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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

twinsma311

Celiac And Adhd

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Hi Everyone,

I have boy/girl twins who are 6 1/2 years old and they both have Celiac Disease. My daughter just got diagnosed also with ADHD. There is some, but a limited amount of information as they supposedly can

co-exist.( I thought if left untreated or undiagnosed, there can be neurological problems). I was just wondering if any of you guys know of any info, or if anyone else's kids have both celiac and ADHD. Thanks in advance.

Lisa

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Does the nontwin daughter also have celiac disease? If not, I would not think the ADHD is related to celiac disease but I would think there is a strong genetic predisposition for ADHD in your family. How old is the nontwin daughter? Even if she doesn't have celiac disease now, with two siblings who have it, she may yet develop it.

Steve

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Hi, twinsma--welcome to the board!

As you probably know, ADD and ADHD are considered to be on the autistc spectrum. There is a lot of crossover of symptoms between Asperger's Syndrome (mild autism) and ADD/ADHD. There are a lot of autistics who are gluten and/or casein intolerant. There are also some who aren't. See if you can find Lisa Lewis' book, Special Diets for Special Kids, theer is a wealth of well, written, easy-to-understand information there as well as recipes.

Don't be scared--many of us here have children with these issues, or have the issues ourselves. We can tell you what has worked for us, what hasn't and why, and you can take whatever info seems to fit your family and come up with even better approaches!

You may have already found this out, but ADD/ADHD/autistic kids usually do very well with a well-times schedule and plenty of advance warning for schedule/activity changes. They (like an other child) need real exercise and fresh air, but unlike many other children, they tend to be impossible if they don't get the exercise and fresh air.

I did write a bunch of info a while back on what really helped my oldest son, who has Asperger's. Let me see if I can find it and I'll try to post it here. If somebody else finds it first, feel free to go ahead and post it for me!

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My daughter is Celiac, and also has adhd. She's 5 and quite a handful. We fought and fought to keep her off medication, and dietary modifications helped a lot, but not enough to remove the impulsiveness and hyperactivity. And, she was a danger to herself and others. =( So, we were forced to start medication, and we've seen such a dramatic improvement in every aspect of her life, it's amazing!!

She's gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, egg free, very limited soy, food dye & artificial coloring free. And, she takes a very low dose of Ritalin to help with the feelings of fearlessness. She's such a joy to be around these days.

I wasn't aware of a connection between the two, but I learn something new every day.

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Hi Everyone,

I have boy/girl twins who are 6 1/2 years old and they both have Celiac Disease. My daughter just got diagnosed also with ADHD. There is some, but a limited amount of information as they supposedly can

co-exist.( I thought if left untreated or undiagnosed, there can be neurological problems). I was just wondering if any of you guys know of any info, or if anyone else's kids have both celiac and ADHD. Thanks in advance.

Lisa

From what I have read, there is about 66-70% of kids with untreated Celiac Disease that also get diagnosed with ADHD. http://www.celiac.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/st_...-29104574600.43

The good news is, the gluten-free diet can reverse this. If not, then looking at other food sensitivities is important. The most common offenders besides gluten are casein, eggs, soy and food colorings. You may want to do a search on the Feingold Diet to get more background information should your dd's ADHD not improve with the diet.

As for more neurological problems related with untreated Celiac....oh yes. There are many studies out there making the connection. There are posters here who have a link to The Gluten File in their signatures. Click on that link and it will take you to The Gluten File which will list some studies and offer you more links to other communities which also have pinned posts documenting all the studies. One author on PubMed had over 43 articles linking neurological disorders and gluten sensitivity. If you'd like a copy of the studies, just PM me and I can send you the links.

I hope that the diet resolves this issue for your dd. From what I understand, it can take a bit more time for neurological symptoms to "clear" as opposed to GI distress. But I've only read a small sampling and I'm sure that someone else here can give you much better insight. I put my dd on a gluten-free diet at the age of 15 months. She was sooooo hyperactive it was exhausting to try to keep up with her. She improved drastically within 24 hours but in a couple of weeks....it was absolutely unbelievable the difference that it made. However, we also found that dd is sensitive to casein, soy, eggs, food colorings, artificial sweeteners and food additives and preservatives. :blink: It's been a challenge to re-learn how to cook, but it has definitely been worth it and I wouldn't change a thing. It's quite a relief when you discover that what you thought was "uncontrollable" actual is controllable. A little bit of empowerment goes a long way in coping with and maintaining this lifestyle!

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I don't have any info, but I'm afraid that I'm a Celiac who married an ADHD...cringe...our poor children will likely have:

1. Celiac disease

2. ADHD

3. Hypoglycemia and/or diabetes

4. Depression

Wonderful! I can't wait to be a mother...lol

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My daughter was never diagnosed with ADHD mostly because she didn't act that way at school but at home she was in constant motion. She also struggled with doing homework at home. She just couldn't stay focused long enough. I had her evaluated for ADHD and they said she tested more like the normal population but she was hyper, impulsive, and easily distracted.

She went gluten-free last spring and I noticed this year that she is much better about doing homework and is much calmer. I have noticed that she acts that way again if she has had gluten, casein, probably soy, and possibly peanuts. So we may be headed down the same path as Shayesmom. I agree with her that it is worth eliminating whatever we need to in order to control that behaviour.

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Does the nontwin daughter also have celiac disease? If not, I would not think the ADHD is related to celiac disease but I would think there is a strong genetic predisposition for ADHD in your family. How old is the nontwin daughter? Even if she doesn't have celiac disease now, with two siblings who have it, she may yet develop it.

Steve

Hi Steve,

I only have one daughter and she is the twin that just got diagnosed with ADHD. No one is our family has celiac, but EVERYONE on my fathers side has diabetes and they say there is a connection with celiac and diabetes. It just came out in another auto immune disease i guess. No ADHD either. Thanks

Lisa

Thanks everyone who posted ........I havent really checked out other possibilities that they might be allergic to like dairy, eggs, food colorings, etc......., i guess i can go that route, i will check out the book u suggested. She is seeing someone for her behavior and we use strict behavior modification with her. Fortunately, it hasnt come out in school yet, i guess b/c its so structured, and that she just saves it all for me when she comes home....Who knows.........I am willing to try medicine if all else fails, my husband is not. I work on a psychiatric unit and he doesnt agree with all the meds, etc so we will see. Thanks again!

Lisa

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Thanks for all the info...... I havent really checked it she was allergic with anything else......i guess that is always a possibility......... My brothers kids were on the Feingold diet for a while and they say it helped, they are off now.....I cant imagine cutting out more stuff form their diets, but i will look into it.......The ADHD hasnt come out in school yet, she is saving it all for me when she comes home and is unbearable!!! She is seeing someone and we are using stirct behavior modification with her. We do exercise her and her brother most everyday after school, u think she would be tired....She just cant turn her brain off at night time....She never was a big sleeper just a cat napper. I am willing to try medicine after i exhausted all my other options, but my husband is not. I work on a psychiatric unit and he is dead set against any medicine........ We will wait and see........thanks again everyone!

Lisa

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Don't know if this will help as it is quite a long shot, but would she sleep better either sleeping with you or with a dog or cat (if she is not allergic)? Just wondering, becasue my oldest had sleep issues and he has a lot of overlap with the ADD stuff, and he slept just fine if he had a warm body. Didn't matter whose warm body, the cat or the neighbor's dog worked just as well as me and my husband. There are also weighted vests and weighted blankets available, sometimes kids with these issues have different and or extra sensory needs in order to calm down. My son does SO much better during the day when he sleeps well at night, but it was tough finding what would help him sleep well at night! Like your husband, I am dead set against meds--my son had open-heart surgery at 2, and there are NO studies about the safety of ADD meds and cardiac kids--and IMHO, the few studies availabe just on normal kids are NOT reassuring.

Have you read any of Temple Grandin's books? I suppose you have probably already read quite a bit about Asperger's. Anyway, do what feels right TO YOU, not necessarily what the books and experts say. You know your daughter the best, and can probably come up with what works.

Good luck, please keep us posted, okay?

(Strict behavior modification did NOT work for us--ds is a very sensitive soul--, but major preparations and explanations did, as well as very organized scheduling and activities that were geared to teach him the skills he lacked, also capitalizing on his strengths.)

Sorry this is so rushed, gotta get the other two to bed! Good night!

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