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Old 08-29-2006, 11:30 AM   #1
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Unhappy Red Dye #40

Okay, I am still a little shocked at the possibility but some lights
are really going off in my head right now and I think my 20 month old daughter, Camden may have a sensitivity to red dye (specifically #40 - could be others
too but not sure).

Last night Camden just had a MAJOR meltdown. She was so beside
herself for apparently no reason. Just screaming and crying
hysterically and inconsolable (sp?). I almost had to leave the room
because just being around her was that bad. She was physically
violent as well. This was not a tantrum - this was plain hysteria.

Anyway why this was going on I was flashing back to some recent
conversations with a couple of my AP mom friends about red dye and I realized Camden had eaten cherry yoplait yogurt about 15 minutes prior. I
checked the label after Camden finally fell asleep and sure enough -
red 40. Another memory struck me from before we moved when Camden
was completely crazy like this for over an hour. The little girls
that I used to watch brought their own breakfast and they were
eating Trix cereal. They shared a bag full of it with Camden. By the
time we made it to the other house that I was a nanny for Camden was
an absolute lunatic who was sceaming and crying over nothing. I had
attributed it to some sort of blood sugar reaction but now I am
thinking it could have been the dye.

Red dye is in EVERYTHING (even some vanilla frostings and cake
mixes). I have been doing a lot of research tonight and it is pretty
shocking.

Later the same night was the WORST night of being a parent ever. She woke up again at about 11:30 and was crying hysterically until 1:30. Not only that but it was as if she was terrified to be near me. It was absolutely heart wrenching and I can not put it into words. Especially being an AP momma it really hurt me to the core. I know that it wasn't intentional rejection but wow, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. She wound up hiding herself in mine and Mike's walk in closet and literally screaming if I tried to get near her or open the door. She seemed so afraid and there was nothing I could do to help. She couldn't close the door all the way because there was a towel hanging from it so it was open just a peek and she would keep her hand on it to keep it from opening more. You would have thought I had just gotten done beating her or something she just seemed to think I was a monster. By the end of the night we were both sobbing. It is just so crazy to watch your little girl go through something like that. She also had a stuffed little puppy with her that she was clinging to for dear life and crying and screaming into - it was soaked. She would ask for "nee nee" (to nurse) and then if I got near her she'd scream. At about 1:30 I forced myself into the closet because I couldn't take it anymore and held her while she kicked and screamed. I made it so my breast was close enough to her face and she couldn't resist it anymore and started nursing but only with her body on the floor and me holding her head - she wouldn't let me hold her body. I wasn't able to pick her up until she was fully asleep. She woke up like her normal self this morning and now it all feels like a bad nightmare.

Can anyone relate to this? I was ready to take her to the hospital last night.

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Old 08-29-2006, 11:36 AM   #2
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Re: Red Dye #40

Sounds like she had a night terror last night and we have been through that many, many times with Tiffany.

Tiffany is also sensitive to the dyes in foods, red #40 being the worst! She has a sensitivity to wheat as well and will act off the charts badly when she eats it. She's 11.

We can definitely relate to your situation and have battled to keep artificial anything out of the house but it's so hard to do so since so many things have it in it We don't tell her strickly NO for candy and artifically colored/flavored stuff because she will just sneak it but we have to warn her of what happens and we limited it severely at home to help her to control her own actions better. She is not allowed to even eat school lunches but once in a blue moon.

It's hard for her as well as us. I am sorry you are going through this but really, the human body is not made to process artificial anything. It comes in and your body says, "hmmmmmm, what is this?" and it gums up the whole system, so to speak.

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Old 08-29-2006, 12:09 PM   #3
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Re: Red Dye #40

to you mama! That sounds terrible!

My sister is allergic to a weird thing like that - the grape flavoring in popsicles, grape medicine, grape vitamins, etc. Took forever for my mom to figgure out what that was. Good luck to you and your dd!

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Old 08-29-2006, 05:17 PM   #4
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Re: Red Dye #40

Wow, that sounds so rough.

My dad's fiance's son had a sensitivity to red dye as well, so that very well could be what your DD is going through. He had a red popsicle once while we were there and wound up swinging at people with a metal pipe. He was 5 at the time.

So yeah, I don't know who one would see about that kind of thing, but I would definately ask my pedi!
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Old 08-29-2006, 05:32 PM   #5
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Re: Red Dye #40

I have a friend who decided one of her daughters is sensitive to it. She kept breaking out in red spots in random places, no apparent cause...finally she started a food diary, and red dye was the only common denominator. Then she did the whole take it away, re-introduce it to confirm.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:00 PM   #6
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Re: Red Dye #40

My oldest is almost 11 and my middle dd is almost 8. Both are red dye sensitive. It's terrible - and almost impossible to avoid!! We have simliar experiences with the melt downs and hysteria when they have it. Red kool-aid, juices and Hawaiian Punch are a definite no-no for us!
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:10 PM   #7
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Re: Red Dye #40

I am so sorry you are going through this!
Like a PP said, it sounds like a night terror that your DD had in the middle of the night. My niece had these and it is very scary to watch. They used to take her screaming and crying and put her in the car and drive, it was the only way they could get her back to sleep. It lasted about 4 monthes of 3-4 times a week before she finally stopped. It was around you DD ages also.

My dd (19 months) has a red dye sensitivity as well. It was discovered while traveling and giving her an "all-natural" smoothy that was really just dye and sugar. She had a HORRIBLE melt down at seaworld, to the point where we were asked to leave

It is easier to keep the stuff out of our home, but impossible to control what she eats when we are with other children. It makes it easier to deal with the meltdowns if you know the cause and don't blame yourself or her. Just breath momma!
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:18 PM   #8
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Re: Red Dye #40

I have never heard of this, but after witnessing Jessica with similar meltdowns I'm going to do some investigating!! It's terrible when they get so upset and you just don't know what to do to console them.
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Old 08-29-2006, 09:35 PM   #9
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Re: Red Dye #40

Thanks for all of the hugs mamas!

I thought she had a night terror too but now I don't really think so. I did some research and night terrors usually last for about 5 - 30 minutes. She was doing this for over two hours. Also, the way they described the terrors is that the child looks awake but they "look past" you or don't make eye contact, etc. Well my daughter was making full eye contact was completely aware of her surroundings (she kept slamming the door in my face) and she was talking. Like she'd throw down her stuffed dog and say "puppy!" or she'd ask for me but then get upset when I'd come near her and she would also answer questions, etc.

Other than having an adverse reaction to dye the only other thing I can think of was that she had a migraine. I just don't know what else would have caused her to act like that. She is normally a very cuddly and affectionate little girl.
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:52 AM   #10
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Re: Red Dye #40

Definately could have been a migraine. I know when I have mine the closet's where I want to be too.
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