates I think)  "like a switch was flicked" said the daycare teacher Or within a couple of hours, others are within 24 hours and last for around 7 days (amines I think) and then others are slow building (some preservatives I think). I have stumbled and come undone with the slow building reaction and my underestimation of the power of Sals and just how many foods contain Sals.

UPDATE :
Feeling positive. The concentration and imagination without so much crap in my 4 yr olds system!! Speech therapist also commented today that she had never seen him concentrating so well! The effort really is worth it!

nicky01

UPDATE 2 days later:

We started elimination then I messed it up on day 7, after we'd been through the worst of the withdrawals (grrrr!), by giving him 320 without thinking. So back to the beginning. I kept a lot of things reduced whilst I went back to planning and got better organised. Full on d-day was yesterday. The first drawing was coming down from the reaction on day 7 and the second one was about 4 days later - it is his Alien puppet (hence the fingers which end up being the teeth). We tend to start seeing results with him at around day 3/4 - he becomes more emotional and starts to engage better, however we still have a lot of unpredictable up and down behaviour until he reaches baseline and then he becomes a beautiful loving little boy who can learn and concentrate so much better.

UPDATE 3 weeks later:

We are finally at baseline and what I originally thought were food induced - ADHD type behaviours for my youngest and somewhat for the older one, now appear to be more ODD related.  I still think there are ADHD traits but the ODD seems to be coming through loud and clear now.  Our youngest has never been disciplined as much as our oldest as he has been such a handful right from the very first day he was born, it wears you down.  We got very slack on the discipline front with both boys are time went on.  Once we discovered that the issues might be food related, we got even slacker "because they can't help it, it's the food".  BIG MISTAKE - MASSIVE!!! So here we are now, having to slowly dig our way out of this hole we have made.

So today, we start salicylate challenging, at the request of my oldest.  We are struggling with him the most to stay on diet.  We have been made aware that there has been apple juice poppa drinking, candy cane, grape and some chicken chip snack thing eating at school!!! Some unhelpful friends have been sharing food with him.  Explains some of the behaviours whilst on elimination.  I have to say though that this challenging stuff scares me, because I am knowingly giving them food that will most likely make them react.  We'll be doing it slowly I can tell you.  I have seen a dietician a few times at the beginning and I will contact her again soon as the challenges progress just to get some tips and pointers.  I've also spoken to our GP, who whilst not being convinced that food is a big player, is very open minded and has agreed to support us through it to ensure that the boys are still "healthy" whilst it’s all going on.  I believe I will have him converted by the end of it!
Thanks for the tip on the antidote - I didn't realise it was only for Sals, I thought it was for everything.  No wonder sometimes it didn't appear to work! (slaps hand to forehead).

UPDATE 10 days later (just before Xmas):

We started a salicylate challenge last Monday - challenge TERMINATED on Saturday night!!!!

I started to see some small changes each day however thought that there were other possible explanations and so I continued on.  By Friday I really started to think that a reaction was happening.  By Saturday night, I was ready to scream!!! My boys had gone from happy, polite, compliant loving children to ABSOLUTE RAGING MONSTERS! Here we are 3 days after cancelling the trial and I am struggling to keep them under control.  The side effects are worse now (I'm hoping they're withdrawing already!).

to be continued....- Nicky from facebook group and emails

 

This week marks the last week of prep for my daughter.  She has done well and is  reading level 9, which is expected. She is well behaved most of the time and a joy to be around  they say.

This is a far cry from the first term at school, where I was called every second day, where I had to take her home some days, and she was suspended one day.  I was sent to management of young children programs, they had a buddy mentor for her, we went to the pediatrician who suggested ODD and ADHD and there was a big management strategy implemented for her.  They were discussing half days for her. I was quite upset understandably and so I took action.  We broke for the school holidays and she came back a different child after we started the diet.

She got student of the week that first week and she sat so quietly and respectfully at the ANZAC days parades.  In that first term she had 12 incidents recorded against her name at One School.  In the second term only 2 (corresponded with challenging milk and then salicylates) and as far as I know no incident the last 2 terms. So it works for us - Roxanne by email

My salicylate sensitive daughter had a tooth removed under general and we were told to use Savacol mouthwash 3 times daily for a week post surgery to keep the stitches infection free.

I've noticed her eczema has returned with a vengeance and a red anus ring as well as deplorable behaviour. Savacol is marketed as an antiseptic and alcohol free, with no other ingredients listed than the main ingredient chlorhexidine gluconate.  It reeks of mint and is bright blue coloured liquid. Although she is only gargling with this mouthwash and not drinking it per se, I am wondering if this could be the culprit. - J

Sue's comment: you don't have to swallow mouthwash to be affected by additives and strong flavours. They can be absorbed through the mucous membranes lining the mouth. It's the same problem as toothpaste, you can see similar stories on our Toothpaste factsheet http://www.fedup.com.au/factsheets/support-factsheets/toothpaste

I hate the way the  pharmaceutical industry has stopped listing nasty additives. Putting profits ahead of consumer safety as usual. It's best to follow RPAH advice at all times: "Avoid unnecessary medication". Consider home remedies first. When I had a wisdom tooth removed recently, I was told to gargle with salt water and use icepacks for pain. Both worked really well and were failsafe.

I am a first time mother to a little girl who has just turned one. She was a contented baby who always slept well until 6 months (when I started her on solids). Night time wakings usually consist of severe tummy pain, wind, reflux and very irritable. After that, things got progressively worse. Once we thought it was teething and she was given nurofen (high in salicylate compounds) over a few nights. After having a UTI infection recently things went downhill and she had a major reaction to an antibiotic called Bactrim (syrup contains two benzoate preservatives). Since this episode our daughter has suffered SEVERE reflux and improved after Gaviscon. I found it hard for doctors to believe initially that it was reflux, but found a specialist (paediatric doctor) who examined my daughter and was witness to her wet burping. My specialist has prescribed Nexium and Gaviscon for 6 weeks.

Having looked for answers as to what my child might have, and no help from any GPs I decided to write a diary of food and when these behaviours started.   I have tried my daughter on gluten, dairy and wheat free diets with no success.

I truly believe my daughter has a salicylate intolerance. I only came across this after reading a book about baby sleeping habits which mentioned that is a big factor in some children's night waking. Since coming across this, I noticed straight away that foods high in Salicylate saw us having horrendous nights in pain eg. Avocado, watermelon, processed ham and turkey (nitrate preservatives), etc. I was also unsuccessful breast feeding and looking back I had an extremely high intake of tea and other high salicylate foods.  My husband and I are both Italian Mediterranean descent. I did have some intolerance when I was a child to strawberries and tomatoes and would have itchiness in the corners of my mouth and fingers and toes and was also quite an anxious child.

UPDATE:  My daughter was basically eating all of the fruits and vegetables listed in the very high category of salicylate foods. Since taking away salicylate foods I am seeing a an increase in sleep and a much more settled baby. I look forward to contacting one of the recommended dietitians for more assistance. - Danielle, Qld

My younger sister aged 8 has alopecia areata (patchy baldness) but it has turned into almost alopecia totalis (complete lack of body hair including eyebrows). She has tried going gluten free, but it’s hard. There are two coeliacs in the family. Doctors say it is nothing to do with diet and won’t do a test for coeliacs - woman at Jindera talk, Fedup Roadshow 2015.

Sue's comment: I find this extraordinary. Medical journals around the world are packed with articles about the link between alopecia and coeliacs. The point they make clear is that the gluten free diet has to be scrupulously gluten free – no mistakes – for at least several months. I know it’s hard, but that’s what you have to do. Perhaps you could print out the following articles to show your doctors.

Coeliac disease and alopecia areata in childhood, Feesatou et al, 2003. Researchers found that administration of a gluten-free diet resulted in complete hair growth.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12603809

Reappearance of alopecia areata in a coeliac patient during an unintentional challenge with gluten, Viola et al, 1999.  Describes a patient with coeliac disease whose alopecia was the only symptom. The alopecia disappeared completely after a few months of strict gluten free diet and reappeared after an unintentional prolonged introduction of gluten. After a strict gluten free diet, hair regrew. The researchers concluded “The possibility of a direct relationship in some cases, between coeliac disease and alopecia areata is confirmed”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16498340

Factsheet on Alopecia Areata

I started on this journey after attending one of your talks five years ago. My son was having seizures and was on anti-seizure medication.  After learning about the diet, I decided to ditch the medications, which weren’t working anyway, and attempt the elimination diet with challenges.  It was the hardest thing I have done in my life. It took us 4 months to complete, because when my son had a reaction to a certain group, it was a major reaction.  From this we found salicylates were the cause of his seizures.  As soon as these were reintroduced, the seizures returned. Remove the salicylates and the seizures went.  He also had an extreme reaction to sulphites, which I would never have known anything about unless I had attended your roadshow – mother who attended Wyong talk Fedup Roadshow 2015

Our son's breathing problems and wheezing started at four months, when a GP put him on antibiotics. He was on the nebuliser at least twice a day with corticosteroids, ipratropium and salbutamol and oral steroids thrown in when he got really bad. He had all the tests for causes - dust mites etc - which proved negative. Then he started solids at 5 months and got worse.

When he was two and a half we started on the elimination diet. His asthma disappeared in the second week.

Challenges showed that Joe reacted to sulphites, benzoates, nitrates and colours, both artificial and natural. One musk stick (artificial colours azorubine and erythrosine 127) started him coughing within three minutes. Annatto natural colour 160b took a little longer. Artificial yellow colour tartrazine 102 turned out to be the worst of all. Through experience, we learned that Joe gets asthma from colours in antibiotics and toothpaste. Additives can also be absorbed through the skin, so he also gets asthma from coloured shampoo and liquid soap.  - from Fed Up with Asthma

I am a 64-year-old male. For more than 20 years I had intermittent gastric problems that were obviously caused by something but I could not figure out what it was. Eventually I narrowed it down to potassium sorbate (E202).

After eating something with potassium sorbate in it, several hours (6-9) later I would get extreme flatulence and also belching for several hours. Usually also accompanied by loose stool. It would go away several hours later, after (I believe) the sorbate passed out of my system.

It was not an incapacitating problem, but it was extremely uncomfortable. I am very happy now that I can avoid it.

The main foods that were causing me trouble were fruit-flavored drinks. I am thankful that in the past couple of years there has been a tendency to produce products without preservatives - MP

The Fedup book and approach has definitely changed my life! My daughter is almost four now and, when we manage her food, she is a wonderful angel! When we let it slide, well, we regret it but we get through it!

I remember reading about other parents who found the changes in their own health amazing—I am definitely one of those. I have struggled with IBS, have had fructose and lactose absorption tests and been advised to limit both substances. After years and years of struggling with food, through the elimination diet, I finally worked out that sulphites are the number one problem for me! When I avoid sulphites, I am perfectly fine (which can be tricky as they are sometimes unlabelled)!

I have also worked out how different additives affect my mind and my mental outlook. Antioxidants 319 and 320 definitely make me fatigued, and the day after I have ingested them, I could literally stay on the couch all day (which is highly unusual for me). These are such tricky ones because they’re often unlabelled also! Chocolate makes me feel terrible about myself for the next two days. So our lives are definitely much-improved thanks to your advice.

Through the elimination diet, I have found that my daughter is definitely highly sensitive! The things that make her crazy include vanilla, apples, bananas, sulphites, honey, MSG—the list goes on! I have been reading more about gut health lately and thinking about that too. My daughter was born four weeks early and then at three weeks old, was on IV antibiotics for 5 days, followed by another week of antibiotics every 6 hours. I think this may have something to do with her sensitivities—so we’ve been having lots of yoghurt to try and build up the good gut bacteria—haven’t worked up to giving her actual probiotics yet!

Thank you for advising me to see a dietitian. I have met with one of your recommended dietitians over this whole year and she was absolutely fantastic. I cannot speak highly enough of her. I would (and have) definitely recommended her to other people (as well as your website of course!) - Erin

I am 63 years old and just realized that I am sensitive to Salicylate in foods.  I ate two tablespoons of Organic Chia Seeds ground and put it in my smoothie.  Thirty minutes later I thought my head was going to explode with eye and ear pains and extreme ear ringing. - Gail

Sue's comment: Although chia seeds have not been tested by RPAH for salicylates, chia is a member of the mint family which is very high in sals. People who are sensitive to sals have reported reactions to chia seeds to us. Ringing in the ears is widely recognised by doctors as a typical reaction to salicylates in drugs such as aspirin, though less widely recognised as a reaction to to salicylates in foods because most people don't know about salicylates in foods. Most salicylate reactions do not occur so quickly unless a big load of salicylates has already been consumed and the food last eaten is lilterally the last straw. 

See similar stories:

http://www.fedup.com.au/stories/2012/1127qi-had-no-idea-what-was-causing-the-headaches-foggy-head-and-ringing-in-my-earsq-september-2012

http://www.fedup.com.au/stories/2007/559-ultra-healthy-diet-led-to-asthma-and-debilitating-health-issues-may-2007

See salicylates factsheet

Last night I ate Long Clawson Aged Leicestershire Red Cheese (from the UK) and by early AM had sneezing, feeling strange, and developing a horrid headache. I started to get swelling in my eyelids and my teeth & neck muscles started to ache. This is what happens when I eat food with various stuff like histamine, oxalates, nitrates, etc. I did feel slight concern when eating it because it is orange cheese but I thought it was from the Long Clawson dairy & would be all natural. It does have annatto & I've found your site. $#*& (Swear word) I haven't had reactions to food in a few weeks and this means my day (at least) will be more or less ruined.

LATER: I forgot to add that I was extremely emotionally distressed and feeling just very strange unpleasant emotional feelings. I felt that my thinking wasn't functioning normally, not just that I had a headache, but that I was in a kind of nightmare state. I know that sounds extreme but I really did. I felt terrified and that I would not feel like me again. Panic, hopelessness, etc. That night, well early the next morning I had the most horrific nightmare and I actually screamed out loud repeatedly until a family member came to see what was wrong.

In the nightmare I was laying exactly where I was in reality but there was some kind of evil being in the next room planning to do me harm and in the dream, and in a way in reality I was temporarily paralyzed. It was absolutely horrid. I have never ever had something like that in my life. It took hours for me to feel just safe, though I realized it was a nightmare rationally, physically and emotionally I still felt I couldn't shake it off for ages. All the next day I was like a zombie, felt not totally alert and very shaken from this nightmare.

I would say it took me at least 3 days to really start feeling better and have all the reactions subside.

I feel really certain it was related to the annatto. When I started getting the reaction I looked at all the things I had eaten. The cheese was something new to me, and so I read the ingredients. I threw it in the bin and good riddance - Lori, USA

story1360

I, like many others, avoid annatto like the plague. I drank some in Berri Apricot nectar a couple of years ago. The next couple of days were an emotional roller coaster with me crying hysterically and irrationally, not being able to order my thoughts, not being able to cope with my then young son and generally being so depressed and emotional.

My daughter also has inadvertently eaten annatto in a Coles brand scone. She turned psycho - trying to scratch my eyes out and screaming at me. My friend said: Man! What did you feed her??! And that's when I explained about the annatto. Thanks to your efforts to remove this nasty chemical from the many foods where it appears - Karen

SEE PETITION TO REPLACE ANNATTO WITH SAFER COLOUR

I have positively identified potassium sorbate as a cause of my migraines. Products include pepperoncini that lists potassium sorbate in ingredients; dried fruit; and a liquid vitamin b12 supplement (by "Now" brand) containing potassium sorbate. The migraines caused by this preservative always include visual jagged-edged hallucinations - Alan, by email

Just a quick progress update... 12 weeks ago we started the Failsafe diet strictly together as a family and originally to sort out my 7yr old DS's behaviour. Along the way we failed a few times. At one point he had an infection and required Keflex syrup - the disgusting bubblegum flavored and brightly colored pink one. That week was the worst week we've had with him probably ever!! After 10 doses and talking him down from the roof and visiting the school a few times for dangerous classroom behaviour it finally clicked to me (I know... Duh! How silly am I) that it could be the medicine and I took it off him and things went back to 'normal' - generally well behaved, not as easily angered to melting point and not too oppositional. I'm happy to report that having gone through this process we've discovered that he can't handle preservatives, not many colors and dairy. His asthma and hayfever are virtually nonexistent where usually we'd be dosing him morning and evening with anti-histamines. I'm a happy mum with a more manageable crew at home. Even my husband's and my own hayfever, which are usually wicked at this time of year from Aug- Dec, have not been apparent and we have not taken any oral antihistamines. Only some eye drops after being in the paddock.

For those of you struggling to make a decision when to begin the diet or have just begun - I applaud and encourage you! You're doing wonderful things for yourself and your children!! Just get your food, pack your old pantry food away and get started.

My tips:

Do it together as a family - it will be accepted more readily by the kids that way.
Find a good butcher first!!
Don't expect miracles!! Look for subtle health and behaviour changes in your whole family.
Remember this is two fold - not only are you going through elimination but you're also detoxing yourselves and moving towards healing your guts that may have been under attack for some time by processed foods.

There is no better feeling than feeding your kids the best foods that you have available to you.

I've been feeling bad about the social pressure aspect and missing out on things... But the kids haven't noticed and I've found out since that others are actually inspired by what they've seen us do within our family.

To finish up we now eat preservative, color free without processed foods. My DD 5 year old now claims to like lettuce!! Am I overwhelmed with the behavioral changes it brought about in my son?? No, not really! But he's a helluva lot easier to live with now than before! He helps out more and is generally happier! Has the diet eliminated his tendency to be defiant and oppositional? No, but now I can talk to him calmly without it resulting in attempted roof jumps!!

So, all the best with the diet! We're so glad we've done it together! It's worth doing for all the small and large health and behavioral reasons!!! Go you!!! - Sarah

Went to the pediatrician today, meant to be to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment for ADHD. She was so amazed at the change in my 5 year old daughter that she did not make a diagnosis of any sort. She said she was very surprised that a change of diet could produce such results as she said that in her experience when parents try diet it rarely works. In particular she said she had never heard of dairy causing behaviour issues but since I was keeping a food diary and going through a dietician she would accept it. She had been so negative last time when I said I thought it was food related. So bit of a break through, we go back again in 3 months - Roxanne

I just want to give all you Mums & Dads a massive pat on the back. I know it can't be easy to be told so called 'good foods' are not good for your child.

I grew up as the drama queen, I cried, I hit, I slammed doors, I fought anyone for any reason. I used to accuse my Mum of poisoning me because vegies especially new potatoes tasted like poison or soap. I was a nightmare child.

Then I went to boarding school, I was a pleasure to have in class, I was calm and focused, I was polite. I never fought, I don't think I ever slammed a door. Why? Because I stopped eating what tasted bad to me. My Mum wasn't putting meat spuds & vegie on my plate telling me I wasn't leaving the table until I ate it. I didn't have to have daily fruit.

Then I'd come home for holidays, I'd slam doors again. I'd fight with everyone. The nightmare was back.

I stumbled through my youth, I slowly kind of figured out salicylates were my issue, I had mouth ulcers, tightened lips and itchy mouth from some fruits, I constantly had sores on the sides of my mouth. I just didn't understand exactly what they were in. I had a few anaphylaxis episodes and finally, luckily, came across Sue’s website.

I speed read it and then asked my brother what he thought. He read it twice then came over to me with tears in his eyes and apologised. It wasn't that I was a horrid person. Then my Mum read it, oh my goodness, the guilt and pain she felt and still feels isn't fair. But at least this child who used to scream 'I HATE YOU' who was so cruel, I made sense.

Best of all, I feel good now. I'm not a horrid little bitch. I can like myself. I feel all my family are more relaxed around me now. There's no waiting for my next major meltdown.

You are all doing something amazing for your kids. Your kids will one day thank you for it, trust me. On the days it feels tough and your kid wants something you know they shouldn't have just remember me and how much I wish we'd found all of this stuff when I was a kid. Not a 30 year old who ended up in hospital from eating cherries!

Good on you Mums & Dads, you are doing something amazing. They'll thank you one day, I promise - Vanessa.

We have been on the RPAH diet for almost 4 weeks now. Today grandma took the toddler to playgroup where he shared a plate of strawberries, grapes, rockmelon and tiny teddies. He has been crying for about 5 hours but won't tell me why. I just never imagined fruit could cause this..(have checked the usual temp, teeth etc) - Adele

My son never slept and spent all day every day in tears until I found failsafe now he goes off to sleep by himself and sleeps all night and for 2 hours during the day. He is also very content within himself, fussiness has stopped and he is open to trying new foods!! - Rose

Since going failsafe and eating very carefully within the RPAH Moderate and Low Salicylate foods I have been well whereas last year I was suffering chest infection after chest infection and in all I had 8 courses of antibiotics in one year - Charlotte

I'd like to share my wonderful news. My son is 7 years old and is in Year 1 at school. This afternoon I had his first Parent/Teacher Interview EVER where it wasn't taken up with discussions about his behaviour. Instead I got to hear how he is an intelligent boy with great leadership skills. Since following this group and tweaking his diet for certain salicylates that I didn't know about and 160b, finally his teachers are seeing the little boy that I've always known was in there. We've been to Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, etc...and it's all come down to his diet. Thank you to everyone in this group for your questions and feedback. Am one very proud Mum - Tracy

My 5 year old son has been in a lot of trouble at school. He started prep at 4.5 and just turned 5 in May. I know he is young for school but last term he was at the vice principal's office every second day. The last week of last term he actually threw a pair of scissors at another child. It us as though he can't control those outbursts. We started on the school holidays. He has been back at school for a week now this term and he has not been to the office once. I'd like to hope diet is working...I think it is! - Chantal

Great work and know how you feel re behaviour. My son is 13 with very similar behaviours and 1 week in a lot calmer and no prob at school that I know of - Carolyn

We are starting week 2 and I can't believe the difference in my boys - Felicity

Watch out for the legions of teachers and principals who will insist food makes no difference! It's been clear to me for years it makes a huge difference for my boys (not to mention hubby and I) yet the school insists he should take the same as everyone else. Very frustrating - Kylie

Can I just say that I am one of the 'legions' of principals that actually recommend this diet ALL the time. I truly believe it makes such a difference for kids’ ability to focus, to persevere without too much frustration and emotional outbursts. It is actually frustrating that parents see medication as a first option or deny that food has an impact on the child at school. I often get "nah, I have seen no difference in my child’s behaviour". Food has such an impact on kids, I am amazed that so many parents won't do it, it seems too hard or that they simply don't believe it - Jen

My miss5 was in learning support class last year. I had a meeting with the learning support teacher and before our meeting miss5 was given Cheezels and couldn't concentrate on her test. I mentioned it to the LST but she brushed the comment off - Corina
My son has been on the diet since year 1 and he is now in year 12 and is the best thing we could have done for him - Charlotte

I am a teacher who regularly suggests to parents who are thinking of going down the ADHD lane that they might like to look at food and maybe keep a food diary. They all tell me their kids don't eat junk, forgetting of course I see their children's lunchboxes! I explain to them about natural food chemicals as well as additives and preservatives. I share our experiences of being about to make psych appointments for our then 8 year old for ODD. We had been dabbling with fedup for some years and happened upon Sue Dengate's web page suggesting we removed tomatoes from our diet. We did and within days I was no longer being hit and sworn at and the screaming and door pounding had stopped, none of these have returned in five years. I now recommend fedup to as many people who will listen. We have gone beyond dabbling now and are about to do our first challenge. We have had a week without blood noses, constant loud voices, outbursts, not being able to sit still etc etc etc. Went away with friends on the weekend and they were amazed at the change - Penelope

See school support factsheets

Here is the first batch of feedback from the petition to remove the natural colour Annatto 160b from Streets food products. 2,333 supporters to date.

See update on feedback in January 2016 after more than 5,000 supporters have signed the petition (including feedback below)

PLEASE sign the petition

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So many of my clients test up with a reaction to annatto 160b and once eliminated from diet their lives change for the better - Trish (dietitian)

I have a child affected by Annatto 160b and as a dietitian I see many other people affected by this food colour - Jodie (dietitian)

My son would bang his head constantly until I removed this natural colour - Jess

Annatto affects my kids' behaviour. We avoid it at all costs. Why add ANY colouring? Why can't food just be the colour it is supposed to be?! - Kathryn

My child reacts with behavioural issues after 160b - Libby

I have a daughter who reacts badly to annatto 160b. Anger, sleeplessness, slapping her own head repeatedly when angry and not coping: all due to this additive, which is in so, so many food products. Please listen companies, and use alternatives!  - Mel

My child reacts to 160b!!!!! It makes him aggressive and hyperactive. It amazes me that it is still in use when there are known alternatives. Please change!  - Kelly

160b effects children's behaviour and not for the better. How do I know this? Because I have witnessed and a number of occasions now my well behaved daughter turn into a hyper active, defiant and aggressive child within 2 minutes of consuming products within 160b in it - Patricia

A family member is intolerant to 160b. Diagnosed with IBS, Gastro-oesophageal reflux, oesophageal ulceration with associated anaemia from bleeding at 5 yrs and recommended steroids for life. All fixed by removing 160b. This family hasn't had a Streets ice cream in over a decade and a half - Eve

My son reacts to 160b. As a small child he would bang his head on the doormat or concrete floor to get rid of the headache. When we stopped the yoghurt with 160b, the behaviour stopped - Claire.

It causes my son to head bang! - Catherine

My son reacts to 160b - he becomes agitated & loses control etc. We have to avoid any foods that contain it - Julia

I'm signing because 160b makes my daughter aggressive and hyperactive - Rachael

This additive make me very sick and I hate to see children affected by it too -Leigh

I am one of many adults adversely affected by 160b. In fact, I have come close to dying on three occasions due to 160b - Marian

Within minutes of eating 160b my daughter is screaming, yelling and crying and hitting herself in the head. I avoid 160b like the plague - Kalista

I am signing because I cannot live with my children when they are 160b affected. Without that additive they return to human form! - Judy

160B causes me to have post nasal drip as well as insomnia - Carol

160b is an unnecessary food additive. Natural does not always mean good, as in this case with massive headache and irritation a common effect -Kathleen

I have adult children that have reacted to 160b all of their life, nasty additive that adds nothing to the icecream except a headache, bad behaviour and rashes! We have only ever purchased icecream without this additive - Janelye

Annatto sends my kids nuts!!!!! SO I can't buy any products with this in it. Remove so we don't miss out! - Bellinda

Such a nasty natural food colouring and very toxic for many kids, including one of my boys. A tiny amount causes extreme behavioural issues - Schana

My son started headbanging, pinching, punching the same time that I weaned him using a milk and yoghurt mix (as he hated plain milk). I found out many months later that this yoghurt contained annatto 160b - Renee

I have seen first hand what annatto 160b, can do. I am very careful when I shop, look at food labels, with my yellow fedup card. that magnifies everything. My son had some nasty reactions, when he consumed 160b, these included head banging as a baby/toddler. His eyes go glassy, same as when he has consumed artificial colors. Bad headaches as he was older, for myself as the mother migraines from yogurts, also found in plastic cheese, icecream. Another company that needs to remove 160b is Aldi, there were many products a few months ago that contained 160b - Nicole

We have allergies to annatto - Brooke

Both my son and I are allergic to 160b - we swell up and have full body hives. We are constantly having to avoid certain foods because of the unnecessary use of this colouring - Danielle

I am an adult who cannot tolerate 160b in my diet. It causes severe physical pain. The safer alternative should be used to protect children and others who are affected. Personally it took years for me to discover that this was a source of my pain - Bronwyn

160b affects my son. He says it is like a switch flicks in his head and he can't stop - Julie

I have 2 daughters that become violent and angry after consuming 160b - Rebecca

Annatto is one of the main things that I need to keep out of my son's diet, he cannot control his temper when he eats something containing it and is generally cranky and violent - Kristy

I am in my 40's and it took a long time to discover that Annatto 160b is one of the triggers of ibs, sinus and arthritis. It is unnecessary and should be banned - Hilary

I am in my sixties and I react to Annato160b with dreadful hives. Please remove this colouring and therefore increase the range of foods I can eat - Ann

My mother cannot have Annatto 160b because it increases her heart rate, gives her insomnia and makes her feel uptight and agitated - Annette

Both my children have intolerances to food colourings. Annatto I find is the worst!! My son is like a monster when he has Annatto. His behaviour and tantrums are uncontrollable, he bed wets, gets a headache and complains of itchy skin! Stop poisoning our children when there are natural SAFE alternatives - Rachael

My children react badly to 160b. I will not buy any product with 160b. It isn't worth the days of aggressive behaviour - Raelene

Our oldest son born in 1968 was effected by 160b he will be 50 in 2018, is it not amazing that this additive can still when it still has such a detrimental effect on the brain .I believe that FSANZ is there purely to serve the corporations not to protect the consumer - Graeme

Both my daughters have severe reactions to 160b. Both behaviorally and with nasty eczema-like rashes. I want them to be able to eat ice cream without pain! - Zoe

We have lived with the behavioural effects of this additive and it needs to go - Melissa

I'm signing this petition because my son has a total change in his character when he has 160b, and is completely uncontrollable. I do not buy products with 160b in them - Sue

For reasons stated I refuse to use products with annatto...my child becomes silly and hyperactive...this would save all of those children hose parents are not aware what annatto is doing - Sandra

My Children react to 160b, it makes them angry. We don’t buy *any* products which contain it - Daryl

I'm signing because my children have shown reactions including rashes towards 160b in the past and I avoid products that contain it - I'd rather have a wider range of choices when I shop! - Robyn

My children are effected by an attitude 160b - Melissa

I see my children turn into monsters when they eat 160b - Kristina

I have a grandson who reacts badly to Annatto, his behavior was terrible during the last school Holidays and I have traced it to Annatto. Please remove it from your products - Carol

My emotions go 'all over the ship' when I eat anything with 160b in it. I avoid it like the plague - Julie

My son is intolerant to 160b and for the past 5yrs we have not purchased any products containing this ingredient. It causes severe head banging and behavioural issues - Nicole F

This food colouring always sends my daughter into depression - Nicole J

160b has a terrible effect on me causing insomnia and migraines. I can't buy products with this chemical in it. Please take it out for my sake (and the kids affected too) - Peter

Through the elimination diet we discovered that two of my daughter’s severe eczema was caused by 160B. I've decided, after seeing what it does to those two children, that no one in the family should consume it - Stephanie

We have been avoiding annatto for years as it keeps my husband and 3 children awake and feeling wired for hours if they have it at dinner time - Jessica

Eating foods coloured with annatto 160(b) causes irrational anger and increased impatience in my 35-year-old self, so I'm not surprised that it causes such self-harming behaviour in children. I would love to have a greater variety of dessert products available to myself and my family - Keira

Annatto causes my son to head bang and have night terrors. We do not by streets products currently due to the fact that this colour is used. Please think our your consumers, many whom are children - Lauren

I have seen the effect on my child and it isn't pretty. It's actually cruel to give a child something that makes them so distressed - Annabelle

I'm signing because my kids are hyperactive within minutes of ingesting this color ... it's nasty & unnecessary. Use 160a if you must - Jen

160b is one of the main causes of my colitis, clinically proven at RPA hospital! It is terrible stuff - Kate

My kid eats food with annatto and has insomnia, restlessness, anxiety and extreme behaviour. It's not needed. It's a colour. The food tastes the same - Marney

I've spent many nights in the hospital emergency with my daughter suffering severe breathing difficulty after consuming 160b. I have repeatedly asked to have some sort of medical certificate stating that she has an allergy to the additive 160b only to be told that the tree growing the nut that the colour is derived from does not grow in Australia so they were unable to provide it. I have been met with "crazy lady" looks at every which turn. My son also exhibits behavioural problems after consumption. What are we really exposing our children to in unnatural proportions? All for unnatural aesthetics - Sandra

My daughter has behavioural issues when eating 160b. We will not give her products with this ingredient - Euan

My son gets terrible stomach aches from 160b - Sarah

This additive affects my son’s behaviour - Marie

My child reacts with aggression every time he consumes annatto - Susie

This colouring causes my daughter lots of behavioural problems and it’s hidden in so many products - Nicole

I've seen this effect on my own daughter - & I work in a school and see how children change almost instantly when consuming this additive/colour. So many foods aimed at kids contain this. It's just not necessary and irresponsible to continue its use - Karissa.

Annatto makes me irritable and snappy. It makes all four of my kids aggressive and shouty and nasty to each other. We do not buy any product that has it in, and I believe it should not be used at all- there is no need for it to be added to food - Natalie

My son was also negatively affected by 160b. He had a permanent bruise on his forehead and sleep issues until it was completely removed from his diet - Lisa

My son reacts to this additive with headbanging - Heather

I am not able to eat Annatto 160b - gives me severe upset stomach and hives - Julia

1 Daughter anaphylactic 2 all artificial colours including 160b & other daughter gets asthma & it's in a lot of ice creams & I'd like the girls to b able 2 have more choice & not miss out - Katrina

My 4 yr old daughter reacts with aggression to 160b. So I will never buy products containing it. There are much better alternatives and I let my friends know about them too - Melinda

My children react to 160b with aggressive behaviour, sleeplessness and depression - Jennifer

My child is allergic to 160b and this means we have ONE choice of which product we can buy - Cara

This turns my 3 year old into a head banging crazy mess! Horrible stuff :(  - Annette

This interrupts my 6 year old daughters sleep for several nights in a row. We will not buy streets ice-cream because of this - Amanda

One of my children is affected by annatto. He becomes naughty, doesn't listen or comprehend, goes high as a kite. It is in foods even like some yogurts and cheeses - Kristine.

My daughter reacts to 160b. Thank goodness we worked out what was causing her terrible behavior before she was seriously hurt - Marika

My son reacts badly to annatto. Raised white spots all over his ears patches over his face. Gets extremely confused can’t concentrate on anything and feels very ill - Danielle

I want to be able to feed my 4 children and myself icecream which isn't going to keep us awake all night - Madeline

My 2 daughter had a permanent bruise on her forehead for about 6 months when she started solids from banging her head on walls, her cot, the porcelain tiles, on the floor and head butting me. I was so worried she was doing permanent damage and I asked about it on a mothers’ forum. Someone suggested 160b was the cause and it was in the cheese singles that she ate everyday. I stopped the 160b and it turned off like a tap. The headbanging only began again when she ate something containing 160b. It is banned in my house now! - Anita

My daughter reacts to 160B, at 10 months old she would bounce her head off our tiled floor and was all round violent and aggressive. Even now at 3 1/2 if she starts acting out we look back at what she has eaten and 160b is always the culprit - Jennifer

I’m signing this petition as my 3 children react aggressively when they ingest Annatto (160b) - Alison

I am signing because 160b gives me migraine. Please remove it from all products - Judith

I notice that 160b affects my kids’ behaviour and hence I make a point not to buy them anything that I am aware that has it in - Renae

PLEASE sign the petition

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I have suffered from acne rosacea for the past 5 years and from symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis for the past several months (I am 32).

In a desperate attempt to improve things, I have been gluten and dairy free for the past 2 months and have eaten nothing but vegetables for the past 2 weeks, but I have yet to see my symptoms resolve, although my acne certainly improved after removing dairy products from my diet. I suspect I may salicylate intolerant after coming across your website today, as many of my rosacea triggers seem to be high salicylate foods.

Update: Three days ago, I commenced a diet of red lentils, brussel sprouts and cabbage and have been able to stop taking my rosacea medication for the first time in the 5 years since my diagnosis. I am also free of joint pain!

Update on day 6 of low salicylates: I have a little stiffness in one of my finger joints today but still no rosacea flushes, and that's totally astonishing to me after so many years on medication. With the exception of one very good dermatologist in Sydney, I've rarely met anyone who knows more about rosacea than I do (GPs included!) and I have tried almost every known medication and procedure for it over the past 5 years. That the answer might be as simple as eliminating sals (and vasodilators, of course - alcohol in drinks and products, caffeine, certain medications and the theobromine in chocolate have always been my worst triggers) is a revelation! Eliminating dairy cured my hormonal acne but rosacea is another issue entirely.

I am very impressed with my results thus far and most grateful for your website. If it wasn't for that, I would never have tried this. I made an appointment with one of your listed dietitians so I can begin putting together a healthier diet for myself under her supervision. The appointment went well. She believes I may be on the right track in my avoidance of salicylates and has put me on the strictest form of the RPAH Elimination Diet for the next fortnight, and then I will be reviewed.

I will let you know how I go with the challenges. You can't begin to imagine how it will change my life if these good effects continue. Normally, without medication, I am unable to brush my teeth, take hot showers, have a hot drink, eat hot food, sit in a hot car or room, lie on my side on my pillow, exercise or face stressful situations without a painful, burning, deep red facial flush developing. I had forgotten, until now, what it feels like to just be normal!

Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive online resource. It appears it may be my way out of a lifetime of potentially harmful prescription medications. - Amy, Qld

I am allergic to cochineal otherwise known as e120 or carmine. My reactions are anaphylactic! I always keep antihistamine with me since my first few attacks. I have been admitted to the emergency ward approx 4 times before I worked out what I was allergic to.

Carmine is not tested for as part of the general allergy tests of cat hair, dust ...etc. I spent hundreds of $ in tests and useless consultations. Finally I collected the ingredients from the back of packaging of recent foods consumed when I had the allergy attack and concluded the common ingredient was the e120 red food colouring. I don't know how colour from crushed dried pregnant bugs can be passed as natural for strawberry, cherry, berries - almost every red coloured food is coloured by this bug and its far-from-natural fruit colour!

I strongly believe that my first allergic reactions was when this colour additive started to be used approx 23 years ago. I distinctly remember my first ever attack and trace it to the red icy pole ice block - a treat I could always enjoy until they changed red food colouring. My first-ever reaction was massive red welts all over my body, very itchy - and this occurred at work after consuming the iceblock. For 17 years I did not know what caused my allergy - and my reactions were so severe - mostly instant itchy eyes then swell until I can't open my eyes - the battered wife look. Then swelling of the throat and rash all over my body. This food colouring is in so many food types - lollies , biscuits, cake mix, cereal , icecreams , yogurts, soup, drinks ..anything red on the super market shelf would 99% of the time contain carmine. I know because I have had allergic attacks after consuming all these.

If your child has an allergic reaction, I recommend checking if e120 is in the ingredient. Also carmine is used in makeup - pink eye shadow can cause alot of itchy grief.  It is not 'in my mind' as family so easily accused - it is in this cochineal. Please be warned.

I feel compelled to share this story because I haven't heard of many other people with this allergy and it could be more common than not - from failsafe forum.

My 3.5 yo son was an extremely unsettled baby, even as early as in the womb he wouldn't stay still for very long and always seemed 'uncomfortable' in there. He was born screaming and rarely stopped until he was about 2 years old. It was an extremely difficult time. He rarely slept and rarely ate, was very serious and 'sensitive' (to everything; stimulation, noise, smells, tags on clothes, touch...).  He has always also been extremely bright and advanced in terms of his speech, comprehension, creativity and emotional intelligence. He presents well, and grew and put on weight and reached milestones, so doctors never really believed that there was anything 'wrong' with him and I believe that it was put down to parental anxiety.

He slowly got better as he grew older but still continues to be extremely sensitive. His tantrums are atrocious and can be set off by the slightest thing. He seems almost constantly irritable. His symptoms seem to fit the symptoms you describe of food intolerance. So we started the RPAH elimination diet excluding dairy as well 24 days ago. For almost the whole first three weeks, his good days got better ( he is more compliant than ever, significantly kinder to his brother, shares, helps around the house, can sit still and do a task, can play on his own for long periods of time!!) but his bad days got worse. He had worse tantrums and more of them since being on the diet. At first I thought they were withdrawal symptoms, then I thought perhaps I was doing something wrong ... but things are continuing to improve every single day and we are having less and less tantrums so perhaps it just took a little longer with our son.

Although we are still having some issues, this has helped us SO MUCH! Thank you for helping me to be able to enjoy my kids again! There is so much more joy and peace in our home, thanks to you! My husband is amazed at the difference. He joked that if our kids were like this we could easily have 10! Thank you again. This has been the most life changing thing we have ever done. - Janette, by email

Well after having 3 weeks off (school holidays and a cruise) we are on Day 5 of strict elimination and welcomed back our 2 delightful kids (8 & 5) today after having 2 little ferals (said with love) for the last couple of weeks!! - Samantha

Received an email today advising that my 7yo responded to an accidental bump to the mouth in the playground by remaining calm and in control and approaching a teacher for help, even though he was hurt and crying. Previous incidents of a similar nature have resulted in him punching, kicking and screaming at the other kid as well as any unfortunate bystanders, taking up to an hour to calm down. Two weeks fs. Winning - Lauren

One of my twins was so horrible l was going to give him to human services for a few days to give me and mine a break so they could monitor him and see what help I could be given.  Then six weeks ago we started failsafe and l have a new kid. He helps me cook and clean, asks if there are any jobs to do,  mostly does his chores. Everything works best when no ds around.  Chats to us especially hubby who he was prickly around.  Beautiful improvements. - Adele, by email

Your information cured my dermatitis. I was using coconut oil as a moisturiser and seemed to be forever breaking out in dermatitis on the back of my hand. I would go to the garden and cut off a leaf of aloe vera to treat it. Needless to say it got worse! So then I would use prescription cortisone cream (which would give me a headache!) to heal it. I stopped the coconut oil and aloe vera (after finding out that they are both high in salicylates) and haven't had any skin issues since. - Donna, Qld

I'm having several issues with my almost 5 month old bub. He has had green poos now for 2 weeks, lots of snotty noses even though he doesn't have a cold plus lots of dry skin with a small patch on his leg (possible eczema). Previous to this he has been an extremely easy, happy bub that loves his milk (gaining loads till now) and is a fantastic sleeper.

My issue is that he is screaming uncontrollably at my breast atm, my fast let down has him happy till it slows down then he screams the place down. This is usually 2 minutes into a feed. I have tried everything to keep him happy on the breast to no avail, he is hysterical and seems very hungry.

I've been dealing with this for a couple of weeks now but last night he was screaming uncontrollably from 11pm to 4am. So out of character. This time it seemed like pain as he wasn't feeding not interested in feeding. My intuition believes he may be showing signs of a sensitivity to something in my milk. My diet has not changed at all. I was eating mandarins a couple of weeks ago but stopped when someone said they are not recommended when breastfeeding.

UPDATE 3 weeks later ... Well it appears by eliminating tomatoes, salad, avocado, banana and the original mandarins I have a little boy now doing perfect poops! I now believe it was the mandarins that took me over the edge as well as half an avocado every day.- Gabrielle, by email

Sue’s comment:

Other foods that are very high in salicylate & amines include citrus, berries,  dried fruit, grapes, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, pineapple, all fruit juices and fruit flavoured products including jams, avocadoes,  tomato based sauces, herbs and spices including mint, mushrooms, eggplant, spinach, pickled vegetables and vegetable soups, sauces and stock cubes. See salicylates factsheet

My son's grade one teacher wanted us to get him ˜labelled" for funding to get him extra class support. After a very well written note from her the paediatrician wanted to test him for ADHD and that night I googled ADHD and diet and found you. The very next day I took the shopping list to Woolworths and spent the day restocking our pantry, cooking and making dietician appointments. We fell in love with our son all over again and the last 18 months have been an amazing journey of learning for all of us. Our son still makes poor choices (as all humans do) but I passionately believe he never had ADHD he was just a normal little boy who was moderately salicylate intolerant! - Lisa, by email

I came to your talk a week ago. I already knew that my son reacted badly to colours (annatto 160b, brilliant blue 133 and tartrazine yellow 102).  Much to my dismay the next day was his 4th birthday and at 12 noon my dad bought him a cinnamon donut as a treat. At 2.30pm my son had a major meltdown - screaming, aggression, severe defiance to the point he managed to undo his seat belt while I was driving and jump over and try and hit me laughing almost hysterically. This lasted for a good 3 or 4 hours then he crashed and lay almost in a glazed eyed stupor for an hour then reignited for defiance at bed time. This more than anything has convinced me that he has food intolerances. A friend of mine with a similar child is ready to try also so we are going to support each other through this with the hopes that we can both have happy healthy children.

Two weeks later

I just wanted to let you know how our food journey is going with my son and his behaviour. We saw our Dr last week to get a referral for a dietician and the Dr was very sceptical but the nurse was supportive and helped me get into see a dietician not the one I wanted on your list but one who visits once a week. She was brilliant she knew all about you and the fed up website she had your book and was very excited to work with a child that has possible behavioural issues with food, as she normally works with adults at the hospital.

Even before this I have mostly been following the failsafe diet and his behaviour has gotten a lot better. We still have moments and I can mostly put that down to my own fault as I have fed him something that I knew I shouldn't. It’s very hard to go to the movies in a group and not let him have popcorn when everyone else is eating it. - by email.

Sue's comment:

1. What’s in a cinnamon donut that could cause a massive meltdown? Dunkindonuts list cinnamon (high in sals) and … annatto extracts (as you’ve already discovered, worse than artificial colours for some people). No wonder your son reacted! See annatto 160b factsheet

2. How to deal with social situations like cinema popcorn:  People on the facebook group often have useful suggestions,  for example, buying something else that won't affect them too badly (e.g. Maltesers can be okay unless you have an extreme amine responder). Or you may be able to take your own food, thanks to our member Caroline who wrote to Amalgamated Holdings (the Greater Union Cinema chain) in Sept 2005 about the ban on taking your own food into their cinemas. She also noted that Event Cinemas clarified in November 2011:  "’no externally purchased HOT food items are allowed to be brought into our cinemas’ -  (although some cinemas do permit them and the written conditions still say no food at all)". You may be able to smuggle cold food in if you do it discreetly. Failsafers often recommend the Nature Valley Maple Crunch muesli bars - not fully failsafe so not okay for your strict elimination diet, but a lot of people say they are okay as treats. See more at http://fedup.com.au/information/fin-campaigns/what-you-can-do-to-help

Our son has been failsafe since your talk last year and we have seen a huge improvement in him. We know he is very sensitive but when he had a mild gastro bug recently we  bought a lemonade flavoured colour-free electrolyte product thinking it would be okay. Bad mistake!!! After about four hours he was “wired” – restless, extremely agitated and wide awake for hours in the middle of the night, he couldn’t get to sleep, just like he used to be before the diet. The hydralyte drink contained preservatives sodium benzoate (211) and potassium sorbate (202) and a natural flavour. We won’t be buying it again! 

NOTE: You can make your own, see our rehydration drink recipe:

According to the DAA (Dietitians Association of Australia), studies show that flavoured sports drinks with added carbohydrate and sodium assist in preventing dehydration, particularly for high physical activity or in hot conditions. To avoid nasty additives, you can make your own sports drink.

For rehydration
I litre water
2-4 tbsp sugar, glucose or similar such as Polycose
¼ tsp salt
PLUS for flavour
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp citric acid or to taste

http://www.fedup.com.au/recipes/other-recipes-and-hints/failsafe-sports-drink-1 and another from WHO http://fedup.com.au/recipes/other-recipes-and-hints/failsafe-sports-drink-2-home-made-staminade-recipe-from-who

After nearly 4 years of significant sleep problems with my son, we now describe both our children as very good sleepers, and this is entirely due to diet.  My son is also doing extremely well in school, again entirely thanks to dietary changes.

Like you, we did the rounds of GPs, paediatricians, psychologists, social workers, OTs and child health nurses, and all the interventions and treatments helped a little, but nothing led to any significant improvement.  Not once was diet mentioned beyond ‘does he eat well?’

 We had a long appointment with a paediatric sleep specialist who went through our entire lifestyle and bedtime routine with us, before apologetically telling us that we were doing all the right things, and that he didn’t know what else he could suggest.  He made no reference to diet. 

Having seen the extreme improvement in sleep following dietary intervention with my son I was very keen to write and tell him, because I think he genuinely wanted to help us and couldn’t, and I could hardly believe that he had no knowledge of the significant impact diet can have on sleep. 

On further consideration, I decided that I would write to every health professional we had consulted with, because time and time again we were met with utter bewilderment.  My son’s behaviour looked a bit like OCD, ADHD, ADD, ASD, ODD and sensory processing disorder, but it didn’t quite fit the diagnosis, and the treatments were ineffective. If only food intolerance had been on someone’s list of differential diagnoses!

I posed the question on the facebook forum a while back, ‘how did people come to the realisation that diet was the issue?’  For most it was random chance, a friend of a friend had a child who had improved hugely from diet, or a class teacher had mentioned something. This is not how the diagnosis should be made.
 
I am attaching an example/suggested format for a letter that could be sent to health professionals (see below).

I will be writing to every health professional I have encountered in an attempt to both assist them in helping others, and to get food intolerance widely recognised as a diagnosis. - Ursula, by email

line1

Dear Dr <name of doctor>

Re: <Name of child>  DOB: <date of birth>

You may remember that we consulted with you around six months ago regarding our son John.  John has had a history of sleep problems since birth, including taking 2-3 hours to settle to sleep, night terrors, insomnia and excessive movement during sleep.  At that time you were unable to offer us any advice or treatment regarding these problems, which had remained unresolved despite behavioural intervention, careful attention to night time routine, and consistent age-appropriate bedtimes.

Following our consultation, we stumbled across the idea that sleep problems can be linked to food, even some foods which are normally perceived as healthy.  We have now been working with an accredited dietician for four months following the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) Elimination diet.  I am very pleased to report that as a result of this intervention we no longer consider John to have any sleep problems whatsoever.  He now settles calmly to sleep within 15-30minutes, sleeps through the night, waking only very occasionally, maybe once every six weeks or so.  He also no longer suffers with night terrors.

I wanted to write and tell you about our experience in the hope that this information might benefit some of your other patients in future.  You can find more information about the RPAH elimination diet on their website: http://allergy.net.au, and also from the Food Intolerance Network: http://fedup.com.au which is a voluntary organisation promoting the RPAH work and providing evidence-based information regarding food intolerance.

I hope this information is of use to you, for us, it has been life-changing.

Yours sincerely,

<your signature>

DAY 5: OMG! Well I might be jinxing it, but Master 5 has woken up more calm and more polite than I've seen in about 2 years. He stayed in bed for almost AN HOUR reading while I made breakfast, he got dressed at my first request in less than a minute and his manners have been flawless so far!
      LATER: Um....what is going on? Day 5 and he's vacuuming and cleaning his room? - Evelyn

story1337
 
I recall miss 3 yo waking from day sleep, put her hand to her head and said " I don't have a head ache" that was 7 years ago . She has not looked back, now the brightest happiest most confident 10 year old in her class. Massive salicylate intolerance. Hang in there it is worth it. - Barbara

Never before has my 7yo sat through a movie, I don't think! Today we had a blissful Sunday afternoon movie session with NO ISSUES and now he has polished off a full plate of dinner. Ah the small things that are massive - Sarah

Has anyone had any success with managing depression with diet? - Mary

Removing salicylates worked a treat for me smile emoticon - Anna

My brother in law has removed gluten from his diet and his bouts of anxiety and depression have basically vanished - Sarah

Paleo can be very effective. You can follow Pete Evans page which has stories from people on paleo. Lots there about helping with depression - Erin (There are other views about Paleo, see http://scepticalnutritionist.com.au/?p=1523 for example)

Glutamates and amines and additives are all likely culprits too. Paleo is great but not if you have amine or salicylate problems, try the elimination and see if it gives you some answers and then you can move onto other ways of eating with confidence.  - Shannon

And also putting lots of exercise. I've always found exercise, just walking, really helps me. The hard bit is that when I feel down I don't want to help myself..but I know I have to - Toni

I found a huge difference when I eliminated sugar as much as possible and coffee, upped water intake and eliminated gluten, even if you try it for 2 weeks you will feel a huge difference and see what a difference it can make - Anna

Honestly, yes. I have eased my anxiety and frequent panic attacks by about 90% after eliminating sals and additives (and the remaining 10% do occur when I cheat too much or if I'm having a reaction). I had episodes of major depression in my life and I also feel like I have had much better control over my emotions. Try exercise too, it's magical - Jessica

Yep sals, amines and additives for me. I pay for it when I cheat. Though I've been doing fs (for kids) in conjunction with meds - Emma

Amines makes me seriously depressed. And to think of all the chocolate I ate when I was depressed was only making it worse! - Carla

Amines make me depressed too. My GP looks at me like I've lost the plot when I tell her this - Rachel

I firmly believe that my daughter is alive today because of failsafe. Severe childhood depression, suicidal tendencies and anxiety. When she slips off the diet, her symptoms resurface. She is now 23 and keeping on a somewhat even keel, despite going through a lot of horrible times over the past 24 months our so - Sharon

See factsheet on depression and story collection on depression

Failsafe eating has been a huge help in managing my anxiety and depression, along with a very supportive husband and extended family, exercise and seeking help from supportive health professionals (dietitian, GP and psychologist). I’ve struggled in the past and now realise that those times coincided with an increase in processed foods, takeaways and chocolate.

For me, amines are the worst trigger for low mood, causing a ‘spaced out’ feeling, irritability, noise sensitivity as well as muscle pains. It is usually worst about three days after eating the offending food. I am also sensitive to dairy and very high salicylates.

My children (ages 7, 5 and 17 months) are very sensitive to salicylates, amines, dairy and additives/preservatives. I discovered my intolerances by doing the elimination diet while breastfeeding and found that keeping to low chemical foods helped my babies sleep a bit better and therefore helped my sleep and mood symptoms.

These days, I am very aware of my mood symptoms and have a management plan in place should I feel myself slipping. I credit failsafe eating with helping me return to a brighter mood relatively quickly and avoiding a relapse of postnatal depression with my second and third children. I notice an interaction with hormones as well, and the period after weaning from breastfeeding is always tricky, trying to balance my desire to eat a wider diet with the change in hormones. During breastfeeding, I sometimes noticed "depressive/dysphoric milk ejection reflex" which has been linked to dopamine levels. ( http://www.d-mer.org/Home_Page.html )

These days, I eat out very occasionally but always return to failsafe eating at home, as it’s not worth those wasted days feeling miserable and missing out on life. Thanks again for all you do in raising awareness of failsafe eating, for both adults and children - Amelia

I regularly see a psychologist having suffered from depression, anxiety and paranoia of varying degrees over the last 6 years some of which was due to a trauma I suffered in 2012. Although I refused medication my symptoms did get incredibly severe at many points in this time. I found that seeing a psychologist slowly helped in relation to the trauma and eating “clean” and doing very regular exercise helped overall, but I still wasn’t anywhere near well. It wasn’t until last year when I saw a dietitian for bowel, fatigue and skin problems that I realised what I was eating could be affecting my overall mental health. Although I saw my dietician regularly at the start of my diet change, I rarely saw her after the first 6 months. The fed up website, Facebook group, “Tolerating troublesome foods” and the RPAH elimination diet book were the best resources for me; my dietician usually referred me back to them anyway. I only speak to her when I need specific advice as I found just talking through symptoms with my partner and family, keeping a food diary (essential!) and regularly seeing my psychologist were the best ways for me to see changes and keep tabs on my symptoms. Having said this i would definitely recommend having a professional supervise you when starting out.

I did the elimination diet/challenges and found I felt much better when fs, proving that salicylates caused many symptoms I hadn’t realised I had, to name a few: fatigue, inability to concentrate, terrible motor skills, foggy head and sleepless nights. As you can imagine these symptoms all contributed negatively to my mental health. I'm still working on finding what foods aggravate depression for me as I’ve been yo-yoing on and off the diet. I suspect my dairy and sals intolerance together being the main foods contributing to my depression but I really can’t say that for certain yet.

I recently found that soy severely triggers anxiety attacks for me. Caffeine also has a severe effect on my mood sometimes even decaf leaves me agitated and restless so I'm starting to think legumes could be a major issue for me. Of course the severity of my symptoms does change with the environmental factors and stresses that I’m experiencing at the time, however I am certain now that the soy mocha coffees that I used to drink every day, the rich tomato sauces, dark green vegetables, loads of fruit and juices that I loved so much (which I thought at the time were so healthy for me!) all very negatively impacted my mental health.

Now while maintaining a low–moderate salicylate, dairy, soy and caffeine free diet I feel much better mentally and physically. I’m always encouraging my family to try the diet as I know they have very similar symptoms to me and I’m almost certain it will be due to the same intolerance. I still have a long way to go in testing other food chemicals but just by removing some foods I feel like I’ve changed my entire life! - Sue

See factsheet on depression and story collection on depression

I would like to write our story, share our arduous journey and finally, how after reading your materials which you have so generously shared, show how they conclusively led to her recovery from "Eczema". As you have noticed, I have used eczema in inverted commas. The reason is simple; I never believed it was Eczema as diagnosed by the medical professional but was lost on how to manage it until we chanced upon your work.

It started when our daughter, Y, was about 3 years old (that was 4 years ago). She started developing some itchy, angry rash on the back of her knees, which led her to instinctively scratch it furiously. These rashes were not normal; they were persistent and appeared intensely itchy. The constant scratching soon led to bleeding and raw open wounds which were highly susceptible to infection. This rash soon started appearing on her ankles too. Naturally, like most parents, we brought to a Pediatrician and it was diagnosed as "Eczema".  Steroids were prescribed and, of course, the rash magically disappears when applied topically. However, like time and tides, it came back after a period of recess and this recess appeared to be shorter and shorter with each steroid application. The rash, too, became angrier and angrier. We subsequently brought her to a renowned dermatologist pediatrician, which also came out with the diagnosis...... "Eczema" and prescribed stronger classes of steroids. The 3rd and 4th opinion from the "best" medical practitioners in the country also produced the same conclusion "Eczema" and the solutions revolved around topical steroid applications, wet wrapping the child with steroid to infuse the medication and once, oral steroid was prescribed. The message from the medical professionals, like an orchestrated symphony, were the same; it cannot be cured, it is hereditary, it is not food related and long term use of steroid was the only option for her to lead a normal life. Call it delusional but we soon realized that this cannot be true and we did not want our child to be dependent on drugs which have the potential to cause ill health (such as cataracts, hormonal issues) in the long run. Normal human beings are not built to be dependent on man-made drugs. It had to be something else that is constantly triggering this response as it does not seem like conventional eczema as it was more "raised bumps" than dry skin. We had to find out.

The first thing we embarked on was to stop all steroid applications. This was necessary as steroids masked the inflammatory response and was not helpful in our investigation towards the triggers. This process was hard and arduous. Without the steroids, the rash unleashed its full potential, it was intensely itchy, red, hot and inflamed much liken to a chemical burn. We learnt that this is what is deemed as steroid withdrawal symptoms. The steroid acted like an opaque cage holding a progressively hungry lion within. Once the effects of the steroid wears off, the cage disappears and all hell breaks loose. The first 6 months of this period was the hardest, everyone lost sleep as the itch was the most intense from 2am to 6am as the body cortisol level were the lowest and the liver was detoxing. We had to make sure she did not scratch herself silly and had to constantly apply creams like calendura creams, coal tar cream, throughout the night.

Next, we tried multiple alternative treatments to align the body "imbalances"; Traditional Chinese Medicine, Bio Resonance Therapy, Osteopath spinal calibration. They had varying effects but did not seem to have significant improvements.  

We gathered that the trigger must be from the environment as the rash, which grows and wanes, is localized only at the back of her knees and ankles. This could mean the air she breathes, the food and drink, the clothes she wears, even the EMF she was exposed to was considered. HEPA air filters, dust mite free sheets, 100% cotton clothes, purified fluorine free water, BPA free bottles and EMF measurement were the easy part but it did not help much.

We deduced that it was food related (i.e. intolerance) as it appeared worst (rash spreads and become more itchy) after consuming certain foods. Keeping out processed food, seafood, gluten, diary, eggs was easy but the rash was still there. We started keeping a food diary but it did not help much as they are delayed reactions. Certain foods like apples, tomatoes were quite clear but we were not sure why but we avoided them anyway. We thought it could be pesticides, fructose or salicylates but who knows? To get some guidance, we brought our daughter for a skin prick test (IGE) and IGG blood test. The IGE test indicated dust mites (duh!) and IGG test indicate a whole host of food including eggs, diary, apples, leek, avocados, all types of fish,  etc...  It did not help much as the food to avoid is almost everything. We tried to follow the IGG recommendations are much as possible. It helped a little but she did not heal completely.

The big break came when we had the chance to move to Australia. While in Australia, for a period of 1 month, she had clear skin. We did not know why but it was definitely food related but we had stopped the food diary. We know for sure it was food and tried to replicate our diet but the rash rebounded. Finally we chanced upon the FEDUP book and the failsafe diet. We decided to put her on the FAILSAFE diet as there were safe alternatives, healthy choices and clear indication of what is high in salicylates or amines. We started the FAILSAFE diet on mid May 2015, two weeks later, it got worst (withdrawal) and subsequently the skin cleared completely within another 2 - 3 weeks. It has remained clear ever since. Somehow it is making sense now, the apples, avocados, sushi vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brocolli, sweet potatoes were her favorite foods. The outbreak of intense itchiness on scalp and skin after consuming Ibuprofen when having fever. These products are all high in salicyclates.

Now we are on the process of challenging back some of the food to measure her tolerance. We are happy to have bitten the bullet (4 years of hell) instead of taking the easy path (applying steroids). With the help of Dr Howard Dengate, Ms Sue Dengate and the FAILSAFE group team, we are grateful of all your support. We hope to share this positive experience with the Eczema support group which we belong to in Singapore. This can, hopefully, create the awareness where as far as we can observe, almost every other child has some kind of "Eczema", "Asthma" or other conditions. The rates of ADHD, Autism and other mental related conditions of varying degree are also on the rise.

Once again, thank you and hope you do not find the mail too lengthy - Herman from Fedup Roadshow.

Tonight when my husband got home from work and the kids were asleep - I didn't fall in a heap and cry to him 'What is wrong with our daughter? Why can't she just be normal??!!!!!' I've done that every night for as long as I can remember? Maybe even since she was a fractious baby... but tonight I didn't do that. I said to him as I was cleaning up the kitchen, 'She is so lovely! She is just so, so, (trying to find the word...) NORMAL!' Finally!! Thank you RPAH and Failsafe for changing our lives!! Tonight my mind (and body) are not shattered from dealing with meltdown after meltdown - because there are no longer any meltdowns!! - Beth

Food additives and associated behaviour symptoms from 4 years old onwards. The same boy, now aged 6, is now settled on the correct diet.

160b annatto, high salicylates, glutamates and MSG - observed behaviour: defiance, prolonged tantrums, aggressive (out of character), poor concentration, irritable, difficulty settling at night for up to one week.

123 amaranth red food dye on butcher’s ink on leg of lamb - observed behaviour: unusual behaviour, difficult to settle, loud noises in this child and his 8 yo brother for a few days, tantrums, teary for 2 weeks.

320 BHA synthetic antioxidant - observed behaviour: defiance, difficulty settling at night for up to 2 weeks.

The above observations were made over two years by a General Practitioner without using a dietitian - Helen GP by email.

(We’d be interested to hear of other reactions to the red dye used on meat in Australia. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will be added to this report)

As a toddler, my son had spectacular, but introverted tantrums, where he threw himself at the floor and howled like a dingo.  The best solution was to drop a heavy blanket on him, and leave him to it, until he went to sleep.  If I intervened with a cuddle, reassurance or any form of stimulation, the tantrum escalated.

At pre-school he took himself to bed crying after every single birthday party, and went 'crazy' when we took him camping. He was often hyper sensitive to clothing labels, music (especially classics in minor keys) and visual distractions. His peers labelled him a cry-baby, and his pre-school wanted to keep him back from school.  Later, his primary school teachers suggested he had ADHD, was somewhere on the Autism spectrum, and a 'difficult, anxious' child.  We went for testing which showed generally moderately delayed development, so we did occupational and literacy therapy.

I assumed the birthday party issue was linked to food, and cut out all artificial colours and preservatives.  This led to a big improvement. The breakthrough came because he ate toasted Kraft cheese sandwiches (it melted really well), a couple of hours before Wednesday swimming lessons (where he went to pieces), but not on Saturdays (with the same teacher).  I worked out the only difference between those lessons was the cheese beforehand.  When I cut out the cheese he was more cooperative and had a longer attention span.

I searched the internet to find out if there was such a thing as an "allergy" which changed a person's behaviour, and found your website.  I recall reading about Annatto, head banging, yellow foods and inconsolable toddlers, and thinking "Some of that sounds familiar".  That shred of knowledge led to a diet review, and the discovery that frankfurts, pizzas, Kraft cheese, madeira cake and 'fruit juice' contained Annatto, which might explain his post-party meltdowns.  Our camping treat was powdered custard, and our lunch time staple was processed cheese, which could explain the camping craziness.  'Special' afternoon teas were fish fingers on toast and toasted cheese sandwiches.  Annatto in everything!

I think he was about 4th grade when we succeeded in cutting out Annatto.  His behaviour steadily improved.  When we slipped up and he was accidentally exposed, the teachers could tell, and so could he.  He still had a mild 'language processing disorder', but was now able to contribute effectively in class, and make friends.  He felt the difference, and was keen to avoid annatto by checking all his food.

He came home from school camps and said 'there was nothing to eat' except fruit, bread and vegetables.  That was true because the breakfast cereal, juice, cheese, ice-cream, custard, crumbed meats, some chips, and some afternoon tea cakes, all contained Annatto. No wonder his first camp was a disaster!  Now, we all had some level of control over Annatto.

SIX  YEAR  UPDATE

At this time I wrote to you regarding my son, and his reaction to Annatto.  I often wondered if we really were on the right track, and if I made a biased assessment of his sensitivity.  Thought you would be interested to hear an update, as he is now 16.

Two years ago he had a 'blind' reaction to Annatto.  He was interstate at a Scout Jamboree, and recorded as Annatto sensitive for his dietary requirements.  Due to very hot weather the Scouts were provided with all sorts of foods and fluids to encourage fluid intake.  My son was provided with commercial package fruit and jelly cups, unlabelled but touted as "natural" which he assumed was OK. After a couple of days, his friends were so concerned at his tears, agitation and aggression, that a group of them fronted the leaders and took him to First Aid.  There, his records were reviewed, and the person seeing him saw his Annatto sensitivity.  He diet was reviewed by a nutritionist who was on site, and who found the unlabelled jelly cups contained Annatto.  He had time out, and compassionate attention from his camp mates, but was still out of sorts a few days later when he came home.  Nonetheless, it was nIce to have an independent event and diagnosis.

He is a different person without Annatto, now getting academic prizes, citizenship and service awards, and a school Gold medal.  Before, various teachers had written him off as difficult, ADHD, and even autism spectrum.  There is hope for desperate parents!

Thank you for helping us through Fed Up!  Without your site information, and guidance on elimination, I am certain he would have been diagnosed with serious mental health issues by now.

I do wonder what is happening in the mental health, prison, and medical institutions.  During a recent visit to the Children's Hospital he was offered custard with Annatto and cheese with Annatto.  How many troubled teens, or even geriatrics, are undiagnosed Annatto reactors, who are then institutionalised, and fed a diet containing Annatto?  How much is Annatto sensitivity costing Medicare and our legal system?


Thanks for your web site, it makes convincing unbelievers so much simpler!  As I say to my son, there are no excuses for bad behaviour, but it certainly helps if there is an explanation. - Anne, by email

See further ADHD factsheeet  and ADHD story collection

I took my son for his first ADHD paediatric psychiatrist visit since being on failsafe. Although the psychiatrist had approved taking him off medication he didn't have it in his notes so we decided to not tell them until after testing that he wasn't medicated. Well, the results were the best he's had in over 7 years. He had greatly improved in all areas academically and his brain function test showed he was much less distracted. These results are better than any he ever had when being medicated so we are very proud of our young man. So glad we decided to take the giant step into the failsafe world. As daunting as it was, the results speak for themselves and it's like second nature these days.

He's very proud of himself too. The absolute biggest thing for us is that he has friends now. No one use to want to play with the naughty kid and I think it's like a domino effect. Each positive thing creates another positive thing - Larissa

(More than 200 people liked this on the facebook group!)

I'm going to bed tonight so happy with my heart full of hope. My husband and I have been talking all evening about how different our 3 year old is since beginning the diet. How 'easy' she's been. (Sigh) 'This' is what parenting should be like. I'm so thrilled my husband can see it too. He works long hours during the week and so he hasn't really seen her enough to be able to notice the dramatic change in her. But this afternoon he said to me 'I agree with you. She's different... But now we've just go to figure out what it is that sets her off.'

I feel dreadful though that we've had about 2.5 years of challenging behaviour and I feel even worse for my poor daughter who clearly couldn't help her behaviour. I wish I'd done this 18 months ago but foolishly I was too sceptical and did not believe that food would make such a difference to our lives! Now to book an appointment with our dietitian to begin discussing the challenges.

It's very emotional. I'm seeing my daughter with new eyes and I'm falling in love with her more each day. I thought she was just destined to be a difficult child...- Beth

Comments by failsafers:

Hey you're doing bloody good to have worked it out by 3. I 'knew' but didn't accept it (sals meltdowns for her are 2-3 days after food then 2 more days to get face rash!) took til she was 5 before we actually stopped sals and found a different child! Well done!  - S

That's what we were like 9 years ago! It was like we got a new son. Just plain old lactose for us. That's all it was. Ours was easy!!! But it made monumental changes to our lives - Kerry-Anne

It's been almost 5 years since we changed our son's diet and still, when reading posts like this, I get very emotional cause it brings back so many memories! I'm so happy for your little family! Life is good! - Carley

To make it easier for us ( going back 6 years now) we put it down to ' today's food is not for our child, so if you couldn't eat it 100 years ago we don't feed them it' it just makes it easier. Make everything from scratch, meal plan, cook and make snacks ahead of the week. It makes kids appreciate food so much better when they help prepare and make it, so get them in the kitchen even just watching is good - Kristie

Well done. So happy for you. My story is exactly the same as yours. I said exactly the same thing when our daughter was also 3 after we had just changed her diet. My hubby was at work a lot too and didn’t see half the behavioural problems that I did. At first the thought I was nuts suggesting that food was the issue, then he apologised to me two weeks later when we had a different child. It is tough though as at first you kinda think that perhaps they are a very spirited child, it’s their age, then you think 'No, something is very wrong here'. Two years later and our daughter had just started school and her teacher comments often on what a lovely child she is, how well behaved and such a good listener. Makes my heart sing. Keep up the good work - Jan

My kids 11 & 13 choose not to eat the foods offered as they know the awful feelings and results. They prefer not to feel that way. They'd much rather eat the "safe" foods we eat in our family - Tanya

To meet our little people for the first time - the beautiful personality he had as a baby and the beautiful boy I know he is deep down. (Just under a layer of fruit!) - L

Exact same boat. We started our almost 4 year old a month ago. Went through strict elimination ...saw massive changes more in fact she was happy, no dark circles under her eyes, wanting to talk every afternoon about her day, no crying every half an hour and listening going to bed without arguments and tears. So it was great to see the changes...and last week started the first challenges. Oh my god. Massive reaction...so just back to baseline again - Steph

And the last word from Beth again:

I waited so long because everyone kept telling me 'oh she'll grow out of it' or 'she's fine' but last year she flipped out at her friend’s house for no reason (I later found out she had eaten something with honey in it). I had to leave the play date and I cried no I sobbed and screamed the whole way home (and so did my daughter) and I rang my mum and I cried and cried and asked her 'what is wrong with her!!!??' That was when I booked an appointment with a paediatrician. And then when we saw the reaction to the Cheezels (no other child was affected) we said 'yes!! She just cannot handle some foods. Let's do this diet!!' We owed it to her. I didn't want her getting to age 13 and feeling so out of control.

This evening I came home to find my husband reading bedtime stories to my 5yr old son and 2yr old daughter, they were both snuggled in quietly absorbed in the story. It has taken my son five and a half weeks to recover from a dairy challenge that he failed on day 3. Three days of milk = 5.5 weeks of angry, oppositional defiant child. My daughter made it to day 6 of the challenge before becoming completely incontinent and we ended up putting her back in pull-ups 6months post-toilet training, I haven't ventured to take these away just yet, I am too busy basking in the lack of oppositional defiance. My husband says I am getting my hopes up too soon, but yesterday was pretty good too, and we haven't had a single ODD day in the last 6 weeks.  Prior to this that I either wanted to be far, far away, or arrived home from work to a full account of angry aggressive, oppositional behaviour. Food intolerance is so very cruel and has a huge impact on quality of life for so many of us on here.

My husband and I used to (only half) joke about how we'd best just pick out a juvenile detention centre instead of a school for my son, his behaviour was so off the wall. I can hardly believe we figured this out in the nick of time, and feel so lucky that we were able to address the larger part of it prior to him starting school. The challenges are horrible, but they are very much "controlled" reactions compared to full-blown diet behaviour.

We should all be acknowledged for our outstanding level of diagnostic skills, many of us have succeeded where many qualified health professionals have failed! - Ursula

Comments from failsafers:

It's huge, isn't it? Different things have made my son aggressive, oppositional, flighty, unable to sleep and incontinent - Stephanie

I am so, so proud of all of us for working to help our kids. As a teacher I've taught kids who are unable to control their behaviour and have parents who aren't able or willing to try new things to help them - Raechel

My youngest reacts that way to strawberries, tomatoes and grapes - they feel so much better too. If she slips now, we know and when she realises, even if she feels like crap, she feels better for having a reason. Good luck, and stick with it, the results are worth it - Meagan

Does anyone else here have nasal polyps? I have had an operation twice to remove them, but I am extremely good at growing them - yay me! Just wondering if there was any relationship to food...  Bronwen from facebook group

Dairy big time for me, have had surgery twice and had constant infections. No dairy = no infections:)  For me neither of my surgeries made the difference that stopping dairy has. I had constant sinus infections. I'm simply nowhere near as mucusy, personally I don't think the ops made much difference for me. My immune system is "compromised" as I'm a cancer patient too so was told I had to have the surgery. Still got infections after the ops, finally went off dairy and taaa daaa its much better. Infections stopped! !  - Rachel from facebook group

I don't get infections, just constant snuffly nose and I always sound like I have a cold. I'm not sure about dairy for me, I grew them just as well when I was drinking soy milk!  - Bronwen

My specialist informed me that he has found a majority of his sinus sufferers find that soy affect them  - Theresa

Yes I have. Definitely caused by foods for me. Low salicylate diet has helped a lot. Can breath thru my nose now - Jann from facebook group

The ENT specialist said that people who have asthma and nasal polyps are usually salicylate sensitive. We cut salicylates out of my diet and one week later I was able to breath through my nose. - from Geoff, see full story [995]

I have Samter’s Syndrome (consisting of asthma, aspirin sensitivity and nasal polyps) also known as Samter’s Triad or aspirin-induced asthma. For the last 29 years I have been taking medications and trying to stay alive. When I found the Australian salicylate lists I was so excited, I could finally understand what was happening. I was inadvertently eating salicylates every day. – from a US reader, story [994

Sue's comment: There are numerous less-than-accurate salicylate lists on the internet. The only figures we support are the updated lists from RPAH - ask for our salicylate mistakes information sheet: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (reports received 2014)

References: Baenkler H, Salicylate intolerance, 2008 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696737/

I stopped eating potatoes when I read story [1317] about solanine because I had similar symptoms to that guy (who wrote about " ... very irritable and highly sensitive - not of the pleasant type - symptoms in my penis and testicles and surrounding areas. At times it was painful and made me feel like I did not have full bladder control. Urinating was uncomfortable, not unlike when you have a bladder infection ".)

In my case there was no pain, just a constant wrong signal - it was kind of like "there's fluid in your urethra and you need to hold it in/pee/do something" - not easily defined. Super annoying though. It was worst right after urinating. Fluid intake didn't seem to affect it, there was no burning sensation during urination or anything like that. When the symptoms were at their worst I had a bit of bladder leakage (like a few drops). Only once or twice though.

After three weeks of avoiding potatoes my symptoms were still continuing so that wasn't it.

Then I tried going strictly failsafe again for a few weeks. I didn't realise how much I had slipped up - turns out I've been eating a lot more amines than I realised. I also took a small amount of soda bicarb - half a tsp in a glass of water.  Both of these strategies were extremely effective! My symptoms are gone, and I feel much happier. :) - by email (male, late 20s)

More Articles ...

  1. [1327] Salicylates and the changing face (March 2015)
  2. [1326] One-liners (March 2015)
  3. [1325] 160b: Annatto and frightening headbutting (March 2015)
  4. [1324] 160b: Annatto made him “punch himself repeatedly in the head with a closed fist and also bang his head against the wall” (March 2015)
  5. [1323] Salicylates and sleepwalking (March 2015)
  6. [1322] 160b: “on the failsafe diet now for 2.5 weeks...MAJOR change” (March 2015)
  7. [1321] 160b: “I had to lie on him to get him to lie still to fall asleep” (March 2015)
  8. [1320] My young son has learnt his "happy" and "cranky" foods, but perfumes are the worst (March 2015)
  9. [1319] Printzmetal's Angina due to unlisted artificial colour in 'safe' medication (March 2015)
  10. [1318] 202: Anaphylactic reaction to paracetamol with added sorbate preservative E202 (March 2015)
  11. [1317] Sensitivity to solanine caused urinary and reproductive symptoms (March 2015)
  12. [1316] From headbanging to sensory-seeking (March 2015)
  13. [1315] 160b: ”she no longer hits herself on the head or scratches her face when she has a major meltdown” (March 2015)
  14. [1314] 160b: "pins and needles in his head and they wouldn't go away" (March 2015)
  15. [1313] 160b: Headbanging caused by ‘natural’ yellow colour in baby biscuits and soy yoghurt (March 2015)
  16. [1312] 160b annatto: One-liners (March 2015)
  17. [1311] Food intolerance and reduced immune system - facebook thread (March 2015)
  18. [1310] Failsafe eating improves writing, listening and hearing (February 2015)
  19. [1309] Award for good behaviour , listening and concentration (February 2015)
  20. [1308] Amines: Severe and crippling arthritis due to amines (February 2015)
  21. [1307] Arthritis due to Chikungunya from Vanuatu holiday (February 2015)
  22. [1306] Juvenile arthritis: “Since I make all my own now, no pain” (February 2015)
  23. [1305] Rheumatoid arthritis related to gluten and processed foods (February 2015)
  24. [1304] More reports of self harm from food intolerance (February 2015)
  25. [1303] Just some encouragement for those starting their journey (February 2015)