What's the difference or is there?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Fran, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I was struck with the similarities between a child's behavior when it is assigned to allergies or break through behavior of someone who is diagnosed with a mood disorder.

    "I can personally attest to the fact that allergies can cause behavior problems. I can now predict when my daughter's allergies are kicking up by watching her behaviors. She has outgrown her food allergies (but is still sensitive to soy) but her inhalant allergies are still present. She tends to become very tense, loud, wound up and argumentative. Her sleep becomes affected. She picks fights and taunts me."

    My difficult child (in elementary school) would have tense, wound up behavior. Talking loud, shrill, impulsive, pressured even grandiose. My difficult child would sleep little and very restless. We would notice this behavior including some potty issuses and the medications would be adjusted.
    We didn't have rashes, hives or welts. Asthmatic bronchitis as a toddler but resolved by 5yrs old.

    I wonder whether allergies are part of the whole picture of mood disorder or is the trigger to mood disorder? The descriptions are so similar as to be eerie. The flip side of the coin is that my difficult child's behavior may have been triggered by some unknown allergan. (He was tested by pediatrician allergist with the whole panel and found to be allergic to nothing). The behaviors may be the same but the triggers different. I just wish we knew more.

    Just thought I'd see if anyone else has any observations.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    The first allergist Duckie saw told me that all autistic people seem to have allergies yet all allergic people do not have autism. She also said that she wouldn't be surprised if mood disorders were one day proven to be related to allergies. She thought inflammation in the brain or central nervous system may play a role in triggering mood disorders.

    I think of allergies as a defect in the person's immune system... and that defect, I believe, can manifest in any number of ways.
  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I have never heard that all autistic people have allergies. I have heard issues with gluten.
    However the behaviors are similar. Maybe instead of mood stabilizers we should have tried prednisone. : ) Who knows where that will take us. He has never been typical either.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Fran, I don't know about the connection. I'm wondering if the same behavioral description wouldn't also be stated by parents whose children had other chronic illnesses and conditions. We've had a handful of moms come through here whose children had serious health issues when they were younger with a co-morbid neurological/behavioral issue. The behavioral stuff was extremely difficult to even recognize in the first place because it was natural to attribute it to kids who hadn't felt well long term, had been hospitalized much of their lives, etc. We attributed cranky behavior to allergy problems for several years and it turned out to be non-allergy related sinus problems plus the behavioral aspect we never even considered.

    I have never heard to that people with Autism have allergies. I have heard that a higher percentage of them struggle with gluten, casien, and digestive issues. I think it's wise for parents to consider all options though.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think serious research into allergies as a cause or contributing factor to autism and mood disorders would be very interesting and valuable.

    I know personally that it took over a year of detailed food journalling AND a statistical analysis of the journal (how often certain symptoms happened with-in certain times of eating a food) to find some of my migraine triggers. They can be VERY VERY DIFFICULT to pinpoint.

    For me the reaction to food comes in the form of a migraine. I find that if I have more than 2 small servings of preserved meat (bacon, sausage, deli meat, etc...) within a three day period I WILL have a severe migraine. I also react to something in fresh tomatoes, asparagus and to whatever is in Beano. The Beano reaction is downright scary - I have respiratory problems. (Beano is a tablet or liquid used to prevent getting gas from certain foods like beans - it is a natural substance of some sort).

    I also do MUCH better if I use Lactaid when consuming dairy products. I think many people may do this. But not ALL dairy problems are related to lactose. Wiz, for example, has NO reaction to lactose, but a terrible reaction to the fat in dairy. Or something else removed when the fat is removed. He is FINE on skim milk, yogurt and cheese, but whole milk or even 2% milk makes him angry and belligerant and aggressive. Our school lunches do NOT have skim milk so they were a NIGHTMARE when he wanted to buy lunch - luckily he preferred packing his lunch.

    I think many of us, and our kids, would be truly helped with a detailed food and mood diary and then an anlysis of those. Just in my opinion.

    Interesting idea that mood disorders and allergies could be relatied.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Its been a while back, but I saw a study about allergies and autism. Parents with allergies had a significantly higher chance of having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) than parents without allergies.

    And there are definitely cases of kids diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who are substantially better once a substance their body can't handle is removed from their environment (the substance seems to vary, gluten, cassiene, mercury, whatever...)

    I think someday they will find a link. At least in a lot of cases of higher functioning autism and other behavior disorders. Just my opinion.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    This connection wouldn't surprise me either... I know difficult child 2, when he was living with biomom, had severe seasonal allergies and a supposed allergy to cats (also alleged asthma, though we never - not once - saw any attack). When at our home he took children's Benadryl for the seasonal stuff, but slept with one of the cats and had less problems than I do (and I ammildly allergic to my furballs, but I don't care). After we took over residential, even his seasonal allergies pretty much vanished. I can tell when they are going to flare up by 2 things: 1, husband's sinuses go bonkers and 2, my sinuses go bonkers. He's usually right behind me. And when his allergies flare up, so does the behavior - till he takes the Benadryl. Biomom had him on Singulair, Nasonex and Claritin plus loratadine syrup for coughing (from postnasal drip). The kid was a zombie. (Then she added Concerta, whole 'nother story, that was a NIGHTMARE). He didn't have allergic problems, but he didn't do anything but sleep, or stare at the TV either.

    difficult child 1 says she doesn't have allergies (which is carp but hers are much milder than anyone else in the house - including the cats!). So when she asks for a Benadryl... LOL. However I am seriously thinking about having her start a food diary... She's concerned about her weight (I am not!), so I can work with her on "good" and "bad" foods. Hmm...
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm a firm believer that there is a connection with mood disorders- but it might not be the allergies- I think it might be the medications used. My son had asthmatic wheezing until age 4 1/2. He was on albuterol and steroids for treatment. The only time before age 10 1/2 that he "acted" strange was right after albuterol treatments and during allergy season after being given allergy medications. His unstabilized periods the past few years seem to be extreme during the same seasons as the asthma/allergies- primarily late winter/early spring and secondarily the fall. At first, doctors rolled their eyes when I brought up any connection. Now, they tend to listen a little more and I have had one or two actually agree that there appears to be an effect of some steroids and antihistamines. I personally think difficult child had a genetic predisposition for a mood disorder and I think these medications were a big, but not the only, trigger.

    Just like studies show that a lot of young kids with asthmatic wheezing also have excema(sp), but they don't know why and have not found the actual physical connection. (At least I read that a few different places many years ago when difficult child was little and took mental note of it because he had that problem, too.)
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    K never had issues with her health as a baby. But slowly started getting stuffy and sneezy. We kept asking about it. Of course it was poo-poo'd like most things.
    We just found out this past year that she has Vasomotor Rhinitis basically she is allergic to chemicals, smells, sun, anything that may trigger her sinuses but not your normal allergens. She is allergic to life so to speak!
    But not all things will trigger her. All people who have this are triggered by different things.

    N has been healthy also, but she is the only one in the family with eye issues.
    Strabismus, severely blocked lacrimal duct. 3rd lacrimal duct and abnormally shaped lacrimal duct. All anomalies.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Travis has a few food related allergies, strawberries and lactose intolerant. And he still eats both although they make him sick. ugh I've not noticed it change his mood/behavior though. But then Travis has never had mood issues.

    Nichole has several allergies. I have noticed that it effects her moods and because of it I know when to hand her an allergy pill. Heck, I've noticed it in myself. lol

    I dunno. But it would be nice if they investigated this more. Although I wonder because PMS also effects moods yet is not linked to mood disorders, however I've noticed a majority of the women I know with PMS also are diagnosed with a mood disorder.

    So I wonder how much hormones influence mood disorders as well. (probably much more than we think)

    Interesting thread.