How Diet Can Affect ADHD

 By: Steve Geysbeek
So many youngsters today have been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. When that occurs many kids are put on drugs that can do more harm than good. What is a parent to do besides suffer together with their kids? Look into alternative answers ; natural answers. Many of the children I grew up with who were prescribed these medications either sold them or took them in a way the tablets were not intended to be taken.

How can this cycle of prescribing drugs with side effects from suicidal thoughts and anorexia to drug abuse be useful to youngsters whose bodies are still developing? Is there a better, more natural way to contribute in these kids' lives?

The adage, you are what you eat, is very true. So , what precisely are youngsters eating now-a-days that make them more at the mercy of hyperactive disorders? What can be removed from their diets or added, that could help how their bodies process nutriments and information.

Each year between three and 10% of college aged youngsters are diagnosed with Attention Deficit / hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ), also known as hyperactivity. Most of these kids are presently being treated with drugs.

And these drugs have side effects - ranging from comparatively minor ( loss of appetite, weightloss, insomnia and mood swings ) to major ( suicidal thoughts, insane behaviour and substance abuse ).

So it's just natural for parents to ask whether there is a more holistic angle that they could follow and, more precisely, whether diet could contribute.

To answer that question lets start by taking a look at only 1 facet of children's diets - the increasing incidence of synthesised food colors and chemicals in the diet. The average kid today is consuming over ten pounds of food additives every year!

The concept that food additions - specifically synthetic colours and chemicals - could be accountable for hyperactivity was first raised by Dr. Ben Feingold over 30 years ago. He devised the Feingold Diet - a diet that was free of synthesised food colours, additives and other synthesised food additions.

Some little scale trials suggested the diet could be successful and millions of parents exploited the diet for their hyperactive kids with much success.

But the medical authorities pooh-poohed the Feingold Diet. They illustrated that when parents are putting their child on a special diet they are also giving that child more attention - and it may be the parent's increased attention that reduced the child's hyperactive behavior.

They also pointed out when you eliminate food additives from the diet you are decreasing the "junk" food and rocketing fresh fruit and vegetables - in short the child's diet is much more healthy.

So finally the Feingold Diet lost popularity but the idea artificial food colors and chemicals might trigger hyperactivity has refused to depart.

In fact , a couple of recent studies have substantially braced the linkage between synthesised ingredients and hyperactivity.

The first study was a meta-analysis of 15 prior studies having a look at the consequences of synthesised food colours and chemicals on hyperactivity ( book of developmental and behaviour Pediatrics, 25 : 423-434, 2004 ).

This meta-analysis concluded that synthetic food colours and preservatives caused a rise in hyperactivity in 28% of the youngsters tested.

Almost all the kids in those previous studies were chosen for the study because they'd been diagnosed as hyperactive ( ADHD ).

However , a more fresh study looked at 297 kids from Southampton Britain who had not been diagnosed as hyperactive ( Lancet, 370 : 1560-1567, 2007 ).

After a 8 week elimination phase in which artificial food colours and additives were removed from their diets, they were given an one week challenge consisting of fruit juice containing one of two different mixtures of four synthesised food colors and the preservative sodium benzoate or a pill.

The amount of synthesised food colours and sodium benzoate in the fruit juice drinks was built to match the average amount found in the English diet ( which isn't all that different to the American diet ).

Once more, the results were clear. The quantity of synthesised food colours and chemicals found in the typical child's diet is sufficient to trigger hyperactivity in numerous youngsters.

So what does that imply to you if you have a hyperactive kid? Could the easy act of dumping synthetic colors, flavours and additives from your child's diet eliminate hyperactivity and give you back that calm, sweet child that you like?

The available info suggest that removing artificial food additives from your child's diet can make a contribution in their behaviour, but I tend to side with experts who suggest a holistic approach is best.

Dumping food additions from your child's diet is vital, but also make sure the diet is a good one, that your kid is getting all of the nutrient elements that they need and that they are getting all of the attention and support that they need .
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