Eating a Rainbow – Red #40 and it’s Sidekicks

Lucky Charms

We all know rainbows are beautiful. They are always a treasure to discover and a sight to behold. What is not beautiful is the rainbow of crap that we allow this country to feed to our children every single day. American children consume more chemicals in their food then you’d care to believe. Our young children whose bodies are most at risk during these important years of growth are inundated with processed foods that contain little to no nutritional value.

There was a point where I didn’t really care and I didn’t really see any harm in it. I grew up on eating boxed snacks and I got fruit snacks in my lunch and I enjoyed an occassional bowl of Lucky Charms or Captain Crunch. I knew they weren’t really good for me but I didn’t see them as being *bad* for me.

Once at a La Leche League meeting I overhead some mother’s discussing their child’s sensitivites to food dye. My daughter was about a year old at the time and I was a little floored by this conversation. This mother shared how she systematically discovered that many of her childrens behavioral problems had been caused by eating foods with artificial food coloring and most especially red #40. The whole thing sounded rather complicated and totally not fun. Who wouldn’t want to let their kids eat blue frosted cupcakes at a Birthday Party or enjoy Halloween candy? Who would want to spoil childhood?

But I am lucky that that conversation stayed in the back of my head, it saved my daughter a trip to the Emergency Room.

My daughter was 20 months old. Just before bed she became hysterical. It started small, not wanting to get pajamas on but quickly escalated into something I had never, ever witnessed from her and I know my daughter very well. She was screaming and crying and was completely inconsolable. She also became physically violent and was trying to hurt me – a first in her life. This went on for about an hour and she finally became delirious enough that she allowed me to nurse her to sleep. My head spun and I couldn’t quite figure out what that was all about. Little did I know that was just the beginning.

At 11:30 that night just when I was heading off to bed I heard Camden start crying hysterically in her room (not typical). The whole ordeal lasted until 1:30 in the morning. She was crying and screaming in pure hysteria. It was truly insane. As a mother that practices Attachment Parenting I had never witnessed anything like this from my child before. It was the most difficult thing to watch my child who was in utter chaos and be able to do nothing for her. She was in a state of panic and rage. She was afraid of me and would not let me near her. She ran from me and hid in mine and my husbands walk-in-closet. Her body literally shook all over as she cried. She was not asleep, she was not having a “night terror”. This was so beyond that. She would cry out to nurse and then as soon as I’d reach for her she’d scream and push me away. She started banging her head on the wall. I was ready to take her to the Emergency Room. I literally thought something had gone wrong in her brain. I finally forced my way into the closet with her and held her against her will. She kicked and clawed at me and screamed. I sobbed with her. I was a broken mother. I was helpless. I was scared. I finally convinced her to nurse but she only allowed me to support her head. She layed on the floor and nursed while trying to touch me the least amount possible. When she was finally in a deep sleep I was able to get her back to her bed.

During this whole process I had naggingly remembered the stories that mother had shared with another young mother at that LLL meeting almost a year before. I thought about what had happened before Camden went to bed and then it hit me. Camden had eaten cherry Yoplait yogurt before bed. Could it really be that? I walked to the kitchen and grabbed a container of yogurt and read the ingredients. Red #40 bounced blaringly back at me. I ran to the computer and googled red #40 and sensitivity. I buried myself in reading until the wee dawn of morning crept into the office. My daughter really was sensitive to dye.

It took many months and many more exposures before we truly believed that this was not a figment of our imagination. The second reaction was worse than the first. In fact, it was so bad that my husband had to leave the house – he couldn’t bare to be around it. She was foaming at the mouth and slamming her head into the kitchen cupboards. It lasted for several hours and in the end I had to hold her against her will as she kicked and hit me with all of her little might. I sobbed that night with my daughter again. I vowed to stop using her as a chemical experiment. I prayed for the attack to subside soon.

After that I started reading a lot. I read:

The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry is Destroying our Brains and Harming our Children

Why Can’t My Child Behave?

Nourishing Traditions

I also joined the Feingold organization. This is where I learned the most information and received the most help. They also have a Yahoo Group that is free to join and I highly suggest checking it out if you can’t afford to join the Feingold organization.

It has been a long journey forward from that first reaction. We have made slow and steady progress. Every once in awhile I am tempted to let Camden eat some licorice or enjoy a candy cane. Every once in awhile I am amazed and horrified at what kind of unnecessary things contain food dye – hot chocolate, white frosting, cheese. Every once in awhile I wonder how many of our children suffer from various learning disorders and extreme physical violence and other mental disorders simply because their bodies are literally a dumping ground for chemicals. And for what? To make it look better.

Sometimes I feel like a victim and I play the “why me” card. Why can’t my child be normal and eat this crap like every other kid? Why do I have to be that weird parent that won’t let her child eat regular m&m’s? But you know what, I’m happy it’s me. I’m happy I have learned more about this nations food industry and how awful it really is. I am happy that I am learning about the role that nutritious and whole foods play in the development of the brain and in producing a happy person, in general. I am happy that I am learning.

Someday we will tell Camden about her sensitivity to food dye. For now we avoid it and simply tell her that some foods just aren’t good for us. Or even better, maybe someday America will tell the food industry that we refuse to let our children be the recipients of harmful and pointless chemicals. Maybe we will learn to speak with our dollars and demand that our food be just that … food.

UPDATES: Since this post gets a lot of hits I thought I would centralize some of my other blog posts that address the artificial dye matter.

It’s About Time: A random, double blind, placebo controlled study that was published in the Lancet in November 2007. Finally a break that links dyes and preservatives to hyperactivity.

Bathing in a Rainbow: My daughters severe hive reaction to her first bubble bath which contained artificial dyes.

The Natural Dye Alternative: Information on natural dyes that can be used for baking, cooking and fun crafts.

Halloween in Crunchville – Dye Free Candy: A list of sites that sell natural, dye free candy. It’s delicious too!

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36 comments

  1. elizabeth z. · July 7, 2012

    Wow, what a story

  2. Rodger Peabody · March 13, 2012

    My experience with Red #40 is different and a bit bizarre. I have to avoid Red #40 altogether. I suffered, for 27 years, with chronic ulcerative colitis. at age 55 my colon became necrotic and had to be removed. I now have a J-pouch. That is an imperfect but workable solution for my particular and peculiar needs. A J-pouch is simply a holding vessel that stands in for a normal colon. It does not have many of the functions of a colon.

    One function that a J-pouch does not have is fluid recovery. It also does not recover any of the digestive enzymes our bodies use in digesting food. It does not recover the enzymes that the body uses in an attempt to digest some of the exotic chemicals that occur in the american diet, in my case Red #40. If I make a mistake and eat something with Red #40 in, it I suffer for it. In my case, the correlation between ingesting Red #40 and subsequent suffering is real.

    I don’t know what the digestive process my body uses in an attempt to deal with Red #40 is. I just know that when I have a passage after haviing eaten something with Red #40 in it my skin burns very painfully afterwards. Please excuse my graphic description, but it feels as if I cleaned myself with a lit acetylene torch.

    My Doctors reaction on seeing the condition of my skin after having eaten a food item containing Red #40 was shock and dismay followed with a prescription for a cortisone skin cream a cream that is used to prevent yeast formation. Those helped, but assiduously avoiding Red #40 is the real solution.

    I have not run across any other food item that affects me the way Red #40 does. Eating should not induce pain or discomfort like Red #40 does for me and for the children whos experiences presented here. Red #40 is not a foodstuff. It is derived from either coal tar or petroleum. I think it is time to get rid of this garbage.

  3. Dee · September 27, 2010

    Red 40 also can cause brain swelling, hence the headaches. Some dogs will have seizures after eating any treats colored with red 40. This is especially true in greyhounds, sighthounds, whippets and Italian Greyhounds. They have a long naroow skull so any swelling is a big problem.

  4. Katherine · July 19, 2010

    I am a mom with a 10 month old son, who has a cow milk protein allergy and as I recently figured out, a severe reaction to dye in foods. I think he may also have sensitivity to other articifial flavoring. I am a vegetarian myself (now vegan because of his cow milk protein allergy) and nursing. It has been impossible trying to find any restaurants where I can safely eat something without ingesting some kind of dye or flavoring and seeing him respond accordingly. (Wild hyper behavior and a sleepless night.) Does anyone have any suggestions of chain restaurants or restaurants in Indianapolis that would have vegan food without additives, flavoring, or dye? I do not want to stop nursing because of this!

  5. Pingback: I’ve become what I never understood… « Wee Essentials
  6. Paula · November 8, 2009

    I haven’t tried them – do you have a link or something you could share? I’d love to learn more about digestive enzymes.

    It’s definitely intriguing.

    • journeytocrunchville · November 9, 2009

      Sure. Once we have more experience and history with them I will be posting a dedicated post on digestive enzymes. I just want more personal history on them first.

      A great place to start is:

      http://www.enzymestuff.com

      The site is a bit weird in the way that it is set up. some information is buried in the site and hard to find from the homepage but there is a wealth of great information and resources there.

  7. Paula · November 4, 2009

    I saw this link on Facebook and wow. I didn’t realize that Red #40 could do this.

    I thought I’d add, in the off chance that parents are reading this and trying to piece together what might be going on with heir child — Fructose Malabsorption, or an inability to digest Fructose can also cause mood changes.

    I developed Fructmal this last year, and at age 37! it’s been a wild ride. Removing everything with even just High Fructose Corn Syrup is quite a feat. I ended up testing out, on myself, what was causing both my digestive and my mood issues. I’m glad I figured it out. But, if you’re digging around for answers, here’s a really good description of Fructmal:
    http://fructmal.googlepages.com/

    Best wishes to you all :)

    • journeytocrunchville · November 4, 2009

      Paula, that is very interesting. I’d never even heard of that. We are trying out digestive enzymes in our family to help with various intolerances and allergies. Have you tried using digestive enzymes to aid in the digestion of fructose?

  8. Pingback: Red Dye » My Little Backyard
  9. Brian · July 26, 2009

    Great read, thanks. We took Red 40 (and most other dyes) out of our family’s diet about a year ago and have seen drastic improvement in our daughter’s behavior. We refuse to buy any products with artificial colors (red 40, yellow 5, etc) when we grocery shop.
    Those companies that refuse to take the dyes out of their products lose our business. Really, the only way to get the companies to do this is to vote with our wallets.

    Brian

  10. Jennifer P. · July 9, 2009

    Fascinating article! We’ve been tracing nearly immediate behavior issues in our daughter with certain foods, although last night we know that there was Red#40 in the one piece of candy she had. Although she doesn’t go to the extremes that your family has experienced, you are right–you can see it coming on. She has an allergist appointment next month, so I’ll see if I can check it out further.

  11. Joel Franusic · May 2, 2009

    Thanks for posting this article, the links you provide to other sites are very interesting.

    I’m posting because I thought you might get a few laughs out of the unfortunate ad that came up on this page:

    http://skitch.com/joelf/bp74n/eating-a-rainbow

  12. Pingback: violent behaviour and food.. - Hippymom - An Evolution of Female Community
  13. Toni · March 9, 2009

    Hi, I am a brit living in usa. My daughter has improved immensely after we recently restricted red 40 from her diet.
    She had behavioral difficulties for years.
    Britain(England) has banned artificial food colors. I am hoping America will too.
    see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7725316.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7340426.stm
    To all those whose children are affected by red 40, my heart goes out to you. For those who may be considering taking artificial colors out of your childs diet, it’s totally worth it, you will see a difference in days.
    We have to look out for our kids.
    to help get a ban here
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/109838.php
    http://www.cspinet.org/fooddyes/

  14. Ric · March 4, 2009

    Does anyone have any statistics on Red 40 allergies.
    I forgot one groggy night and took some bright red generic NyQuil. The rash is once again spreading over my entire body while I sit in the doctor office awaiting Prednisone.
    This seems far worse than a “food intolerance”.
    This is the fifth time I’ve ingested Red 40 in the last three years, all with the same results.

    It took the first three to figure out what is was. The scoond two times were my own stupidity.

    Sites say an actual allergic reaction is “rare”.
    Wow, I’m special.
    I’d like to know the odds.

  15. journeytocrunchville · July 30, 2008

    Paul,

    Thanks for stopping by! It is always interesting for me to hear from adults who notice a difference in themselves when consuming products with dye. I have tried to pay attention to my body on the occasion’s that I’ve had it and so far I’ve never noticed any type of reaction but I don’t doubt that it affects my body anyway.

    If you’re a licorice lover there are some great dye free licorices available in both black licorice and raspberry. :)

  16. Paul H. · July 28, 2008

    I found this site through looking to find why, an hour or two after I consume artificially-colored foods, I feel very energetic, but also jittery or almost frantic, scatterbrained, and have difficulty focusing on anything for a few seconds.

    I think I’ve narrowed it down to Red 40 and Red 3 (I was getting the Red 3 from Slim-Fast Strawberries and Cream flavor.)

    I still forget! A couple hours I had a pack of Twizzlers (Red 40) and now I feel all hyper and frantic.

  17. GFCFmom · May 29, 2008

    Reread your post again and, again, what a fascinating story. Also, I just went to a lecture in NYC on brain function and sensory integration by a chiropractic neurologist and he spoke about how the cerebellum is extremely sensitive to gluten and food sensititivies. Also, my daughter used to lose it if she got any processed food, I cleaned her diet up and now that she is better, it looks like the blood brain barrier is working better and she isn’t as sensitive to chemicals when they inadvertently come her way.

  18. Jan · May 24, 2008

    Love your blog!

  19. tamara · May 24, 2008

    journeytocrunchville here are a couple of websites I have researched. A lot of the ones I originally researched have been shut down. hmm wonder why?????

    http://www.red40.com/

    http://www.feingold.org/Research/dyesinfood.html

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/131963/is_the_red_40_food_dye_additive_having.html

    http://www.snet.net/features/viewpoints/articles/2002/06200101.shtml

    These are just some of what I have read out there. The parents stories of the hell their children have gone thru is heartbreaking. I talk to numerous parents about this and I always say “don’t believe me look it up yourself”. Recently I witnessed a young mother in a doctor’s office dealing with her son, he was playing quietly and sweetly then all of a sudden he flips out. She ended up having to physically hold him down so he would not hurt her or himself. I told her she wasn’t alone and I told her my story of myself my son and my brother she looked at me with tears in her eyes. My heart broke for her and her son. I told her to look at her son who was quietly watching TV and asking her a question as if nothing had ever happened and I told her she has a good boy a very good boy to please look into what I was telling her, and then we got interrupted because the nurse called them in. I can only pray she will look into it. Meanwhile two other parents were listening to our conversation and started asking a lot of questions. It was inspiring, I am a spiritual woman and believe God gives us wisdom when and where we need it and I can only believe he is making sure I am telling people more and more about this. The professor that was mentioned above is probably a good person and very intelligent BUT I also believe people need to use their own common sense and not change their knowledge to fit what the world says. These people have seen what affects this red#40 has on them and their children and for someone to use their training and intelligence to try to make them disbelieve what is so obvious is irresponsible and manipulating.

  20. journeytocrunchville · May 22, 2008

    Tamara,

    Thanks for the comment do you have a link on this company or know it’s name? I’d be interested in looking further into this and writing about it.

    Thanks!

    Jessica

  21. tamara · May 22, 2008

    This is in response to GFCFmom comment. 1st of all most people do not want us to know the truth and will continually misdirect us. These colleges get lots of money from the companies that manufacture all of this awful stuff they are putting in our children’s food. Red #40 is made with a derivative of coal tar. Coal tar has a natural toxin that goes directly to the brain and affects behavior. This has been known from the start of the red#40 making but was considered low risk. All of this info I am giving you is on the websites available to all and you just have to read. I have been researching Red#40 for over 4 years and this year has been the first year all the parents complaining and letters written have actually made an impact. I am proud of the American public for standing up and fighting the major manufacturers that have made soooo much money off of our children’s suffering. In an intense research (6hrs) my good friend was debunking a conspiracy theory I laughingly made up. What she found was horrifying. The mother company that owns the manufacturer of red#40 also owns the manufacturer of the Ritalin and other ADD/ADHD meds. It is always about the all mighty dollar and it always will be. It is up to us to find the truth and protect our little ones.

  22. journeytocrunchville · April 2, 2008

    I would absolutely LOVE to see this study. Very fascinating. I have also heard that based on the study published in the Lancet in 2007 that it is a combo of the dye and the preservative, not just the dye. Or something of that nature. At this point I wouldn’t rule out any of it, I just know that when my daughter eats these things she becomes an entirely different, and unwell person. Thanks so much for the comment!

  23. GFCFmom · April 2, 2008

    I went to a lecture on ADD and nutrition by a professor of nutrition at Brooklyn college. Basically, the food dyes prevent the Omega 3’s from functioning. It’s not that the food dyes do anything, it is what they interrupt from happening. It was fascinating. I will look up the exact info for you when I am not so bleary eyed. Also, she spoke about how the “studies” that theoretically disproved a connection between behavior and dye used abnormally low levels of the dye. For instance, the study would use 46 mcg of the dye but the actual level kids were getting was 150.

    Here is a link with an email to the professor:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12737097

    also, please email me I need to talk to you about your blog…
    kirboncher@mac.com

  24. journeytocrunchville · March 13, 2008

    Wendy,

    I’m so sorry I did not see this comment until now. Yes, I would propose that it most definitely could. One of my best friends who was sensitive to red #40 as a child still can not tolerate the dye well as an adult. It still causes her to be aggressive. Follow your gut and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Our bodies are very smart, we need only learn how to listen to them.

  25. Jorma J. Takala · March 10, 2008

    Please, Read my page!

    You will e shocked and horrified!

  26. JP · January 31, 2008

    A couple things you might be interested in. First, after discovering my daughter’s allergy to Red 40 over a year ago, I did a lot of reading and research and also created a group over at vox.com – http://red40.groups.vox.com/ – as a place where people can share their story, questions, answers and information/research. I would love it if you and your readers here would join the discussion. Maybe together we can help flesh out this thing that seems so hard to get complete information on.

    Second, there was a study in the UK from 2006-2007, the results of which are now available. It looked at the behavioral effects of artificial dyes and sodium benzoate (a common preservative). Start here: http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/researchinfo/foodcomponentsresearch/allergyresearch/t07programme/t07projectlist/t07040/ which will give you the overview of the study. At the bottom of that page is a link to a summary of the results. At the bottom of the summary of results page is a link to a PDF of the technical report. While the findings appear to substantiate the anecdotal evidence we all know, it *might* be a bit more complicated than simply the red dyes (or dyes in general), as they are also throwing the preservative sodium benzoate into the equation. Sodium benzoate is nearly as prevalent as Red 40, and it might be much harder to eliminate from our diets. Anyhoo, I’ve more reading I have to do before I go down that road.

    That’s it! Always happy to run across a blog where people are talking about this. The challenge is uniting the voices to get some real change to happen. Hope to see you around the ‘net, particularly at the vox.com group.

    JP

  27. Jill · January 11, 2008

    When my son was about 2 we began to see a silly little boy become an extremely hyperactive child during the course of the day. He would go from calm and relaxed to what we called “in the zone.” You could see it coming. He would spin out of control and just go until he literally wore himself out. Lucky for us, he was still very happy during these bouts. His preschool teachers suggested we have him tested for ADD/ADHD. I knew that was coming, but in my heart, I knew he did not have ADD/ADHD. He could sit and watch TV, sit in church, and be full engaged in activities often. Over summer vacation, I logged every single thing that went into his mouth. There was a definite pattern to what we were seeing- when he injested something with Red 40, it would happen. When we suspected this, we gave him food or juice containing the dye to watch for his reaction – without him knowing, of course. EVERY single time, withing a few minutes, he would get that glazed look and just go. I talked to my pediatrician about this and he basically said that is just a myth. Well, we know it isn’t. We eliminated Red 40 from his diet as much as possible – even Motrin had dye-free meds. It is amazing how many things contain this. What a difference! When he went back to preschool the next fall – he was noted as one of the more behaved kids in class by his teacher. My son is almost 8 now and knows what he can and can’t eat. We haven’t banned those foods, but he’s old enough to know he doesn’t like the way he feels. He is very well behaved and just as busy as a boy should be! I don’t care who says the dye doesn’t affect some children. We have lived it. I encourage anyone wondering about the chance of an ADD/ADHD diagnosis with their children to have their children tested, of course, but to also check for a possible connection between their child’s behavior and Red 40. I can only think how different my son’s life might be had he been diagnosed and we medicated for a condition that he does not have.

  28. Wendy · January 2, 2008

    Can red #40 cause insomnia in adults? I have been having bouts of insomnia that I feel are linked to red coated acetaminophen tablets. I know there are reported concerns over hyperactivity in children but I can find no reference to adults. I came ot the conclusion of the tablets causing the sleep problems after going thru my evening routine and noticing the evenings I took pain relief I could not sleep.
    Thank you in advance for any help or information.

    Wendy

  29. Gena · November 21, 2007

    I have a 4 year old son with a Red40 sensitivity. He was having these terrible episodes of violent defiant behavior, and for a long time we did not know why. It was really scary because during these episodes his eyes are glassy, he doesn’t talk, he just screams, kicks, hits, tries to bite if you get near him…and then when it is over he will just stop and reach for me and say “mommy” and it is over. Then he will sit on my lap for a few minutes and just stare and then slowly he will go back to his normal, sweet self. It has been about two months since we have cut out the Red40 and he went from being in trouble every day at preschool to being one of the more well behaved kids in the class…Everyone around him has noticed a dramatic improvement. We have slipped up a few times while we were learning about this and each time, within 48 hours we had at least one episode and you could literally feel it coming on. After one really bad day, it seems to taper off over the next couple of days…I don’t know if it will work for everyone, but it has been a miricle for us!

  30. Nicole · October 21, 2007

    My daughter first showed signs as a baby. She would blink her eyes as if trying to clear her sight after being give Motrin (not the dye free). She broke out in hives at two, and we assumed it was from strawberries. We treated her with Benadryl (again, not the dye free version) which made them worse instead of better. In both cases Red Dye 40 was the cause. Avoiding consumption and time has lessened her reaction, but it has not gone away as I had hoped it would.

    I was told by an allergist that it might not be Red Dye 40, but a natural ingredient used to make the dye. If that is true in her case, she could also have a reaction to ‘organic’ foods that use natural ingredients as coloring agents.

  31. Debra · October 19, 2007

    Wow, powerful post. I had not heard of dye sensitivity before, although I have suspected that red #40 and its friends and sodium benzoate are bad news. In a way I’m glad I don’t have to be that watchful; if I slip and my son has HFC or dye, he’s not going to scream out in pain. But maybe it would make me more diligent at avoiding those additives.

  32. Marissa · October 7, 2007

    I personally had the same problem to red food dye, but mine was not discovered until later, because mine was so hyper-sensitive that i could not even take motrin. I had a serious problem because as a young child I hate frequent ear infections, and most medications used to treat them are loaded with red food dye. However, I would also experience night terrors every night. My mother would be sobbing as I would be banging my head against the wall, and jumping down flights of stairs. In Atlantic City there was a woman who was a nutrisonist that owned a candy store, (yes I do realize how hypocritical that is.) Everytime i would go down with my grandparents she would make me these special white chocolate candies (Caffine also had a negative impact on me,) that were covered in dye free rainbow sprinkles. These candies were not only incredible tasting, but they were all natural. I did not feel left out for not eating m&ms. In fact, I though i was some hot stuff, here I had a candy that no one else in the world got to eat. The extra attention made me feel spoiled, not ridicules. I eventually out grew my problems with both red food dye and caffine, as hopefuly your daughter will. I to pray that eventually our government will stop using it’s citizens as human lab rats, (I strongly oppose animal testing I just cannot think of better term.) Half of the ingredients in our food are most ikely toxic. I don’t care what color my food is, hoever i do care i it is going to have a egative impact on my body and life.

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    • L. Olson · May 15, 2010

      Thank you for sharing your story. It is somehow comforting to know that other people struggle with the same frustrations. I’m 28 now, but have been sensitive to both food colorings and sodium nitrate/nitrite since I was little. My reaction, though is migraine headaches. While the sodium nitrate/nitrite gives me a far worse reaction, it is the food coloring that drives me nuts because it is virtually unavoidable.

      Fortunately I had a good pediatritian that actually introduced the idea of food coloring as a trigger when I was around 7 or 8. Twenty years later I am still regularly discovering new hidden sources of pain. I’ve become a meticulous label reader after discovering that even foods like jam, pickles and cheese can have dyes in them. Potlucks, parties and restraunts make me nervous. And I hate always having to ask everybody about everything. I’ve left many a gathering still hungry. I lost weight at summer camp because I was afraid of so much of the food.

      Worst, though is the fact that so much medicine contains dyes. As a child I stuggled with the fact that all the children’s medicine for headaches contained the very dyes that cause them. As an adult I wouldn’t dare try a med like Imitrex for the same reason. As a lifelong headache sufferer I now often develop horrific stomach pain when I take ibuprofen which Pepto Bismol would help–if it didn’t give me a headache and put me back at square one (I have discovered that Maalox makes an equivalent product without dye but it is more expensive, harder to find, and the last 2 time family members tried to pick me up some when I was too sick to, they brought back the wrong stuff). I’m afraid of what I will do as I get older and need to take all kinds of variously colored medications (No purple pills for me thanks). I really think their should be a law making dye-free versions available. The reason I was searching the internet about red #40 today, though is because I’ve been having weird sensations in my head since I had food poisoning earlier this week and I can’t figure out if it is a medicinal side effect or an effect of the red dye that was in it.

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