View Full Version : ADD and diet statistics


Jshect
04-22-12, 10:34 PM
I just read these statistics on Tess Meyer's primarily inattentive blog:

Two-thirds of children with ADHD will have improved symptoms after five weeks of a diet that restricts allergenic foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs and food preservatives.

has any one tried this kind of diet and had success?
I am pretty desperate so I may try it, but damn, I have no discipline and I love all of the foods that are bad for you. I couldn't imagine never having bread, pasta, pizza...
Is there any other diet plans that have worked for any of you?

CheekyMonkey
04-22-12, 11:55 PM
I'm gluten and dairy free but only because I have celiac disease. I have not seen any improvement.

Drewbacca
04-23-12, 01:51 AM
You should search the forums, as I think this idea has already been beat to death.

I've been tested for food allergens and stopped eating everything that had a positive response for an entire year with no noticeable improvement to my health or mental capacity. Take any claims about food allergies with a huge grain of salt. It's currently trendy to go gluten free (unless you have a legitimate concern, like celiac's which is a completely different scenario). There is lots of pseudo-science going about at the moment, but there have been no conclusive studies on whether the type of food allergies in question even exist. Search for "IgG food allergies" to learn more, but keep in mind that most of what you read is not peer reviewed and not accepted science. That doesn't mean that it isn't worth trying... some people have had a response to the dietary changes, but not enough people to draw a clear connection.

choco222
04-23-12, 03:23 AM
I truely believe it can help some people. Diet definietly has an influence on once mental and emotional well being. However, I tried a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free diet and had blood work done to see if i'm allergic to something and nothing helped. I do eat very healthy though and avoid perservatives best I can.

sarahsweets
04-23-12, 07:46 AM
Diet as well as excersise can do wonders for anyone. Diet as a way of controlling adhd has not been shown to be effective unless you already have a preexisting allergy.

Jshect
04-24-12, 02:09 PM
Drewbacca, How do you go about getting tested for food allergies and how much does it cost?

ginniebean
04-24-12, 02:35 PM
I just read these statistics on Tess Meyer's primarily inattentive blog:

Two-thirds of children with ADHD will have improved symptoms after five weeks of a diet that restricts allergenic foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs and food preservatives.

has any one tried this kind of diet and had success?
I am pretty desperate so I may try it, but damn, I have no discipline and I love all of the foods that are bad for you. I couldn't imagine never having bread, pasta, pizza...
Is there any other diet plans that have worked for any of you?

That's not true, the numbers of people with adhd who experience symptom improvement with diet is so abysmally small that research has said it's just not worth it. Something like 1% of people with adhd experience symptom relief.

Drewbacca
04-25-12, 12:17 AM
Drewbacca, How do you go about getting tested for food allergies and how much does it cost?

I went through the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle. They checked into a lot of things, including bacteria counts and stool checks in addition to the food allergy testing. I think it was around $1200 for all of that.

If my memory serves me, I think that the food allergen panel was around $350 according to the breakdown that they sent me. The lab that performed the tests is here http://www.usbiotek.com/Services_antibody-Assessment-Panels.php so, perhaps they can recommend a doctor in your area?

I wouldn't waste your money though, consider: http://www.tldp.com/issue/174/IgG%20Food%20Allergy.html

Drewbacca
04-25-12, 01:57 AM
Another worthwhile link: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/igg-food-intolerance-tests-what-does-the-science-say/

Jshect
04-25-12, 10:56 PM
ginniebean, please tell me the study or article you got that 1% statistic from so i can look into it myself. Thank you.

tessmesser
04-28-12, 10:20 PM
The Lancet 2011 (Feb 4); 377 (9764): 494–503

Dr Lidy M Pelsser MSc, Klaas Frankena PhD, Jan Toorman MD, Prof Huub F Savelkoul PhD, Prof Anthony E Dubois MD, Rob Rodrigues Pereira MD, Ton A Haagen MD, Nanda N Rommelse PhD, Prof Jan K Buitelaar MD

Dr Lidy M Pelsser, ADHD Research Centre, Liviuslaan 49, 5624 JE Eindhoven, Netherlands lmjpelsser@adhdresearchcentre.nl

According to a new study, just published in Lancet Journal, a diet free of processed foods significantly reduces the symptoms of ADHD in 78% of 4-8 year old children. This 5-week study involving 100 subjects found that 63% of them experienced a relapse in ADHD symptoms upon re-introduction of problem foods into the diet.

Please review an in-depth review of this article on our Blog


Background The effects of a restricted elimination diet in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have mainly been investigated in selected subgroups of patients. We aimed to investigate whether there is a connection between diet and behaviour in an unselected group of children.

Methods The Impact of Nutrition on Children with ADHD (INCA) study was a randomised controlled trial that consisted of an open-label phase with masked measurements followed by a double-blind crossover phase. Patients in the Netherlands and Belgium were enrolled via announcements in medical health centres and through media announcements. Randomisation in both phases was individually done by random sampling. In the open-label phase (first phase), children aged 4—8 years who were diagnosed with ADHD were randomly assigned to 5 weeks of a restricted elimination diet (diet group) or to instructions for a healthy diet (control group). Thereafter, the clinical responders (those with an improvement of at least 40% on the ADHD rating scale [ARS]) from the diet group proceeded with a 4-week double-blind crossover food challenge phase (second phase), in which high-IgG or low-IgG foods (classified on the basis of every child's individual IgG blood test results) were added to the diet. During the first phase, only the assessing paediatrician was masked to group allocation. During the second phase (challenge phase), all persons involved were masked to challenge allocation. Primary endpoints were the change in ARS score between baseline and the end of the first phase (masked paediatrician) and between the end of the first phase and the second phase (double-blind), and the abbreviated Conners' scale (ACS) score (unmasked) between the same timepoints. Secondary endpoints included food-specific IgG levels at baseline related to the behaviour of the diet group responders after IgG-based food challenges. The primary analyses were intention to treat for the first phase and per protocol for the second phase. INCA is registered as an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number ISRCTN 76063113.

Findings Between Nov 4, 2008, and Sept 29, 2009, 100 children were enrolled and randomly assigned to the control group (n=50) or the diet group (n=50). Between baseline and the end of the first phase, the difference between the diet group and the control group in the mean ARS total score was 237 (95% CI 186—288; p<00001) according to the masked ratings. The difference between groups in the mean ACS score between the same timepoints was 118 (95% CI 92—145; p<00001). The ARS total score increased in clinical responders after the challenge by 208 (95% CI 143—273; p<00001) and the ACS score increased by 116 (77—154; p<00001). In the challenge phase, after challenges with either high-IgG or low-IgG foods, relapse of ADHD symptoms occurred in 19 of 30 (63%) children, independent of the IgG blood levels. There were no harms or adverse events reported in both phases.

Interpretation A strictly supervised restricted elimination diet is a valuable instrument to assess whether ADHD is induced by food. The prescription of diets on the basis of IgG blood tests should be discouraged.

tessmesser
04-28-12, 10:33 PM
The Lancet Study was not some "fly by night" poorly performed, "just disregard the findings" study. The recommendations in the Pediatrics review article below were not written by some health food store clerk.

We do not know that "allergies" to eliminated foods causes ADHD symptoms but the INCA study, at the very least, deserves consideration. Did calorie restriction cause the improvements? Did sensitivities other than allergies cause the improvements??? The researchers are not sure but their findings should not be ignored or tossed in the "badly performed study pile".


Pediatrics. 2012 Feb;129(2):330-7. Epub 2012 Jan 9.
The diet factor in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Millichap JG, Yee MM.
Source
Division of Neurology, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. gmillichap@childrensmemorial.org
Abstract
This article is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the role of dietary methods for treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when pharmacotherapy has proven unsatisfactory or unacceptable. Results of recent research and controlled studies, based on a PubMed search, are emphasized and compared with earlier reports. The recent increase of interest in this form of therapy for ADHD, and especially in the use of omega supplements, significance of iron deficiency, and the avoidance of the "Western pattern" diet, make the discussion timely. Diets to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD include sugar-restricted, additive/preservative-free, oligoantigenic/elimination, and fatty acid supplements. Omega-3 supplement is the latest dietary treatment with positive reports of efficacy, and interest in the additive-free diet of the 1970s is occasionally revived. A provocative report draws attention to the ADHD-associated "Western-style" diet, high in fat and refined sugars, and the ADHD-free "healthy" diet, containing fiber, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids. The literature on diets and ADHD, listed by PubMed, is reviewed with emphasis on recent controlled studies. Recommendations for the use of diets are based on current opinion of published reports and our practice experience. Indications for dietary therapy include medication failure, parental or patient preference, iron deficiency, and, when appropriate, change from an ADHD-linked Western diet to an ADHD-free healthy diet. Foods associated with ADHD to be avoided and those not linked with ADHD and preferred are listed. In practice, additive-free and oligoantigenic/elimination diets are time-consuming and disruptive to the household; they are indicated only in selected patients. Iron and zinc are supplemented in patients with known deficiencies; they may also enhance the effectiveness of stimulant therapy. In patients failing to respond or with parents opposed to medication, omega-3 supplements may warrant a trial. A greater attention to the education of parents and children in a healthy dietary pattern, omitting items shown to predispose to ADHD, is perhaps the most promising and practical complementary or alternative treatment of ADHD.

ginniebean
04-28-12, 10:43 PM
The Lancet is the same journal that published the fraudulent results that showed autism was caused by vacines.

Independent research has shown the much touted effects of dietary restrictions on adhd to have almost no effect.

thejohnson475
04-28-12, 11:59 PM
while on my meds it's hard enough to force my self to eat let alone stick to a diet, but I've never heard of diet affecting your ADD/ADHD.

mildadhd
04-29-12, 01:07 AM
I do think trying to eat better is a good idea.

And eating less simple carbohydrates,

smaller meals helps overall health which ADHD is part.

Eating lots of different color vegetables and fruits is a good idea someone gave me.

In my opinion.

If a person stops eating dairy,

and ADHD signs totally go away,

then the person was probably lactose intolerant.

Not ADHD.

If the persons signs of ADHD goes half away,

then the person is probably both ADHD and lactose in tolerant.


If a person stops eating anything actually and ADHD symptoms go away they where probably not ADHD.

ADHD is a neurological developmental disorder,

Look up prefrontal cortex and ADHD.

This kind of neurological impairment might show some very very slow improvement,

over a long period of time with therapy.

There simply is no 5 week miracle cure.

I wonder why the study is not done on adults with ADHD,

who can communicate better?

It is really hard to tell what is happening at age 4 to 8.

Here is the link to the nutrition section,

no claims of any great news in that section.

First time I might have gone there?

It is like a ghost town!

Certainly some people would have posted something?

I would be interested in hearing about any success.


http://www.addforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=314


.

tessmesser
04-29-12, 12:06 PM
The diet connection may be related to a million things. Researchers are trying to figure it out but, from a mental health stand point, it appears that studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199704243361704?FIRSTINDEX=0&searchid=1102201210678_7517&journalcode=nejm&sendit=GO&volume=336&volume=336&firstpage=1216&firstpage=1216) and other reputable journals (http://www.neurology.org/content/54/6/1265.abstract?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1102201339315_2872&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&volume=54&firstpage=1265&resourcetype=1&journalcode=neurology) have shown that certain vitamins can help brain functioning. A million physicians are not taking multivitamins and fish oil for nothing.

Why some diets help brain function is not clearly understood but to discount the diet connection to cognitive function is to take a "black and white" approach to ADHD treatment which I believe is short sighted.

To discount the INCA study in the Lancet is also short sighted. The most respected medical journals are: New England Journal of Medicine,
Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet. Both the Lancet and JAMA have been implicated in "scandals" in the last 5 years. The Lancet for the autism report and JAMA for not reporting findings of studies that showed that anti-depressants failed to improve symptoms. Do these scandals make us disregard all the studies that these well respected journals report? I don't think so.

I do not completely understand how diet affects ADHD. My own experience is that my Combined type son is much more jittery, hyperactive and impulsive after consuming junk food but not any different after eating milk, sugar, wheat, nuts or eggs. My inattentive son can eat whatever and he is no more or less inattentive. My best guess is that there is something in the junk food (doritos, cheetos, crystal light drink) that my Combined type son is sensitive to.

I do not believe that my son has "allergies" but diet does make a difference in the symptoms that I see in him. I believe that parents need to pay attention to their kid's symptoms and eliminate the foods that seem to worsen their symptoms.

ginniebean
04-29-12, 12:55 PM
Here is the wierd thing about this, parents, some of them just go nuts over these diets making all sorts of claims about how it works yet there are hundreds of adults on here who do not experience symptom relief. It is a curious phenomena.


I have tried many different diets looking for symptom relief as I can't take meds and yet nothing has proved helpful. I can't help but suspect a high level of confirmation bias.

Is it that adults with adhd cannot be trusted? Is our experience of so little value that parents of children need to be led down an unhappy trail that leads to long term damage to a child's self esteem, anxiety, depression, and behaviour disorders. Seriously, I just don't get it.

And by the way, I'm combined type.

oneup
04-29-12, 03:50 PM
nvm.....

LynneC
04-29-12, 04:07 PM
Here is the wierd thing about this, parents, some of them just go nuts over these diets making all sorts of claims about how it works yet there are hundreds of adults on here who do not experience symptom relief. It is a curious phenomena.


I have tried many different diets looking for symptom relief as I can't take meds and yet nothing has proved helpful. I can't help but suspect a high level of confirmation bias.

Is it that adults with adhd cannot be trusted? Is our experience of so little value that parents of children need to be led down an unhappy trail that leads to long term damage to a child's self esteem, anxiety, depression, and behaviour disorders. Seriously, I just don't get it.

And by the way, I'm combined type.
I think this is a complex question. My opinion is that the things that may affect a child in the diet, such as AFC's, are eaten with less frequency as adults and /or adults are just not as sensitive to them as they were as children. Elimination of AFC's in kids may very well reduce hyperactivity somewhat. In adults, it may not matter so much...

Add to that the inability of most children to express what exactly they are feeling, and you have the confirmation bias.

LynneC
04-29-12, 04:07 PM
nvm.....
What does that mean??

ginniebean
04-29-12, 04:32 PM
I think this is a complex question. My opinion is that the things that may affect a child in the diet, such as AFC's, are eaten with less frequency as adults and /or adults are just not as sensitive to them as they were as children. Elimination of AFC's in kids may very well reduce hyperactivity somewhat. In adults, it may not matter so much...

Add to that the inability of most children to express what exactly they are feeling, and you have the confirmation bias.

I have noticed that hyperactivity is the symptoms of most note when people suggest the use of diet and generally speaking this is the least damaging (long term) of the symptoms. Strangely enough this thread is in the inattentive section...

My concern is that the risks of delayed medication treatment are not discussed and that almost without exception when diet changes are proposed, the suggestion is that there aren't consequences.

I've worked with a lot of parents who believe in the diets and I've witnessed the tweaking of the diet can go on even for years. So many will say there's no harm in a six week trial but what get's swept under the rug is all the advice that goes on that extends the "trial" and delays treatment significantly.


Yeah.. What's with the "nvm"?

mildadhd
04-29-12, 05:13 PM
I have problems with some foods that don't show as allergies in tests.

In my opinion, (got the idea from Dr.Mate)

In my own words.

Many "parts" of a human are involved in more than one "job"

My understanding is that because of the nature of underdeveloped areas of the brain,,

causes sensitivities that cause "allergy" signs/symptoms.

Example,

My Dad is type one diabetic,

I am ADHD.

We both have similar signs.

When unmedicated (ritalin for me, insulin/glucose for my dad)

ADHD can mimic Diabetes,

but diabetes also can mimic ADHD.

The ADHD body is connected to the ADHD brain,

and the ADHD sensitivities effect the whole ADHD system (Body and Brain).

I will try to find more information about the subject.

oneup
04-30-12, 05:31 AM
What does that mean??

Oh, I wrote something, read it, realized it didn't really make sense what I was saying, realized I forgot to take my adderall that AM, hadn't had my coffee, forgot to eat breakfast, and asked myself what am I doing online right now? (procrastinating). Classic ADD moment essentially...don't mind me, just passing through...

nvm=nevermind lol

tudorose
04-30-12, 08:29 AM
I find no wheat or dairy helps with feeling physically better and with stuff like hay fever but it has no effect on adhd. I'm seeing a naturopath for something else and the topic of herbal or dietry 'cures' for adhd has never been mentioned.

Lisa_Mac
04-30-12, 09:47 AM
People who push diet as being a cause of ADHD normally have an agenda - like Patrick Holford. His livelihood depends on it.

Obviously bad diet will affect ones health, but although I have felt some effect from certain diets and supplements ( I keep my gluten intake to a minimum) the effect is minimal. This is only my opinion and is not based on any scientific studies, just my own experience.

LynneC
04-30-12, 10:24 AM
I have noticed that hyperactivity is the symptoms of most note when people suggest the use of diet and generally speaking this is the least damaging (long term) of the symptoms. Strangely enough this thread is in the inattentive section...

My concern is that the risks of delayed medication treatment are not discussed and that almost without exception when diet changes are proposed, the suggestion is that there aren't consequences.

I've worked with a lot of parents who believe in the diets and I've witnessed the tweaking of the diet can go on even for years. So many will say there's no harm in a six week trial but what get's swept under the rug is all the advice that goes on that extends the "trial" and delays treatment significantly.
I agree with all your points (you were the one who made me look at dietary interventions in this light, BTW).

In the case of a very young child (3-4), as long as the child was not exhibiting behaviors that were likely to result in injury, I think it would be worth trialing a dietary intervention including an elimination diet.

The thing about diet, IMO, is that for most kids the benefit is not likely to be enough to justify not using medication. I also think that as the child matures the benefit is even less noticable (ie in the case of AFC's and hperactivity). Even the most ardent supporters of dietary intervention here still have to use medication.

Dizfriz
04-30-12, 10:47 AM
I agree with all your points (you were the one who made me look at dietary interventions in this light, BTW).

In the case of a very young child (3-4), as long as the child was not exhibiting behaviors that were likely to result in injury, I think it would be worth trialing a dietary intervention including an elimination diet.

The thing about diet, IMO, is that for most kids the benefit is not likely to be enough to justify not using medication. I also think that as the child matures the benefit is even less noticable (ie in the case of AFC's and hperactivity). Even the most ardent supporters of dietary intervention here still have to use medication.

Another point is that Barkley told me that reactions (hyperactivity) to artificial colorings tend to go away in middle childhood (8,9,10). I know that this was true with my son.

I have not researched this but just reporting what Barkley said.

Dizfriz

mildadhd
04-30-12, 02:19 PM
Another point is that Barkley told me that reactions (hyperactivity) to artificial colorings tend to go away in middle childhood (8,9,10). I know that this was true with my son.

I have not researched this but just reporting what Barkley said.

Dizfriz

Dizfriz,

I am not knocking your good advice.

I am wondering about the topic of discussing diet, stress, attachment....etc.

They are very sensitive subjects in people with ADHD.

I read that these things don't affect ADHD,

then I read they do affect ADHD?

I guess it is best to think on the safe side as a parent,

and being an Adult with ADHD?

I really don't know the best way to approach these topics?

I tell you it sure makes me want to go with my gut feelings more.

Than to listen to the scientific majority.

But that seems to anti things.

That is not right either?

Frustrating!

Does it affect ADHD?

I'm confused?

ginniebean
04-30-12, 05:02 PM
I guess it is best to think on the safe side as a parent,



Here's the thing dear geranium, when parents think about the 'safe' thing to do, it usually means paralysis or a dive off into the magic land where brain disorder is just an allergy. Not so safe for lil adhd johnny or jane.

The voices out there scaring the crap out of parents, guilting them etc.. are loud, so loud that harm can and does happen to children because they don't get bonafide treatment.

I do feel I am supporting parents, I want to give them real support that allows them to face the social demons who are quick to ignorantly denounce them and shackle them with demands to 'be the 'good' parent who singlehandedly beat the adhd beast and changed the architecture of their childrens brains all while having perfectly folded laundry and a martini brunch.

In reality they have the opportunity to be the biggest hero ever. They deserve the information to make that happen. I know this because my dad is my hero. (or was)

mildadhd
04-30-12, 05:40 PM
Here's the thing dear geranium, when parents think about the 'safe' thing to do, it usually means paralysis or a dive off into the magic land where brain disorder is just an allergy. Not so safe for lil adhd johnny or jane.

The voices out there scaring the crap out of parents, guilting them etc.. are loud, so loud that harm can and does happen to children because they don't get bonafide treatment.

I do feel I am supporting parents, I want to give them real support that allows them to face the social demons who are quick to ignorantly denounce them and shackle them with demands to 'be the 'good' parent who singlehandedly beat the adhd beast and changed the architecture of their childrens brains all while having perfectly folded laundry and a martini brunch.

In reality they have the opportunity to be the biggest hero ever. They deserve the information to make that happen. I know this because my dad is my hero. (or was)

My post was not in response to anything you said GinnieBean.

So diet does cause ADHD symptoms to be worse?

We tell people who come here who say it does,

they are wrong?

I don't trust anybody but Dr.Mate about ADHD anymore.

Everything he says is coming true.

Period.

Way to many changes in Dr.Barkley's opinions for me.

This irritates me.

So many things I presented in the past...

And I was told I was out to lunch.


Is the answer yes food does effect ADHD but...

It does but don't tell anybody?

I must be interpreting something wrong here?

Please someone correct me?

ConcertaParent
07-27-12, 04:03 PM
The prescription of diets on the basis of IgG blood tests should be discouraged. So there's no point in getting IgG testing as advocated by Dr. Charles Parker (http://www.corepsychblog.com/2011/05/psychiatric-medications-immunity/)? My DD had an appointment with an allergist/clinical immunologist and I enquired if IgG food allergy testing may be useful, and she replied that only naturopaths do IgG testing.

We told her about DD getting red lips, nose and ears with Vyvanse and Concerta, and she said there is no allergy testing available for the ADHD drugs. DD was tested for 20 common items plus peanuts and kiwi, and she tested positive only for dust mites (Dfar & Dpter) and cat.

Flory
07-27-12, 06:20 PM
My ADHD brother with a capital H was put through the mill with feingolds etc..no real improvement..if its improved by diet its most likely not a true ADHD its a dietary intolerance that causes adhd like symptoms..i.e if you give somebody 3 cups of coffee they might be buzzing round the room like a blue ***** fly but it doesnt mean they have adhd