Our family is no stranger to food allergies. Having a husband that is Celiac, and personally having undiagnosed issues with most forms of dairy myself, we are pros at reading ingredient labels and making recipe substitutions. So when our son started having issues that seemed to resemble a food allergy at around one year of age, it concerned us. We started with a test for Celiac, which came back negative. Then we did a full allergen panel, they showed nothing. It has us and his pediatrician stumped.
One of his main symptoms was a near constant face-rash around his mouth. It would on occasion when he would eat certain foods swell and welp up. For a while, we thought it was dairy, but it still happened. Then we thought maybe it way soy, but no luck. Eventually, we finally gave up on it being food related. We started being very careful what we wiped his face with after meals, but still saw no improvement. Finally, in the last effort to fix the rash, his doctor gave us a cream to use for skin irritations. Still, the rash persisted, and we finally just accepted it as normal for him.
It wasn’t until he started having some issues with unexplained aggression that I began to revisit the issue. He would be perfectly happy and calm and then an hour later it was like a light switch flipped. This happened on one particular day when we went to an event at the library, and then to lunch after. At the library, he had blue juice. By the time we got to lunch, his whole demeanor had changed and let to him screaming all through lunch. On the way home, I looked up the side effects of food dye. Wow. Hyperactivity, irritability, and aggression were the least of my worries.
A few weeks later, we were working on removing food dyes but hadn’t fully made the switch. Someone at church gave our son a sucker and he began to eat it. The results when he finished were the swollen welts and a worsening of the rash around his mouth. I began to think back to all of the instances when this had happened before and could pinpoint a sauce or something that could have easily had dye in it. Not surprisingly, he was also particularly irritable later that day.
That was the day we decided to make the full-on switch and take him off of all food dyes (we do make occasional exceptions for birthday parties still). The results have been amazing. I had honestly forgotten about the face rash until I was looking at older professional pictures the other day (as in I made sure his face was as clean as possible for said pictures). But much bigger than the rash, he is a calmer and all in all happier child. Taking dye out of his diet has been so very beneficial for him, and I only share because I am sure there is a Mama like me out there looking for answers to help her child.
So yes, there is a gallon sized bag of Halloween candy of his waiting to be given away, but to us, it’s worth it. He thrives without artificial food dye in his system. It was toxic to his system, and as his parents, we feel it’s our job to help keep his body toxin free and functioning in the best way possible. And don’t feel bad for the child, both grandmothers gave him full-sized chocolate bars to make up for it.
**Please Note: I am not a medical professional. This advice should in no way replace that of a doctor’s. I am not here to diagnose or treat any symptoms.**