Children with food sensitivities react more strongly and to a smaller amount of a potentially harmful additive than another person might. Sensitivities are not allergies, which happen when the body considers the food a foreign substance and tries to fight it. "Many people confuse an allergy with a food sensitivity, but the two are not the same," explains Jane Hersey, author of Why Can 't My Child Behave and Director of the Feingold Association. "Allergic people generally react to something that doesn't bother most people, while some food additives appear to bother nearly everyone. The amount it takes to cause a reaction varies with each individual."For [Deborah], cutting out the additives in her daughters' diet wasn't hard. "I'm a penny pincher, so I bought very little processed food to begin with. I think that's why the majority of what we saw was intermittent. However, the grapes, oranges and apples made up 50 percent of our diet." Once Deborah removed the salicylates, she saw improvements in two weeks. "Since I already cooked a lot of our food from scratch, it didn't take long. But then, after six weeks, I began to notice other things. [Gloria] wasn't wetting her pants anymore and her handwriting was improving.""Our home is much calmer and several health issues I just assumed we would have to learn to live with have gone away," Deborah says. On the rare occasions that they do eat something with additives or salicylates, Deborah finds that "our house is torture. The children are unable to concentrate, literally bouncing around and bickering with each other. I usually end up with a migraine and no patience. It combines to make a horrible, shameful scene." But when her family is following the diet, the sisters play together without fighting and "the difference is night and day."
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