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ADHD and diet and homeopathy

(37 Posts)
bejeezus Wed 14-Sep-11 21:41:07

you may have seen my first thread. I have a 6 yo DD about to be assessed for ADHD. This is quite a recent concern/revelation for us and so I havent read an awful lot yet.

There seems to be conflicting views regarding the effect diet has. Does anyone have any experience of this? If you dont feed sugar or concentrated fruit juice do you manage to make cakes or biscuits? if not what do you give as a pudding/ treat?

ANy experience of homeopathy and ADHD?

tostaky Thu 15-Sep-11 13:57:03

my sons do not have adhd but i am very interested in naturopathy. while they are very active, they do not have adhd and have very good concentration levels.

i give water, fruits, yogurts, cheese and oatcakes or french toast throughout the day.
they can have one glass of fruit juice when we are eating out (fresh if poss, organic otherwise)
otherwise it is always water or "special" tea (camomille tea + a couple of fresh mint leaves)

i dont buy cakes or biscuits. For a day out i always take fruits/yogurts with me (yeo valley are the ones with less sugar). i also takes sticks of cheese and carots. i also avoid the fruit purees in pouches. they also like oatcakes and frenvh toast. they occasionally have a square of good quality chocolate.

for pudding it is fruit or yogurts.

if another mum offer them with biscuits thats fine, same for cakes and sweets at parties etc... but i always try to have more fruits than necessary so they can share with their friends (and nicely ask the mum to hide the biscuits).

we dont have a TV so they dont watch cbeebies or other things and i think it forces them to find games to occupy their imaginations and in turn improve their concentration levls. Again, if we are at my or DP's parents thy can watch some tv, same if at someone else.

i maybe sound rather strict, but i have two very happy, smiley boys and our house his full of laughter and fun.

good luck with making changes

Rossell Thu 15-Sep-11 18:35:20

Well as we all know the speudo science of homeopathy is based upon the concept of replacement therapy. Therefore I suggest that you add one Haribo sweet to a bath of evian water and immerse your child vigorously.

if this fails I suggest you purchase a horoscope or maybe pray for something.

bejeezus Thu 15-Sep-11 22:20:56

lol Rossell

thanks for your replies

we also eat alot of fruit and yoghurt. From what I have read though milk is a big trigger for ADHD behaviour (dairy and soya) so that rules out yoghurt and cheese.

Also, we enjoy baking. Cake is what life is all about! most of the sugar free recipes Ive seen though, use concentrated fruit juice.

Need to keep reading I think

Jesusgirl Fri 16-Sep-11 00:13:02

My ds age 7 is not diagnosed ADHD but could be extremely hyperactive and sometimes disruptive. even though he would sit for an hour or more sometimes teaching himself to play a piece on the piano!

I recently read about effects of diet and have for the past 2 weeks cut out juice, crisps, sugar etc. I also started giving him wellkids chewable multivitamins that contains omega 3, as well as magnesium and iron which I read helps in ADHD. I've been giving him fruits too but not the sweet ones.

I'm not sure if it's just coincidental but he seems a lot calmer, he actually told me today that he loves reading now and has been reading about 3 books in 2 days. Previously he couldn't sit still long enough to read one! He's much more cooperative.

He still has the occasional sweet foods at school or something but I stopped buying them at home.

I'll keep up with this diet thing for another 2 weeks and after that let him eat whatever he wants and I'll see if there's a difference.

Jesusgirl Fri 16-Sep-11 00:13:41

About homeopathy, I'm sorry I don't know much about it at all. So no comments!

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Sep-11 05:56:36

there are a few of us on the GAPS diet thread in sn - you might want to take a look. it's mostly other sns, but adhd also comes under the umbrella of conditions that can be helped by dietary changes.

narmada Fri 16-Sep-11 21:25:12

Homeopathy - brilliant answer from Rossell. Don't waste your money, really. The pills have no active substance in they whatever.

olivo Sat 17-Sep-11 09:30:53

It was our choice ( so no homeopathy bashing for me please), but we have recently taken our D to a homeopath who is also a GP. She is not ADHD but has had many months of sleeping issues. We were given a remedy which has calmed her dramatically and has massively helped her sleep. i know it is not for everyone ,but having tried behavioural strategies, conventional medicine (sedatives), chiropractics, time, cranio sacral therapy without any results, we were willing to try anything. I was sceptical, as although I had tried homeo myself, i didnt know whether it had worked on a placebo effect bsis - my DD having no idea of what she was taking and what for, i beleive it has had some effect.

I have since read that Kali Phos is used in treating children with ADHD - worth a try?

tallulah Sat 17-Sep-11 09:50:30

TBH I think that apart from the obvious and not giving your child coke and lashings of sugar/ colourings the whole diet thing is a red herring.

My DS2 has ADHD. As a little boy - before and after dx- he had the healthiest diet of all my children. He liked to have a proper roast dinner, with veg (particularly broccolli). We didn't ever buy sweet cereals- they had shredded wheat or weetabix. It didn't make the slightest difference.

colditz Sat 17-Sep-11 09:58:19

I restricted Ds1's diet to whole grain, high protein, and high good quality fat when he was 4.

Then I took him on a trip with his playschool.

I watched him eat cheese sandwiches with wholegrain, granery bread, followed by a chicken drumstick and a low suge peanut butter cookie, and a drink of ff milk.

I watched his little friend eat a dairylea lunchable followed by a packet of haribo, and a can of full sugar coke.

Guess who ran off and had to be dragged out of Rutland Water? Guess who ran in front of a bus? Guess who climbed a tree and got stuck?

If you guessed the child who, by rights, should have been entirely made of salt and sugar, you'd be wrong.

ADHD is a neurological disorder, and diet will have no more effect on their behavior than it would on a deaf child's ability to hear. Obviously feed them well, obviously make sure they get their five a day, and good quality protein and fats, but other than that .... pointless worrying because IME it made no difference at all.

Dillydaydreaming Sat 17-Sep-11 10:21:03

I don't restrict my son's diet at all but he eats a very varied diet with loads of fruit and vegetables (nothing I've done - he just likes fruit and veg).
Tbh I haven't seen any difference in what he eats and his levels of concentration but am off to read about the GAP diet people have talked about here.

Far more I find he is better if he has plenty of activity and am lucky enough to have a house with a garden big enough for a trampoline which he bounces as high as the sky on grin. At school they do similar by giving him short breaks to freshen his brain lol#

ppeatfruit Sat 17-Sep-11 15:17:58

tallulah There are food allergies that affect some DCs and not others. We are what we eat, you cannot dismiss the effect of food. DH has an allergy to wheat (esp. whole wheat).

If yr. ds has inexplicable exhaustion and rage as well as hyperactivity I would try cutting the wheat from his diet for a couple of weeks ;give him rye bread and ryvitas etc. (sainsbos sells rye bread or rice, or gluten free pasta; it's easy to go wheat free nowadays).

bejeesus There is a lot of negativity about homeopathy on here i would say that our 10 month old DS was CURED of eczema with the sulphur remedy. So i think it's best to be open minded about these things after all a lot of people are harmed by allopathic medicines and homeopathy doesn't harm people!

ppeatfruit Sat 17-Sep-11 15:24:52

bejesus i use maple syrup, molasses or fructose in cakes and puddings and rice, Kamut and or spelt flour. because we're wheatfree, I always cook cakes using the saucepan method ;you can make nice brownies and gingerbread types.

bejeezus Sat 17-Sep-11 23:02:00

thanks everyone for your replies

re homeopathy - I am a believer. It has cured me of 3 chronic illnesses. May be placebo. I dont care if it is, it worked! So I would be willing to try it on DD. We are lucky enough to have a NHS homeopathic hospital by us which is free and run by GPs. Was really interested if anyone had any experiences to recount.

Colditz- I hear what you are saying about it being neurological and diet not making any difference. I think there are so many people who dont think ADHD is really 'a thing' and it is just down to bad parents with ineffective discipline and poor diets, I start to believe it myself a little.

Diet does seem in exacerbate symptoms for some children though by the looks of things. I must say so far I havent recognised a link between what DD has eaten and her boinging

ppeatfruit so it is ok to use unrefined sugar? I generally buy unrefined brown sugar anyway, just because i like it. Fructose is a good idea for us (DD doesnt like maple syrup or molasses)

re exercise - I have noticed over the 3 days, I have made a real effort to increase exercise (we do alot anyway) my DD seems worse for it!! is it an endorphin rush for her? totally insatiable

Also off to read about GAP diet.....

tryingtoleave Sun 18-Sep-11 14:24:29

There is a lot of research that refined sugar has no effect on behaviour. There is research that shows that the rpa elimination diet ( google it) has some effect. We did it for a while with ds. You cut out amines, salicylates and glutamates, as well as colours and preservatives. Then you reintroduce them to see if there is a response. You are allowed white sugar, but hardly any fruit or veggies, or yellow cheese and lots of other things.

As i say we did it for a while with ds and I found out that he was sensitive to amines (and I found out they were responsible for my headaches too). But I would be hesitant to recommend it because I think it is unhealthy for children ( they say you can have a balanced diet on it, but only if you are prepared to eat lots of brussel sprouts and cabbage). Also, going on the diet increases your sensitivity. No one told me this when we began but when I mentioned to the dietician that I thought it was happening, she said, oh yes, there is a lot of research on that angry. so you might take a child who has a mild food intolerance and turn him into a child who goes beserk if he has a bite of cheese.

For those reasons we no longer do the diet, although I steer away from processed food. If ds's behaviour ever got so bad that medication was suggested, I might consider trying again.

tryingtoleave Sun 18-Sep-11 14:36:42

here on the hospital website and here is Sue Dengate's website.

GossipWitch Sun 18-Sep-11 18:32:46

I don't see how a change in diet can change the behaviour of a child with sn, they have those behaviours due to their sn, not because they has a haribo sweet at the end of class.

tryingtoleave Sun 18-Sep-11 22:58:22

The argument is that in some cases behaviour that looks like ADHD (or even asd) is actually a response to certain types of food OR in other cases someone who has ADHD might find their behavior is exacerbated by foodIf it will not be the case for everyone displaying that behaviour, but sometimes it will be worth finding out if it is. If there is a sensitivity to salicylates, say, it could be fruit that the child is responding to, not lollies.

Personally, I think add is more of a set of personality traits than a sn ( even if it does cause sen).

I also think a lot of mothers (myself included) turn to diet in these circumstances because it is the only thing , or the easiest thing, they can control.

narmada Sun 18-Sep-11 23:03:40

YOu have probably read every book under the sun on ADHD OP, and I stress I know absolutely NOTHING about it really but... I was reading a book about sleep the other day by an americal sleep specialist whose theory (and it may just be that) was that sometimes ADHD-like behaviour was caused by sleep disorders, e.g., undetected sleep apnoea, or insufficient overall sleep. Probably complete b****cks but I thought it might be of interest.

ppeatfruit Mon 19-Sep-11 06:19:34

Sorry i meant to say colditz!

Tryingtoleave* i wonder who was funding the research into the effects of refined sugar? Coca cola probably!! i've watched DCs go wild after a tin of the brown sugar water shxx. Also become ILL the day after eating ice cream.

NotADudeExactly Mon 19-Sep-11 06:32:15

Homeopathy is quackery!

When I was a child I had asthma. My parents were both a bit New Agey and very suspicious of conventional medicine whose main aim it supposedly was to pump as many evil corticosteroids into innocent little children as they could physically contain.

Hence the seven years I spent having my asthma treated with homeopathy and fucking crystal therapy. Guess which little girl was wheezing her way through puberty until she luckily grew out of her asthma?

I love my parents dearly. But if there's one thing I still hold a grudge about from my childhood it is this. Remembering this feeling that I was suffocating, how it used to go on for what seemed like ages then and realizing that a simple inhalator could have provided almost instant relief makes me want to throttle my mum and dad. Yes, I see the irony completely.

Get your child some real drugs if she needs them.

tallulah Mon 19-Sep-11 07:41:05

" sometimes ADHD-like behaviour was caused by sleep disorders ", um ADHD causes sleep disorders, not the other way round.

tryingtoleave Mon 19-Sep-11 08:25:21

Ppeatfruit, saying refined sugar does not cause bad behaviour is not the same thing as saying that coke doesn't cause bad behaviour. Sugar on it's own is fine - all the chemicals and colours and additives you find in sugary products are the problem.

Ice cream makes my ds go crazy too. I think it is the colour 160b (annatto) that is often in ice cream and is described as natural but is known to have a bad effect on some children. We look for ice cream without it.

Blueberties Mon 19-Sep-11 08:29:42

Op - may I briefly suggest zinc supplements to help with concentration. I have found them extremely effective but you have to give them at night as they can lead to drowsiness and nausea. I used to give 30 mg a day. The RDA is something rather crummy but it's difficult to overdose on zinc and so higher amounts are worth a dry.

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