ADHD and Food Allergies

ADHD and Food Allergies | Foodfacts.com

ADHD and Food Allergies | Foodfacts.com

Did you know that many cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are due to food allergies or sensitivities? The connection between food allergies and ADHD was first discovered by Dr. Doris Rapp, a pediatric allergist who observed that many children went through significant behavioral and physical changes when they ate certain foods. Not only did they get dark circles under their eyes or red earlobes, they’d also experience drastic changes in behavior. One minute they were calm; the next minute they start becoming wildly hyperactive.

Foodfacts.com observes that the typical allergic reaction operates when an antibody called IgE reacts with a provoking agent called an allergen. This reaction is actually the allergic response which many of us are familiar with – watery eyes, hives, swollen tongue, and so on. In the case of ADHD, the specific antibody mechanism involved is a type called IgG. IgG allergic reactions differ from IgE reactions in two ways: first, there is a significant time delay before any IgG reactions appear. (This mechanism will be explained in greater detail below.) Secondly, IgG reactions disrupt the brain wave activation patterns, making the nervous system either slow down or speed up, and can cause chronic hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. IgG food allergies can also explain the other health problems that occur with ADHD, like asthma, eczema, and insomnia. Although a wide range of foods can cause IgG food reactions, the most common ones are wheat products (which contain gluten), dairy products (which contain casein), citrus fruits (particularly oranges), soy, and refined sugar.

Due to the high-dairy, high-sugar content of our diets, food intolerances can explain a good number of ADHD cases. Unfortunately, most medical doctors will say that food allergies do not cause ADHD, and will waste no time writing a prescription for ADHD medications. Even if you do find a doctor or a health care practitioner who accepts this theory, it is difficult to identify what particular food your child is allergic to.

Traditional allergy tests are designed to account for IgE antibodies, which usually have an instant effect. For instance, if a child is allergic to shrimp, he or she experiences an immediate reaction if the child eats shrimp. Unlike IgE, IgG reactions experience a time delay; in some cases, it can take as long as 72 hours before any symptoms appear. To understand how this happens, view the child as a barrel being filled up by several allergens. Let’s say that the child is sensitive to chocolate, soy, and seafood. As long as the child eats only chocolate and soy, the barrel remains partially full. One day, he has a dish with soy sauce for lunch, crab for dinner, and chocolate dessert. The presence of all these allergens will fill up the barrel in no time, causing the symptoms to appear.

Fortunately, there are tests that can determine which food allergies may be responsible for your child’s ADHD symptoms. There are special blood tests and muscle testing via Applied Kinesiology that can detect delayed allergic reactions. If any allergies are found, all allergens have to be removed from the diet for at least a month to see if the symptoms improve. In most cases, the disorder is aggravated by gluten (from wheat) and casein (from dairy).

Since it is difficult for children to stay away from their favorite foods, another option is to make use of desensitization techniques. These measures will prevent IgG antibodies from being formed when an allergen enters the body, subduing the symptoms of ADHD.

Source:  Dr. Yannick Pauli via Ezine Articles

Image:   Unritalinsolution

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