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Old 10-24-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
corinne76
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talk to me about red dye sensativities

please..
Is it a sensitivity only if the child acting out?

Lately I noticed that after DD has anything red, she goes crazy. Like super hyper. It happened after she had shaved ice (snow cone at a restaurant with red syrup. then again after she had some punch. Today I picked her up from school and went to the cemetary because it's the 2-yr anni of my mom's passing. She was singing (well screaming), running all over the place. I had to reprimand her many times. She just couldn't settle and stop.

Would this be a sensativity to red dye? Or is it just an all out annoying sugar rush? She doesnt get like this when she eats candy like chocolate or drinks apple juice.

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Old 10-25-2012, 06:44 AM   #2
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Re: talk to me about red dye sensativities

My 6yr old ds has sensitivities to artificial food dyes (not sure if just red or all of them) and actually has reactions more like violent rage in addition to his hyperactivity. His is so bad a behavioral dr tried to call it ADHD with early signs of ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and wanted to medicate him for it, but I've been able to fully treat only by removing artificial colors from his diet. If he gets something with them in it like candy from church or a family member I can tell without a doubt that he's had it. even my mom who was skeptical at first now automatically asks what he ate that day if I say we've had a hard time with him.

In your situation I would try taking them out of her diet to see. It is very likely since most studies now seem to show that sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:10 AM   #3
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Re: talk to me about red dye sensativities

Both of my kids have a sensitivity to food dyes. It is obvious when they have food dye and not just sugar because they are very hyper and defiant. My daughter actually gets to the point of anger/hitting if she has some.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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It's like my child turns into a different person after consuming red dyes. She'll be the first to tell you that she can't control herself no matter how much she wants to. She gets loud and can't stop moving and jumps off of things and hits/kicks. It's awful until it wears out if her system. She's very cautious to avoid anything purple, pink, orange, red, or yellow at school as she doesn't like what it does to her. We provide our own special juice at school so she can still have juice w/o worrying if it has red dyes.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #5
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Re: talk to me about red dye sensativities

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Originally Posted by L&A'smommy View Post
It's like my child turns into a different person after consuming red dyes. She'll be the first to tell you that she can't control herself no matter how much she wants to. She gets loud and can't stop moving and jumps off of things and hits/kicks. It's awful until it wears out if her system. She's very cautious to avoid anything purple, pink, orange, red, or yellow at school as she doesn't like what it does to her. We provide our own special juice at school so she can still have juice w/o worrying if it has red dyes.
Almost exactly, for DS1. The other kids aren't bothered at all by red dyes.
We figured it out (finally ) a couple years ago, and he went from a lot of "bad days" at school to not very many at all.
He has talked about it with us and described it as feeling like he's shaking all over inside, and can't stop himself from doing things after he has red dye. Because he doesn't like feeling that way, he's getting really good at recognizing things with red dye. Some days he'll decide to have something little (like, say, some ketchup on fries), and then other days he chooses to have none at all. The days he decides to have a little he then tries hard to control himself, and usually does a good job now that he is used to it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: talk to me about red dye sensativities

We actually noticed my DD's sensitivity through her sleep habits. She has always been a very good sleeper and slept through the night consistently since a baby. When she was about 2 1/2 we started giving her a daily Flinstones vitamin and suddenly she started waking up every single night in the middle of the night in the middle of a terrible tantrum. It wasn't a night terror, but very similar. She would scream and hit and it would take us about an hour to get her calmed down. I tried to think about what had changed in our lives and the Flinstones were really the only thing. We cut those out and her sleep went back to normal.

Since then we've had three other times where we experienced sleep disturbances like that and in each case I was able to pinpoint exactly where and when she had artificial dyes (once I gave them to her on purpose to confirm my suspicious, once school gave her candy corn treats, and once my mom let her eat some of her popsicle).

We didn't see any clear behavioral problems due to the dyes, but my DD has ASD and had some behavioral and communication issues anyway so it is hard to say what exactly is better now because of the myriad of therapy and what is better because of cutting out the artificial dyes.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
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Re: talk to me about red dye sensativities

Yes my DS1 reacts to it. It's more than sugar rush or hyperactive. It's almost a violent rage. Once my DH had to physically restrain him and he was shaking and growling. All that from eating 5 Skittles. It happened a couple of times since and we were able to always pinpoint it to something he ate with dye. Me make most of his meals from scratch and luckily this year his school has a not treats in the classroom policy so if he gets something I can check it out to see if he can have it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: talk to me about red dye sensativities

For my DS it's almost never violent or ragey, but an overall out of control. He really can't stop doing whatever - moving, talking, running, jumping. If it happens that the other kids tick him off, it would result in him hitting them or something, but not just out of nowhere, kwim?
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:02 PM   #9
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Re: talk to me about red dye sensativities

For my DD age 6.5 we noticed that this summer she started misbehaving more, talking back, not able to focus. We realized she was eating snowballs, gummy fruit snacks, lollipops and other foods with food coloring that she usually wouldn't eat. We decided to cut it all out and choose things made with natural food color and man what a difference! Even my completely skeptical parents have taken note. Its like a brand new, well behaved kid. She even knows to look for popcicles without dyes in them - I think she realizes she gets into a lot less trouble now.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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Re: talk to me about red dye sensativities

I have one who is clearly sensitive to dyes, especially red. It is so obvious when he's had it. (Not from us!) He is crazy hyper, bouncing off walls, running and screaming and absolutely can not calm down or stop. He is only 4 and doesn't yet tell us he can't control himself like described above, but I know he can't. We will often have to physically restrain him if we need him to stop, like to leave somewhere. His siblings even know when he's had it. He doesn't get violent like some above though. The frustrating thing about it is that people don't take it seriously until they actually see it for themselves and even then, it takes several times. So, even though we give instructions at church and other places, they still let him pick his own candy and he often picks something bright red. Though, his siblings now speak up about it when he does.

Anyway, that's our experience. Everyone is happier when we keep him away from red dye. Plus, artificial dyes aren't healthy anyway.

Oh and you really have to pay attention. It's in all sorts of things. Like someone mentioned above, some vitamins have it. Some yogurts have it and all sorts of other things you wouldn't expect. And, it's not just red things. Red is used to make many other colors. You have to watch out.
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