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FlourShopGirl

How Has gluten-free Worked For Adhd?

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My son is 12 and has ADHD. I am gluten-free right now but it's really hard keeping him gluten-free. He wants to eat the lunches at school (which aren't actually that bad health-wise) but obviously not gluten-free. I've heard Gluten-free Casein-free would be a great option to meds but does anyone have personal experiences with this>

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My son is 12 and has ADHD. I am gluten-free right now but it's really hard keeping him gluten-free. He wants to eat the lunches at school (which aren't actually that bad health-wise) but obviously not gluten-free. I've heard Gluten-free Casein-free would be a great option to meds but does anyone have personal experiences with this>

My dd was too young for an ADHD diagnosis when we first figured out her gluten/casein issues. And for that, I feel extremely lucky because even at the age of 15 months, my dd's hyperactivity was so extreme that I thought my dh and I wouldn't be able to keep it together for much longer. She NEVER sat down, not even to eat. And she barely slept. It was a running joke in our house that she was always advanced on her milestones because she never slept so had more time to learn and be ahead!

We were floored the first day of the diet. Dd sat down, she was able to concentrate and we read through 5 books (before she couldn't sit through one). Two days on diet and her nap times extended and she slept better and longer at night. A week in, appetite increased and she began gaining much needed weight. And the evening tantrums....well they disappeared entirely.

Dd is still an extremely active child. She's full of curiosity and has an eagerness about her. You can just tell she's looking forward to getting into something. lol! But it's not the same as it was before the diet. And I can tell you this, we've been doing this diet for the past 3+ years. The most minor of slip-ups lands us back to the out of control hyperactive behavior, with the incessant talking, squirming, inability to concentrate...ugh! It is a nightmare when she is cross-contaminated! And I have no doubt that she'd be eligible for a diagnosis if the person assessing her were to see her in this state.

To answer your question a bit more directly, you may want to get The ADHD & Autism Cookbook by Pamela J. Compart, MD and Dana Laake, RDH, MS, LDN. According to their stats, 2/3 of the children with ADHD and autism are helped by the diet. It gives wonderful information on why it works, how it works and addresses other potential food allergens as well as recipes. I found this book to be extremely helpful in more places than the kitchen.

As for your ds, he's at a tricky age for adhering fully to the diet. Your best bet for success is to find a way to have him take ownership in it. He needs to be "on board" for giving the diet a real try and that will involve having a long talk with him about the diet, discussing the sacrifices that will have to be made and how you will work with him to try and make it work. Ultimately, he will bear most of the responsibility. But with you in his corner, you may be surprised at how it all turns out.

I wish you the best in trying this out. And I truly hope it works out.


Vicky

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I have two ADHD kids and the diet definitely helped one, but did nothing for the other, though she still has to be gluten free because of her stomach pains and rashes. With my son, we had the dramatic improvement that Shayesmom above had, though he isn't 100%. It didn't make the ADHD go away, but it significantly improved. Dairy was also making him hyper, so I had to take him off that for a while, too, though lately I've been cautiously letting him have some real cheese on things and so far it's been okay. Food colorings were hyping him up, too.

I think it's definitely a good idea for anyone with ADHD to give the diet a try. It's not an easy diet to do for kids this age (my son is 11 and daughter 12) but hopefully they will see the benefit and want to feel better. My son fights me on it sometimes, but I keep on saying, "remember that horrible brain fog? Remember how you peed the bed every night for 11 years? Remember how you couldn't sleep at night? Do you want to go back to that? And he'll sigh and say, "well....no....". I try to keep some gluten free treats around for moments like that. But he does see the benefits. He'll come home from school and say, "So-and-So at school must really have a gluten problem. You won't believe what he did!"

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I know this thread is a few days old and have debated commenting.

My DD is 15 months old and has issues with gluten. The house is now gluten free and she has greatly improved. Down to 2 diapers a day that are formed versus 6 or 7 undigested food mush. I decided that my son and husband can eat gluten products when they are away from the house, but at home we will all be gluten free.

It is not about her that I am writing though. Because I am still breastfeeding, I am also gluten free. I was diagnosed many years ago with ADHD w/hyperactivity and currently not medicating because of the nursing. My DD's pediatrician has ok'd me taking Adderall on a strict schedule with nursing, but I have yet to do it. Too risky for me. The diet has helped many of my symptoms - most notably "brain fog" which seems to be a symptom of gluten intolerance. I am also able to sit and read to my children without jumping up every few minutes to do or get something. :D

HTH

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