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Possible ADHD - what diet changes do you recommend?

(9 Posts)
BlueMosaic Sun 30-Sep-12 12:40:50

I have posted about my DS2, aged 8, before. I have suspected ADHD for ever, since early toddlerhood. His very, very active, loud, very poor impulse control. Only thing that calms him is TV (sad).

He manages to hold it together fairly well at school, though he is seeing the school counsellor for low self esteem issues. They have not raised specific ADHD concerns and put his foibles down to immaturity.

I have to deal with the backlash when he comes home after spending the day keeping himself together. He can be very loving and kind, but also 'gets the devil in him' when he is just like a mad thing. He is very different from his older DS, who is also active and loud, but seems to have means of calming himself down.

Anyway, I digress. In the absence of school recognising the problem (which people out of school do), which I think would be necessary for a diagnosis to be sought, I wanted to know what dietary changes we could make to try and improve things. I have read a few bits on here, but wondered what the fundamentals were? High protein, no sugars for example? DS finds it very hard to sit to eat (have to remind him about 10 times per meal to sit on his chair), and would prefer to graze, so something that suits that aspect would be great.

Thanks so much for any advice.

Sabriel Sun 30-Sep-12 12:54:35

I have a 23 yo who was dx with ADHD when he was 7. I keep reading about dietary changes being helpful but IME they do not work.

Obvious things are no e numbers, reduce sugar and be careful with aspartame, but otherwise if it is ADHD it will make no difference what he eats.

TirednessKills Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 30-Sep-12 13:51:19


You are likely getting the backlash after school because his additional support needs there are simply not being met.

School counsellor as well as other school staff are not trained enough to recognise special needs in many children let alone something as complex as ADHD, suggesting immaturity therefore to you is a sop on their part. You do not need the school to recognise the problem in order for a dx to be sought; you are your child's best - and only - advocate here. Secondary school now is not all that many years away; how would he manage in secondary without enough support?.

Someone professional like a developmental paed could well help you and your son more here; your GP should refer you to such a person to start with.

You can also apply for a Statement of special needs for him from the LEA and you do not need a diagnosis in order to apply. Just coping there is just not enough and his ability to learn is being affected. is a good website.

Chundle Sun 30-Sep-12 13:53:41

We have a dx of adhd for dd1. We have tried longterm dietry changes to no effect. We tried fish oil when she was younger (you need specific good ones!) With some effect. We are now trying a combination of fishoil (vegepa marine EPA 70%), multivitamin (floradix kindervital) and magnesium/zinc (floradix saludynam). These are the recommended ones by the Tinsley house clinic who see lots of kids with developmental disorders

ouryve Sun 30-Sep-12 14:45:04

We try to stick to a diet of real food for DS1, rather than too much too processed (yes, some will slip through the net now he's wanting to make his own choices to some extent) and avoid certain additives - particularly benzoates and aspartame, since we've found that the do have a noticeable effect on him.

What we find most useful is not allowing him to become overly hungry. This is where the things slipping through the net comes in, because we let him have full choice over his breakfast cereal, since if he doesn't eat as soon as he gets up in the morning, it sets him up for a bad day. After a bowl of sugary, chocolatey cereal, he's usually craving an egg sarnie and after a good breakfast, he's more likely to eat his lunch, which means he's less likely to fall foul of afternoon restlessness and grumpiness.

clare40 Sun 30-Sep-12 15:11:57

I feel your pain. I have a ds, aged 5 whom I suspect has ADHD. The school say he is just young, but I have ADHD in my family and unfortunately I can see that he is far more hyper and impulsive than his peers. I rigidly cut out refined sugar and all e-numbers, and use good omega, but honestly with very little effect. I've actually decided to go for diagnoses, as I think in the long term this will help get him the right support, and if need be medication.

colditz Sun 30-Sep-12 15:21:48

I had ds1 on a whole foods diet when he was four. It made not one iota of difference.

I would suggest a whole foods diet, with no preservatives, colourings, flavourings etc, paying particular attention to avoiding benzoates, and if you already have him on this, or don't see a massive difference, take h to the doctor.

cocolepew Sun 30-Sep-12 15:31:52

Last weeks Food Hodpital in c4 had this in it. They put a teenage boy in a diet (his was shit though, loads of sweets etc). It will probably be online still.

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