Rapp, a Pediatric Allergist MD focuses on "brain allergy" in this book. This 600+ page book may seem daunting but it is not hard to read and you can pick and choose the chapters that you are interested in and that apply to your situation. It is also easy to skim for basic information at first and then if you need to delve into detail you can go back and read each word and section that applies to you.
Black and white photographs, paragraphical text, case studies, and lists are the ways that Rapp describes the various maladies that are caused by brain allergies. There are easy to reference lists and separate chapters on how allergies manifest in infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents.
After the discussion of the allergy symptoms Rapp moves on to how to detect the food culprit and how to confirm via testing with provocation/neutralization (P/N) testing. This testing entails a pinprick for up to 40 times in one session PER FOOD, administered by the physician. Rapp discusses the single and multiple food elimination diet, and the rotary diet. She gives you all the information you need to know to implement these plans but advises you seek the council of a physician. Rapp explains that she prepares a diluted solution of allergy extract serum that the parent can administer to the child to reduce the affect of the allergic reaction (mixed up by the doctor and sold to the patient). Rapp also gives instructions for using an alkali nonprescription item to stop the allergic reaction once it has begun.
Hypoglycemia is also discussed briefly and how sometimes the patient may have hypoglycemia-only, allergies-only, or both hypoglycemia and allergies together. Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) is also discussed because sometimes the underlying problem is an allergy that causes the GER or it is just an allergy showing itself with similar symptoms as GER. Rapp states that the person with the food allergy often becomes addicted to that food and it is probably apparent to the parent just from watching the child, what they are allergic to and eliminating that food is a good and easy place to start. Rapp gives ideas for record keeping while the detective work is going on.
Hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD, and Ritalin is actually necessary take up several chapters. More chapters on aggression, "slow" children, delinquency, and fatigue, headaches and seizures round out more links to allergy as the root cause. If you treat the allergy then these symptoms sometimes go away.
Now for our family's story. When my son was two years old, over a nine-month period, he very gradually began changing behaviors and showing some physical signs that I thought was strange. Visits to our pediatrician did not yield any answers and I was told that these behaviors were "the terrible two's" but I knew that my son was acting differently than he ever did before. I cut way down on TV viewing because of his zombie-like behavior and moodiness but that didn't help. My son was a picky eater who ate only a few foods. I never suspected food allergy. My son was getting very hard to live with and his overall personality was quite changed, gloomy and depressed-acting. I was on an email chat list where a parent asked for help with some behaviors her child was exhibiting and they were the same as my son so I was curious to see what parenting tips the other mothers would come up with. Someone replied to read this book and that it sounds like the child had food allergies. I was shocked at that idea, but was desperate and read the book. I was glued to the book and stayed up late into the night reading it and was shocked that all the different behaviors and physical symptoms were listed in the book. I burst into tears to think my son had food allergies and dreaded the chore of living with eliminating foods from his diet. I did the elimination diet with dairy and his symptoms all disappeared within 48 hours! My pediatrician and the pediatric allergist we visited did not believe in these allergies despite my showing them this book, discussing the success with the elimination diet, and a physical exam. Since we had done the food elimination diet and had success, I knew that we were right and those doctors were wrong. My cynical husband was even convinced. We finally found a doctor (not in our insurance plan) that does believe in these allergies and he confirmed what I already knew. However, and this is the important part: he said new technology has come out since this book was written. My son did not have to go through the P/N testing (all those pinpricks) to get a diagnosis. We simply had his blood drawn (one vial) and sent it off to Immuno Laboratories for IgG testing for a panel of over 100 foods. The test and the information the lab provided was excellent and my son was diagnosed with 23 food allergies. That was just over a year ago. Actually living with the food elimination is not that difficult (unless you do a lot of restaurant eating or traveling). Living with a healthy and happy, well-behaved child again is worth any amount of food substitution and food elimination on our part. Our physician does not believe in giving the child extracts to counteract the allergic reaction, but believes in a total food elimination diet so the body can heal itself and get over the allergy. These allergies are usually outgrown over time. I am so thankful for finding this book and this information.
If your child is having any negative behaviors, acting differently than they used to, or showing signs of hyperactivity, aggression or ADD/ADHD, I feel it is worth your time and effort to read this book and investigate food allergies before you simply accept a different diagnosis or label the behaviors as "normal for that age".