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naomi's mama 07-02-2012 12:12 AM

Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
My DD who is 5.5 yrs has always been very hyper, impulsive, extroverted, needs constant attention, etc. lately shes been very very tiring for us as a parent. We really do think she has ADHD. Does anyone have a child that has been diagnosed? Have you heard of or made dietary changes to treat it? Have you seen results?

I was thinking of cutting all sugar in her diet. Thoughts?

jbug_4 07-02-2012 05:14 AM

Re: Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
I was myself. My mom did the Dr. Feingold diet for me. . The problem is usually more to do with additives and food coloring then sugar. I was a child so I can't say how well it helped (and my parents are no longer living so i can't ask). But it did help some and its healthy. Behavior training was also helpful. My parents reminded all the time to "slow down and take a breath before moving" to "think before acting"- not in the nasty way just a gentle reminder to take a minute and think. And when I got older I was given permission to daydream in class- last 10 mins of every class. You would not believe how much that helped me pay attention. If I caught myself slipping (I didn't always catch it) I could shake my head and say just ... minutes and I can slip away. I didn't really get good at that until 8th grade, but saved me in HS. I was never medicated.

As an adult I notice a definite difference in my behavior when I have had a lot of food coloring + sugar. Neither one on their own really do that much to me its something about the combination that gets me bouncing off the walls. Red food coloring being the absolute worse.

Anyway, diet can help a lot but making the child conscious of their actions and their and thoughts is really important.

Good Luck.

tallanvor 07-02-2012 07:04 AM

Re: Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
Basically, if it's artificial, take it out -- flavors, colors, etc. Sugar is a big one for us, but not just any sugar. High fructose corn syrup (now also known as corn sugar) is the biggest issue. Natural sugars don't seem to be an issue for us, so we are picky on what type of jelly we buy, we use honey and 110% maple syrup on pancakes, etc. Things that I bake myself don't really seem to cause problems, either, but in those, the plain white sugar is the most processed/refined food.

There can be other foods that cause problems, but that is a good starting point. If you find it makes no difference, or it doesn't make as much of a difference as you were hoping, you can try taking out wheat, which is another fairly common food to cause behavior issues. My oldest has a wheat sensitivity that affects her behavior.

A lot of it, as pp mentioned, is also behavior training, and it takes a long time. Give your daughter organized ways to get out some energy, as well. If she's not in one yet, perhaps look into getting her into a dance or tumbling class, or some sport. It helps her run off energy and gives you a little bit of a break.

songbird516 07-02-2012 07:19 AM

Re: Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
A traditional/ whole food diet has helped some families that I know. Avoiding processed sugar, HFCS, UHT milk and food additivest are a good place to start. Personally I buy very little food that even needs a label, if that makes sense. I buy vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy, and grains separatly, so that there is no doubt as to what is in it. ( no dyes, etc). Low sugar and a good amount of saturated fat from healthy sources is also really important, because the brain needs healthy fat and cholesterol. Think about breastmilk; it's raw, unprocessed, and contains healthy fat, protein, and sugar. It also contains healthy bacteria to keep the gut/ intestinal system working well. All of these things are necessary as we grow, but we have to get them from different sources.

Sylvie89 07-02-2012 08:40 AM

Re: Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
Dr. Fuhrman has a lot to say about adhd and diet in his books. Try "Eat for Health" or "Disease Proof your Child"

newbiemama 07-02-2012 09:18 AM

Re: Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
There's actually a lot of evidence to support that theory. And a LOT of research. A good friend of my husbands actually had ADHD as a child, his parents changed his diet and hid symptoms reduced in a matter of weeks. And now he's a happy, calm, well-adjusted adult. Here's some articles I just googled.

wordmama 07-02-2012 06:19 PM

Have her allergy tested by a homeopath. Often food intolerances are the cause of ADHD-like behavior. My DS was an extremely hyperactive child who had wild mood swings and outbursts. We had him tested and eliminated the offending foods (sugar, red dye and dairy). Within weeks, he was a different child.

Many children are sensitive to excess sugar and dyes, so that's a good place to start, but for the best results I'd get her tested.

Sent from my iPhone using DS Forum

GEM Cloth 07-03-2012 03:16 PM

Re: Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
Thanks for the info ... I have a child who exhibits some ADD behaviors and I keep thinking that some diet modifications would help.

suthrnmomto3 07-03-2012 05:46 PM

Re: Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
My neighbors boys have ADHD, odd and some bipolar her dr said for her to start by elimating red dyes or limit intake with such like ketchup and such...

lilly12 07-03-2012 07:33 PM

Re: Diet changes to treat possible adhd?
Yep eliminate ALL food dyes.
Introduce lots of healthy omega 3/6/9.

Food dyes are linked to ADHD/behavioral disorders

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