celiac & ADHD connection?

[deleted account] ( 20 moms have responded )

Hello everyone, I just joined. My almost-5-yr-old son is showing signs of ADHD and I'm conflicted about giving him meds since he's so young. I have CS, diagnosed about 15 years ago. I know when I slip on my diet and have gluten I get brain fog, also irritable and moody. Does anyone out there whose kid(s) are diagnosed with CS have any experience with ADHD-like symptoms before diagnosis? Did a GF diet resolve symptoms?

Thanks, I look forward to chatting with you all about this and other things.

Stephanie in Colorado

20 Comments

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Jennifer - posted on 04/16/2009

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Yes, there is a link an you need to read by Dr. Kenneth Bock, MD "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics Austism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies  The groundbreaking Program for the 4-A disorders."  It is eye opening!  I have a two year that is Celiac and a 5 year old that has sensory issues and borderline Attention disorders, but they have all been resolved.  I don't keep the 5 year old on GF strictly, but our whole house is so he is very limited in Gluten containing products.  This is an excellent book that every parent should read!

User - posted on 04/02/2009

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Yes, yes, yes, yes.  You are not alone.  We have noticed a connection and I have met other mothers who have told me similar stories.



Meds don't seem to be the answer as much as food balance.  Processed foods, corn syrup (in any form high fructose or other), sugar in any form, cane juice, even high natural sugar content foods have dramatic effects on my son.  (I'm even now finding pineapple to be a behavior trigger.)



EFA's and Omega 3's are very important as balancers and brain food!



http://www.mindfully.org/Health/ADHD-Nat...



http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/alte...



http://www.drbuttar.com/blog/2008/10/nat...



www.lifeisgoodglutenfree.blogspot.com



 



 

User - posted on 03/24/2009

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Stephanie- There is a lot of information out there on it and I would recommend reading up. What I have noticed with my son (he is ten) is that removing milk and gluten has the best affect.  I won't promise that it will fix the  ADHD but I put my son on medicine at 5 and would have loved to have tried this method first.  Dr. Bock has a great book out there on  it with some good suggestions.

Angela - posted on 03/24/2009

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Hi, my son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5 years old and was recently diagnosed with CS. His diet really has no affect on his behavior, sadly to report. If he eats any foods that are not CS, he vomits, so he's very careful but still needs meds for ADHD and we know when he doesn't take them.

Jenica - posted on 02/10/2009

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My son is not dairy free...we have never had problems with dairy, so it has never been removed from our diets. Could dairy be affecting behavior and nothing else?

User - posted on 02/02/2009

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Stephanie,



 



I am in the process of getting my 10 year tested for a gluten and caisen sensitivety.  There is a really good book by Dr. Bock that talks about the connection that I would recommend. When I stick to the diet I do notice an improvement in Kyle's behavior



 

User - posted on 01/29/2009

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It is possible that children even on the GF diet are still ADHD, and that medication will still be needed. IMO It is worth trying GF and dairy free but the changes would occur immediately, or with in days. Children who are truely ADHD may need to be medicated. Especially if they themselves know that they are unable to contol impulses. I have worked with students who would tell me that they knew what was expected of them and the right way to behave in school and that they must just be bad because they could seem to get it right. When in fact they were ADHD and needed help. Once on meds they did great.

[deleted account]

Is your son dairy free too? This may be something to consider...lots of kiddos that have autism, ADD, ADHD  need to be GF/DF because they act as irritants to their neurological systems.

Jenica - posted on 01/28/2009

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Well my Celiac son has been completly GF since 15 mos, but shows strong ADD behaviors. Any suggestions? He is distracted very easily, toutches everything, cannot stay still to save his life, has a nasty temper, and gets viloent if told no to something he wants to do. Some day are very pleasent with him others are a strugle form the moment he gets up. Like today I asked him to get in the shower, and he yelled no, I reminded him I gave him the choice the night before of a shower before bed or in the am and he choose am. After yelling no at me I asked him to get his cloths off and he jumped into bed refusing to get out, telling me he hated me. i feel like every takes becomes a battle.... 

Cathey - posted on 01/26/2009

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Just recently my 10 y/o was diagnosed with ADHD, and she's now on Concerta.  I was at a crossroads as to whether she should be on the meds, but when her grades started slipping and her teachers were telling me she was having trouble, I knew something had to be done.  I don't agree with meds, especially since her diet is so constricted, however, I have to praise the meds for an A/B honor roll this semester.   Speak to others that your son interacts with, especially those at daycares/preschool, they have experience in dealing with children with such symptoms.  Best of luck.

Kibbie - posted on 01/19/2009

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I see clearn behavior differences if my daughter gets gluten.... she turns into a crazy little girl, super hyper, nasty mood, and defiant so I could see how there is a connection.

Suzanne - posted on 01/02/2009

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My daughter's concentration improved within days of going GF. The diagnosos took a long time as her symptoms were so varied. It was eventually teted for by a rheumatologist! She is much easier to live with now! Good luck

[deleted account]

I was just going to say what Martina said. Lactose intolerance means that you lack the enzyme, lactase, to digest the sugar, lactose in the digestive tract. As Martina said, a milk allergy is to the protein in milk and causes an immune response in the body (IgE). Two totally different mechanisms. So if you suspect there's a milk allergy, you'll need to switch to a non-dairy milk such as rice milk. I wouldn't use soy as most kids with a dairy allergy will react to soy too, not to mention soy mimicks estrogen. Rice is the least allergenic, but there are other milks such as hemp and corn (another top 8 allergen).

User - posted on 12/29/2008

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My daughter had personality traits that were just on the edge of normal. Tantrum that lasted a little to long or were a litttle to out of control, lack of focus, and obsessive behaviors. We were concerned and even talked about the possibility of behaviorak testing. We opted to wait until she was closer to going to Kindergarten. We also wanted to get everything under control with her GI issues....We started the GF diet in Aug. and she is a different child. As educators my husband and I didn't really believe that diet could make that big of a difference. We wanted the GI stuff resolved so we could focus on the behavior. We have been pleasantly suprised, while she is still a little obsessive and very strong willed, it is more age appropriate.

It is worth a try, I think especially with the family history.

Martina - posted on 12/29/2008

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With dairy, it's not the lactose that triggers response so much as the milk protein (casein). I am breastfeeding my 3.5mo son and he reacts to wheat (dad is a celiac) and milk protein.

Margaret - posted on 12/24/2008

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My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7 and was diagnosed Celiac at age 9.

She is still on her meds for ADHD my Pedi was curious to see if the GF diet would help with her ADHD and it did, but not enough that she could come off her meds. Everyone is different. We have friends with an Austistic son and he is on a GF diet and it has really helped. Wishing you the best

Cheers,

Margaret

[deleted account]

Thanks for the input, Heather. We did a trial run of the Failsafe diet (like Feingold but more restrictive) and didn't see any results. Note Feingold/Failsafe are not gluten free, but would have to be modified to make them so. My son is on lactose free milk because that was the first trigger I suspected, but not completely lactose free. I may try that when we get the GF diet established.

[deleted account]

Hi Stephanie!



I don't have experience with ADHD, but my husband and I get that "brain fog" you mentioned. I've also read studies where kiddos with ADHD, Asperger's, Autism and seizure disorders are placed on a gluten free, dairy free diet and improve drastically (such as Jenny McCarthy's son). Those two substances are known irritants to the immune system and the brain, so I think it's definitely worth trying that type of diet. Personally I wouldn't put a kiddo so young on medication. It could very well be that the behavior you're seeing is food-related. Another thought, but is more difficult, is trying the Feingold diet.

[deleted account]

Thank you! That's just the lifeline I was hoping for. Maybe I'll consider it an early Christmas gift.

Pam - posted on 12/20/2008

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My oldest is 6 and she was about to be diagnosed with ADHD when we found out that she is Celiac. She is now a normal child, with the exception of when she gets in to gluten. there is no harm in trying him on GF and seeing if it makes a difference, we started to see a difference in just over a week. good luck

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