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  • Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
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    ADD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD and Celiac Disease

    The following piece was written by Ronald Hoggan who is a teacher at Queen Elizabeth High School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    The Polish one is: Kozlowska, Z.E. Results of Investigation on Children with Coeliakia Treated many Years with Gluten Free Diet Psychiatria Polska 1991; 25(2): 130-134.

    The German one is: Paul, et. al. EEG-befunde Zoeliaki-kranken Kindernin Abhaengigkeit von der Ernaehrung Zeitschrift der Klinische Medizin 1985; 40: 707-709.

    The first indicates that 71% of celiac children, when newly diagnosed, demonstrate EEG abnormalities. Now please note this caution: I HAVE NO TRAINING IN THE INTERPRETATION OF EEG READINGS.

    Nonetheless, when I compare the authors descriptions of the EEG abnormalities in celiac children, and the abnormalities in children who have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, there are some startling similarities.

    Paul, et. al. are paraphrased by Reichelt et. al. in THE EFFECT OF GLUTEN-FREE DIET ON GLYCOPROTEIN ATTACHED URINARY PEPTIDE EXCRETION Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 1990; 5: 223-239.

    They say: In celiac children provocation with gluten after diet causes alarmingly high frequency of EEG changes that persist up to a year (Paul et al 1985).

    I would urge (those with ADD) to be very careful to avoid contamination in (their) diets, and I would ask you to consider some alternatives to stimulant therapy (Ritalin is a brand name of the most commonly used stimulant.).

    The concept of drugging a child to facilitate learning is upsetting to me, especially when there is cause to suspect that, on the Gluten-free diet, she may improve without intervention. I know that she is falling behind now, but if her experience is similar to mine, many of my ADD type symptoms did go away during the first year. I will also forward a part of report that was forwarded to me, that showed that vitamin B-6 supplementation was as beneficial to a group of children with attention deficits, as Ritalin was. Especially in celiac disease, where vitamin deficiencies are so common, that seems a viable alternative.


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    As someone with both celiac and ADD, I wonder how much better I would have done if I had known earlier. No one in my family was diagnosed back then, and I spent years being exhausted, forgetful, and miserable. Now I can point to reasons why.

     

    My brother is 13 - I'm working on convincing my mother to take him in for testing.

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    As someone with both celiac and ADD, I wonder how much better I would have done if I had known earlier. No one in my family was diagnosed back then, and I spent years being exhausted, forgetful, and miserable. Now I can point to reasons why.

     

    My brother is 13 - I'm working on convincing my mother to take him in for testing.

    The very best we can do, I think, is to use our knowledge to help others avoid the pitfalls that we have experienced, as you are doing for your brother.

    Best Wishes,

    Ron

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    OMG! Thank you for this website. I'm a 52 yr old female and I suffer from terrible itching blisters and I have ADD. My dermatologist has no idea what causes them. I will take this info with me ASAP. Thank you!

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    My son is 13 and is developing the same symptoms as I did at that age. ADHD, arthritis at a young age, always tired... I recently did my own research and discovered that when I took all bread, pastries and such out of my diet and only ate meat and veggies, my arthritis went away...I do not know how it affects ADHD but will soon try the diet on my son.

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    For those of you that discuss ADHD and celiac disease, I advise that you question your original diagnosis. Celiac disease can present with neuropsychiatric symptoms, including those that mimic ADHD. If the ADHD symptoms go completely away while on a gluten free diet, that likely means your symptoms are a manifestation of Celiac disease, and that you do not actually have ADHD. 

    There is insufficient evidence to purport a link between Celiac and ADHD and evidence does not support a gluten-free diet as a complimentary approach to the treatment of primary ADHD. There is however, evidence to suggest that avoiding food additives, especially dyes, can be benefitial for kids with ADHD. So a "clean/healthy" diet is a good approach to helping with behaviors in kids with ADHD. 

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  • About Me

    As co-author of "Dangerous Grains" and "Cereal Killers", the study of the impact of gluten continues to be a driving passion in my life. I am fascinated by the way that gluten induces illness and impedes learning while it alters mood, behavior, and a host of other facets of our existence. Sure, the impact of gluten on health is an important issue, but that is only the most obvious area of impact. Mood disturbances, learning disabilities, and the loss of quality of life due to psychiatric and neurological illness are even more tragic than the plethora of physical ailments that are caused or worsened by gluten. The further I go down this rabbit hole, the more I realize that grains are a good food for ruminants - not people. I am a retired school teacher. Over the last decade, I have done some college and university level teaching, but the bulk of my teaching career was spent working with high school students. My Web page is: www.DangerousGrains.com

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