Elimination diet for ADHD
The study by Lidy Pelsser and colleagues (Feb 5, p 494)
Unfortunately, the study's design was severely flawed since none of the outcome assessments was blind to treatment status. The investigators should have included at least one objective, independent assessment of attention, impulsivity, or activity level.
Although it is reasonable for families of young hyperactive children to consider elimination diets, this study raises as many questions as it answers with respect to this treatment approach.
The Naturopathic Approach
Give your baby a chance to grow to become the best that s/he can be. Natural medicines can assist to balance and harmonise the body/mind without the nasty side effects and dependency of conventional medical drugs that may lead to long term depression.
If you and your Dr decide that you need to put your child on medical drugs, ensure you are encouraging the normal healthy development of body and brain with proper nutrition and a supportive lifestyle, in time you might need less of the drug or totally eliminate it.
Please read below more information on Naturopathy and ADHD.
Make an appointment today (email@example.com) and start to build better health for your most precious little people.
The term “attention deficit” is misleading. In general, the current predominating theories suggest that persons with ADHD actually have difficulty regulating their attention; inhibiting their attention to non-relevant stimuli, and/or focussing too intensely on specific stimuli to the exclusion of what is relevant. In one sense, rather than too little attention, many persons with ADHD pay too much attention to too many things, leading them to have little focus.
The major neurologic functions disturbed by the neurotransmitter imbalance of ADHD fall into the category of executive function. The 6 major tasks of executive function that are most commonly distorted with ADHD are (1) shifting from one mindset or strategy to another (i.e., flexibility), (2) organization (e.g., anticipating both needs and problems), (3) planning (e.g., goal setting), (4) working memory (i.e., receiving, storing, then retrieving information within short-term memory), (5) separating affect from cognition (i.e., detaching one's emotions from one's reason), and (6) inhibiting and regulating verbal and motoric action (e.g., jumping to conclusions too quickly, difficulty waiting in line in an appropriate fashion).
Causes and Risk Factors
Like most complex neurobehavioral syndromes, the cause of ADHD is unknown (Daruna et al. 2000). Genetic factors as well as other factors affecting brain development during prenatal and postnatal life are most likely involved (Daruna et al. 2000). The use of functional neuro-imaging has led to identification of a number of consistent features in the brains of ADHD children. These features include decreased arousal and glucose metabolism and increased theta (4 to 8 Hz) activity in both the frontal and subcortical regions (Thompson and Thompson 1998). Results of animal studies and the therapeutic success of psycho-stimulant medication suggest that the aetio-pathology (cause of disease) of ADHD may involve hypofunctional (poor function) dopamine pathways and other neurotransmitter imbalances (Kidd 2000).
Heredity: children with ADHD usually have at least one first-degree relative who also has ADHD and one-third of all fathers who had ADHD in their youth have children with ADHD (National Institute of Mental Health 2001).
Gender: ADHD is more prevalent in boys; the male-to-female ratio is 4:1 in epidemiologic surveys and 9:1 in clinic samples (Daruna et al. 2000).
Prenatal and early postnatal health: maternal drug, alcohol, and cigarette use (National Institute of Mental Health 2001); in-utero exposure to toxins, including lead, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.
Abnormal thyroid responsiveness (possibly caused by exposure to pollutants during perinatal period) (Kidd 2000).
Learning disabilities, communication disorders (Kidd 2000), and tic disorders such as Tourette's syndrome (American Psychiatric Association 1994).
Nutritional factors: allergies or intolerances to food, food colouring, or additives (Kidd 2000).
Environmental exposures: chronic exposure to lead and other toxic metals have been linked to a variety of neurobehavioral sequelae in children (Kidd 2000).
Extreme or pervasive psychosocial stressors (such as marital discord or parental psychopathology); in isolation probably not a major cause of ADHD, but may contribute in combination with other risks (Wolraich and Baumgaertel 1997).
Symptoms & Signs
Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort
Loses things necessary for tasks or activities
Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
Is forgetful in daily activities
Symptoms & Signs - Hyperactive
Fidgets with hands or feet, or squirms in seat
Leaves seat in situations where remaining seated is expected
Runs or climbs excessively in inappropriate situations (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
Acts as if "driven by a motor"
Blurts out answers before questions are completed
Has difficulty awaiting turn
Interrupts or intrudes on others
Hair metal analysis
Useful for screening for metal toxicity, which may be a triggering factor
Check for dysbiosis/gut toxicity(http://www.mariaaugustyn.com/HEALTH-CHECK---Tests.html)
Diet and Lifestyle
Behavioural modification programs are recommended, to assist sufferers and parents establish suitable routines and systems for managing undesirable behaviour.
Patients do best in school and work environments which offer a highly structured approach.
Ensure that punishment is not overly harsh, and that praise is given for acceptable behaviours.
Ensure adequate sleep and physical exercise.
Patients should avoid coffee, cola and other caffeinated drinks (if taking stimulants).
Diet should be low in sugar and carbohydrates, as hypoglycaemia may trigger symptoms.
Each meal should have protein to provide adequate amino acids for healthy neurotransmitter production.
Enhances concentration, mental alertness and cognitive function, Improves short and long term memory.
The ideal combination of herbal therapy, nutrition and lifestyle/behavioural changes can make the difference between dependency on drugs, weakness of body and character and a strong healthy person.