My children have been following a failsafe lifestyle for quite a few years due to behavioural issues and weve found it has improved our quality of life significantly.
 
Our little dog has been incontinent for about 3 years and has been progressively getting worse.  She has been on medication for about 2 years to help, but lately its been getting less and less effective.  Im not sure why I hadn't thought of it earlier, but about 2 months ago, I looked at her diet and found that all of her food had preservatives in it.  I decided to experiment and changed her diet to a natural brand from the pet shop.  For the first time in years, she has stopped leaving little puddles all over the house and has now also been medication free for the last month.  She is calmer too now… no more running around fretting when there’s a thunder storm. What a relief! 
 
Thank you for changing our life once again!!  - Cristi, NSW

 

 

Thats it! I'm convinced!....For the past 11 months my children have not been able to eat in the same room, let alone next to each other at the table without some kind of temper tantrum explosion, because my youngest (miss 8) has what I can only describe as some kind of anxiety attack over the noise her sister (miss 10) makes when eating anything. A couple of months ago my mum saw Sue Dengate on the TV talking about salicylates and how they can affect children and when she showed me all I kept thinking was...."That's her...that's what she's like." It wasn't only the eating thing but any tantrum she threw was extreme. Only at home though, my parents and husband were the only ones to see the full extent of it for a very long time. I looked into the failsafe diet and had been experimenting with things until I received my failsafe book recently. I was cutting back or cutting out salicylates where I knew they were, and had good results. Keeping a food diary I was able to link explosive tantrums which lasted for days to foods that I hadn't considered for one reason or another. So I began being a little more strict with it, recently cutting out preservatives where I could as well, (we haven't done the strict elimination diet). A few days ago she had a massive melt down, followed by something that surprised me....she was unable to make a decision, just a simple one.....but as there was no logic in her head that told her how to do it, she looked at me blankly and said "I can't decide". She's a very bright girl so it was very surprising to see it, I think it was something I'd not noticed previously as it was hidden by tantrums when she couldn't decide something. Tonight, after not having preservatives and only having very little salicylates for about a week, she came to me and said "mum....Em was sitting this far away from me (showing me a few cm's with her fingers) and she was eating popcorn, and I didn’t even hear her!!!" She was so excited and proud of herself, and once she left the room I burst into tears of happiness. She's been amazingly accepting of this diet, I've not kept it secret from her, and I believe she understands how its helping her and all of us. Thank you Sue Dengate, you've changed our lives thanks also to my family for being so supportive - Kristy

The irritation to noise is called auditory sensory processing disorder (ASPD). We have also found that my son who suffered terribly from it can show no signs of it when managed with diet. It always creeps back whenever there is the smallest of slipups. Two days ago when he accidentally consumed corn he was an emotional wreck on the couch covering his ears crying and begging me to turn the vacuum cleaner off. Today his reaction was over. I vacuumed in the same room and he had no problem at all - Emma

Wow! I never considered that! My two year old is highly sensitive to noise and so is my 15wk old. Both my boys! We are already preservative, artificial colour and flavour, and chemical free. High sals are mostly out but realised we weren’t meant to be having avocado! Think it’s time to fine tune the sals! -Kristie

It's not always just salicylates. Gluten can be a major factor. I have had SPD my whole life. It is something I think you learn to cope with but it is so hard for kids to deal with. I somehow managed to graduate from the law school with honours. I pretty much spent the whole of my VCE and law degree studying in the state library in Melbourne (in the dome) where making any noise is strictly forbidden. The only way I could study without feeling the need to punch people out for making noise. The other thing to note is that lots of people don't understand SPD because often people who suffer from it (commonly kids with ADD or ADHD etc) can be quite noisy themselves. If the child is in control of the noise (making it themselves or choosing to listen to it, e.g music), they will cope just fine. It is noises they are not in control of (e.g music or clashing conversations by others) that they can't cope with. My one year old has sensory processing issues with touch not sound. He hates the feel of things touching his hands. When he starts to touch his food he acts as though his hands are burnt (like he's handling a hot potato). Some people have sensory processing issues with bright lights - Emma

Amines also, especially chocolate, for auditory processing disorder here - Adelie

My daughter has sensory/sound and OCD issues which are definitely magnified by eating a high salicylate diet. Great to you found it too and now know why she behaved that way - Jan

Thank you for your post. I thought this was not due to food but a part of the ASD, as our doctor & speech pathologist said! - Louisa

See also factsheet on hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound)

So I have now cut out all artificial flavors/colours/preservatives, changed milk to A2 - but he doesn't really have a lot only in mashed potato etc, Bread to Brumbys, restricting fruit to mainly pears with the odd piece of other fruit, and we already used Nuttalex etc for about 2 weeks now and I must say although we are not on the Strict Elimination - WOW what a difference!!!! I'm really impressed!! There has been a huge change in behavior and his sleep patterns and he is managing on his own without any medication to help him sleep. I truly do hope this continues. I even had my mother mention last night that it was a very peaceful night and how lovely it was, so it's not just my imagination.

Oh and a big one I forgot to mention is that my son’s tutor called me into talk with her and mentioned how happy she has been with his progress over the past 2 weeks and have I been doing extra work with him at home. I don't think that I have, I just seem to think that he is taking it all in better! *Happy Dance* It's just so so lovely to see him this way – Mandy from facebook group

My son was about to be put into hospital for his severe eczema but doing all these things below as well as the RPAH diet has seen his eczema almost disappear, and his rhinitis as well. One thing I've noticed is that if we relax the diet, his skin goes dry and scaly, and then next thing is the inflammation and full blown eczema. So I believe that, in our situation at least, the condition of the gut (what you eat) affects the function of the skin (goes dry and scaly), and then the environmental allergen can get in and cause the inflammation. This goes for rhinitis as well.

There are a number of things to limit your exposure to dustmite, but you can't get rid of them (unless you live in the desert!).  It's important to remind yourself of that because, like the food situation, it can send you a bit bonkers trying to do everything, all of the time. However there is a lot you can do and it works.

Dustmites like warm moist dark places and they live off dead skin cells and mould. So your bed is the first place to start. Get good quality mite covers (see Melbourne supplier below recommended by allergists). Cover the mattress ( and the base if it's not timber) with the mite proof covers, cover your pillow as well and doona/quilt. You'll need to wash the covers fortnightly, and the rest of the bedding (sheets) weekly. Hot wash 60°C will kill the mites, but it's the mite poos that actually cause the allergy so a long cycle in the machine will wash the droppings away.

Get rid of carpets, wash curtains regularly. Eucalyptus will also kill mites, so use the Bosistos http://www.fgb.com.au/about-bosistos range of cleaning products, sprays and detergents, which work well but limit exposure because they aren’t failsafe. Anything that can't be hot washed can but put a plastic bag and into the freezer overnight to kill mites, then washed on gentle cycle next day to remove the droppings (I do this with soft toys and delicate fabrics). A de-humidifier is an option as mites need humidity to survive. So if the constant washing gets you down, that is something to think about.

Check out helpful www.housedustmite.com and http://www.allergend.com.au/  – Diana from failsafeeczema group.

See also story [1012] Eczema exacerbated by dust mite allergy (March 2006)

I am a food technologist and I am unhappy about the way food technology is going: I have sat in technical meetings discussing what to call the MSG that we want to put in a product  – Fedup Roadshow 2012

That's the thing about failsafe - as overwhelming as it all seems, you are not just bumbling around in the dark. There is a specific procedure, which will give you a lot of answers - Susanne

My son is doing wonderfully behavior wise too. It amazes me how he has progressed in the three weeks. With Halloween, we decided to let him have a small piece of chocolate and immediately he regressed to where he had been. Now we know...no deviations, especially with regard to preservatives/flavors. That was a wake up call - Meghan

I found Failsafe after 18 mths researching. Couldn't believe it was something I was eating as my diet hadn't changed & I was in my 40s & had always eaten a "good" diet. All the medication can only hold it at bay, failsafe allowed me to find a cure, for which I am so grateful. I followed a tiny thumbnail pic of a girl's face & thought "her rash looks like mine" and it was a blog about Ribo Rash! - Kate

I went to Sue's Fedup Roadshow looking at behaviour kids for my son. She was showing some photos and one was the rash ... "Lightbulb" that's my rash!  - Brianna

Just realised my 3 year old has stopped stuttering since starting fs nearly 7 weeks ago! Another tick in the box for the one kid we thought didn't have a problem - Kylie.

I was chatting with a school counsellor about the problems *we* face... being THAT MOTHER. The one that groans inside when our child runs out of class clutching a Freddo frog from another kid's birthday. The one who asks at the fete meeting "Will there be any healthy food?" The one who says "Can't we get better snacks at the canteen?" and "Shouldn't the school be sending a better message about food?" So... he put the question back to me... to put to you...What have other schools DONE to tackle this issue?.. I'll kick off with our school that banned food rewards. That was a no-brainer! Instead of a drawer of lollies the teachers have "Treasure Box" full of silly tid-bits that the kids get to choose from.

At the end of the year, the Principal reminds parents via the newsletter that they discourage candy canes and other food gifts "due to allergies and food intolerances.  A card is enough -( thanks to Frilly for putting this topic forward)

My kids went to a school that did not have a canteen, so all lunches were packed from home, so much easier - Kathy

Our school has banned lollies at the school disco - Leigh

Food policies for birthdays etc at our school - no food allowed due to allergies.

Our canteen has been lovely, they often ask and accommodate our needs. They have some stuff we can't eat, but they also put out things like fruit kebabs, apple slinkies, etc. We found that when we got alongside the canteen ladies they were very happy to work through the menu with us and see what was ok and what was not - for example they buy in packet cake mixes, but they were happy to take input on what our kids could have and ordered in the brand without the additives. With lollies, they bought a pack of naturals and keep them in a special jar for our kids. It's not too hard to have a few natural juice poppers, milk poppers, or water bottles in the canteen, so even if they aren't popular with all the kids there is always an option for ours. Our canteen caters for the fete, so they have their normal menu as well as special stuff. When there are special days on, we work with them a day or so in advance to figure out the alternatives. For example, my son's year group had a 'machines' science day where kids could order a special lunch of 'nuts and bolts' (chicken bites and chicken sticks I think), tyres (donuts), oil (apple juice), etc. there were a couple things he couldn't have, but they just left those out and put in extra of the things he could have - Lindsey

Get more involved in the P&C to have input on fundraisers. I'd much prefer things like cards/wrapping paper or the sponsorship walks and activity days rather than the chocolate drives and cookie dough - Lindsey

Our school is in the process of converting from "bad foods" to healthy foods. Lollies were phased out, even though they still sell chips, and curly whirlies amongst other things. They have meal deals every fortnight that provide a "healthier' option. From memory, this week it was a hot dog in wholemeal roll, yoghurt, sultanas and packet of popcorn. Even though the parents requested healthier food, the meal deals are not selling. The foods the parents did suggest, such as sushi, casseroles, etc are too impractical for our canteen lady to make, and we cannot get parent helpers to assist -  Janine

Our school replaced the chocolate fundraisers with a fundraising spell-a-thon where kids are sponsored (normally by family) per word they get right. They raise more money and nobody has a box of chocolate in their house. Unfortunately I still have to battle when they give lollies as rewards  - Kristen

I work in a role that encourages healthy eating and physical activity for kids. These websites might give you some ideas for policy change, canteens and fundraising if you haven't seen them already - Parent's Jury: healthy schools http://www.parentsjury.org.au/key-concerns/healthy-schools   Parent's Jury: healthy food ideas that make a profit http://www.parentsjury.org.au/healthy-fundraising-campaign-guide/healthy-fundraising-ideas-that-make-a-profit#profit    Sweet Deals (this is a resource for Canadian schools, so most of the specific product deals and companies aren't relevant to Australia but it still has lots of good info and ideas that can be used here) http://www.cspinet.org/schoolfundraising.pdf  - Lisa

Our school designated a bake shop to buy bday cupcakes from....we can only serve bday cupcakes from that shop (though not fs, it's allergy-friendly...). Also, no sweet treats in the bday goody bags (party favors). For snack time, parents are assigned a specific snack to bring each week....again, not fs 100%, but healthy (no artificial additives) and nut/peanut free - Caroline

My son has a 'mummy approved' treat jar the teacher keeps for him & gives him one of those when birthday treats are handed out in class. The tuck shop also stocks FAILSAFE icy poles - Samantha

Our Principal visited a large independent school that had gone additive-free, and now wish they hadn't because of how much time and effort has had to go into policing non-compliance from parents. What she has started this year, though, is a plan for children/parents to donate the $ they would normally spend on cards and candy canes that often end up in the bin to better the lives of children elsewhere - specifically a village in Fiji that older students will be visiting next year to help build houses (P-12 school). Each class has discussed and decided what to put their money towards (food plants, school supplies, etc.) We'll see soon if parents resist the temptation to simply do both – Tracy

Our kinder teachers have asked what foods my son "can eat" & are going to make a halloween treat tomorrow to FS ingredients for the 'whole class'. I wait how it turns out. But instead of a black icing witches hat with orange sprinkles, we have come up with a white icing ghost cone with carob icing for face - Emma.

When there's a reason for a party (eg farewell to a prac teacher), they use fruit break/crunch and sip time to have a party. Kids bring chopped up fruit or vegetables and it's all laid out on a table. Teacher provides bowls, spoons & serviettes, and the kids can help themselves to a beautiful spread of colourful food. He has been impressed with how much the kids enjoy the variety and chance to try new things, and they often ask for seconds.

The other thing this does is restore some of the purpose of a class party. It's supposed to be a social occasion and a celebration, but so often it turns into a race to see who gets the good chips or the last marshmallow. This way it's more an emphasis on the social sharing of simple and delicious food – Lindsey

Our school has gone 'nude food' and Opal (http://www.playford.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1648 - South Australian government program to promote healthy eating ) are visiting the school with recipes and breakfast this term, while not failsafe it's a step in the healthy food direction - Denise

Our school canteen doesn't have a lot for a failsafe child, but it is pretty good health wise. Recess you can buy fruit, muffins with cheese and tomato, or baked beans toasties. They have sushi available for lunch, and frequent Indian food. There is very little in the way of typical school rubbish - Nicola

It does take small steps... I know that when my son first started school, many of the things I've mentioned were not in place and the lady in charge of the canteen was not as receptive and felt all the kids needed their 'treats' at the canteen. He's in year 4 now and things have changed a lot over time, but I'm aware it has come in tip-toes rather than a sudden leap - Lindsey

Note from Howard: Thanks for your positive ideas. If you are taking action, you can tell the school that the additives we avoid are explicitly recognised in the National Healthy Schools Canteen Guidelines (page 47): National Healthy School Canteen 2014

More ideas in http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/support-factsheets/healthy-choice-school-canteens

I developed 202 intolerance in my mid 40s and now avoid 202 like the plague as it gives me pain in the splenic flexure of my descending colon, sometimes inflaming the whole descending colon. I suffered a barium meal, and no consult with any doctor delivered me an answer to my difficulty. Elimination of 202 solved a range of unexplained symptoms. I picked up the problem by timing my recurrent pain 1.5 hours after spreading margarine on my toast.  - by email, New Zealand

I was diagnosed with a heart valve problem late last year and also with 2 out of 3 coronary arteries being blocked by 20%. The latter was not enough for the specialists to intervene but a wake up call for me! One cardiologist wanted me to lower my cholesterol levels  through medication. When I said to him I would like to try it through diet the answer was: "That is not easy, I wish you good luck".  I really had the idea that there should be a natural way through diet.

Seven months later my conclusion is that a vegetable based diet very low in fats with some grains and legumes is at least as good as being on statins for both the cholesterol level and protection against heart attacks. Taking the side effects into account, I think it is actually much better since the side effects of a healthy diet are much more far reaching than heart disease. Hence I’m no longer using statins and the cardiologist is quite happy with my cholesterol levels.

Apart from achieving good cholesterol levels, improved energy, much better skin and a clearer head, I discovered that the rates of heart disease, strokes, diabetes type 2, cancer and even autoimmune diseases like arthritis, lupus, MS, Crohn’s and more are actually heavily influenced by what we eat. Strangely enough this does not seem common knowledge, not among our specialists either. Currently it is not reflected in our dietary guidelines.'

Update after 14 months on the low fat plant based diet, avoiding all processed foods:  My total cholesterol has come down by 27%, the LDL by 38% without any medication (total/LDL was 5.3/3.4 on 1 Sept 2012 mmol/l = 205/131 mg/dl and on 6/11/2013 this was 3.9/2.1 mmol/l or 151/81 mg/dl); my dry and cracked sometimes bleeding skin is gone; my excess weight has come down about 7 kg. I feel good and energetic and never hungry. I know that salicylates affect me with IBS and severe amplification of feelings, so now I eat any veg but stay away from fruits and garlic and that seems to be OK for me.

 -  Peter, by email. See the full story at http://users.tpg.com.au/freestro/The_Ideal_Diet.pdf

I recently discovered that I have a sensitivity to salicylates after getting a rash (not for the first time) which seemed due to taking aspirin for a cold. In researching what in aspirin I might be sensitive to, I came across numerous articles linking asthma and aspirin, and one case study very similar to mine where a woman thought she was allergic to numerous medications, but it turned out it was only aspirin, and the salicylates in mints that she was sensitive to. Each time I've developed this rash has been when I've had a cold, bad enough that I probably should have stayed home from work. In order to speak with people while working and not cough all over them, I use cough drops, the natural ones, which are loaded with all kinds of mint and mint-related herbs, and usually honey too. This last cold started on Christmas day, and after the cold left I was left with what seemed like asthma like wheezing and coughing, bad enough that I was using two cough drops an hour. Last week I caught another cold, and when I started to get a sore throat I took aspirin, and continued with the cough drops. After two days of aspirin (only about 250mg, maybe twice a day), I developed the rash, and worsening sinus symptoms. Imagine my surprise when in the course of my research I happened upon one of the failsafe websites, and realized how many things I eat and use (I don't like to use chemicals so I've been using natural products that have a lot of essential oils in them) that have high levels of salicylates in them.

Since stopping the cough drops and starting on some version of failsafe, my asthmatic symptoms have really receded, so I hoping some other symptoms will improve as well when I get some of the personal products - such as deodorant and toothpaste - more under control. - Glenda, Canada

When I started on the weight watchers program, everything was going well for the first few days then I developed gastric problems. I was losing weight but I had terrible stomach pains all the time, so I had to give it up after six weeks and the problem stopped. Yes, I was eating their products.  – by email (see similar reports in [873]  [1099]   [1100] etc)

Under the supervision of a dietician, I embarked on my Food Intolerance Journey 2 .5 years ago. I had no idea it would become my ticket to a transformation in wellbeing, energy and better health! I should point out that we are at the extreme end of the spectrum with a heavily restricted diet. A dietician’s fine toothed comb has decreed that it contains all the necessary nutrients that my children need to grow and that I need to train hard and compete well, as an athlete. I am a triathlete, and race triathlon (swim, bike and run). I have just been selected to compete on the (amateur) Australian Team for the Triathlon World Championships, London 2013.” – from NurseNaomi  http://nursenaomi.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/introduction-to-food-intolerances-and-training-as-a-food-intolerant-athlete/

After reading your website, I am wondering whether my mother’s final illness may have been due to nickel allergy. She started having problems with slurred speech soon after going to the dentist, and we all thought it must have been due to something not right in her mouth. She actually went back to the dentist to check. From then on it was downhill all the way. Over 2 nightmarish years she lost her ability to speak, to swallow food or drink including water, and was losing her ability to walk. She was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and chose to end her life by refusing a peg feeding tube rather than to end up completely helpless. – by email.

See factsheet on nickel allergy and other heavy metals

My salicylate-sensitive teenage daughter started having scary episodes at school where she seemed to zone out for 15 minutes or more, staring at the ground, not responding, as well as other longer lasting episodes, where she was confused and shaky, with red cheeks, and described afterwards that she was aware of some things while it was happening, but it was like she was hallucinating. We think of these as hypo-episodes and have tightened up on her diet. They've been diagnosed as absence seizures but a brain scans recommended by a neurologist didn't show any abnormalities. 

The most recent presentation is for things to happen that she cannot remember doing. e.g. one day I found her in the bathroom scrubbing at her arms, trying to remove intricate patterns of drawing from her left arm. She was upset, and said she could not remember drawing it, she first noticed it at lunchtime. The patterns look like those I've seen her draw quite often. She has previously shown me writing in notebooks that she can't remember writing, some of it not in English! This type of episode had been happening along with "absence seizures" and also full-on "hypo-episodes".  We  have not had reports of absence seizures or the hypo episodes for some time, but how can you be sure that the absence seizures are NOT happening; they are so subtle.  Over the time that these episodes have been happening, her maths performance and attitude has dropped off dramatically, to the point that she now refuses to even try. 

Update one year later: When her dental braces were removed, we finally discovered  that our daughter's "unexplainable" neurological issues over 3.5 years had been due to a reaction to the nickel in the stainless steel.  Many things have settled down now, but it's been quite a journey. - by email

How long have you had MS?

I was diagnosed with MS 13 years ago. In retrospect, I think food intolerances have been with me since childhood: I endured terrible growing pains and had my adenoids taken out at 8 years of age because I supposedly talked through my nose. After years of bowel pains and then my MS diagnosis at 15, I finally decided to eliminate dairy foods four years later and noticed a dramatic improvement in my health.

How does MS affect you?

The MS symptoms I experience day to day are mostly sensory symptoms plus fatigue. The sensory changes mostly relate to feelings of cold particularly in my legs (not cold to touch but I perceive them to feel like ice blocks). This sensation changes from being really noticeable (both my legs feel cold 8 on a scale of 1-10) to not much at all (limited to the smallest spot on one leg but hardly noticeable - 2 out of 10). Early last year I went 100% failsafe after a period of not being so strict and after 4 weeks my cold sensations had reduced dramatically to about 1- 2 out of 10.

I have discussed my experiences with my allergist and he said other people with MS he has treated have had positive changes in their symptoms when following the RPAH elimination diet. I certainly notice a difference in sensation and fatigue when being failsafe. It has taken me years to finally accept this because I, like so many, kept thinking how can a meat and potatoes type diet be good for me? (Comment from Sue: it is possible to do a failsafe very low fat vegan diet)

Have you ever tried the standard MS diet?

All research into MS says to eat heaps of fruit and vegies, follow a low saturated fat diet and supplement with fish oils. After years of eating a mostly vegetarian diet, popping heaps of evening primrose oil and fish oil, I can now say that being failsafe is helping me the most. In fact, I follow failsafe eating principles but make sure my diet is low in saturated fat.

Do you have any opinions on Professor Jelinek's recommendations about sunshine?

I have read Professor Jelinek's book and think there is definitely something in the research about sun, vitamin D and calming an overactive immune system. It is quite interesting that over the last 13 years since my MS diagnosis every relapse I have had occurred in winter or very soon after! I certainly feel more energised in summer and even a few rays streaming through our lounge window see me on the floor soaking up the sunshine in winter.

Any hints for others?

I have noticed that taking bicarb soda in water makes quite a difference to food intolerance symptoms, particularly with facial flushing and itchy skin which is one of my more obvious reactions to salicylates, amines and MSG. How or why failsafe works is a mystery to me but I am happy to benefit from the impact it is making on my day to day health.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in August 2011 at the age of 30. An MRI scan showed two large lesions in my brain. Prior to diagnosis, I had experienced the following symptoms over a six year period:  numbness in my arms, itchiness of the upper body, fatigue, loss of taste, blurred vision and very scary double vision.  After diagnosis I had some medical treatment with steroids and interferon but decided to stop this treatment due to the numerous side-effects.

MSscans

Things I did:

Changed to a wholefood diet - 3 plates of vegetables, nuts and fruit per day (no additives, no alcohol, no added sugar, changed soaps for hair and body to natural ones)

  • Eliminated metal I was found to be allergic to (nickel and titanium, www.melisa.com) :

- my nickel dental bridge and root canal tooth  
- titanium dioxide  in my make-up and sunscreen (changed to www.bewellstaywell.com)
- aluminium and fluoride in the town water  (drank only pure spring water)

  • Sunbathed 20 min a day during the cooler months
  • Took supplements
  • Read web pages by others who have recovered from Multiple Sclerosis
  • Researched, researched, and researched.
  • Prayed and praying always.


One year later, the symptoms and brain lesions had gone, see image of brain scans above.  Anyone can contact me via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – thanks to Danelle, who attended the 2013 Albury Fed Up roadshow talk. You can see her full story at http://www.msdietforwomen.com/beating-ms-without-medication-is-possible

See also Factsheet on multiple sclerosis and diet with references

Started my daughter on FS on Wed and I think there are changes already but am I imagining it if it's only been 3 days? So many of the symptoms in Fed-up book are her (low muscle tone, speech/gross/fine motor delay, insomnia...) so am feeling very hopeful right now! - Christie

In our experience, the results were nearly instant. By day 2 half of DD3's symptoms had gone. We thought it was all in our heads... but now 4 wks down the road she just keeps getting better! Good luck:-) - Susie

Mine were the same for the first 4-5 days & then withdrawal symptoms kicked in, especially the sleep issues... We're on day 12, so hoping it is going to get better again soon. Good luck! P.S. speech concerns are getting continuously better! – Di

We saw results in two days. Still have steps backwards but all boys behaviour is so greatly improved we will never look back - Megsie

We saw results straight away as well we also see them immediately if he has something he is not meant to or if he goes into over load ... Good Luck - Olivia

When I took my son off gluten I noticed big improvement starting only 2-3 days later - Ginny

Lots of people see changes quickly. Withdrawals can sometimes kick in and you may start to think you got it wrong, but they do go to - Susan.

See withdrawals factsheet

Want to share - thanks to Failsafe strict elimination diet then ongoing challenges since Nov 2012 (dietitians free rural FNQmedicarelocalcare): no migraine, less anxious, less mood swings, decluttered life and home, learning how to be organised, meditate regularly = makeover. :) – Robin Qld

Just wanted to say, I am having AMAZING results with my 5 year old son!! He has gone from what I would describe as "difficult to handle at times" is now "a delightful child". It is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you so much, it brings tears to my eyes : ). Just wanted to add, school was talking about possibly expelling him about 6 weeks ago. Now he is getting good behaviour certificates! - Nadyne

Thank you for all the effort put into helping others.  I greatly appreciate what you all do, and it has changed my life and my family's life – Nicole


Was joking with my husband about feeling like a 1950’s housewife having to make everything from scratch and not having access to ‘convenience’ foods, I think he quite likes that concept…! - by email, Tas

Fantastic website, have just discovered it & can't stop telling people about it – Michelle

Sue's book has been really helpful with our 2.5 year old boy. He was developing a stutter and drawn out speech impediment, but since we have changed his diet, it seems to have rectified the situation. It is alarming to learn that this was caused by foods - Ryan by email

A comment on the excellent Failsafe community...have had lovely offer from a local lady to supply very fresh eggs for my sons baked egg challenge as well as cook us some failsafe meals when baby no. 3 arrives, and another local lady more than happy to accommodate our requests for a failsafe box of fruit and veg during her co-op market run -- Amelia by email

After 10 days of withdrawal symptoms, our son stopped his 3 years of rage and  ceased his incontinence, night pains and violence. A neighbour saw him sitting still and eating dinner and was so surprised by the calm picture that she asked if we had started training him. Ha ha...gotta love disinhibited neighbours. So thank you to you and Sue. Many many thanks – Elizabeth

 

On Friday 23 August the Food Intolerance Network saw its 5 millionth visitor. Over 4,000 people a day visit for independent information about the effects of food on health, behaviour and learning for adults and children.

 Thank you for providing us with all the info we need, I appreciate it so much - Sue

Wonderful support. I couldn't have done it without your help. "Thank you" just doesn't seem enough! - Sue

The power of social media! I remember finding your website some 9 years ago...it changed our lives! Thank you x - Tina

Oh my goodness - thanks to both you and Sue for your amazing work - and to everyone who so selflessly shares their knowledge and experience - esp Teresa and Tracy! - Vida

Congratulations! Fantastic outcome - Jude

Thank you for providing such a great forum for those needing advice and a place to vent their frustrations and/or happiness. Congrats! - Kim

The number of visits will escalate as more and more people become aware of the dangers of food additives ... thanks also to your roadshows and TV appearances, etc. Thank you for your tireless help and support over the years - Jenny

You are awesome. Thanks for all the support over the years - Sonia.

I was diagnosed with severe salicylate & additive reactions 20 years ago. It turned my life around.  I have been on a strict diet ever since and no longer have the fatigue, headaches, aches & pains etc  I used to experience.  Now and then I slip up and have insomnia and headaches but overall my health is much better.

I was so ill for many years, getting worse and worse with my GP inferring I was a hypochondriac. After a run around with a hormone specialist and a gastroenterologist I was finally seen by an allergy specialist. He seemed to think he couldn't help me until he put me on an elimination diet, and the result was amazing. I felt well for the first time in years.  I have complications in that I have a couple of auto immune diseases - pernicious anaemia and primary biliary cirrhosis. However if I watch my diet, take my pills and get plenty of exercise I keep well. I don't know if there's any connection between my intolerances and my diseases. I am now nearly 71 and going strong - Denise

My son has just been diagnosed with Aspergers. Just wondering if anyone has tried fs or other options for Aspergers such as pres and add free? - Kelee

Not Aspergers/FS as such but I worked with a little boy (5) who has autism and when on a FS diet he was back to all normal development until he had something not on the diet...and then he would literally be in the corner of the room banging his head on a wall and no speech at all - Tallara

My ex-husband had/has Aspergers and when I was able to limit those foods which i knew had negative effect he was a lot more emotionally and socially connected - however as an adult who refused to acknowledge the diagnosis or that FS can work he would often eat foods he was 'addicted to' (bread with 282 was his major addiction).... I honestly believe that if he reduced those foods he was able to cope a lot better – facebook member

Yes my daughter is off completely artificial chemical free, a few natural chemicals she has reacted to I have eliminated.  Nearly completely dairy free and now I'm going gluten free.  She has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's and although this is not a cure it has made amazing changes in her behaviour for the most part. Gluten apparently affects their speech and such and most cannot tolerate dairy - Haylee

Yup we are additive free, I have also found that foods such as bananas can effect his behavior. The kids themselves hate the diet! Esp if they have food aversions. It takes a good week of horrible to see the effects - Carolyn

My autistic boys have several food sensitivities. Fruit, dried fruit, salami/cured meat, 160B is a HUGE one. I avoid MSG(natural ones too). I limit the amount of bread and milk they have- Tess

My aspie son went from sitting under his desk chewing his shirt all day at school (we were told that he'd never pick up a pencil) to an A grade student thanks to fs diet / gluten and dairy free. Best thing we ever did for him - Kim

Went pres, additive, colour free, 99% failsafe, autism tendencies disappeared. Also switched to A2 milk (if can tolerate dairy)-  Kath
I did for my daughter many years ago. It worked - Margo

My son has Aspergers and is on a gluten and dairy free diet and that has helped but the biggest surprise was removing anything red - tomatoes, apples etc - Different child completely without the red. And when I say dairy free I mean all milk products are goat milk products - this diet has helped him majorly with focus and attitude in all areas - Anna

We went Full elimination for my HF Autistic 12 year old son 12 months ago and had amazing results. Teachers could not believe the difference. I only wish we had known about Failsafe when he was younger - Michelle

There are many more Aspergers stories in this collection http://fedup.com.au/images/stories/SCautismAspergers.pdf

I found it hard to start too because I went against everything I thought was "healthy" and my first fs food shop was mainly white and seemed so odd to me, but after 2 weeks of the strict elimination diet and the results are incredible xxx - Deborah

Failsafe isn't about eating healthy, it's about avoiding food chemicals that you have a low tolerance for - or a diagnostic tool of avoidance in order to identify those food chemicals. Completely different thing. You then decide how to eat healthy within those limits (and, yes, it is absolutely possible to do that) - Tracy Gaze

I found the same thing when we started (we are on about week 9 now); it's a mind shift, but the results are absolutely worth it. I am very health conscious and we are able to eat healthily within those limits easily, although I'm so looking forward to being able to expand the range of veggies, even if it's only by a few varieties!! Good luck - it's an amazing journey and I've seen tremendous benefits for myself as well, although it never crossed my mind before this that I could be food intolerant - I was just doing it strictly with my boys to support them! You just never know how many beneficial spin-off's it'll have - Senta

I don't know about the health complications all I know is that my 5 year old cannot tolerate 160b annatto at all: bed wetting, aggression, risky behaviour like running out in front of cars and just all round horrible naught behaviour of course a huge amount of food had this reaction but I have found 160b one of the worst for him (microwave popcorn oh good Lordy it's revolting the reaction) - Deborah

It’s the worst additive for my daughter, she has ADHD and this one makes her have massive, and I mean massive meltdowns! - Donna

My son would bang his head repeatedly on anything hard or prickly eg, the doormat, tiles, concrete etc. he would do this for hours. I suppose he had a headache, but at age 2 he couldn't tell me - Claire

My son also banged his head he was one - Mel

Jittery movements, anxiety, foggy head, eczema - Lynda

My eldest would get weepy and have terrible stomach cramps, would writhe around in agony screaming in pain. I didn't realise for ages that 160b in his vanilla yoghurt was the culprit. As soon as I stopped giving it to him he became a different boy - Kate

My 11 month old would bounce her head repeatedly off the tiles, she was aggressive punching walls etc smacking kids twice her size at daycare. At only 11 months old I was so scared that she had some really bad issue but cut the 160b and she is an angel - Jennifer

See story collection on 160b annatto effects

I just want to say how amazing going failsafe has been. The change in my eldest daughter is beyond anything we ever expected. To see all of our 4 children playing together with enthusiasm and smiles on their faces. Is enough to know this is right for us. Thank you everyone who posts. It’s great to read and also learn new things everyday – Kalista from facebook group

A year ago we realised the same thing! Kids playing nicely?? We had never seen it in the youngest three... now it is common for us, and our family and friends are still commenting.... isn’t it wonderful! So glad for you too! – Ries from facebook group

Congrats! We feel the same way. Sometimes I feel like pinching myself – Megsie from facebook group.

After years of thinking I had a mental illness, being told I had bipolar, filling my body with hideous drugs that made my hair fall out, gave my acne and basically turned me into a zombie and got me to a point where I was totally ready to end my life, I have been totally drug free, symptom free and depression free and manic free since we started FS! I didn’t start FS for me, I was doing it for my boys! 8 months have passed and I haven't bothered to do the challenges myself, I’ve been too busy trying to sort all their issues out. Well this week, I have been testing my boys on the different types of amines. For the last 3 days we have all been eating avocados! OMG THEY ARE SO YUMMY!

I am sitting at my desk today, I feel so horrible. I’m crying at everything, it feels like the world is caving in on me, I feel like nothing is right, I’m anxious, frustrated, angry, sad, ....... Oh that’s right, according to Drs I have BIPOLAR! quick take some drugs!

NOTE TO SELF! STOP EATING AVOCADOS! and remember this horrible feeling will pass as soon as this food is out of my system! – facebook group member.

I will forever be grateful for all the hard work that has been put into devising this program.

One of my 4 kids was just hard hard work, behaviourally I found it so hard to parent this child he had this "haze" that just made it a daily struggle that affected all of us the older kids would be so embarrassed with some of the things my Billy would do and he was dangerous running in front of cars and would chase the school bus everyday, I ended up not taking him anywhere as the looks and comments from people were soul destroying.

We have been FS for 4 weeks and I saw a quick change in this child and he is amazing!!!!! we have spent the school holidays out doing things, restaurants, movies, parks and shopping, I managed to take him food shopping which I would normally avoid like the plague and he was perfect he just held the trolley and walked the isles chatting!!!! He is the most caring, helpful and funny little guy I know and the bed wetting, terrors and restless legs have gone too I just can't believe what a totally different child I have.

I have tears in my eyes thinking about all the times I would just sit and cry because I didn't know what to do and had resolved myself to the fact that I was just a crappy parent, I now feel so very blessed to have to answers so thank you so very much xxxxxx - Deborah by email

I hope no one has a hideous experience like this! My husband was texting me all day from work about how unhappy our marriage was, that he wants to leave and that we've had a good run and should end it now. After not telling the kids that night he was going to leave (as messaged to me that day) and a big sob alone that evening he woke the next day to say he didn't feel like that at all, thought his messages were 'weird' when he re-read them and didn't know why he said all of that. I pointed out to him that his intake of steak, shop yiros and $25 worth of beef jerky sheets in the 48hrs before Monday probably had something to do with it! He thinks so too (amines and / or nasty numbers) He usually watches what he eats but I think he was unprepared for this one! – facebook member 1.

I know I respond very badly to amines in a similar way to your husband. I get very angry and have also talked about ending our marriage during a reaction. It's like I'm possessed, now I know and understand I'm able to bite my tongue and punch a pillow or two but the fights we've had prior to realising the effects were horrid. Thankfully we've made it through – facebook member 2.

I am ashamed to say this is me on chocolate= amines. I am happy to admit this only so you know you are not alone, that my beautiful gorgeous husband suffers as you do. His way is to hear the words that are usually underneath all the rubbish. Most of what comes out those days is what is true for me, but under the surface and never mentioned except those days, so he listens and deals with those things, which is honouring.. .but I am a chick, so that may not be the case for your husband. The guilt and the pain I feel when after a few days when it is all gone is unbearable so I try to stay away if we have eaten chocolate etc. I am learning to understand the difference between real issues and these amine feelings which seem so real! – facebook member 3.

Thanks all for sharing these effects. I recently had a similar experience, having had a very high salicylate meal and wine, thought I'd got away with it, but three days later hit the withdrawal symptoms and had the bloodiest row which really quite frightened me. These are dangerous chemicals! – facebook member 4 (male)

I have been trying to identify this cursed rash for years and your website I believe has finally helped. I prepared fresh chicken soup yesterday using raw chicken and fresh vegetables, however I added three packets of Campbell’s soup to enhance the flavour. Within 30 mins I had the type of reaction shown in the photo attached. Surprise, surprise when I looked at what the packet contained it had 635 and 621 additives. I looked them up on your website and sure enough the symptoms matched. Interestingly the web site mentions that the body’s reaction is not like a real allergy and that bears out from the blood test I had which showed during my reaction the IGE antibody concentration in my blood was within its normal range. This had the doctors scratching their heads.

I have worked away for many years and get reactions generally away from home. This was because I was eating at restaurants and had no control over what went into my food. You can use these photos of me as an example of the chronic reactions you can get to these additives. This was a great web site after having gone to many doctors who were clueless. Some of these reactions can be quite dangerous and worrying when you don’t know what causes it. Now I think at long last I am on it – David from WA.

riborash03     riborash04

See ribo-rash factsheet

See collection of many similar stories

I just wanted to let you know I tried an Olive Leaf Extract (Tree of Health brand) that contains potassium sorbate (preservative E 202) .  I experienced migraines and mood disturbance.  I am sensitive to glutamates, but wasn't aware of any sensitivity to sorbates.  I have tried other brands of Olive Leaf Extract which I have not had a problem with.  I do not have a known salicylate sensitivity. - by email

I was sent with my eldest son to the sleep clinic at Tresillian in Sydney (from Canberra 16 years ago) where they fed him bread, tomatoes and vegemite of the first time in his life. Of course, he got worse!!!

He went down to 4 x 15 minute cat naps in 24 hours and they told me he was just stubborn/difficult and to stay the course. After 8 months of persisting with 'controlled crying', I gave up (thank god!) It was only when I found RPAH that he got any peace. 4 month old babies aren't stubborn or difficult - they react entirely to environmental and dietary input.

The child health clinics need to provide this avenue of info – Sheryl by email.

I came across your web site when I was trying to find out if potassium sorbate could cause sleep disturbances. My sister aged 61 was awake for about three hours and kept repeating the words "I'm terrified" and I believe it was from the potassium sorbate that was in the sweet cider we were using to make her fruit smoothies. She had no headaches for several days, then had one on Saturday. I asked the Aide if she did anything different and she mentioned the cider. I checked the label and saw the preservative. Then that same night my sister was awake with the night terrors. I had also noticed a slight rash on her face and found that the preservative can cause rashes also. I poured all that cider away and bought some that has no preservatives and she slept good for me the last two nights. - Leanda, US, by email

See also [797] 202: Behaviour and night terror induced by potassium sorbate (202) in Panamax (June 2009)

 

I've had nosebleeds from milk since I was a kid; I was raised on powdered and skim milk because of my intolerance. In college I got to experiment (not of my choosing - they didn't have skim milk at the cafeteria); a couple of glasses of full fat milk one a day were tolerable, but any more than that and the nose bleeds started; I could go maybe a week on 2% milk. I don't have any of the normal symptoms of lactose intolerance, and cheese has always been a favorite food and no problem at all. I've never found a good explanation for it, but I can say 100% that fatty milk is the single variable that causes my nose bleeds - Les, USA.

 

 

My husband is very intelligent, sensitive and kind. But for years he has had excessive sexual drive. And when I say excessive I mean excessive. Such as mental pictures of naked women haunting him for hours. I won't get into all the disgusting details (because they ARE disgusting), but our marriage was really in danger, although in every other aspect we get along beautifully. Throughout the years he invested large amounts of money / time / energy in trying to get this under control through psychological treatments etc. However, the change (if any) was disappointingly minor (10% possibly). He was seriously thinking of leaving the love of his life (me) just to find someone who would be willing to have sex twice a day with him... Out of desperation, I suggested he try the same diet our three kids were doing. What could we lose? Maybe the cause would be discovered to be physical rather than mental. On day 6 of Failsafe he had the most severe "attack" ever. We were both sure "the diet was not working" (although we knew very well what may happen on day 5 or so) and I was getting truly hopeless. This was the most severe "attack" he's had for 15 years, and he was more determined on leaving me than ever (about 3 or 4 times as determined as through any other attack - just imagine what I felt...). Luckily, and I don't know where I got the strength, we managed to decide to persevere with the diet for 3 weeks before he makes a final decision. After 24 hours of being in this unbearable condition, he suddenly said "I have a feeling everything will be ok". He kept saying that same sentence every day for 3 days, without really explaining much. Then on day 10 or so he told me his obsession had totally subsided. 90% gone. He became a normal 35 year old man. Now we're on day 25 or so (I'll have to check) and life is beautiful!!! - by email

See also story [1204] on a similar theme

Can you explain to me why we don’t get sick when on failsafe? Something to do with improving your immune system? I practically gloat when everyone around me moans about their colds and flus they have all the time as I don’t get them anymore!! What a relief to not have infections from colds every year now! - Rosemaree (failsafe 8 years), by email

Comment from Sue: see our answer to this very interesting question -

A. It is common for failsafers to report that they no longer suffer frequent colds, flu and recurrent infections once they are established on failsafe eating (e.g. see stories [874] and [848]) - and yes, there is scientific evidence. Studies have shown that certain artificial colours and preservatives act as immunosuppressants, that is, they can actually suppress the immune system, making us more likely to suffer from recurrent infections. This has been shown in the laboratory by Greek researchers with artificial colours tartrazine (102) and amaranth (123) using small doses normally considered to be nontoxic, and by Brazilian researchers with propionic acid which is part of the group that includes bread preservative 282. As well, a US study with beagle dogs showed they were more susceptible to fatal viruses when fed indigotine (132). Failsafers who are salicylate-sensitive know that although we are constantly told to eat fruit to build up our immunity, for us, it works the opposite way. We are better off eating failsafe vegetables such as cabbage as described in the Myths of Fruit.

Scientific references

Koutsogeorgopoulou L and others Immunological aspects of the common food colorants, amaranth and tartrazine.Vet Hum Toxicol. 1998;40(1):1-4.

Wajner M and others Inhibition of mitogen-activated proliferation of human peripheral lymphocytes in vitro by propionic acid.Clin Sci (Lond). 1999;96(1):99-103.

Hansen WH and others Chronic toxicity of two food colors, brilliant blue FCF and indigotine, Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1966;8(1):29-36.

From http://fedup.com.au/information/frequently-asked-questions/diet-questions#sensitive2

I have three kids - a 9.5 month daughter and nearly 7 year old twins (a son and daughter). My youngest is allergic or intolerant to a LOT of things. She is suspected of having Eosinophilic Oesophagitis, which precludes her (and myself as I breastfeed her) from wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts and seafood - plus on top of those allergens, her food intolerance list is a mile long. The only way I have managed to work out what has been troublesome to her is via Fed Up/the support network you have, and working with my dietitian. Our daughter has gone from a screaming, projectile vomiting baby who was borderline failing to thrive, to a generally happy, growing, cheeky little baby who is already starting to talk and nearly walking.

While learning what being FAILSAFE was about, I suspected that maybe we could help our son's impulsive/unsettled/inattentive behaviour, maybe even his bedwetting by looking further into diet. Well, we are only approximately 6 weeks into being fully failsafe and early in the challenges stage, after having removed additives and reduced a lot of them during Term 2, yet his teacher already has noticed the change in him when he is at baseline compared to the challenges. It has improved his confidence and so much more.

In the last 6 months can very confidently say that Fed Up/your network has directly changed my family's life, and many others around me as a result of my experience - Kristan by email.

 

I have coeliac disease, a thyroid problem, IBS, fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance and definitely can only tolerate small amounts of amines, salicylates and glutamates. I was born with many food problems and we are discovering more within our family as we trace back. All my children are affected one way or another. I am 46 and have been through quite a lot, experienced numerous (13) miscarriages prior to learning about my food intolerances. In fact Doctors still outrule this link however myself I feel as I was undiagnosed with the food intolerances then, it was a definite link! - Kim, by email

(Comment from Sue: It is well known - in medical journals - that coeliac disease can be associated with infertility and reproductive health including delayed puberty, early menopause, absence of menstrual periods during normal reproductive years, infertility, recurrent miscarriages and intrauterine growth restriction. See scientific reference below and more on our Women's Health Factsheet

Soni S, Badawy SZ.Celiac disease and its effect on human reproduction: a review. J Reprod Med. 2010;55(1-2):3-8.

Abstract: Celiac disease is an intestinal inflammatory disease that is triggered by gluten in the diet. Patients present with a wide array of symptoms due to malabsorption that include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and weight loss. In women, this disease may have implications on menstrual and reproductive health. The symptom complex includes delayed menarche, early menopause, secondary amenorrhea, infertility, recurrent miscarriages and intrauterine growth restriction. These women benefit from early diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, celiac disease should be considered and screening tests performed on women presenting with menstrual and reproductive problems and treated accordingly. The objective of this article is to review the current literature on celiac disease and its association with the above-mentioned disorders. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20337200)

Thank you for your web page, it has been a glowing light in a dark room – Judith

Totally unprompted our 4 year old said this about "testing the foods on his red list" (salicylate challenge) "they make me feel angry!" - think we will stop the challenge there then :) We had not explained to our son we were doing the elimination diet for his behaviour, he thought it was so he didn't get tummy ache as he knows cheese and chocolate give him a headache and make him sick, so I was astounded when he came out with that! – Kate

My 3 year old son suffered badly from 'toddler diarrhoea' and after paying a fortune on a medical run-around, I fortunately found this diet which has transformed our lives. I am truly grateful – Selena

My second son had IBS all his life, we started FS in Feb and amines were found to be the problem! 4 days on FS and his IBS disappeared; 24 hours on amine challenge and he was screaming in pain! - Tanja

The incredibly positive feedback I am getting from parents is what keeps me handing out your brochures – speech pathologist

It is so good to finally have answers to things that have been plaguing me for years and to be able to help my 2 year old daughter so she doesn't have to suffer any longer – Ruth

Please thank Sue for the life-changing work she does, for sharing your family’s struggle to inspire other families and for the support and education the website provides. It has certainly opened my eyes and helped me to point other parents in the right direction. I can’t believe that western medicos are still not being educated or considering the impact of food on our health - Natalie (www.sleepandsettle.com.au)

The website that you and your wife have created is a wonderful resource for people like me who are struggling to make sense of which foods they can eat and those they cannot. It has been a long arduous journey but l sense that the end is in sight. It is a wonderful feeling - almost of freedom – Cathy by email.

Thank you for your amine and salicylate information sheets. I am working with a dietician who is fantastic however I feel better being armed with as much information as possible. I find all of your information so very helpful to support the RPAH diet for myself and my two children aged 4 & 14 months. - Jennah, by email

Took our own failsafe treats to a wedding that had a lolly bar... My son was by far the best behaved child there ;) - Emma

I was diagnosed with IBS about 2 years ago and told to follow the FODMAP diet to reduce symptoms. The last few months my symptoms flared right up again and so I dragged myself back to the doctors and a dietician and I have now been told I have to cut out salicylates and amines (at least initially) as that is likely to be my problem. After one week on the elimination diet I have noticed a huge improvement, apart from the fact I am missing all my usual fare like spinach, coconut, berries, tomato and the list goes on! I am so grateful though for the relief, I actually feel normal again. Thanks! – Lisa

(see also FAQs http://fedup.com.au/information/frequently-asked-questions/diet-questions#fodmap and http://fedup.com.au/information/frequently-asked-questions/diet-questions#fodmap2)

I have been going along quite well on a fairly strict version of failsafe eating and was feeling pretty confident in my body - which made for a nice change. Last year I even felt confident enough to plan a 6 month trip around Australia with my husband - just considering that as a possibility was a big step for me! So I was thrilled to be able to make it happen. I learnt a lot about living out of a van and cooking and shopping on the road. As our trip was for quite a long time there were a few things that we did in preparation which I felt really helped us with our food planning:

  • We bought a Webber Q BBQ - I knew I would need something which works as an oven so that I could cook roasts for lunch meat, and also for doing baking. After doing some research we felt the Webber Q was the best option for us.
  • We had a rough itinerary so I used that to look up the Coles, Woolworths & IGA websites to get addresses for their stores in each of these towns. This helped me plan on how much I would need to stock up on certain things. I have to avoid gluten so access to GF pasta, rice flour etc was a bit more of an issue for me than it would be for people who can tolerate gluten.
  • We learnt to allow one day every couple of weeks for doing a big cook up of roast meat (for lunch meat) and cakes etc for freezing. This also gave us time to do a shop and do laundry too. We really needed this day just to catch up on things.
  • We did a couple of practice trips before we left - this helped us fine tune things in terms of utensils and groceries that we needed.



One thing which was almost impossible to find in many towns was a source of really "fresh" meat as most butchers only seemed to stock cryovacced meat.

We had a fantastic 6 months - it went so quickly. I hope these hints can help other failsafers to achieve their dream holiday. - Jodie, by email

Husband is gobsmacked! 3 days into failsafe and 10 yr old with oppositional defiance is an angel! Best behaved of all 6 boys!!!!! Too hard to do elimination with 50% custody so have done the maximum changes I can. He's converted to fs bread sambos with nuttelex and golden syrup. All boys are happy with dinners and lunch boxes. We may never know what his intolerances are but even hubby agrees we can live with feeding the boys this way. (We eat later) soo happy WOOHOO!!! Going to start keeping a food and behaviour diary to give to ex wife (most likely to ignore but you never know!!!) – grateful husband, by email

A lovely lady directed me here. I am desperate really. To the point of waiting for a paeds appointment in Sept so they can put my lovely 7.5yr old son on Ritalin. I'm not anti-ritalin but I want to know that I have tried EVERYTHING first before we get to that point. His behaviour is really bad at school and he just isn't coping with life. I am really hoping that a change in diet can go some way to help him control his behaviour – Sarah

Please, please try this diet first before meds. My 7yo teacher thought I had put him on meds within 2 weeks of diet. Not easy, but worth it for no meds - Jenni

I don't do failsafe but cut out additives ie preservatives, colours and flavours, as a way of managing my daughter asthma. When I did it I noticed a great change in my son’s behaviour, he's in kindergarten this year and doing really well, with the occasional down days (usually my fault for slipping with food). So good luck, I noticed results far quicker for my daughter’s asthma, but it did work for sons behaviour, tied in with me trying to be more calm and consistent with managing behaviour. He doesn't have ADD or anything, was just really loud and impulsive, I couldn't manage his behaviour all the time which was frustrating and he's even noticed he feels better. Good luck, well worth a try - Kate

I agree Jenni. Nothing to lose trying, 2 weeks is what it took to rid my daughter of a 6 month long cough, I think it took so long to see results with son because preschool 2 days a week were feeding him anything. Once he left results were far better. My daughter’s preschool are fantastic at modifying my daughters diet to suit her needs, no probs there - Kate

At our house, the diet means the difference between absolute madness, and a lovely, calm, inspiring life! Well worth trying, and although it's hard initially and although the process overall may take a little while, you are likely to see results quickly. Amongst many other benefits, my own fibromyalgia pains disappeared inside a week (wheat and dairy in my case)... I was furious that nobody had mentioned it to me before :0) – Susanne

This is definitely worth a try Sarah Definitely!! - Sonia

Sarah I think it's awesome your trying this first. As a psych student and previous carer I question meds. The impact it has is devastating. I finally have a child carer at school who agrees in the difference in my son’s behaviour on diet. I wouldn't consider my son anywhere need ADHD etc but the difference b/w diet and off diet is VERY different that this carer (as teachers are oblivious) now says “what have you added this week?” - Julie

Good luck Sarah, my son has ADHD and was prescribed 2x 10mg Ritalin daily. His teacher last year wanted us to increase the dose. We pulled in our failsafe reins, and although we're not as strict as we could be, he is now on 1x 10mg Ritalin daily and it's JUST enough to help him through school – another Sarah

It's worth a try. My 4 year old was a right little monster, almost ODD. I have taken out colours, preservatives and flavours haven't done the whole fs diet but this has worked wonders. He can concentrate now flow directions his per prep teachers have seen a massive improvement. We can also tell when he had had something that he shouldn't. Give it a go it is worth a try - Tracey

Thank you so so much for your encouragement xx - Sarah

Do It!!! I had a terrible prep year did the elimination and turns out she is intolerant to colours and sals. It was literally Jekyll and Hyde with her now we have calm and peace and sometimes she starts to slip and we pull the reins up on the sals , absolutely amazing the difference in food can make - def worth doing! My only regret is that I lost 6 yrs living with her like that and that the behavior specialist never mentioned food I had to think of that myself – Michelle

So true. We loosely follow this diet too. Behaviour was crazytown then we went on the very strict elimination diet and i did notice a big change. As my son has gotten older we have gone down the ritalin path but I’m convinced that diet is related. Do ALL U CAN. I don’t believe 1 thing works- it’s a combination of love, support, diet, routines, boundaries and sometimes medication. oh and a good paed! - Narrissa

I find it strange that no health professionals ever mention diet as a way of managing issues. You'll need the encouragement Sarah, it's a daunting thing to start, but 12 months down the track you'll wonder what all the fuss is about. My main issue ATM is the canteen at school. For some reason having mum put a fun thing in your lunch box is not as fun as getting it yourself at the canteen. But you'll find what works for you and learn some new negotiating skills along the way - Kate

I know!!! I got my DD was explosive and suggested books to read which we're nothing more than ways to tip toe around her - not one mention from anyone about food until I had the light bulb moment and googled "food child behavior " and my whole life changed… Oh and the canteen why oh why do they make lemonade slushies blue it's so unnecessary it's infuriating - Michelle

Thankfully my son’s canteens don't do slushies, I'd never hear the end of it! The canteen guidelines in NSW (red amber and green) are a joke, the kids only buy the amber foods, which in large amounts is ridiculous and almost everything in my sons canteen is classified as green or amber but are loaded with additives - Kate

I'm from the UK but live in Oz. I find the guidelines here for kids food MINDBLOWING! - Sarah

We have red amber green too but only red on Fridays she can't have anything without backlash. I found a microwave travel bowl that I heat last night’s tea in and send it with an extra hot heat pack to keep it warm I thought we were far more educated than what's available on the canteen list grrrr - Michelle

We tried fail safe with my 6yr old wasn’t working after a week of gluten free wow new child - Bec

Good luck, it’s challenging at first but so amazing when you see the results a few weeks later. We've been doing it for nearly 3 years, it becomes a way of life - Nora

Oh lovely, it's saved us, and it sounds like you are where we were. Welcome. You won't regret it xx – Susan

My 5.5 year old still wets the bed (and has anger issues and self control problems etc) so we are setting up to start the diet. But could I expect the possibility of him stopping wetting the bed in the process. Is that normal thing to expect? - Bree (Later: diet was not enough, as Bree said “we have a bed wetting alarm but he is too immature to use it, he undoes it and pulls his pants down”)

Within a week, my little one stopped bedwetting and stopped having night terrors. For years, both would only happen as part of a reaction. It can happen - Tracy

I don't know when he stopped because I wasn't expecting it, but I just figured he would grow out of it when he was ready, wasn't expecting diet to affect it. I should also add that when we challenge him or re-introduce sals the bed wetting at night starts again - Selina

My daughter was just short of 4 when we started failsafe and stopped wetting the bed within 2 days. Only time she wets it now is when she has amines or preservatives in high doses - Danielle

So for bed wetting it is all or nothing. I am just doing low sals at the moment so is it unlikely I will see a change until I go all out? - Bree

If sals is the only thing your child reacts to it may work....but if there is other reactions then maybe not....or it may not be the food at all. Good luck! - Danielle

My son started bed wetting when we went failsafe because he was sleeping too well. It only lasted a few weeks. Something to think about?? - Eilis

I am still learning about failsafe and there is a lot to learn. Could someone explain how the food affects the children to wet the bed. Is it because they constantly wake during the night due to being restless? Thanks in advance - Melody

For us Melody it just seemed to go hand in hand with poor sleep, restless, unsettled behaviours day and night. But not sure why really. My daughter stopped wetting the bed and slept through the night for the first time ever when we started failsafe, so we just assumed it was diet related!? And when she eats the wrong things the restlessness, night wakings and bed wetting comes back. I wonder if it has anything to do with muscle tension or control or something? Have never thought about it. Great question! - Danielle

Our son stopped at aged 8 in the first two weeks of full elimination, and it was a clear sign for sals, and preservatives for us when challenging, he also had bowel control issues with these as well (the sneaky poo's) our son slept through deeply before failsafe, but now seems an easier waker, as he can tell us about what goes on after bed, but has remained dry on failsafe, so no that theory might not work either - Ries

Two of mine stopped wetting when we started FS. This weekend was a non failsafe weekend as they were at their Dads. Woke up this morning, one wet bed! - Tanja

See more at http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/bedwetting

I'd be really interested to hear people's experience with withdrawals in relation to behaviour, eg timing of it, how long it latest etc. also, if a high chem food is eaten in error, does it take weeks to get back to baseline again? Thanks – Rebecca

My son’s withdrawals initially were day 5-7 then again at the end of week 2. Depending on the slipup it reactions can last a week, especially if there's a few slipups together - Vanessa

I find it's bad for about four days, then day 4 or 5 is a revelation, amazingly good (I think I had one of those yesterday). Then a bit up and down til day 10, Day 10 can be a bit rough, and another revelation from then on, and even better after 3 weeks. Mind you I've read some things - like milk, for dairy responders, can take months to leave the system completely - Lynette

My son took 2 weeks and then he was so much happier and healthier. However I rang the dietitian at the end of week 1 telling her that his behaviour was terrible, but then we made it past the withdrawals and it was worth it - Kerri-Ann

I found that with the salicylates challenge my eldest daughter took reacted within about 2 days and then it took a week to get back on track, but when we did the amine challenge it took at least a week for her behaviour to change and at least 3 weeks to get her back on track with the FS diet – Bronnie

see more at http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/withdrawal-symptoms

A dietitian put me on a simplified version of the RPAH diet 9 months ago. I'm fine on a very restricted diet, but am finding that fumes (strong flowers and incense) are immediately producing the same symptoms. As a nun, there are times when I can't avoid them. Do you have any experience with nose filters, which I see advertised on the internet (I was looking at the First Defense Nasal Screens). I wondered if they would do the trick, and enable me to be exposed to some fumes without being hit by the ghastly symptoms. It would be great if they work, as I’m currently having to sit outside our part of our Chapel for Mass when the priest uses incense, and I’d much rather be inside. (Even so, I can still smell the fumes in the room almost 24 hours later, and it is affecting my health for the rest of the week ­ brain fog, fatigue and sometimes a migraine too.)

Two months later ... Good news! The nasal screens have worked really well for me. I’ve been able to try them 5 days in the past week. It took some getting used to putting them on correctly so my breathing wasn’t impeded, but I’ve improved with practice. I have been able to remain at least an hour in a room with incense, strong solvent glue, and even clean the brass with Brasso, all with no ill effects. During that week I had one day when I was exposed to Pledge furniture polish for about 5-10 minutes and didn’t have the nasal screens on. The result? Within minutes I was confused, unable to think clearly, rather irrational, and then wasn’t up to doing much for the next day or so.

I’m really delighted with the result. It means I should be able to safely make a trip to an important meeting in Australia, which I was a bit apprehensive about, as the thought of being in a planeload of perfumed bodies didn’t exactly please me. If anyone else has a really bad scent sensitivity that is preventing them from doing important things, I would recommend they give the nasal screens a try. The manufacturer said you can actually wear a pair for up to 24 hours ­ I haven’t needed to try that, as I can usually control my exposure, but I did have them on for nearly 13 hours one day.

I eventually obtained mine through the US Company, as the Australian Distributor didn’t reply to any of my emails. They only took 5 days to get to me in NZ, so that was fine. - by email, NZ

I recently took my 97 year old aunt out for dinner at her local bowling club. About half an hour after eating, she suffered an attack of a severely itchy rash that comes and goes and was diagnosed a year ago as shingles. I checked with the club and sure enough there was 635 in the gravy she had eaten (in a catering flavour base called beef booster). I also found out that she regularly eats canned soups with 635. It seems to me that the 'shingles' could be ribo rash, but trying to explain that to her is difficult. When she was born in 1916, canned soups and gravy were safe to eat and doctors were gods whose wisdom was not questioned. – Sue, NSW

See also factsheet on adults and food intolerance

I'm 22 years old and have always had issues with anxiety, and since I was in my early teens I've suffered from bowel problems. I saw a doctor about it a few years ago who diagnosed me with IBS and said there wasn't much I could do. I was put on the fodmap diet and saw some improvement, but my anxiety seemed to get worse. Then my Mum told me about you because she had some kids at school trialling the diet to treat their ADHD.

I bought your book and I felt like you were writing about me and my family! All of us have symptoms of food intolerance: my sister who is hypoglycaemic and prone to mood swings and my brother who is withdrawn, quiet and unmotivated. I could relate to so many of the symptoms: reflux as a baby, constant ear infections as a child, anxiety and OCD habits (handwashing, wringing my hands etc) and in my teenage years I felt distracted, foggy brained, unmotivated and developed depression in my last year of high school.

Since I've started the elimination diet there has been a slow improvement, and it wasn't until I considered everything together that I realised how much better I feel. I could go on forever with the improvements! I don't feel drunk or dizzy anymore, I don't take 5 wrong turns when driving to the shops (used to happen all the time), I can concentrate at uni and feel more awake, I am calm and so much happier, don't snap at my boyfriend over silly things AND my stomach cramps and bloating are gone: I have normal bowel movements for the first time in years!!!! My boyfriend has been really supportive and did the diet with me, not expecting much. I saw changes in him from the first week- he is happier, calmer and more enthusiastic about life. He even said to me when we reintroduced sals that he felt like his patience got much shorter and he had trouble sleeping.

I've only done two food challenges so far: I tested dairy first, since I had thought for years that I was lactose intolerant, and passed. I've just completed the sals challenge and it seems to be a culprit. I went for a week feeling fine, though I did have a little bit of dermatitis on my hands and a day where i felt sad and a bit hopeless. I kept on because I wanted to be more certain, and it didn't take long! From around day 8 I felt tired, distracted and 'drunk while driving' again, I slept over 10 hours each night but woke feeling exhausted, snapped at my boyfriend over nothing and had trouble controlling my body temperature, like I had a cold. It has taken me around 3 days to start feeling better, but I am already feeling more lucid. I'm just so excited to finally know where to start to feel better :) Finding out about the RPAH elimination diet and the Food Intolerance Network has made me realise that feeling like a drunken sailor every day is not "just the way I am" and that it is possible to have a fog-free brain and a calm, happy life! :)

Thanks so much Sue, for everything that you're doing to help people feel well, and helping kids to avoid a life of medication and labels! - Isobel, by email

We were previously struggling with our eldest daughter, she was five at the time and we were concerned about her difficulties sleeping and her behaviour. As a baby she was quite unsettled, something we didn't realise until our second daughter was born and actually settled and slept well, showing us it was possible!  Due to family history of depression I was also worried about my daughters' future and began reading to find out if food could be an answer.  We originally went almost sugar free for one year and saw some improvement (most likely due to cutting out most fruit and making most food from scratch) but knew there was more going on.

We discovered Failsafe 14 months ago while we were spending almost a year travelling Australia, I cried reading the story of your little girl, she sounded just like ours in many ways.  Following Failsafe our little girl started going to sleep at night, her extended meltdowns disappeared, she played nicely and didn't overreact to little problems, she came out of a fog and listened to us, she slept at night without nightmares, she didn't cry when her sock was twisted inside her shoe!
Doing FS while travelling in our camper was great- no invites to birthday parties, no school, we just ate our own food and could watch our little girls as we challenged- dairy in Broome, Sals in the Kimberley, Amines at Uluru. Our eldest daughter and myself failed the same things (sals, amines, glutamates) and our youngest daughter and dad passed them all.

Our daughter has now started school and is thriving, pre-FS I didn't think she would cope with school. So many little and big improvements have occurred for our daughter and for myself that we are only reminded of them now when we make a mistake with our food.  We also returned home from our trip pregnant, conceived naturally (we had previously needed fertility treatment) and have a new baby boy.

We credit Failsafe with changing the whole dynamic of our family, our kids are still ratbags at times but they respond to discipline now and we are not despairing of how to raise them, we are enjoying them so much - Bonnie by email

Our family had a brief encounter with the elimination diet in the mid nineties and then another longer one some time after 2000. Never supervised. We considered ourselves to be living a healthy lifestyle, eating lots of fruit and vegies, enjoying an alcoholic drink at times but not excessively and we all exercised regularly. Food additives ended up on the forbidden list. Energy levels were really on the low side for our age but that only made us try harder to live the way we thought health should be achieved. Of course there were some other problems too but they weren't very big or we just never got to the bottom of them and had given up really. Yes, we had eliminated salicylates from the diet at some stage but it looks like we missed the changes in ourselves. Perhaps a supervising dietician would have been able to keep us on track.

More than ten years after the first attempt at the diet, in order to cope with the stresses of my job, I decided that I would eat only fruit at lunch times, lots of healthy oranges and other fruit. A fair bit of fruit really because I was exercising about 2 hours every day as well. In the evening I cooked heaps of tasty vegies (taste means often high in salicylates) ...

A week later, I happened to meet a young lady and we had a chat. Later on in the week I met her again, just before she headed off to live 600km in one direction. At the end of the week I was off to live similar distance in the opposite direction. Again we had a chat.

A few days after the last encounter with the young lady I kept thinking about her. On the first day this seemed a bit amusing, like being in love but it was getting stronger and stronger and soon a reality check happened. What the hell am I doing?

1. I am a married man with children, I don't need this.
2. I hardly know anything about her, we had two brief chats and at the time I wasn't really terribly interested. Nothing happened between us.
3. She never showed an interest in me, this is just fantasy.

It got worse and worse. My thoughts came back to her all the time. Every 5 minutes of every day for the next 15 days. I saw her face, went back to the relatively few sentences we exchanged, went over them time and time again. Going around in circles. It happened during the day, when going to bed and it was also the first thing I thought of when waking up in the morning. Everything reminded me of her. Strong feelings were boiling up in me, automatic and unstoppable. Emotionally I was on edge. It was hard to concentrate at work, it was hard to listen in meetings. It was getting between my family and me.

There seemed to be no end to it. I had lost control but I could not explain why, which of course made it worse because I could not do anything about it. I was eating healthy food, exercising heaps, cut out the last alcohol because life was troubling me already as it was. No coffee, no tea, no additives, no smokes. I felt that I was close to going crazy or was I crazy already? I used to pride myself on thinking logically and having a very practical outlook on life. What had happened to me?

The move at the end of the week to another town brought a change in diet with it. Still a fair bit of fruit, but less. My brain got marginally better but would still be bad for another 12 days. By that time Sue's DVD "Fed Up with Children's Behaviour: how food and additives affect behaviour" had come in and I watched it several times. Then the penny dropped, perhaps it was salicylates? Perhaps we had missed salicylates the first two times playing with the elimination diet. I cut fruit out of my diet immediately since I was desperate to get back to normal. It took another 2 plus weeks before I started to consider myself normal again. Other things improved too: singing voice better and more consistent than ever, sticky poos less of a problem, sleep improved, bloating reduced, feeling of incomplete evacuation reduced.

This was the closest encounter I've ever had with a run-away brain. Needless to say, it was not a constructive part of our marriage, however, we have survived. This story embarrasses me extremely but perhaps others can benefit from it ... - by email

I am reporting a reaction to a can of Campbell's "Chicken & Corn" condensed soup. The flavour was very pleasant, but an hour or so after consuming it, I developed a very unpleasant headache and eventually felt ill enough to go straight to bed without my usual shower. I was O.K. by next day and didn't develop a rash. My wife, who also enjoyed the soup, was untroubled.

The can was marked in bold type as having no MSG, but I found "Flavour Enhancer (E635) in the list of ingredients. I phoned their Customer Service line and they were quite sympathetic but pointed out that they did list the flavour enhancer amongst the ingredients. As indeed they did, and spelled-out too, not disguised as a yeast extract or something similar. I expressed my opinion that it was somewhat deceptive, though, to label the can as not containing MSG when it did contain a close relative.

A survey of their other soup varieties seemed to show that anything with chicken in it was liable to also include E635, but the vegetable soups such as Cream of Pumpkin, Celery, Asparagus etc were free of it. - Dennis aged 87, by email

Both of my children both suffered from eczema. My son was diagnosed as infantile eczema at 10weeks old. I had discovered that before failsafe that what affected his eczema was lactose, legumes, nuts and coconuts. I had his skin perfect before going failsafe for his ODD and Hyperactivity. Seems that allergies can play a huge part in eczema so I have found. Now, that he is not on failsafe anymore, I have noticed he gets really severe eczema in the creases of his elbow and behind knees. I have put it down to 635 as he works at McDonalds and eats more junk food.

My daughter had milder type of eczema so wasn't too much of a concern. However, when she started eating more junk foods, she started with a small itchy red rash on her leg, then it spread to both legs, moving upwards towards her face. I had a suspicion it was 635 that did this. It was still getting worse even though she had stopped eating anything with 635. She took oral steroids, but as soon it wore off, it came back again. I took her to my appointment with my allergist and he had a look at her legs and said 'reactive eczema' and to eat 'what your Mum eats' to get it down. I had already done elimination diet many years ago with my daughter and found that glutamates and high levels of salicylates affected her. So I simply just cut out the salicylates and glutamates and within 2 weeks the rash had gone. She then slowly introduced the salicylates again and tries to avoid glutamates as much as she can. She can now pick it if she eats something that has 635 as she gets extremely itchy legs which bleeds - Teresa, Victoria.

I would like to say a very big thank you for helping change not only my son's life dramatically but in turn the whole family.

Last year I put my eight year old boy onto your elimination diet. Before the diet my son was in trouble at school every day, he was argumentative, angry, hyperactive and overall his behaviour was negative and every day was a huge struggle. After discovering that he reacts severely to preservatives, colours, salicylates and amines, his overall well being has completely changed.

Not only is the household a much more calmer place now, also so is his class room. He would of been considered to be one of the naughtiest children in the class but now he is achieving amazing results at school. He competed in the National Maths Competition and got a distinction (finished in the top 11 % in all of Australia), he also achieved very highly in the Naplan and has amazed his music teacher by performing songs that are way above his year level.

Not only is he a much happier boy, so are his siblings and both my husband and I. Not only has this diet given him a much better chance for a successful future he is living testimony that this diet is truly life changing.  - Paula

We are on day 13 of our elimination (not GF or DF) and we have definitely noticed wonderful behavioural differences in our 3 boys - my MIL came to babysit last night and ate our FS dinner of rissoles (filled with hidden veg!), chips, steamed beans & pear sauce. She loved it (she saw the hiding of the vege in the rissoles as well so I think she was pleased with that as well). Then when we got home, she said she couldn't believe the difference in the boys and didn't know quite how to describe it but said they were quieter, happy to just talk/play without fighting, eager to listen when having a conversation - all in all, that she fully supports us now and wants to know how she can help! She said she's always seen the sweet side of the boys nature but now it's their nature almost all the time! Thank you Bree for telling us about FS! – Eleanor from facebook group

Some of these reports came from readers after a Medical Journal of Australia article questioning the value to low salicylate diets. Details of the article can be seen at https://www.mja.com.au/insight/2013/22/salicylate-diet-claims-unconvincing

• We've noticed a HUGE difference in our son's temper tantrums and violent tendencies! - Julie, NSW

• We have been really pleased by the change in behaviour of our 8 year old son who is diagnosed with Aspergers (and ADHD). His oppositional tendencies in particular have markedly reduced - Marg, by email

• We are day 6 into the elimination diet, and having amazing results. My son (8yrs) was diagnosed with Aspergers a few weeks ago and within days a lot of his symptoms are reducing. The meltdowns are nothing to what they were. Plus, the skin rashes are almost gone too, yet we are still working on the night time bed wetting – Nicole from facebook group

• We've been on a low Salicylate diet for only a couple of weeks now and the change in my son is absolutely remarkable. For the first time this year he is having his first full day at school today. His attention-span and distractedness is still an issue, but to a lesser degree - Jo from facebook group

• The proof is in the pudding so they say and [my son] is the pudding! - Amy

• Low sals diet is "harmful"?? Who on earth did they pick for their sample? It certainly wasn't any of us! Nor any other of the thousands of very healthy, happy failsafers out there - Naomi

• No one asked me here in NZ. I've been nearly 60 yrs trying to find out what was wrong with me. Even the immunologist couldn't help. Now I have energy to burn! - Di

• Hmm bubble and squeak with rice popped chicken and pear crumble, for pudding . Philli and pear mountain wraps and boiled egg for lunch. Shocking diet. I would much rather eat processed ready meal with chips, coke and lcm bars for lunch. Ah throw a slush puppy in as well. Insert sarcasm. Yes this diet is limited but it is short term. Surely all of us are a diverse sample group with no bias other than wanting the best for our loved ones. You can keep your 5 veg 2 fruit wheat and processed marg. I will stick to my butter, pears, and cabbage – Carrie

• Just skimmed their article now, it's HIGH time there was some decent clinical studies put forward, particularly in the light of these criticisms (can lead to eating disorders?!) and the emphasis on NSW being "where these diets happen" ie a stab at the RPAH. I wish the RPAH would do their own retrospective study. Why don't they??? It's been years since they published anything at all on their work and what they do is positively life changing, not "harmful" in the slightest. I must say this study has made me extremely angry - Naomi

• They can come and study my violently sal intolerant kids. At 6 months, one of my sons cried for 8 hours after eating a small serve of mashed pumpkin. Even tiny amounts of mod sal foods like carrots and sweet potato brought on massive rashes and stomach aches. Wish sceptical people could see this stuff - Veronica

• Google "PubMed urticaria salicylates" and there is actually quite a bit there - some is food intolerance and exclusion diet but not specifically food salicylates, some is specifically aspirin, but urticaria from food salicylates is there too eg http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6148685?report=abstract - Tracy

• There are a few things that jump off the page to me, the definition of "harmful" is one and also the insinuation that elimination diets are linked to eating disorders. Do these "doctors" have any idea about the causative issues relating to eating disorders? Because from what I recall from the Mental Health side to my (nursing) degree, the evidence base clearly stated that they are very much linked to a myriad of non-food related issues – Naomi

• Diet success stories include recovery from eating disorders after going failsafe. http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/eating-disorders-and-food-intolerance. I can see how an elimination diet done incorrectly or handled badly could trigger eating disorders in those at risk - Tracy

• When faced with the alternative of taking mind altering drugs long term, I'll live with the small chance of minor nutrient deficiencies from a limited diet thanks. The failsafe diet as far as I know is actually quite a balanced diet if done properly - Lydia

• This is the best thing I have done for my son . He is a new man. All I can say is that he eats 100% better and a well balanced diet than most kids I know – Tanya

See more stories and science on the salicylates factsheet

A full story collection of effects of salicylates (83 pages, October 2015)

Two stories that readily come to mind about food and speech are:

First, a new client, 4 year old boy. When I was assessing his language comprehension, which involved him looking at 4 pictures on a page, and pointing to the picture I was speaking about, this young boy merely pointed to all 4 pictures on each page, counting "1, 2, 3, 4". I honestly thought he had huge cognitive issues.

His mother rang me the following day, asking for help, reporting that he had wandered off the previous night, and been picked up by the police on the highway. At our next appt., this amazing mother had made huge changes to this boy's diet!!! And when I asked her why she was being so proactive, she reported that she was a science teacher...and it all made sense!!!

Well, within 6 months, this young boy's standardized assessment subtest scores went from 1 and 2 to 11-13...(normal limits for standardized scores being 7-13. And I am not that good a Speechie!!!)

Second, another new 4 year old client's mother handed me the Paediatrician's report, which mentioned that he had severe eczema. He was also very active!! I immediately handed her your network brochure and latest Food Additives to Avoid card.

Again...this incredibly proactive mother set about making huge changes to her son's diet. Several weeks later, as he sat and attended well during our Speech Path session, his mother reported that, as I could see, he was now sitting and listening, and was also doing as he was asked at home.

She then went on to tell me that last winter, her son had been seeing a dermatologist in Melbourne, who had instructed her to not only put a particular cream onto the rashes on his arms and legs, but to then wrap his arms and legs in wet bandages.

She reported that when she refused to use wet bandages because it was winter, she was told she was non-compliant. This young boy's mother smiled with such delight, as she told me that since making your suggested changes to his diet, his eczema had completely gone.

I have to hold back tears when I hear such wonderful success stories...especially after explaining to the parents that I have no training in this area, but am just passing on your information to empower them to make a difference – Jane, Victoria

chipsColes

I have severe racing heart after consumption of MSG or free glutamic acid. Last year I put in a complaint to Qld Health who then went to Vic Health re Coles chicken flavoured chips, with no success. The chip packet boldly stated NO ADDED MSG.

I knew MSG was in the chips (due to my heart racing over 200 bpm) but no doubt it was contained within the other 6.. numbers (ingredients: hydrolysed vegetable protein (corn), flavour enhancers 627, 631). Qld health had the chips lab tested and as I already knew due to my racing heart, found MSG in the chips but it can't be proven the MSG in the chips was ADDED separately

I am now so sensitive to glutamic acid that two months ago I had to go to emergency on 2 occasions had to be injected with adenosine to get my heart back from 238 bpm to a more normal 70 bpm. I am also on verapamil 180 sr prescribed by my cardiologist to try stop this happening. However even on the medication it has still happened twice but the racing heart doesn't last as long ... only 35 mins of 200bpm. Pff! (As opposed to 1.5hrs over 200bmp, prior to being on the verapamil). I have since started going to Emergency when this happens - when the glutamic acid is hidden - do I really want to test my heart out that much before suffering cardiac arrest!

Note this happens when MSG is HIDDEN within foods. It is such a minefield; as you never can tell where it's hidden and they don't make it be labelled. This was never a problem for me ingesting MSG till approx 6 years ago. As you said, maybe the 635 has made this worse. - by email, Qld

(Comment from Sue Dengate: in this case, the food manufacturers are being deliberately ingenuous. Of course they know they are adding MSG in the form of hydrolysed vegetable protein rather than flavour enhancer 621. The other 600-number flavour enhancers - 627, 631, 635 - are MSG-boosters designed to boost the effects of any MSG up to 10 or 15 times, so you are much more likely to be affected by those than 621. Anyone who wants to avoid MSG should avoid any flavour enhancers e.g. 620-635. This pretty much means sticking to plain healthy food and cooking for yourself, which of course is now recommended for weight loss, cancer prevention and a whole host of other health problems.)

More Articles ...

  1. [1196] Happy 21st for failsafe – second story (March 2013)
  2. [1195] Happy 21st for failsafe – one (March 2013)
  3. [1194] One-liners (March 2013)
  4. [1193] Avoiding salicylates, amines and additives reduces rosacea symptoms (February 2013)
  5. [1192] Encopresis due to salicylates and amines (February 2013)
  6. [1191] Encopresis due to salicylates, dairy and gluten (February 2013)
  7. [1190] Soiling every day (February 2013)
  8. [1189] Wetting for 18 months, now up to 9 days dry on diet (February 2013)
  9. [1188] Encopresis and leaking with five siblings, fixed by diet (February 2013)
  10. [1187] One liners (February 2013)
  11. [1186] Amines cause cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), ADHD symptoms (February 2013)
  12. [1185] 'Miracle cure' for food intolerance (February 2013)
  13. [1184] Diet "instead of living in a war-torn home" (February 2013)
  14. [1183] Headed for a life of labels (February 2013)
  15. [1182] Not a perfect school canteen "but much better" (February 2013)
  16. [1181] "The food ... in the tuckshop is just awful" (February 2013)
  17. [1180] 621: Lack of sleep and vivid nightmares (February 2013)
  18. [1179] Failsafe high school graduation success: one of the highest OPs in her school (February 2013)
  19. [1178] 621: MSG and foggy brain, heart arrhythmia, arthritis (February 2013)
  20. [1177] Asthma under control due to low salicylate diet (February 2013)
  21. [1176] Salicylates, benzoates, additives linked to asthma, ADD, headaches (February 2013)
  22. [1175] 621: MSG, appetite, cravings and obesity (February 2013)
  23. [1174] Withdrawal symptoms occur in the first 2 weeks of the diet – 12 reports from failsafers (February 2013)
  24. [1173] Mast cell activation disorder (January 2013)
  25. [1172] 621,635: Red blotchy welts all gone (January 2013)