Steven - A low-phosphate diet success story
Steven's story shows the dramatic effect the diet can have, even in extreme cases with multiple complications. This letter, originally written in French, was received by Hertha Hafer in 1995.
"From an early age my son Steven suffered from otitis (inflammation of the middle ear). We went through a troublesome time as Steven never slept through the night. When he turned two, Steven went to Kindergarten where his difficult behaviour attracted attention. He continually disrupted the dynamics of the group and created commotion among his peers. I had to deal with constant complaints from the other mothers. I now observed how Steven's behaviour degenerated when he took his medication (antibiotics, cough medicine, drops, suppositories, sedatives) for his recurring otitis. We sought advice from a naturopath who confirmed that Steven suffered from allergic reactions to milk products, pollen and other substances. She prescribed Vivigan (an antihistamine). This medication triggered a severe brain allergy. Steven lost control of his eye muscles and his limbs. He experienced amnesia and there were periods when his behaviour was autistic. Following this incident we consulted homeopathic doctors but Steven's condition continued to deteriorate. To prevent his recurring middle ear inflammations from flaring up, Steven had two operations where a drainage system was inserted in his ears. This procedure brought no relief. We suffered through the nights; the days too brought their problems. Steven developed a disturbing fascination for fire and water and created disasters with these elements. He was a danger to himself and to others. His basic mood was one of extreme dissatisfaction. Steven's behaviour was so intolerable that his presence became evermore difficult to endure. He was absolutely incapable of showing any signs of affection and over time he completely destroyed the harmony in our lives.
When Steven was four, two lesions appeared on his left shin and a bony deformity developed on his breast-bone. His behaviour ranged from being hyperactive to being totally preoccupied with himself, talking incoherently and being confined to a world of his own. As well as having skin as rough as sandpaper, which erupted in places and caused intolerable itchiness, he encountered problems with his eyes. He developed a squint, which rapidly went from bad to worse. Once again doctors subjected Steven to a myriad of tests and diagnoses, only to inform us that he suffered from the symptoms of a tumour called nodular granuloma. Not one doctor we consulted came up with a miracle cure for Steven's myriad complaints (bony malformations, squint, autistic phases, hyperactivity, eczema); quite the opposite, the remedies prescribed caused more problems and eventually Steven lost the vision in his left eye. One day when I fetched Steven from school, I was so distressed that I was sobbing uncontrollably.
One of my friends, who was a homeopathic doctor, recommended that I read a book called "La Drogue Cachée - les phosphates alimentaires" written by Hertha Hafer and translated into French by Luce Péclard. I read this book and could scarcely believe that other families had encountered similar problems. No sooner had I finished reading than I disposed of all products in the house with labels that listed colourings, thickeners, emulsifiers, lecithin, mineral salts, etc. On 26th October 1994 we commenced to detoxify Steven with the recommended diet. From this day on our son received food without added phosphate, corresponding with the recipes in the book. We were amazed! Day by day Steven gradually transformed into a normal, considerate, friendly and contented child. As we had already made an appointment with the Hospital in Berne prior to trying the diet, we returned in November 1994 for further tests. As a result, for one week Steven had to eat the normal hospital food, despite our efforts to keep him on the low-phosphate diet. In addition, one of the tests required him to eat brewer's yeast. Twenty-four hours later Steven began to perspire profusely. His friendliness changed to bitter resentment. At night he reverted to grinding his teeth; he had nightmares; he cried and was fearful. Everything was the same as before. Steven's behaviour was obnoxious and intolerable. When Steven left the hospital, a third lesion had appeared on his shin.
At home we immediately put Steven back on the diet. Seven days later once again our son was in a good mood and able to smile. He slept peacefully at night and behaved during the day like any other normal child. He spoke coherently and remembered things. He was no longer hyperactive. His concentration span improved tremendously; he spent long hours reading and drawing. He played harmoniously with his friends. He learned to say the alphabet and behaved in every which way like a child his own age. He was amicable and well-behaved at home and at school, showed an interest in his friends, and they enjoyed his company too. He asked many questions and, of course, he was querulous at times, just as children his age are. There were other amazing results: The tumours reabsorbed, the recurring middle ear inflammations disappeared and Steven's vision improved with the help of spectacles. Our child has changed dramatically - he now enjoys good health and even his sinuses have been free of inflammation."
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