His father and I both had trouble with asthma and allergies but never as severely as Ben. One day at 18 months old, Ben got so tired of struggling with a two week long respiratory virus, he ended up in the ER, unable to breathe. Twenty four hours later after a lot of interventions, he still wasn’t able to breathe and was getting weaker. He ended up on a ventilator in the ICU for a week and then upon discharge stayed on high levels of oral and inhaled steroids. As he grew, his asthma started to improve, but not his eczema. And as Ben got into school, it became really apparent that he was having trouble with impulse control, focus, frustration tolerance and hyper activity. He is such a smart little guy, but he just wasn’t able to fit into the plan or expectations in his classroom and it was carrying over to frustration and fights at home. In addition to all that, he had years of mysterious tummy aches and joint aches and trouble sleeping.
I tried some homeopathic remedies right after Ben’s hospital stay. I also tried a restriction diet for about 6 months. At that time, it was hard to tell what was working or not working because Ben was so young and still healing from being on life support for a week. Once he got to be about seven though, the manifestations of his severe eczema and ADD like symptoms were getting to be too hard for our family to handle.
It was affecting my life, I was fighting every single night with my seven year old son – over homework, or basic chores, or his attitude. I loved him and saw such charisma in him, but our relationship was suffering and no one was getting consistent high quality sleep.
When I started process with Ben, is symptom survey score was 50; we took out wheat and it dropped to 31. We did LEAP/MRT and now it is 14!
The biggest shift in Ben’s life and attitude came from initially cutting all wheat out of his diet. All of a sudden, we had this happy, workable, compliant child. He simply sat down to do his homework and finished it within 20-30 minutes. No more two hour long crying, prodding, homework nightmares. Suddenly he was sleeping better. Then when we decided to start working with Tracy, get the blood test and follow the LEAP program, things continued to improve amazingly well. NONE of it was easy – from the multiple attempts to draw blood when Ben was terrified of the process, to the scrutinizing of our diet and really changing our whole eating program, to having to explain to relatives and teachers what Ben could and could not eat. It took a lot of effort as parents and there were certainly times that I would throw my head in my lap in frustration, trying to find interesting things to cook for Ben. But trust me, it was all worth it!
Since beginning the LEAP Program, he has very little eczema ( there were times when his ENTIRE face was covered in the dry cracking rash), he has made it this far through the winter without a major asthma episode, he is doing so well in school and managing his emotions and frustration tolerance, he no longer has any mysterious joint or stomach aches waking him in the middle of a deep sleep. Literally it is like getting a second chance with my own son. I can’t speak highly enough for the benefits of making the commitment to MRT testing and the LEAP diet.
Working with Tracy was really helpful in sorting out this process. I could have NEVER done this on my own without her guidance, suggestions and resources. She went above and beyond to provide me with helpful recipes and shopping resources for Ben. She was frank in admitting that she did not treat many young patients and that we would have to alter some of the protocol to make sure it would work for Ben. I really liked that she honored where our family is in the process and didn’t force something that we couldn’t possibly comply with. I have already recommended her to other friends and acquaintances whose children are suffering from chronic conditions that might be supported by a diet change. I feel so strongly that food is medicine and in our case it has helped us avoid medications for ADD, steroids for eczema and asthma and a host of antibiotics from recurring illnesses. We are happier and healthier as a family and I can never ever fully express my gratitude for that.
Hatton Littman 2/2012