Noah's Story

Over the past two years I have learned a lot about eating and living grain free. I wanted to have a place where others can come and read as I continue to keep my 9 year old son Noah and my 6 1/2 year old daughter Anastasia healthy on a grain free diet. I do feed the whole family grain free because I believe that what is good for one is good for all.

In 2008 we discovered that my son Noah could no longer eat gluten which was hard because he was only 7 years old. As a mom, I wanted to do my best to help him enjoy his new diet as well as get the nutrition he needed. After a year and a half of a gluten free diet we found that Noah could no longer tolerate any grains at all. That means no rice, no oats, no wheat, no corn, nothing that most Americans today eat. That was hard because these items are in nearly all food sold in the stores today.

Noah started out as a typical kid loving all food. We ate healthy foods like whole grains, organic milk, fruits and veggies. He even loved to eat broccoli. Like all modern families, we would not hesitate to get pizza and eat out a few times a week.

Noah was always happy and a good listener. He wanted to learn, and would sit quietly and attentively for his teachers. He knew how to talk respectively and lovingly to others. All that seemed to change when he turned seven. It was as if there had been a switch, and someone turned it to negative. He no longer wanted to get up and go to school. He would complain about how he hated it, how it was hard, and no fun. He was starting to get into trouble in school for calling out, not sitting still, and not paying attention. We could not figure out what was wrong, but his behavior over the next two months got worse. The child, that once was able to sit for hours, now could not sit still, not even for a minute. He would blurt out things to his teacher and to me at home. The boy who, at the age of one, would listen and stop when I told him to in a dangerous situation (i.e. crossing the street) now would keep running without even noticing I was calling his name. How can this have happened so quickly with no change in his environment or family dynamics?
One morning I went upstairs to help him clean his room. I asked him to do a simple task and he started to cry. Frustrated and not knowing what was wrong, I walked out. I went downstairs and knew it must be something in the house that was causing this, because before breakfast his was perfectly fine, and 20 minutes later he was in tears. Someone had told me that gluten had caused their depression and irritability, and, at that moment, I remembered that conversation and started to go through our cupboards. Every single item in the kitchen had wheat or gluten in it. First I started to take the noticeable wheat out of Noah’s diet and, instantly, my husband and I saw an improvement. Then we decided to follow a standard gluten free diet, and this was an even better step in the right direction. But, like many parents, we did not believe that food could be responsible for such dramatic changes in behavior.

After about one month of wheat-free eating, we went on a trip to New York City. Following a great day of sightseeing, holding hands, and having fun, we came to a restaurant. We ordered the kids a pizza. When we walked out of the restaurant 45 minutes later, Noah was no longer listening; he stepped off the curb and into the street, right as a car was zooming by. Luckily, I had his arm and pulled him back, but at that instant I understood how truly dangerous his wheat intolerance was. From that day on, I did the best I could to keep all gluten out of his diet.
Through out the next year we noticed improvements and setbacks. After 1 1/2 years of eating a standard gluten free diet of no wheat, barley, oats and gluten preservatives we noticed a downturn in his behavior again. One day he would be great and the next terrible. I could not figure it out, since I spent hours shopping for gluten-free food. One week our grocery bill was over $600,the very next week it was over $500 in the effort to find the best for him.

Luckily, we live in the digital age and I found Dr. Peter Osborne who knew what I was talking about when I told him Noah just was not getting better. Dr. Osborne’s suggestion was to take Noah off all grain, including rice,corn, corn syrup and corn starch. The reason is that these items have a small amount of gluten in them. Many people can tolerate the smaller amount and this is why the standard is to call these items gluten-free. However, those who are predisposed to gluten sensitivity may become weakened by the overload of gluten in their diet, and tolerate it less, losing the ability to tolerate even a very small amount. With Dr. Osborne’s recommendation, I took Noah off grains, and, now, he is eating totally grain-free. What a difference.
I learned that it is all up to me to give Noah and the rest of the family the healthiest and safest diet possible. But I am not going to keep the information all to myself; I am going to share it with you.