Here are a few questions that I am frequently asked or that are discussed within the FB group.

  • What have your top, most rewarding interventions been? Absolutely diet and homeopathy but I would also consider MNRI and a Speech & Sensory preschool as some of our top interventions.
  • What does a glutamate reaction look like for me?  While my reactions are not as severe as my sons, they definitely have a negative impact on my life.  I will suffer from a range of symptoms including, migraines, dull headaches, rashes, extreme fatigue, impatience, irritability, poor sleep, brain fog, anxiety and I am pretty much an emotional hot mess.  I seem to react worse on day two following exposure and will taper off by day three.
  • What does a glutamate reaction look like for my son? Symptoms for my son include everything from shaking/convulsing, rigidity, slurred speech/trouble word-finding, headbanging, neurological loop, irritability, tantrums, impulsive, sensory seeking, aggression, hyperactivity, stimming, head-banging (assuming from a headache), self-injurious behavior, night waking (one of our biggest indicators), accidents and overall symptoms that he is almost in pain.  While we may notice some symptoms immediately, but it seems like 24 hours after exposure the negative symptoms/behaviors peak and will last anywhere from 3-5 days-ish.
  • Diet changes seem really overwhelming, do you have to be strict?  The answer depends on the severity of the health issues you’re dealing with.  While I personally believe everyone can benefit from the removal of processed foods and lowering glutamate consumption, I understand that things become quite a bit more complicated when children are involved. If you’re dealing with a mild case of ADD or ADHD, you may see substantial enough improvements from just strictly* going gluten and dairy-free (corn and soy-free would also help) and choose not to continue with the elimination of other sources of glutamate.  For us, we absolutely have to be strict and I accredit this to the substantial amount of progress we’ve seen in the last few years.  One extremely small dietary infraction would once take us a week or so to recover from.
  • How long does it take to see a difference?  We polled the FB group and most people saw changes within the first two weeks to a month.  However, in some cases, it took up to 6 months.  In my opinion, this is largely going to depend on how quickly you implement diet changes, how much glutamate you remove, the severity of the health issues (underlying glutamate load) and how strict you are.
  • We are witnessing negative behaviors after removing sources of glutamate, what is going on?  There is often a period of withdrawal (remember the opiate connection) and some may use this as an indication to slow down their diet transition but it is most important to help the body detoxify as gently as possible.
  • We just started diet changes and things are worse, what is going on?  Depending on where the diet starts from, the transition can cause quite a change in cellular metabolism. Withdrawal symptoms may result in increased irritability, anger, and aggressiveness.  Detox from some microbial populations dying can result in the release of toxins that results in short term increased inflammation (aching of joints).  Motility function may also change as the body responds to new foods.  During consultations, Dr. Reid guides people on how to better control detox reactions, because depending on the status of one’s health, increased inflammation is something that needs to be controlled
  • How do I know if we are getting enough nutrients?  It may be beneficial for those just starting off to use a program like the Cronometer App, but those struggling with malabsorption or undigested food in stool may really need to work to help absorption with the incorporation of digestive bitters and lemon water (pineapple, papaya, or any food with natural digestive enzymes) before meals.
  • In which areas do people see the most dramatic changes? When polling the group, members ranked improvements in the following order (although many were closely tied and some did not apply to those taking the poll):
    1. Tantrums, Emotional Behavior
    2. Attention, Focus, Calmer
    3. Stimmng, Movements, Tics
    4. Social Skills, Pretend Play
    5. GI or Skin Issues
    6. Sleep
    7. Speech and Language Development (expressive/receptive/more complex language, etc.)
    8. OCD, Rigidity
    9. Gross and Fine Motor Skills, Muscle Tone