The effects of artificial additives, high energy foods, especially carbohydrates, foods acting as stimulants and food intolerance are best demonstrated in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): within minutes of eating a food, which causes them problems, their mood changes from being calm, amenable and pleasant to being excitable, restless, irritable and tearful. Adults generally have a better capacity to deal with these dietary agents and only become aware of the mood changes occasionally, when the effects are immediate or marked. We periodically collaborate with psychiatric and social services to assist patients with some chronic psychiatric conditions to return to better health and reduce the use and dependence on medications.
Case study 1: A 43 civil servant from Northamptonshire noticed that he would get acute anxiety, rapid heartbeat along with indigestion and bloating with some meals. He was shown how to modify his diet for 2 weeks by which time most of his symptoms cleared; during a brief reintroduction phase he was able to identify coffee, cane sugar, cheese, corn, soy and yeast as the main culprits. He was advised to avoid them for 2 months and was then able to start using them sporadically without the recurrence of any symptoms; he was able to tolerate occasional decaffeinated drinks.
Case study 2: A 51 year old woman with a long history of irritable bowel and weight problems started being aware of acute anxiety, which coincided with some menopausal symptoms. A low risk foods diet failed to show any significant changes but intra-cutaneous tests confirmed a number of reactive items. Her anxiety and menopausal symptoms subsided 2 weeks after she eliminated reactive foods as did her digestive problems. In the process, she lost 9 lbs of weight and continued losing more weight during the following 3 months.