Sensitivities to artificial chemical additives can be difficult to explain to those who have not seen (or understood) the effects first hand. Generally speaking, people will understand what it means to have an allergy to nuts, fish, chocolate, etc. They expect to see hives, swollen tongues, difficulty breathing … all to varying degrees. It is easy to make the connection because there is an almost immediate correlation between ingesting the food and seeing physical symptoms clearly associated with allergies.
It becomes a bit more difficult to explain sensitivities to artificial chemical additives. Symptoms are not always clear cut such as hives. When a child is sensitive to things like artificial chemical additives, and is exposed to them, he can have different reactions, depending on where he is most vulnerable. Something like a food dye can affect the skin, leading to hives. Or it could be the lungs, resulting in an asthmatic attack. If the brain is affected, a child might behave badly or have trouble thinking and remembering.
It may be an artificial flavoring or preservative, or even a healthy food that is high in “salicylates” that is responsible for the reaction. It could be one of the artificial fragrances so widely used in non-food product.
Dr. Feingold used to explain that the muscles and nerves are especially sensitive to additives that are made from petroleum, and we see this in examples of handwriting.
One child might have good control of his fine muscles, but not his gross muscles; this means that he could have good handwriting, but is unable to do well in sports. For another child it could be the opposite, doing fine on the soccer field, but unable to write well. For these children, it is clear to see in the “before” and “after” samples of handwriting.
Some of these samples show large, awkward writing and even reversals of letters. Then, a few days later, after the effects of the chemical have worn off, the work shows the child has much better control of his fine muscles, and his ability to focus, understand and remember is much improved. Sometimes, a child who is doing well on the Feingold Diet will bring home schoolwork that makes it clear he has been exposed to a chemical that is causing him to have trouble with his muscles, nervous system or will be affecting his ability to think.
Not all children show obvious changes in their schoolwork, but for those who do, the examples can be dramatic. Below are some examples which have been shared with us.
The evidence is clear, and rather amazing, isn’t it? The Feingold Diet helps much more than just focus and behavior. Our website and Facebook page are filled with helpful information to help you learn more about our program. Stop by, have a look, and feel free to contact us with any questions. Like our Facebook page and follow our blog to keep informed. We look forward to hearing from you!