I am looking for recommendations from moms who have made significant diet changes for themselves, their children, or other family members as part of a plan to manage ADD. I have an adult and a child in my family who have not responded well to drug therapies, and our doctor is only moderately invested in dietary changes.
I would like stories of real experiences involving specific plans.
Thanks for any you can offer!
You won't find them. You WILL find stories of people who were malnourished or who have allergies who found significant improvement in their lives... but not anyone who is really ADHD.
Good nutrition helps EVERYONE, but it will only help someone with their ADHD as much as it will help a dyslexic read, or a gifted person get "dumber".
The longest running ADHD diets (feingold, etc.) are JUST balanced diets, eaten in proportion to activity levels, with minimal processed treats or junk food.
Feingold Diet or a modified version of it. We were following a modified version of it before knowing what it even was for my middle daughter when we were trying to figure out what was causing her behavioral problems. We knew that food sensitivities and allergies can often present as neurological disorders such as Autism and ADD/ADHD and behavioral disorders.
It started out as a food elimination diet to see if her behaviors improved when certain food groups were eliminated. With neuro disorders, some of the key triggers can be artificial food dyes (the biggest one being Red 40, then yellow, blue, and green) and High Fructose Corn Syrup. Knowing that, we eliminated those things first and saw a drastic improvement in her behaviors. These chemicals can mimic symptoms of Autism and/or ADD/ADHD and/or make those disorders worse than they actually are.
That encouraged us so we moved onto dairy. We knew that lactose intolerance, milk allergies, and milk protein sensitivities can mimic Autism. It turned out that she's severely lactose intolerant. We followed up with a Pediatric Gastroenterologist for the nitrogen breath test in order to have the diagnosis on this one put into her school file due to nutritional requirements in the school system (they require all kids buying lunches or drinks to buy milk).
We had no luck with removing wheat and other sources of gluten. We had no luck with removing soy. If there's anything else contributing to her Autism symptoms and ADD, we haven't figured out what it is, but she doesn't have much sugar in her diet. We eat as naturally as possible. She eats a very limited diet due to her Sensory Integration Disorder, but what she does eat is very healthy. She eats a lot of vegan products since they're pretty much guaranteed to be dairy free and made with natural ingredients that won't harm her.
We simply control all sugar refined and natural as well as a full Sensory Diet (see Sensory Processing Disorder for suggestions) and when we can reduce gluten but not fully removed. I see a difference and my 4y/o does too. He even refused Oreo cookies on chocolate milk day b/c last time it was offered he got into trouble b/c he could not control himself to the point he back talked and acted out for grandma!
I strongly recommend that you read Dr. Kenneth Bock's book "Healing the new Childhood epidemics; Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies"
Is a life changing book and every person who has a love one with one of those conditions should read. The approach of dietary changes,supplements, nutrition, therapy and advanced testing, etc. works!!
Our son was diagnosed with Celiac disease and allergy to milk which caused a lot of trouble and pain for us a s a family (read my past posts) the approach works, the treatment works believe me! (the pharmaceutical companies who keep making more new and expensive ADHD medicines don't want you to know)
Read the book, you will be glad you did!
There is no real "diet" you can follow because it depends on what the individual is sensitive to. It varies from individual to individual. Your first step would be to find out what foods are triggers, and the Elimination Diet may be the way to figure that out. Then you would need to get rid of those foods.
You also may have vitamin deficiencies. Your best bet is to find a holistic doctor. They can do a variety of testing to find food triggers and recommend supplements.
My trigger is eggs. I have ADHD when I eat eggs. When I don't eat eggs, I'm fine. So that's proof enough. Symptoms when I eat eggs: racing thoughts, inability to sit still, the feeling that I'm going to "jump out of my skin," easily angered or frustrated, inability to concentrate on any one thing. When I don't eat eggs, I'm fine. Finding the food trigger is the first (and hardest) step. But so worth it!
You know I do notice a difference in my daughter with what she eats. One teacher told me she thought my daughter might have a touch of add then we found out she was eating ice cream for lunch. Well as soon as we stopped that surprise surprise she went back to normal. But she is normally hyper kid and I do see a big difference when she gets certain sugars. It goes without saying no soda or junk food before school or during school. A few sips of Sprite can have my daughter bouncing off the walls. When I thougth she might have ADD I did research. It appears protein is really good breakfast choice for them. Water instead of fruit juices for lunch. Also there is this book that was written by an actress who had a kid with ADD and list a whole diet that worked real well. I'm sorry I cannot remember who it is. I'll think which. Also read additudemag.com/non-drug-adhd-treatments. I hope this helps you.
Look in to fOod sensitivities. www.betterhealthusa.com has a blood test for this. (not allergies, but delayed reactions=sensitivities).
HTH! GL :)
Cut out red dye #40. I have seen a drastic change in a young man who stopped having it in his diet. He is kind of a nice kid when he's not had it for a while.
Try cod liver oil. My doctor recommended it for my 13 year old son in hopes of avoiding pres drugs. SO far we have been okay.
Ditto everything Riley J. said. She's extremely knowledgeable about ADHD and right on with her advice.