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Failsafe Diet

(15 Posts)
DietDiva Wed 22-Jun-11 18:21:38

DS has ADHD and has been on a gf/cf diet for a year now with good improvements to behaviour and concentration. Also using eye q fish oils.

Have just ordered Sue Dengate's failsafe cookbook and thought I might also have a trial of cutting out salicylates, nitrates etc in the summer holidays to see if he also has problems with these.

Anyone tried this diet - did you have any success?


blueShark Thu 23-Jun-11 09:28:34

I havent heard of the diet but didnt want your post to go unanswered. Well done for sticking on gf/cf for a year and I am pleased you are seeing results in DS. Why change to another diet? From the reviews I read the author doesnt eliminate all gluten and casein which is helping your DS just come chemicals....pasting partial review..

"The author, Sue Dengate, states that she writes only about food intolerance and additives and does an excellent job of this with her recipes. Reducing food chemicals is easy to do with her recipes. However, if you are interested in addressing the underlying gut problems that lead to gluten, phenol and other real food intolerances the book to buy is Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride."

DietDiva Thu 23-Jun-11 10:30:09

Thanks Blue shark

The main reason I wanted to have a look at the diet was because a few weeks ago DS told me his tongue was hurting after eating tinned tomatoes and I remember him saying the same thing a few months ago when he had a carton of orange juice. Thought it might have something to do with salicylates.

Since starting gf/cf he is no longer agressive but every now and again his adhd symptoms return quite severe and was just wondering if there was something else food related that was bothering him. Also, summer holidays is the best time for me to try these things.

Might order the Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride book. Its all so hard to work out but at least we're making more progress with diet than the medication he has been on.

blueShark Thu 23-Jun-11 10:40:57

I suggest you do an allergy and food intolerances test that might give you a clue what is causing that sensitivity. NHS does allergy testing but referral takes forever, it may be worth enquiring doing it private

DietDiva Thu 23-Jun-11 11:03:59

We did a food intolerance test through York Laboratories and it came back with gluten and wheat. We took these results to his drs and they did tests but they came back negative. DS also did the urine analysis through Espa (Sunderland Test) and were told to try the gf/cf diet.

His drs dont seem to think he has problems with gluten and casein.

Doing the gf/cf diet elimates quite a lot of food so was thinking maybe doing this diet I am also reducing salicylates and nitrates etc in his his foods without realing and maybe thats why we have seen improvements. Its all so confusing!

blueShark Thu 23-Jun-11 11:36:49

doesnt the gf/cf diet suggests that after a while (and its different for everyone but for children usually 1-2 years) the gut heals and you can start re introducing foods back in as the body deals with them a lot better? My son tested allergic to goats milk and pasterised milk and these were no no forever, as well as rye.

DietDiva Thu 23-Jun-11 11:55:14

yes I think you are right, drs have suggested we try him agian on the gluten and casein to see if he tolerates them better now.

singersgirl Thu 23-Jun-11 12:01:04

Hi, I used the Failsafe diet on DS1 (now nearly 13 and finally received a diagnosise of likely ADHD) for a couple of years when he was 5 and 6, and then followed most of the major rules until he was 10. It is very restrictive, but we saw quite dramatic physical and behavioural changes including: elimination of daytime wetting/reduction in nighttime wetting; elimination of loose bowel movements; elimination of asthma (no attacks for over 2 years); reduction in tummy aches/'bad dreams'/night waking; reduction of compulsive behaviours; increased concentration in school verified by teacher; elimination of clothes chewing.....

We recently abandoned it completely when he started secondary school as he has to have school lunches and also he's buying his own sweets and snacks on the way home. I do wonder though whether that's why his ADHD like behaviours have increased again.

Happy to answer more questions.

DietDiva Thu 23-Jun-11 12:15:27

thanks singers girls please it helped your DS. Its good to hear some positive stories. It must be really hard to control what they eat as they get older.

A couple of years ago I tried changing DS's diet (not really knowing what I was doing) just healthy eating really but I didnt do a food diary as I didnt think it would have any effect. What a difference this made (better than the gf/cf to be honest) he had excellent calm behaviour, reading for hours and also bedwetting completely stopped for a week (this has never happened since). Thats when I started looking into diet/food intolerances.

My DS is 8 and used to suffer from night waking/bad dreams and day time wetting a couple of years ago. Never sure if some things are improving because of diet or just because he's getting older.

singersgirl Thu 23-Jun-11 14:39:59

The things I removed first were easy-ish to get rid of - artificial colours, flavours, artificial sweeteners (so no aspartame), flavour enhancers (not just MSG but ribonucleotides and others I can't remember now), preservatives (so nitrates/sulphites/calcium propionate in bread). That's when we got most of the physical improvements. When I cut back on salicylates, natural glutamates and amines we got the behavioural ones.

DietDiva Thu 23-Jun-11 16:08:17

DS loves ham and salami so am going to cut those out to start. Going to read the book and get organised so can start in the summer holidays. Sometimes it can be hard to know if its the diet changes or just being calmer as he doest have to go to school and is less stressed.

DS has messy handwriting then sometimes it would be so neat that you'd think someone else had wrote it. Now he is 8 this is starting to be more of a problem as his work is good but no-one can read it. Did you son have handwriting problems?

singersgirl Thu 23-Jun-11 17:21:36

Yes, loads of dyspraxic symptoms too. I'm not sure how much they improved on the diet or just getting older - he still has terrible handwriting.

DietDiva Thu 23-Jun-11 22:21:43

Just come back on after a busy night.

DS also has difficulty using knife and fork and sitting at the table to eat but when he has a calm day can do these no bother.

Singersgirl, what sort of food did your ds eat whilst doing the failsafe diet?

singersgirl Fri 24-Jun-11 10:46:16

There are recipes in the Failsafe books and a specific Failsafe recipe book that I found very useful.

The first thing I did was get him to eat vegetable soup, as most of the veg are pretty unpalatable - so I started with a couple of spoonfuls before the main meal and after two weeks he and his brother were starting their evening meal with a small bowl of veg soup (I used swede, leek, cabbage, brussels, celery, lentils, split peas, potatoes in varying proportions; you can do a good lentil soup or leek and potato or celery soup if they like celery). I worked on green beans and cabbage as accompanying vegetables too as they're on the failsafe list.

He had a peeled pear every day. I made lots of casserole type things as well with chicken, beef or lamb, including swede, potato, leeks etc.

He stuck to porridge or basic unflavoured wholewheat cereal eg Weetabix, Rice Pops; I avoided cereals with glucose-fructose syrup or barley malt flavouring and went for the ones with actual barley malt.

I got a breadmaker and made my own bread. I did try pear jam but he wasn't keen so mostly ate just butter on bread.

They're allowed maple syrup and a little golden syrup and citric acid (lemon flavoured) and vanilla as a flavouring - so I made vanilla cakes, lemon cake (with citric acid), a lemon-flavoured squash substitute from the recipe book. I made pancakes and waffles, plain iced cakes, lots of oaty biscuits etc.

It seems unhealthy at first as you're denying them fruit and feeding them syrup soaked pancakes, but he was much healthier and I made sure he got his veg in other ways.

Got to go now but happy to answer more questions!

DietDiva Fri 24-Jun-11 13:45:47

singersgirl, thanks thats really helpful.

DS is a good eater and I think he will eat most of those things. He'll be pleased to know he can still have pancakes and syrup as he loves those. I think with the pancakes and oat biscuits he'll still think he's getting a treat.

Thanks for your help. Hopefully the book will come in the next few days so I'll have plenty time to get my head around it before the hols.

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