Many more boys than girls experience ADHD. It usually starts by the age of three, although often diagnosis of ADHD is not made until the child attends school. Adults can also be affected by ADHD. Signs of ADHD can include any of the following (although the child/adult will probably not show all of the signs mentioned):
See below product listing for more ADHD information.
What can be implicated in ADHD?
Most cases of ADHD appear to be linked to food additives, food sensitivities and sugar. Naturally occurring salicylates and phenolic compounds are a problem in perhaps half of all cases. Hair mineral analysis showing high levels of metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, manganese and copper are also implicated in ADHD.
ADHD Diet advice and nutrition facts
Ideally seek the help of a nutrition consultant who has experience of ADHD.
Have a test for food sensitivities and a hair mineral analysis for heavy metal toxicity. A nutrition consultant will be able to arrange these tests.
An elimination diet, again with the help of an experienced nutrition consultant or nutritionally aware physician can be helpful in identifying allergens, but take care that the child is receiving adequate nutrition.
Meanwhile, remove all refined sugars from the diet, including refined carbohydrates like white flour and white rice, all artificial chemicals such as BHA and BHT, colourings, flavourings, emulsifiers, preservatives, thickeners, vegetable gums, anti-caking agents such as calcium silicate, bleaching agents, and so on.
Unfortunately, many hyperactive children are also sensitive to naturally occurring salicylates and phenolic compounds, which include quite a few fruits. (See below for details on salicylates.)
As you can see, quite a bit of detective work is necessary but the hard work is often worth it when the child/adult becomes happier in himself.
Salicylate and ADHD
Many foods naturally contain salicylates, which is similar to aspirin. Salicylate-like compounds are used to flavour foods such as cake mixes, puddings, ice cream, chewing gum and soft drinks. Therefore stay away from any refined foods to be on the safe side. Most fruit, especially berries, raisins and prunes and other dried fruits contain salicylates. Liquorice and peppermint sweets are also high in salicylates, and nuts and seeds contain some. Certain herbs are particularly high in salicylates, including curry powder, paprika, thyme, dill, oregano and turmeric.
Safe foods as far salicylates are concerned include vegetables, legumes, grains, meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy produce. However, there may be some other food intolerances amongst these for individuals.
ADHD: Possible food intolerances in order of likelihood:
Other ADHD considerations
Children with ADHD are twice as likely to have middle ear infections as other children. Middle ear infections (otitis media) can lead to moderate or severe hearing loss, which in turn can lead to impaired speech and language development and learning difficulties. Look for food intolerance, especially wheat and dairy, and compromised immunity and sugar intake.
Also ensure the child is getting sufficient nutrients. Several investigators have shown that correcting even mild imbalances or deficiencies can have a substantial influence on learning and behaviour. Poor nutrition and heavy metal toxicity also often go hand in hand – consider a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement.
Counselling involving the whole family can also be helpful.