How to help my ADHD daughter gain weight

Kathy - posted on 03/01/2012 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My 6 year old daughter was dx'd with ADHD in November and since starting on generic Adderall has lost a lot of weight. I am trying to get her to eat and drink more but am now considering some type of either powder or liquid supplements. Has anyone done this? What worked or didn't work for your child? Any help is appreciated, I am so stressed and worried, thanks!

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Rona - posted on 03/04/2012

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I had two sons they put on this medication I finally had enough and took them off the medications and put them on a restricted diet to help their ADHD symptoms. I found that artifical flavors, colors and many food additives make ADD worse. I also found sugar to be a trigger so I allowed them honey but no processed sugar. Wheat and eggs were also suggersted as a problem so I did not allow any of these items after two weeks I had two calmer children. Anytime they got something they were not allowed to have you saw an immediate change. Feeding my children a whole food diet was hard at first but I found that it actually made me healthier too and though my boys are now grown I still eat this way.

If you decide to keep her on the medication find a organic protein drink to give your daughter as many processed foods including pediasure are full of those additive, artifical colors and flavors which will just make her symptoms worse.

Kathy - posted on 03/04/2012

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Allison - I don't understand how a degree can possibly give you the depth of knowledge and understanding of having a child with this condition. Are you a mother of a child with ADHD? Does your ADHD child cry when they can't remember a word as they are telling you something? Does your ADHD child have difficulty sleeping? making friends? sitting still? walking without stumbling? Do you honestly think any parent in this situation medicates without thinking about it? Please, unless you have some helpful suggestions, don't post just to stir a pot. You have no idea what we have been through and how much we do for our daughter.

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2012

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My niece and nephew are on Adderall. My sisters basically let them eat when they're hungry (even if it's later in the evening), they need to sit and try their meal at dinner time. And they usually give them their pill after breakfast. If you want to put her on a supplement, Pediasure is a good one. We used it with our daughter for other growth reasons, but it helped her to gain weight.

Brittney - posted on 03/01/2012

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Pediasure has a lot of calories from fat in it, I had to take it throughout my pregnancy since I can't gain weight. If she doesn't like the flavors from those you can always try Boost, Drinkables, Zoic, carnation instant breakfast, or sgn nutrition.

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Missy - posted on 03/07/2012

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I found a high calorie protein bar my son likes and I use it to supplement his lunch since that is the meal he is least hungry at. I also give his pill after breakfast so he eats well before starting his day. Keep your head up and know that there are many out here with your same situation who understand. We know our kids best and only want to see them succeed in life.

Irina - posted on 03/07/2012

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I am sorry, ladies, i just simply could not ignore some of the comments. Yes, the diet helps SOME kids with the symptoms. Yes, the behavioral modification techniques help SOME kids. I am the kind of person who never buys anything packaged or pre-made, nothing that comes in a can, my family does not eat anything that doesn't grows, walks or swims. We only shop at Whole Foods and ONLY organic whole foods and natural grass-fed meat. No gluten. No additives. No chemicals. No food coloring. No dairy. I am the kind of a person who doesn't even use shampoo or face cream since I do not use anything with chemicals. So believe me when I say that the diet was the FIRST thing I tried with my son and was convinced that a few weeks later the symptoms will go away. Hell, I was the person who believed that ADHD was a made up condition. Weeks turned into months and he did not get better. We have been working with psychologist for months trying different modification techniques. It doesn't work for our son's ADD. Period. I am going to talk to the Dr. about trying medications for my son. I agree with the moms who said that if you think that meds are hurting ALL children has never had a child with ADHD. If the diet helped YOUR child - great! You are the lucky one! But it's pretty ignorant to say that ALL the kids should be off the meds. You should really read the discussion boards for people with ADHD and see how many of them are saying that now that they are on meds as adults, they WISHED their parents would give them meds - it would have made their lives so much better. If you knew there was something that helps your child, that makes them happier - would you deny them?

Julie - posted on 03/06/2012

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Get her off drugs!

Start gving her more fresh fruits and veggies and watch the ADHD symptoms improve and her weight!

...seriously!

Karen Voight - posted on 03/05/2012

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I don't know if this will help. Here is a site you can listen too testimonials from people who have certain health problems, There is a section for ADHD. www.healthychocstories.com

Kathy - posted on 03/05/2012

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Thanks, Candice, that meant a lot. We have been through so much and I know the road is long, but it's nice to hear positive stories!

Candice-Lee - posted on 03/05/2012

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Kathy I so feel for you- been down your road and walking it still. Although my daughter has found her groove,now 14. I strongly encourage supplements like a good source of fish oil , vit c and a mulitivitamin for her. I believe these supplements support necessary body functions and help prevent deficiencies. My encouragement to you is to listen to your heart. The hard part is seeing your child battle. I do however at the back of my mind wonder if I'm doing it right with medication and so appease myself with supplements that I believe support her body. ALTHOUGH, one thing I can definately say is that she swims 3-4 X WEEK and that, in itself has been absolutely awesome as she has learned how to push through and her fitness supports a strong mind. You are the best mother your daughter could ever have,take one day at a time.

Mary - posted on 03/04/2012

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Sometimes the loss of appetite is temporary, it was for my husband the second time around. Your best bet would be to talk to her doctor about her weight loss. The Dr. may switch her meds to something else or give you ideas as to what kind of diet to set up for her. Or maybe see a nutritionist to set up foods that work in combination with her meds.

Jeanie - posted on 03/04/2012

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My daughter also 6 doesn't have adhd and isn't on meds, but has a weight problem weighing only 29lbs. We give her pediasure as a supplement towhat little food she does eat and it definitely helps maintain her weight. Hope this helps your lil girl

Kathy - posted on 03/04/2012

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ADHA is not an emotional problem. And if you really think the decision to medicate was taken lightly, you are mistaken.

Pamela - posted on 03/04/2012

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Why have you not sought out information from a naturopathic doctor or someone who knows Chinese herbal medicine?



It seems these days that western doctors tend to diagnose and then prescribe drugs without ever trying to understand that the children being born today do not fit the patterns that society has determined that they should.



So now they are telling parents and teachers that children are ADHD and ADD, etc., simply because their physical beings are different than ours were.



These are new times with new kinds of souls coming through to help lift this backwards planet into new heights.



Get your baby OFF whatever drug is harming her system and causing her to lose weight. Seek the advice and guidance of a doctor whose path is NATURAL healing. NOT DRUGS.



I lived outside of this country for 6.5 years and 4 of those years were consecutive. When I returned and so how many drugs were being advertised on TV and how many more kids were diagnosed as having emotional problems that were being controlled by drugs I was amazed...and totally disappointed by this culture.



Walk away from the drugs...get better advice. Don't make a drug addict of your child!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!

Clair - posted on 03/04/2012

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in reply to allison ash DO YOU ACTUALLY HAVE CHILDREN WITH THIS CONDITION ???? Im sorry but my son was so out of control he would not look anyone in the eye and hold a proper conversation, he would run off and if i chased him he would run faster thinking its a game. if he went out on his own to unfimiliar places he would have a panic attack cause he didnt know how to get back to me i could go on and on and on BUT SINCE HIS BEEN ON Straterra HIS A DIFFERENT CHILD HIS CALM HE LISTENS HE CONCENTRATES ENOUGH TO LEARN NOW SO EXCUSE ME IF MY YOUNGEST EVER GETS DIAGNOSED WITH THIS ASWELL THEN YES I WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM BECAUSE IF YOU HAVENT WALKED IN OUR SHOES DONT JUDGE OUT PARENTING (oH AND KATY HE ALSO TAKES OMEGA 3 FISH OIL TABLETS AND MULTI VITIMINS THE OMEGA 3 ARE BRAIN TABLETS TRUST ME THAT HELPED BEFORE HE WA DIAGNOSED .

Clair - posted on 03/04/2012

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oh and sorry yes my son takes the tablet after meals so at least then i know his had a good meal befor taking the tablet x

Clair - posted on 03/04/2012

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can i ask what do you know about these drugs??? only asking as im in uk and me son is on Straterra now i was told side effects is loosing weight but do you know why???? the reason is because he has a high matibilsium and is on the go the whole time rushing here and there the drug is like a speed tablet but counteracts against his condition so slows the matibilisum down which in turn means they dont eat much which should be kept an eye on by your doctor we visit a A.D.H.D. Nust every 3 months just to make sure his ok and he is as he is now taller than me and he has a 6 pack and is very fit. try not to panic about it have added a web sire for you to read through it really does help to read what other ppl have done or doing. When i was a child we were called lazy good for nothings now im thank ful they recognise it as i got lost in the system and just had to accept i was thick! but now im and adult Im not thick im unique! hope this helps



http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthre...

Tovah - posted on 03/04/2012

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I watched my brother on ritalin in the 80s and several other drugs that all had bad side effects for him. I knew I would end up with a child with some form of ADD/ADHD. I have one lol. I have chosen to not have him diagnosed by a professional because I have found that coffee in the morning when he has had a bad weekend will work for him. I know that coffee doesn't work for all kids but they work for some. He actually asks for coffee every once in a while on his own.

Good luck in your journey Kathy

Mary - posted on 03/04/2012

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I hope he does well. My son got depressed lost 35lbs and it wasnt worth it I learned different behaveior tech. Along with therapy and a nutritionist seemed to work. 8out of 10 chuldren r dx with adhd I dont believe that to be true, all medicated, what did people do years ago. Again I hope your son does well

Kathy - posted on 03/04/2012

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Mary - I disagree. You cannot know what we have tried for her to help her. The decision to medicate was a difficult but necessary one. Glad your son is better, not everyone's child is the same even with the same diagnosis.

Mary - posted on 03/04/2012

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I took my son off that med. He lost to much weight, he wasnt himself. To many kids on scripts. There are other ways to deal with adhd. He is fine now and hasnt taken anything since. Six yrs old is way to young, at that age u cant even get a good diagnosis. Good luck

Kathy - posted on 03/04/2012

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Unfortunately, she doesn't have many times when she is hungry. We are trying not to medicate on the weekends unless we are doing certain activities that she needs the focus for. I have started the Carnation Instant Breakfast in the morning and she is getting dessert before bed. She usually picks ice cream. Has anyone given the Instant Breakfast more than once a day? I'm afraid if I give it too much then she won't want it anymore.

Jennifer - posted on 03/03/2012

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I can COMPLETELY relate to this issue. I have a 12 year old son who has been on Adderall XR for many years. He went through phase where he also wasn't gaining weight. Our pediatrician said let him eat whatever he wanted for breakfast even if it was pizza, lasagn or left over steak from the night before....honestly it's healthier than cereal or waffles with sugar filled syrup!! I also make him protien shakes with bananas, strawberries and milk. And like other moms have suggested....when he's hungry, I let him eat no matter what time it is. I keep a lot of beef jerky and peanut butter on hand. Before bed sometimes he will eat a spoon full of peanut butter. I hope this helps I know how challenging this is. Good luck! ;-)

Allison - posted on 03/03/2012

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My education is in Behavioral Science and Psych and I can't believe that people are medicating their six year olds like this. I don't agree with it at all. If you take her off the meds, she will start eating and gaining weight. Even her brain will have a chance to grow.

Amy - posted on 03/03/2012

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my six year old son got down to 38 pounds while on ADHD medication. I have started giving him breakfast before he takes his medicine and that way he at least starts the day with some food in my belly. I also give him the pediasure and ensure drinks. He seems to like the chocolate ones and the ensure actually have more calories than the pediasure ones do. He has gained 2 pounds back in less than a month! Good luck.

Tovah - posted on 03/03/2012

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All of these suggestions are great. My brothers have/had ADHD and the one thing to keep in mind is that with this issue the person will always have a high metabolism, probably throughout life. It is a good idea to make sure the child learns to eat healthy, the only drawback to this is the weight is hard in coming. Make sure you ok any additional supplements for your daughter with the pediatrician and her psychologist if she has one. You don't want a supplement to interfere with her meds. Good luck.

Laci - posted on 03/02/2012

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My son has the same issue..he has lost 16 pounds since being on it. I find if he eats first then takes his pill he normally eats more. I too let him eat whenever he is hungry. I also keep apples and bananas stocked for him.

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