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Author Explores Association Between ADHD & Celiac Disease

In an Oct. 30 blog post on the Psychology Today website, author Anneli Rufus described a possible link between celiac disease and ADHD.

According to the Mayo Clinic, celiac disease is "a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten & [that] can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment."

In her Psychology Today post, Rufus reported that a gluten-free diet may be able to minimize the impact of some ADHD symptoms:
"We have seen ... that nutrient deficiencies can lead to or exacerbate the onset of certain ADHD symptoms," reads a Stanford Wellsphere report. "For example, iron has been shown to be a useful supplement in treating certain underlying factors in ADHD. ...

It is thought that a celiac-disease-damaged system can contribute to iron deficiency, likely through impaired iron absorption, thus presenting a challenge to the ADHD patient. ...

A gluten-free diet (which, unfortunately, can be very difficult to administer due to the prevalence of wheat in the Western diet) has been shown to ameliorate most of these negative symptoms. A study done on celiac-disease patients and ADHD symptoms found that after treating patients with a gluten-free diet for six months, a number of ADHD-like symptoms subsided.

Labels: causes, diet, celiac disease

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ADHD Linked to Eczema

A German study has found that children with eczema, a skin condition characterized by a red itchy rash, are more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Among 1,436 children who had eczema, the ADHD rate was 5.2 percent, compared to 3.4 percent among 1,436 children without eczema. About 20 percent of all children in western countries have eczema, which is linked to hay fever and asthma. Many parents of children with ADHD experiment with natural food diets because they believe the disorder is allergy-based.

This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Labels: allergies, diet, studies

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High-fat Diets Disrupt Natural Body Clocks

High-fat diets may disrupt the body's natural daily rhythms, leading to hormone imbalances, obesity, sleep disorders, and cancer, according to a new animal study performed at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Dr. Oren Froy and his team fed mice low- or high-fat diets, with every other day as a fasting day. The mice on the high-fat diets experienced disruptions in their sleep/wake cycles and other 24-hour systems associated with metabolism.

Dr. Froy believes that that a high-fat diet not only puts a person at risk for overweight because it is high in calories, but also because it interrupts "natural circadian rhythmicity."

This study appears in the journal Endocrinology.

Labels: nutrition, sleep, diet

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Fruit Drinks Contain Pesticides

A team of Spanish researchers tested fruit drinks and found the highest levels of pesticide residue in those from Spain and the United Kingdom. The United States and Russia had the lowest levels.

Dr. Antonio Molina-Diaz and his colleagues performed laboratory tests on 100 fruit-based drinks from 15 countries, as part of a larger effort to determine the effect of pesticide-containing foods on children.

This study appears in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

Labels: nutrition, diet, fruit-drinks

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University of Texas Studying Effects of Diet on Autistic Kids

Scientists at the University of Texas Health Center in Houston are trying to find out if autistic children benefit from a gluten-free, dairy-free diet.

The gluten-free diet is particularly difficult to follow because it eliminates common ingredients such as wheat, rye, barley, and most grains, as well as foods containing starch, most flavorings, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. The dairy-free diet cuts out all dairy foods, even those with milk as an ingredient.

Many parents of autistic children have told their doctors that the diet improved their children's symptoms and well-being, but this is among the first scientific studies.

The Texas researchers enrolled 38 autistic children ages 3 to 9 in a gluten-free, dairy free diet program. Half the children are receiving a placebo, and the other half are using gluten and milk powder. Stay tuned for the results.

Labels: autism, diet

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Amino Acid May Help with ADHD

Researchers in British Columbia are studying the effectiveness of supplements based on the nutrient L-theanine. An amino acid that is found almost exclusively in tea plants, L-theanine promotes a sense of "calm alertness," and is used in Japan as a treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The tea can be hard to find in the United States.
"Though the final study is not out yet, [Dr. Michael Lyon] has been seeing good results. 'These disorderly, edgy, impulsive kids that can't pay attention for a few seconds. Put them on a couple hundred milligrams two or three times a day. Kids will calm down, they'll sleep better. They'll start to be more focused, they won't be so anxious,' he said."
Some parents have begun giving their children theanine supplements in place of other ADHD medications - though health care experts emphasize that this type of change should only be undertaken after consulting with a pediatrician. Source: CBN News

Labels: alternative_medicine, diet, supplements

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Sugar Not the Culprit

A team of researchers from the University of Wales reviewed scientific studies on factors contributing to ADHD and found that sugar is not as much of a factor as many people think.
"ADHD...has a strong genetic link, with half the children born of parents with diagnosed ADHD likely to develop the disorder themselves. Chemical imbalances in the brain are also involved and studies have found that children with the condition have on average 4% smaller brains."
Because they know sugar is an energy source, parents often expect their kids to act more hyper and fidgety after having sugar - but that doesn't usually happen. While food allergies can sometimes cause ADHD-like behavior, they don't actually aggravate ADHD. Source: Huliq.com.

Labels: causes, diet, sugar

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Professor Says Additive Removal Not "Alternative Treatment"

Professor Andrew Kemp of the University of Sydney believes there is enough evidence to support additive removal as a viable treatment option for kids with hyperactivity issues. His comments come in the wake of a study out of Southampton University which found an adverse link between certain additives and hyperactive behavior.
"The study was conducted in two phases. In stage one, 153 three-year olds and 144 eight- and nine-year olds were given one of two drink mixes containing artificial food colours and additives, or a placebo. The children were drawn from a general population and across a range of hyperactivity and ADHD... severities... The conclusions drawn by the researchers were that artificial food colours and additives were seen to exacerbate hyperactive behavior in children at least up to middle childhood."
In his comments, Professor Kemp also states that there is currently more evidence regarding the benefits of additive removal than for behavioral therapy, which is still considered an "essential" part of an ADHD treatment plan. Source: NutraUSA

Labels: treatment, diet, addiditives

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For Single Parents

Being a single parent is difficult in and of itself. The difficulties can be compounded if a child has ADHD. But there are ways for single parents to retain their sanity while helping their children grow to be successful, healthy adults.
"Schedule 'together time.' The shared time should be child-oriented and involve high-quality interaction between the two of you. Reading together, playing a board game or cards, watching a DVD or video, riding bicycles, or making a favorite meal will do nicely. Sibling rivalry, often a concern in families with ADHD, will decrease considerably if you schedule regular together time."
Your family can also benefit from having the kids help out at mealtime, getting them involved in extracurricular activities at school, and agreeing on responsibilities around the house. Source: ADDitude Magazine

Labels: diet, single parenting ADHD kids, meals

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Change in Diet can Help

The most common treatment for ADD and ADHD is medication. But some research indicates that changes in a child's diet, along with medication, can significantly improve ADD or ADHD symptoms.
"A number of nutritional approaches have been promoted to help manage ADHD, with most involving some form of food restriction or dietary supplementation... (Dietary modification and nutritional supplements should not be used instead of the usual medication without a doctor being involved.)"
Reducing food additives, decreasing sugar, and increasing magnesium and zinc have all been shown to improve ADD/ADHD symptoms in some children. When making dietary changes, it's best to change one thing at a time and take note of what works and what doesn't. Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)

Labels: alternative_medicine, treatment, diet

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Iron May Aggravate ADHD

A team of French researchers has discovered a possible link between iron deficiencies and ADHD. Lead researcher Eric Konofal, MD, PhD was curious about iron and its role in ADHD after several other studies found correlations between it and general restlessness and inattentiveness.
"...Konofal and colleagues measured blood levels of the protein ferritin in 53 children with ADHD and 27 children without ADHD but who had a mild reading disability. Ferritin allows the body to store iron and is used as a measure of iron levels. Eighty-four percent of children with ADHD appeared to have abnormally low ferritin levels, compared with 18% of children without ADHD."
Konofal says that, while the link between iron deficiency and ADHD symptoms is clear, it's too soon to recommend that kids with ADHD start taking iron supplements. The reason for the deficiency has yet to be determined.

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Labels: research, diet, alternatives

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Australian University to Study Effects of Fish Oil

Grandma always said that fish was "brain food". Turns out, she may have actually been right. Several recent studies seem to indicate that daily doses of fish oil improve concentration in children with ADHD. A team of researchers from Australia will be conducting a study of their own, in hopes of finding the final, definitive answer.
"They want to recruit 120 children with ADHD ages seven to 12 who have learning problems and are not already taking prescribed medication or supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil. Queensland University of Technology psychologist Ross Young said the study would test whether fish oil improved the children's literacy skills and also investigate the optimal dosages."
The team is currently accepting applications from children (and their parents) who would like to participate in the study, which is expected to last for one year.

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Labels: medications, diet, fish_oil

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Alternatives for Children with ADHD

An estimated 5 to 10 percent of children in America have either ADD or ADHD. There is a wide range of treatments available for these disorders, most of which involve some sort of medication. But some parents are uncomfortable with the idea of giving medication to their kids, especially if their kids are very young, so Amanda Fey, a naturopathic doctor in New York, has compiled a list of alternative treatments that parents may wish to consider.
"If your child had been diagnosed with ADHD, remember that pharmaceutical drugs aren't the only solution available. Supplementing with critical nutrients and improving children's diets have proved to be extremely beneficial in many scientific research studies; therefore, making it a sensible alternative solution for parents to explore."
Food additives have been shown to aggravate ADHD symptoms in children, as has a lack of both Omega-3 fatty acids and iron. Before adding nutritional supplements (especially iron), have your child's overall health evaluated to determine if he's lacking either of these. As for the food additives, they're almost impossible to avoid altogether but can be greatly reduced by preparing meals at home and reducing a child's intake of junk food and other sweets.

Schools that offer programs for children with non verbal learning disorder can help in ways that public schools aren't able to. Learn more at LearningDisabilitesInfo.com.

Labels: treatment, diet, alternatives

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Clinical Trial Supports Benefits of Omega-3

Many studies have been conducted about the affects of Omega-3 on children with ADHD. Many have found that ADHD symptoms decrease significantly when Omega-3 is introduced to a child's diet. However, some in the medical community have expressed doubts about the studies, claiming the research methods weren't adequate. The most recent study of Omega-3 may put some of those concerns to rest.
"The new study from the University of South Australia recruited 132 kids with ADHD aged 7 to 12 for the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention study. One hundred and four children completed the trial."
The trial lasted for a total of 30 weeks and by the end, the behavior ratings given by parents showed significant improvement in 9 of the 14 scales of the Conner's Parent Rating Scales. Read more online.

Labels: diet, studies, symtoms

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Australian Study Links Poor Diet with Attention Difficulties

A study of 1,800 children in Perth, Australia, found that those who eat "western-style" diets were twice as likely to have symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder compared to those who eat healthy diets.

A western-style diet was made up of highly processed foods, more likely to be fried and made in a restaurant.

Professor Wendy Oddy and her colleagues found that teenagers who ate healthy diets of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and fish were less likely to have symptoms of ADHD. They were not sure if children with ADHD tend to make poor diet choices, or if processed foods aggravate or cause symptoms.

The study appears in the Journal of Attention Disorders.

Labels: nutrition, diet, symptoms

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Can Diet Restrictions Help Kids Overcome ADHD Symptoms?

Previous studies have found that kids with ADHD can benefit from eating and restricting certain types of foods. Most of those studies focused on diet plans to help with ADHD-related symptoms such as lack of attention and impulsivity.

But a new study out of the Netherlands has found that eliminating certain foods can also help ADHD kids sleep better.

“The 15 children who followed the elimination diet showed an overall 4.6 times greater reduction than the other 12 children in all physical and sleep problems; overall complaints were reduced by 77% in the elimination diet group, versus only 17 percent in the control group.” - Source: FYI Living

Kids who were fed and elimination diet were only fed hypoallergenic food including turkey, rice, lettuce, carrots, pears, beets and water.


Labels: impulsivity, nutrition, diet

Posted By: 4ADHD.com 1 Comment