Did you see the Program on 20/20 the evening of 1/19/00?
They discussed Bipolar Illness in children. It is obvious to those who know how to recognize children who have allergies, that that could certainly be a part or all of these children's problems.
Those who watched were left with the impression that psychiatric help and drugs were the answer for some of the children, but not all of them. Maybe, if the child was really a challenge, institutionalization was what was needed.
Could this powerhouse on television have missed something? A local Phoenix station interviewed a mother with an extremely aggressive son and found the answer in the refrigerator. Red dyes, as Dr. Feingold stated in the 70's and I said in the 80's, triggered this boy's reaction. The expert on the program said this did not represent a cause and effect relationship. There are hundreds of thousands of parents who have seen their children become wild and uncontrollable from a highly colored beverage or cereal. As we see so often in the medical literature, there are many pro and con double-blinded studies by very well-educated doctors. When what you read is not what you see in every day life, it means you might want to find out who paid for the study. If there could be a vested interest, look more carefully at the details of the study.
Some of the affected children on the television show had dark eye circles, red ears or cheeks. As shown on the program, these problems often start in infancy and the terrible twos and go on and on sometimes through life unless the cause is found. From 40 years of seeing patients with this problem, many will also have wiggley legs and sometimes the parents state they can see a demonic or spacey look in the child¹s eyes. This and the red ears often occur just before they attack. Most have typical allergies in close relatives.
Many are diagnosed as ADHD or ADD. Many are aggressive beyond words. They can attack parents with bats, knives, bottles, sticks, and anything else that is handy. I have seen parents who had bite marks up and down their arms. These are battered mothers who rarely complain. They are angels! I have had parents run from three year olds. Many are afraid of their children and constantly fearful that the phone will ring with one more complaint. Most of these children look allergic and if you can find and eliminate the cause, they stop having difficulty. Sure, the insurance will pay for activity-modifying drugs, but these don¹t always help and sometime they must be stopped. Sometimes they cause even more serious side effects. The answer is to pay attention to what was eaten, touched or smelled just prior to the attack.
If the cause is a food, dust, mold, or pollen, the reaction occurs about 10 to 60 minutes after exposure. If the reaction is due to a chemical odor (perfume, disinfectant, a pesticide) the response can be immediate and devastating.
For those who want more information, read Chapter 3 in my book entitled "Is This Your Child¹s World" and note Chapter 15 on Hyperactivity, Chapter 18 on Aggression, and Chapter 21 on Delinquency in "Is this Your Child". Also look at the video entitled "Environmentally Sick Schools" , (Call 1-800-78-78-78-0 for info). They provide some fast, easy, inexpensive and safe answers for some children and hyperactive adults. Sure, it will not help everyone but many will see their child in the written words and cry, because for the first time they now know it is not their fault, and they do not have a bad child but a child who needs the right diagnosis and treatment. Drugs are fine under certain circumstances, but the ultimate answer if you have a nail in your shoe, is to remove the nail. The mothers who really try, can find the answers, and it is all outlined in the book and the video which illustrates how many kinds of exposures can cause unbelievable behavior, activity and learning problems. Keep the faith, mothers. You can find answers sometimes that everyone else has missed and relief might be 1 to 7 days away!
Doris J. Rapp, M.D.