I have 2 boys now 7 and 5. Both have had a range of true food allergies and also intolerances along the way, my eldest in particular. It was at age 5 when we saw our RPAH allergists for our annual review that I mused that I still wasn't convinced about his gut health despite our FAILSAFE diet etc etc. I wondered was it the salicylates intolerance causing this poor gut health, or was it the gut health causing the salicylates intolerance...? We had some pretty full-on behavioural issues to contend with also - defiance, oppositionality, anxiety etc. ADHD was thought about, but dismissed as there was no evidence of this behaviour at school, rather more a case of the street angel home devil scenario. Was it our parenting? I felt I had always set firm boundaries and given lots of love etc etc. Lots of questions....

Lo and behold, we were finally advised to "let’s just rule out coeliac disease".

And the more I read after that next bombshell, the more I came to terms with that being the problem, before testing had even begun! And what do you know. FINALLY, at age 6, he was diagnosed with coeliac disease. It was almost a relief!!

Now almost 18 months on, his gut has healed well. My suspicions (my "gut feeling"!) were on track; his poor gut health had paved the way for his predominantly salicylate food intolerances. Now that his gut health has improved on his gluten free diet he tolerates whatever salicylates he likes (hooray!!!!).

His energy levels have improved. His behaviour has improved. Life has improved!

I should add that we obviously tried gluten free for some time on the elimination diet, but it just wasn't a long enough period for the necessary healing to happen. We never seemed to reach baseline, no matter what we did. But low sals helped a lot, with behaviour, and skin. So that was our general approach along the way. Because we were nut free and low sals, low dairy (previous allergy) and all the rest of it, we were pretty low gluten too. The kids were used to buckwheat pancakes and other ORGRAN products! So the transition to a completely gluten free diet for us has not been difficult at all.

But herbs and spices have made a comeback, as have lots of colourful vegies and fruits.....IN MODERATION.

I will never be able to let go of what FAILSAFE has taught me along the way though. The over-abundance of foods in our culture, the demand for out of season produce, the international cuisines having changed out palates and minds to thinking we need these flavourful foods all the time, despite out bodies not always agreeing....

I have a far more balanced approach to food nowadays. Whilst they'd always been fairly healthy considerations, I know we overdid the fruits and probably underdid the vegies.

Moderation is certainly the key. Variety. Simplicity. Good whole foods. Fermented foods. Old-fashioned ways. Bone broths. Seasonal produce. Local produce. But it is so lovely to have the choice back!

So thank you for all you do. Little by little people are learning to cut out the crap, wising up to the old ways! Supermarkets are changing (a little). School canteens are changing (a little). There's still a LONG way to go!!! - thanks to Kim who has been our Newcastle failsafe contact.

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