I still remember sitting on the floor of our bedroom, holding my daughter London as she screamed at the top of her lungs trying to continuously hit me. It brings a flood of emotions when I think about that season of life. It happened daily.
For weeks, even months, I was at a complete loss as to why my 3-year-old was having these violent, out-of-control episodes. They happened often. I couldn’t go anywhere in fear they’d happen in public. I was constantly on edge, questioning if I was a good mother, and worried for my daughter.
Then one night, while on vacation in Florida, after a horrible outrage that my whole family saw, I discovered something. Until this point, no one really knew what we were going through and certainly hadn’t seen London in this way. They just said she was “strong-willed.” But this was so much more than being strong-willed and I knew it. I remember I couldn’t sleep and I was crying, praying for an answer, so I did what most people do. I Googled it.
Now I’d done this a thousand times already, but this time I thought maybe something in her diet might be affecting her. Just maybe. And that’s when I found the article that changed everything.
Realizing the effects food has on our body, I began researching the way a child’s diet can affect their behavior. I came across an article that talked about children and gluten intolerance. It listed several symptoms that were an exact match of London’s:
- stuffy nose
- chronic cough
- waking with bags under his eyes
- red ears
- respiratory issues
- bouts of diarrhea
- constant fatigue
- light sensitivity
- noise sensitivity
The article went on to include the following behavior problems:
- “rage” fits. They are like 10x worse than your basic tantrums!
- physical – hitting, kicking
- general unhappiness/sadness
- easily “set off”
I’ve always been very conscientious of what we feed our girls, so their diets were already pretty clean. But I knew I had to at least give it a try and see what a gluten-free diet would do for her. The worst case scenario was that it would be something we could rule out. Best case scenario — we might see some reprieve with our little girl’s behavior. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to eliminate gluten, but as a mother, it was undoubtedly worth it!
Whether that switch was turned on or off, she became a new girl as soon as the gluten had been filtered from her little body. Within 2 weeks I saw a huge difference in her.
London’s out of control tantrums stopped almost immediately and completely. She was just back to normal 3-year-old tantrums! Those seemed like a breeze compared to what I was dealing with before. London seemed more clear minded and once again became so much more pleasant.
I even had a friend comment on how her eyes seemed brighter and she just seemed happier. It was such a relief to find out what was going on and to be able to make small changes in her diet to help her feel better.
What seemed like a daunting task 3 years ago is simply a way of life for us now. Now our whole family is gluten-free. I don’t have to be, but I feel so much better since removing gluten from my diet. I have less bloating, my skin is clearer, and I have more energy. And thanks to London, it sparked a fire in me to pursue a career in nutrition. It motivates me every day to share my knowledge about nutrition and how to properly fuel our bodies to function at its best. It’s been a journey that I wouldn’t change. I’ve been able to help hundreds of women in their own journey towards health.
Everything we eat impacts our body.
Food’s effect on our body is POWERFUL. I’m so thankful I discovered London’s gluten intolerance. Has it been easy? No. But I can unequivocally say it has been more than worth it!
Medication was a last resort for us because those have such high side effects as well. We wanted to see if gluten was truly causing her behavioral issues first. And more often than not medications just cover up symptoms and don’t truly treat the cause of what is going on.
If your child is having behavior issues or chronic allergy issues, I encourage you to explore the possibility of food sensitivities, environmental sensitivities, etc, instead of medications. Wouldn’t you rather know the CAUSE instead of just trying to treat it?