A Natural Treatment Approach to Hyperactivity ADD & ADHD
Finding some symptomatic relief with changes in diet and supplements
It seems that we are hearing of ADD and ADHD diagnosis more frequently than before, which sparks a question for me. Is this a result of our lifestyle and diet choices or is this just that these kinds of diagnosis are more available to us and we are willing to look for help? According to Elson M. Haas MD. One of the primary problems with hyperactivity in children is based in nutrition (including food allergies) and metabolism, in many cases hyperactivity can be helped with a good diet and supplement program. This may also be helpful for people with ADD/ADHD to manage symptoms.
Please note, this article, in no way, intended to replace medical advice or advising a nutritional program to replace any prescription medications, but as a way to help manage some symptoms. This article references “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” 21st Century Edition, 2006, by Elson M. Haas, MD and Buck Levin, PhD, RD. pp.
Interestingly, there have been connections made between poor diet and food allergies with children who suffer from Hyperactivity/ADD/ADHD. Dr Benjamin Feingold has published many scientific papers on this topic and pioneered an elimination-type diet (the Feingold Diet) that claims to reduce the symptoms of hyperactivity, ADD and ADHD, among other disorders and symptoms.
Common food allergy reactions associated with hyperactivity are to wheat, corn, milk, and eggs, and sometimes the other gluten-containing grains, including rye, oats, and barley. These as well as processed foods, soda drinks, sugar and foods containing chemicals especially colouring agents are often avoided, at least for a period of time to see if symptoms are reduced. Foods that should also be avoided temporarily are those containing high levels of salicylates (peaches, plums, prunes, nectarines, grapes, raisins, cherries, currants, apples, apricots, strawberries, tomatoes, asparagus, and cucumbers). It is not surprising that increasing quality protein, essential fatty acids and reducing refined carbohydrates will also help.
What to Avoid: On a Trial Basis*:
- Refined sugar – cane sugar and corn syrup
- Cow’s Milk
- Wheat and wheat products as a trial
- Craved and habit foods
- Other: peanuts, citrus, eggs, soy, chocolate
- Artificial colouring agents – especially Yellow No. 5
- Additives that affect neurological function – MSG
- Artificial flavours
What to Include as Diet and Supplements:
- Multivitamin / mineral
- Fish oils – EPA & DHA
- Lecithin – Choline and inositol
- Vitamin C
- Elimination diet (e.g. Feingold Diet)
- Food Challenges
* A trial basis simply means taking a certain food or group of foods out for a period of time, at least 2-3 weeks, in order to see if removing that food make a difference in symptoms. This does not mean that all these foods are going to cause the same symptoms for every person, or that the whole list of foods must be avoided for each patient.
For more resources you can go to: https://www.feingold.org/