Food Allergies Tear Families Apart

“It's amazing my husband and I are still together,” says Laura. Laura's son, Brian, attempted suicide a few years ago with a leather belt. Brian had a long history of violence at school and at home. The class bully by day, he would sob in his room at night, pleading his mother to help him. Laura knew there must be something contributing to Brian's behavior because he would say to her “I don't want to be like this.”

The enormous stress of Brian's behavior spread from the classroom to their family life. A particularly violent episode forced Brian's family to move to a new city. After exhausting all other avenues, Laura called Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist, to undergo some simple food allergy testing. Brian was diagnosed with severe and violent reactions to peanuts, ethyl alcohol, phenol, wheat, soy and milk. When the offending substances were removed from his diet, Brian morphed into a different child. He is no longer violent and is well-liked at school. His behavior is that of a normal boy.

Dr. Rapp's interview on the Phil Donahue show in 1989 catapulted food allergies and environmental toxins to the forefront of health debates in the Unite States. So many children, as in this video, were and are branded as “difficult,” “manipulative,” and “emotionally impaired.” Because of Dr. Rapp and the brave children willing to be interviewed on the show, families were able to find solutions.

We need to change the conversation when it comes to our families’ health. It's time to move from harsh and uninformed labels to educated, scientific diagnosis of what truly ails our children.

“I'm glad my Mom knows about allergies because other Mom's would just get angry at me and think I was bad,” says Darryl, another child interviewed in the video clip. We owe it to our children to discover the truth.