Taming the Tummy
“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers (3 John 3:2 NIV).”
After all the things we talked about last time, what else can be done?
If adequate sleep, nutrition, exercise, validation, devotions and proper educational stimulation are still not solving the problems in your home, it is time to get some expert advice.
The first thing I would investigate is whether there is a medical problem. A physical examination with a full range of blood work, and even allergy testing to check for specific food reactions, may need to be done.
We could not figure out what was setting off our one son. He would be fine for several days and then he’d have a few days where he was totally agitated, miserable and out of control. We tried taking away all sugar, or dairy or especially red dyes, which we knew made him hyperactive. We identified apples after reading about that in a book, but he was still having days where we could not discover what was the problem. We finally took him to a Naturopathic doctor to be tested for food allergies and sensitivities. Lo and behold, he was extremely reactive to mixed seeds, which includes sunflower and sesame seeds, including their oils. Most potato chips are cooked in sunflower oil today, as well as it being part of the ingredients in some granola bars, whole grain breads and cereals. As we started to read labels, we realized that dyes are in just about everything too, from drinks, to Kraft Dinner, to all sorts of prepared foods.
I learned that I would have to teach our son what he could safely eat, how to read labels for himself, teach the school what he had to avoid, and also try to stock only foods that he could tolerate in our cupboards. Eating out became especially difficult and if treats were given at school, clubs or church, that also became a problem. Although our son wasn’t necessarily allergic to certain foods, we would still have to avoid them because we would have some very difficult behaviours to deal with if he ate them.
Once a food list was compiled and everyone was made aware of it, our jobs as parents became much easier and life settled down into a fairly calm routine with only occasional flare-ups. This allowed for happier moods, better compliance and an increased ability to cope with stress and handle interpersonal relationships.
Our son is much quieter and easier to deal with now. He can concentrate better, is much less irritable and is getting along much better with his brother and the other children on the school playground.
With all this attention to foods and behaviour, we came to realize that if someone in the family was feeling grumpy, had a headache, felt “draggy” or hyperactive, it was often the result of something they had eaten 45-60 minutes previously. The effect could last anywhere from one hour to 12 hours. This was a very helpful lesson to learn.
You may need to consider this testing for someone in your family, take counselling, or get other medical or educational assessments to get to the source of some of your child’s ongoing problems or maybe even to get some help for yourself.
Prayer: God, would you reveal to me today, something that would help my family be and stay healthy. You said in your Word that you want us to be in health and I pray that you would help me to be wise, consistent and open to learn more, about this area of my life.
Challenge: Find one area of your family’s health that you need to work on; then make some concrete plans for improving it today.
Thought: “be in health, even as your soul prospers”; what does this mean exactly and how can I apply it, specifically, to my life?