by Michael Cohen, Director
Center for Brain
Your child has ADHD, but if you’re like most parents, you are unaware that your child could be eating foods DAILY that contain hidden ADHD triggers.
Center for Brain helps normalize the ADHD brain with neurofeedback, but hidden food triggers can be counterproductive.
We often suggest to parents of ADHD kids that they put their child on a food elimination diet to rule out hidden food issues that could prevent the neurofeedback training from being as effective as possible.
The website ADDtidude has several informative articles about food elimination diets for ADHD. This link will take you to one that gives you a good overview.
Food sensitivity vs. food allergy
Many children with ADHD have food sensitivities. A food sensitivity isn’t necessarily a food allergy. Food allergies can cause serious physical consequences such as a rash or impaired breathing. Food sensitivity can cause changes in mood and behavior. A food allergy is detectable with a blood or skin test. There are no accurate tests for food sensitivity, so elimination is the best way to find out if a child has any.
Several studies over the past 30 years have pointed to a relationship between ADHD and food sensitivity in some children. One of the best-known, Impact of Nutrition on Children with ADHD (INCA), was published in the British medical journal Lancet in 2011 by researchers in the Netherlands.
Researchers looked at 100 children, ages 4-8, who had been diagnosed with ADHD. Half followed a supervised diet that was restricted mainly to rice, meat, vegetables, pears and water. The other 50 children, the control group, ate normally. After five weeks, 64 percent of the children on the restricted diet were showing significant improvement in their ADHD symptoms and oppositional behavior, while the control group had no improvement at all. When children on the restricted diet returned to normal eating patterns, their behavioral symptoms intensified.
“We think that dietary intervention should be considered in all children with ADHD, provided parents are willing to follow a diagnostic restricted elimination diet for a 5-week period and provided expert supervision is available,” wrote Lidy M. Pelsser, Ph.D, along with her colleagues in the study from the ADHD Research Centre in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Types of food elimination diets
There are several ways to conduct a food elimination diet, and all of them should be supervised by a physician or dietitian.
There’s the kind of diet used in the study cited above that eliminates almost every food known or suspected to cause problems, but this is so severe that it is mostly used only in scientific studies.
Another diet eliminates the foods most commonly believed to cause problems: corn, wheat, soy, nuts, eggs, citrus and artificial colors and flavors.
Yet another eliminates just one or two foods at a time.
To learn how neurofeedback helps the ADHD child without medication, contact us for your free consultation with director Mike Cohen.