ADD & food allegies

Leah - posted on 04/26/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 7 y/o son has a difficult time focusing on things other then his enjoyable interests. Has has a diffucult time focusing in school, is defiant at home and sometimes impulsive. I feel he may have food allergies. I'm going to be taking him to the Naturopath soon. It is not covered on his insurance so I have to save up some money. In the meantime what can I do? Has anyone had a simular experience?

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Laura - posted on 01/03/2010

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I, too, parent such a child. It has taken a lot of looking, trying different practitioners and such to find a network of providers who are effectively treating my child. Here is the advice I have to offer from my experience:

1. Yes, ADD and allergies are related. In fact, I question if often ADD is simply a lumping category for nutritinal/allergy/endocrine issues that doctors are not good at figuring out. I have always taken the approach that before I go to ADD services, I need to find and treat the health issues. This philosophy has worked very well for us.
2. Find a very savvy practitioner who takes a big picture approach. I recommend looking at a Dr. of Integrative Medicine as one place to go. Some websites include acam.org, and aihcp-norfolkva.org. A good endocrinologist may be a good person to see. I have found that using a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine - is a regular MD type, but who has had additional schooling in manipulation) has been a good idea for primary care. The DO's I have found have a bigger picture approach than the MD's I have used.
3. Ask a lot of questions of the practitioners you are looking at. Things that should be on the dr. radar screen include: nutritional analysis such as vitamin D testing, allergy testing such as a RAST test (much more sensitive than a scratch test), thyroid testing. The practitioner should have a good handle on good uses of nutritional supplements. The practitioner may use digestive enzymes, amino acids, fish oil, vitamins, etc.
4. If you determine that allergies are an issue, consider finding a practitioner who uses sublingual allergy drops. These are currently in phase one trials, still have phase two and three trials to go, and are not covered by insurance. However, my experience is that they are very effective in desensitizing food allergies.
5. Use other alternative treatments wisely. Some chiropractic care has helped my son, but seems secondary to the thyroid, allergy and nutritional issues. We use a homeopath, but have found that this is most effective to enhance what our doctor is doing. I have not found that homeopathy is a substitute for medical care. It has made a substantial positive difference and I do recommend using a good homeopath.
6. Only after health issues are identified and treated, address developmental issues. We use a Handle therapist (handle.org). Other types of therapy are vision therapy, sensory integration therapy, etc. These can be expensive and not covered by insurance. Know why you are using these and make sure that underlying health issues are addressed, as these can make therapy less effective

I hope this helps. Ours has been a long road, but well worth the dedication.

Laura

Suzanne - posted on 08/09/2009

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My 7 yr old son was exactly the same, he is sensitive to bread preservative 282, yellow colour 102, brilliant blue 133, and glutamates such as 625 MSG. There are others but these are the main ones. He is learning when he feels that they are affecting him and he goes outside and gets loud and uses up energy until he feels he can control himself. This means nuggets in breadcrumbs, hot dogs, yellow cooldrink, twisties etc, McDonalds (MSG) etc really set him off. Good websites are www.additivealert.com.au, and www.fedup, they are also good books you can buy online.

I have also had him to the occupational therapist who have tested him and he has sensory processing issues so we have strategies such as wedge squishy cushion and a squishy pencil grip to help him stay calm in the classroom. His teacher has seen huge improvements. We have also bought a trampoline on advice of the OT so he can use it to calm down and strengthen muscles etc. We have a plan to follow with exercises and teaching him how to deal with things when he feels out of control etc. He is changing so much at class and at home. Between looking more closely at diet, and OT assistance he now concentrates at school beautifully. I have a communication book that the teacher and I write in to each other so I will know if he is playing up at school etc and what triggers it and if he is doing really well, between us he is going great guns.

I hope this helps and your son feels like things are getting easier for him

Katharine - posted on 05/25/2009

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What about seeing an allergist? or having allergy testing done because it could possibly be an allergy to something causing these symptoms

Christy - posted on 05/19/2009

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Absolutely. Food allergies are very closely linked with ADD, Autism, and all sorts of other issues. congrats on pursuing the Naturopath MD. That is the route I have finally had to go to get my little one some help.

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