We present 17 children from 11 families with the allergic form of Meadow's syndrome. In all cases their mothers believed that they had severe disease due to allergies--in 16 cases to foods and in one to house dust mite. The maternal obsession with allergen avoidance resulted in bizarre diets and life styles. Most mothers were articulate and middle class, and many had marital problems (three single parents). They had a limpet-like attachment to their child and insisted on many medical consultations. Management proved very difficult and despite careful exclusion of allergic disease, many remained on diets and failed allergy clinic follow up. In most cases the obsession with allergy had been initiated by doctors.
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