I want to thank you, once again, for giving us life changing support.  We are truly grateful for the time and effort you put into helping persons like ourselves who are desperate for answers, to find positive, life-changing solutions!

I just had to share with you what has happened since our last email. And just in case you want to publish it, I will start from our earlier experiences with you.

Back in the mid-90s we had 2 severely intolerant children. They lived on potatoes, chicken, lamb, carrots and rice.

Their reactions were vast... severe stomach cramps, vomiting, ear infections, sleeplessness, eczema, hyperactivity, anger, anxiety, diarrhea, constipation, snoring and noisy breathing. And lots of crying.

One day our GP phoned me. He'd seen a book called Fed Up by Sue Dengate and thought it would be helpful with our children's intolerances. If only every GP prescribed this book! It became our lifesaver, our go-to.

On the diet, they were calm, happy, restful, healthy children. People would ask us, don't your children ever fight? Not on the diet. Ever.

Our next 2 children had similar food intolerances. Over time they have all become more tolerant to different foods. But we have remained very particular about avoiding certain poisonous additives eg 160b and the 280 preservatives which without fail cause issues.  Even for the adults in the family.

Fast forward 25 years ... with hardly a visit to the Doctor for any of us and now a grown family, regular visits to the Fedup website to keep up to date with changes in food laws and also to check the failsafe additives list!

But very slowly, very subtly, things started to change. So subtly that I never connected the changes with food.

Our happy teenagers became sullen, grumpy, argumentative and restless.  We all suffered skin break outs. Anxiety levels were high. I felt like I had the acne of a teenager, the nighttime worries of a 3 year old plus anxiety. From sleeping solidly all night, I started hearing every change in the weather, and woke with every vehicle and every animal noise outside. And then had difficulty going back to sleep. It's just part of getting older I told myself.

My husband developed severe insomnia (literally wide awake all night long,  night after night, and often even sleeping tablets had no effect), along with a racing heart.  Part of old age we thought. And the doctor agreed... racing heart - you'll just have to learn to live with it.

After months and months of accepting this "new normal" but questioning it all in the back of my mind, and often wondering, what am I doing wrong with our diet? I would look at my kids that had been so happy and think, what are you eating that's making you like this? Finally in desperation I once again contacted Sue Dengate.

She very quickly picked up that we had coeliacs in the family and this was her reply:

"There is now a "Clean Label" movement by the food industry to remove additive numbers (such as 282) and chemical sounding names (such as preservative calcium propionate) and replace them with innocent sounding names (such as cultured dextrose, see https://www.fedup.com.au/news/blog/caution-cultured-dextrose). This has happened in gluten free bread quite recently and quickly, so I wonder if  your husband is currently eating the bread preservative without realising it? In my experience the bread preservative can be the very worst of additives, eaten regularly every day and often causing major changes"

Thank you Sue from the bottom of our hearts. That was exactly it. I was not up to date with this clean label movement and in all of my label checking we had been deceived. All our lives we had avoided 282 like the plague... until they gave it an innocent name. Which took us on a very, very unpleasant detour.

Maybe it happened so we can share our completely unintentional preservative journey and save others from the nasty effects of propionates.

It's been a long, difficult journey back to the road we originally were on. Many months of consuming cultured dextrose left damage that has been hard to undo.

The kids recovered fairly quickly, but my husband ended up doing the complete elimination diet and probably confirmed another of Sue's questions...

"Given that your children were "intolerant to almost everything", they probably inherited that from someone - possibly your husband. So I'm wondering whether he would feel better on the full elimination diet."

On the full elimination diet, he has come off all his sleeping tablets, and no longer has any heart issues. His skin has also cleared up.  This was a massive breakthrough! He absolutely hated having sleeping tablets.  Between those and insomnia and a racing heart, his quality of life was very poor compared to our pre-preservative life when he was fit and healthy and had no sleeping issues.

We believe that the months of consuming cultured dextrose daily, caused the major changes to his health and worsened his food sensitivities to the point that he became intolerant to almost everything!

Surely our story can convince anyone with health issues to take a good look at their diet. After our many years of food experiences we all firmly believe that most health issues can be resolved simply by diet!

Thank you again Sue and keep up your amazing work – Lorna

See hidden additives blog with links to more science