~ Food Has Power ~
ADHD? In 30 years there has been a twentyfold increase in the consumption of drugs for attention-deficit disorder.
"Food is the main cause of ADHD," researcher Lidy Pelsser told NPR.
Pelsser led a Norwegian team which found that more than 60 percent of kids diagnosed with ADHD were actually experiencing a hypersensitivity to certain processed foods.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "Food additives that may increase hyperactive behavior include:
The approach for your child's overall health and nutrition is a diet that limits sugary and processed foods and is rich in fruits; vegetables; grains; and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseed and other foods. "
We homeschool. My child is right-brained and learns best while in motion. So do I. If he were in school, the environment would not be conducive to his learning style. Additionally, we avoid artificial colors, flavors and preservatives and high salicylate loading (per the Feingold Diet) in order to alleviate hyper-type behaviors.
Commercial dairy and wheat gluten also exacerbate many impulse and inattention behaviors in children, including my son.
I can strongly attest to the observation that food choices are directly related to increased sensory-seeking behaviors and inability to hear other's needs.
This is an old post of mine from years ago: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/799087/dont-know-where-to-star...
And another: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/824398/i-am-worried-about-my-4...
And this one: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/745761/gifted-but-socially-del...
And this one: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/551362/how-to-deal-with-violen...
Our son would have aggressive and physical episodes after consuming dairy. Agitation and less ability to hear and consider other's needs after artificial colors and high fructose corn syrup. You might check out The Feingold Diet. www.feingold.org or the book "Why Can't My Child Behave?"
Food sensitivities can also increase sensory seeking behaviors such as the need to bump, push, hit, kick and other large motor movements that create sensory input.
More support: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/575707/bipolar-child-getting-v...
Overwhelmed? Where to Start.
Here are 30 medical research studies from the US National Library of Medicine regarding natural substances which help ADHD, including:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
Essential Fatty Acids
Pine Bark Extract
Gamma-Linoleic Acid (GLA)
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Born To Explore, The Other Side of ADD/ADHD.
This is a copy of an old post of mine about a similar situation. I hope some of it helps.
Our son had rage and aggression, inability to hear and consider other's needs when he consumed dairy. It develops about one hour after consumption and lasts for 1-6 hours, depending upon quantity consumed. Commercial dairy is not meant for human consumption, imo. It takes about six weeks to completely eliminate the dairy proteins from your body.
Also, artificial food colors yellow and red make him hyper and less able to control himself. You might find some information at www.feingold.com about diet and behavior. But, diet is HUGE in our family. When ds doesn't eat dairy, or artificial colors, flavors and preservatives he is considerate and respectful of other's body. With dairy he invades other's space, pushes, hits, kicks, etc.
We also use Rescue Remedy and Cherry Plum for upsets and "out of control" feelings. These are Bach Flower remedies, safe for children even. And available at most natural food stores. I could not parent without my Bach flower remedies.
Our son has huge dietary issues related to behavior. But he is agreeable to avoiding dairy, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives because he feels better when he does. I don't know if you are familiar with "The Feingold Diet"? If you can find or order the book "Why Won't My Child Behave?" and/or "Is This Your Child?", they both talk about children who sound just like yours, just like mine when he eats dairy, too much soy, wheat or artificial ingredients or too much salicylates from natural foods.
It requires vigilant awareness but is worth every bit of effort. Our son goes from 0-100 (well over the sanity limit) approximately 60 minutes after consuming dairy. He would become aggressive, hitting, kicking, screaming and it lasts for 1-6 hours depending on quantity of consumption. Same thing with artificial ingredients. Needless to say, we avoid them like the Plague. We have avoided all of these since a very, very early age and he has outgrown many of his food intolerances and behavioral responses. Now he can eat dairy several times a week, wheat daily and soy a few times a week without any reactions. We do try to have a lot of physical outlets for him after consumption though. He is sensory seeking, probably ADHD, and SID, but these are irrelevant labels to us as we homeschool. But in a school situation, I imagine that his physical needs would interfere with sitting for long durations. Anyway, btdt. It can and will get better.
I have learned tons about diet and behavior. Here are some resources.
Here are links to the two books I mentioned:
Here is a link to "The Feingold Diet" organization. I didn't join and get there list of approved foods that are additive free. My friend did so have seen the info which is helpful. I shop at EarthFare which doesn't have any of the ingredients that they say to avoid.
Basically you need to do an elimination diet for a minimum of a week to see a difference. Some people can see a significantly happier child in 24 hours! To completely eliminate dairy you need closer to a week though, 3 weeks ideally. And there is dairy, casein and whey in many processed foods. It is an effort, but so worth it.
Our son can negotiate and consider other's needs and honor other's personal boundaries. But he had much harder of a time when he accidentally consumed dairy, or artificial vanilla, or nitrates, or some yellow food color, for instance. http://www.feingold.org/indexx.html
Here is a brief list of the foods to avoid. There are tons of foods, and brands that can be consumed. The list looks daunting. But, you just eliminate all you can and then gradually test by adding one food at a time back to the diet.
Many people find a gluten-free diet helps. That is a bit more comprehensive than just wheat free. But there are a lot of dairy and wheat substitutes.
Here is a thread about "Healing the Gut". Basically, eliminating all the foods that cause intolerances and allowing the gut to heal. There are stickies and links about what to do. I believe this is what has significantly helped our son, in addition to classical homeopathy. We avoided all of the culprit foods for a long time. He is now 5, and can eat most everything except artificial ingredients.
"The Explosive Child" discusses 'picking your battles'. Basically, it has a "Basket" criteria of degrees of battle. Basket "A" is safety issues. These are critical to health and worth making an issue over. Basket "C" are little things that won't matter tomorrow, next week or next month. These are ignored and dealt with without creating an issue/battle or power struggle.
Basket "B" are the important but negotiable items which need buy-in. Most things are here. But the issue is to determine 'Is this critical to the family's happiness *today* to create a power struggle?' What other ways can this issue be tackled together as a team?
Food intolerances: dairy causes aggression in our son. We see his behavior change about one hour after consumption and lasts 1-6 hours depending on quantity consumed. Also, high fructose corn syrup (not sugar), artificial colors: red and yellow. See "The Feingold Diet" on-line.
I strongly and firstly recommend The Explosive Child for tools of "choosing your battles". It can change the dynamics to just essential safety issues, instead of having everything be a battle. I forgot about high fructose corn syrup. Ds can NOT consume this at all. Occasionally he does. Then, we all have a very tough several hours. Eliminate this from your lives. It is seriously associated with violent and aggressive behaviors.
This thread is "Parenting & Rage". These women have many suggestions on taking care of yourself so that you are not overwhelmed by the work of parenting your child. It is work. They have helped me to recognize how I need to provide self-care to *me*, in addition to caring for everyone else. They remind me how important a calm mama is to a calm family.
I hope this helps to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Oh and here is info about homeopathy. Here is one link: http://www.healing-arts.org/children/ADHD/homeopathy.htm We use classical homeopathy rather than acute. But, it does help to address the digestive and immunology aspects of food and behavior. I highly recommend considering it. I was leery at first but am evangelical about homeopathy now.
OH, and there are Bach Flower remedies!! These help when nothing else will. You can choose according to symptoms. These are available at any natural food store. Rescue Remedy, Elm, Cherry Plum, Beech are must haves, imo.
Also, see this thread about diet/environmental info related to sensory seeking behavior.
Here are about 50+ different sensory activities. See post #18 and #19.
ETA: We found a lot of information to help us from the book Highly Sensitive Child.
You can do a little on-line quiz to see if your child has some of the characteristics of heightened sensitivity. It is a gift of increased awareness and emotional sensitivity.
Here are links to other posts with sensory activities(posts #16-19).
Here is the link to the "Healing the Gut" Tribe-Cheat Sheet.
Essential fatty acids, magnesium, and calcium all are related to mood balance. Check out The Feingold Diet www.feingold.org for information about salicylate loading concerns. Salicylates are naturally occurring chemicals present in some foods which cause some people difficulty. We avoid them in large doses.
Oh, and high fructose corn syrup never comes in our house!! It causes aggression and sensory seeking behavior in ds, also.
Magnesium supplementation has had a significant calming effect for our son. We use Natural Calm. Also Nordics Natural Cod Liver oil (peach flavored) have helped.
When things are most explosive (tired, hungry and angry) we use Bach flower remedies Cherry Plum for anger; White Chestnut for obscessive focus; and Rescue Remedy (and Elm for me for feeling overwhelmed). Beech is helpful for tolerance of other's imperfections; and Holly for suspiciousness and jealousy. They are all natural and help when everyone is melting down. Food intolerances and sleep needs are our biggest triggers for explosiveness. The Feingold Diet has changed our lives. www.feingold.org
I hope things are more peaceful for your family soon.
Food folate is critical to effective detoxification of the chemical byproducts of food and artificial ingredients. MTHFR gene polymorphism is an impaired ability detoxify. Synthetic folic acid makes it worse.
Basically, the detox system is like a funnel. You can dump a lot in, but there is a narrow exit pathway. Excess toxins just overflow and must be redeposited and "stored" into our organs, brain and gut. It is important to balance the toxins circulating in our blood stream with our ability to move them out of our body through our detoxification system. Otherwise, we just move toxins from one part of the body to another.
It is necessary to address nutrient deficiencies to optimize opening the detox pathways. There are nutrients which help the body to optimize detox pathways naturally. B12, MAGNESIUM, B3, B6, B12, folate, zinc, SELENIUM are key nutrients. Additionally, molybdenum and sulfate. Vitamin C, citrus pectin, and kelp (heavy metal tested, organic) can help to bind heavy metals and escort them out.
Medical drugs are tested before marketing on very few children. Obviously, most parents are not willing to give consent to have brand new psychotropic pharmaceuticals experimented for research on their own child.
See CONCERTA® manufacturer's package insert (Section 14 Clinical Studies, page 8). In all clinical trials BEFORE MARKETING:
"Post-marketing research" is what they call the collection of information of side-effects on children given new drugs. Your child. However, that is dependent upon pediatricians accurately reporting side-effects.
14 CLINICAL STUDIES
CONCERTA® was demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 4 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in children and adolescents and 2 double-blind placebo-controlled studies in adults who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th edition (DSM-IV) criteria for ADHD.
Three double-blind, active- and placebo-controlled studies were conducted in 416 children aged 6 to 12 years. The controlled studies compared CONCERTA® given once daily (18, 36, or 54 mg), methylphenidate given three times daily over 12 hours (15, 30, or 45 mg total daily dose), and placebo in two single-center, 3-week crossover studies (Studies 1 and 2) and in a multicenter, 4-week, parallel-group comparison (Study 3). The primary comparison of interest in all three trials was CONCERTA® vs placebo.
In a randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled trial (Study 4) involving 177 patients, CONCERTA® was demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of ADHD in adolescents aged 13 to 18 years at doses up to 72 mg/day (1.4 mg/kg/day).
See ADDERALL package insert (Section 14 CLINICAL STUDIES):
ADDERALL clinically tested BEFORE MARKETING:
See STRATTERA package insert (Section 14 CLINICAL STUDIES):
STRATTERA clinically tested BEFORE MARKETING:
I was shocked when I found out that so little clinical research was actually done BEFORE MARKETING pharmaceutical drugs.
And the FDA actually calls it Post-Marketing Surveillance.