Saturday, May 7, 2011

It has been a very long three weeks

Julie's behavior has been absolutely horrible these last few weeks. For awhile I'd felt like we made a turnaround, and then things just slid back downhill. After talking with my mom for awhile about it today, I realized that she was on pink and purple liquid fever reducers for a few days, then pink antibiotics for over a week, then it was Easter (candy galore, even though I tried to monitor), and then we just made the mistake of allowing a few things we shouldn't have (tiny pink marshmallow bunnies, anyone?), and then my mom accidentally gave her Triscuits (TRISCUITS?! Why do Triscuits need food dyes?!) that had red in the seasoning. All in all, it has been a very, very long few weeks.

There have been a lot of studies on the effects of artificial food dyes on children, dating back to the 1970s. Some showed that food dyes could cause behavioral problems in children, and others didn't. But a few years ago, an analysis of 21 of the most conclusive studies found compelling evidence that, indeed, artificial dyes could contribute to hyperactivity, restlessness, and attention problems in some children – particularly those with ADHD. What's more, the studies suggested that removing dyes from those children's diet was a quarter to half as effective in reducing those symptoms as giving the kids Ritalin or other stimulants. In other words, certain kids with ADHD might not need drugs if the artificial dyes were removed from their diets.