I often have parents call and tell me that they have a child who have either formal or suspected diagnosis of ADHD, and they have heard that food is related somehow, but they don’t know exactly how or why.
In those cases I happily talk them through possible connections, and then we speak about specifically what may be how it is affecting their child. But recently it occurred to me that this is information that all parents, carers, and family friends deserve to know, so they can provide a loving, nurturing space for the child in their life that may be struggling.
Perhaps the reason I avoid writing these kinds of blogs is because I run the risk of further confusing parents. There is no magic pill, and there is rarely just one issue contributing to your child’s condition. It is a combination of factors that need to be identified in order to really see success. And we really can see success.
However I know we can read something on the internet and struggle to quite manage to apply it to our lives, and that leaves us feeling that either we did it wrong, or it doesn’t work. Neither of these sentiments are likely right, nor do they leave parents in a state of hope.
So lets break down at least some of the possible impacts Nutrition can have on ADHD.
Chemical sensitivities- alongside household chemicals such as washing powder and perfumes, food chemicals can commonly trip up sensitive children and adults. In Adults it may cause headaches/migraines or hayfever-like complaints, however in children it can tend to manifest more as behavioural issues- hyperactivity, impulsive behaviour and difficulty concentrating.
Artificial additives are in many common foods, so removing them can be a challenge, but so worth it. However some children also experience sensitivity to naturally found chemicals in healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables, so in these cases, identifying it and working to move past it is key.
Even the slightest issue with gut health, which can come from birth and just become slightly worse over time, can cause a child extreme brain fog, anxiety and even obsessive behavoiurs. These gut issues can be almost hidden too, they don’t always manifest in obvious digestive complaints like bloating, constipation or farting etc.
On top of this there may be hidden food intolerances, blood sugar imbalances so that even a typical diet leads to spikes and troughs in energy (distraction and impulsivity!) and concentration/focus.
Studies have also shown many children with ADHD to not have enough Omega 3 Acids to support cognition, or protein for Neurotransmitter support, meaning their anxiety or focus can be seriously hindered.
This may look like a lot to sift through, but I prefer to view it as a long list of potential strategies to help our children unlock their true selves and thrive.
If you think this may be the case for your child, please go to bit.ly/3jtEFPi to book your Free 20 minute chat via zoom or phone, so I can answer your questions.