ADHD: What has the stomach got to do with it?

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Stomach FloraScience is pretty clear. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees: There is a strong connection between brain function, behaviour, and the digestive system. Scientists have specifically drawn a connection between gut health and many disorders, including autism and ADHD.

We know that the stomach – and specifically, the millions upon millions of bacteria within it – interact with the brain in multiple ways, including the immune system and the nervous system.
We also know that your stomach actually has its own complex network of neurons that is referred to as the Enteric Nervous System (often called our “Second Brain”).

When they say “complex” they mean it! Here are just a few fun facts:

  • There are actually more neurons directly surrounding your child’s gastrointestinal tract than in their entire spinal cord!
  • 90% of your child’s serotonin levels (an essential neurotransmitter) are housed in the stomach – not the brain in your head!
  • Those food allergies so many people talk about – you know, gluten, dairy, dyes, artificial sugar, etc.? At the most basic level, allergies generate histamines. Histamines compete with dopamine, another essential neurotransmitter. More histamine means less dopamine and more mental health dysfunction.
    It’s no wonder we see significantly increased levels of digestive problems in children with ADHD.

It appears to me that this really should be the beginning of the end for the stigma-ridden term “mental health”. I mean really, if all of our depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, and other general craziness is being caused or exacerbated by the physical state of our bellies, shouldn’t we really start recognising it, treating it, and talking about it as just a plain old illness?

 

Exactly how our Second Brain interacts with those little bacteria critters in our stomah is still a bit of a mystery.

However, the prevailing medical position is that optimising gut health will positively impact mental health (and vice versa – eat crap, feel like crap).

Increasing stomach health means altering the bacterial environment (i.e., the “microbiome”) with pre- and probiotics.

You can do this through real food, supplementation, or both. But either way, the science is pretty clear: get good bacteria into your kids’ bellies. Stat!

7 You CAN Do To Improve Your ADHD Child’s Stomach Health

I have listed a number of 7 interventions you can use in the order of easiest to most difficult.

  1. Supplementation: Begin your child on high-quality pre- and probiotics.
  2. Diet: Begin feeding regularly your child foods that contain both pre- and probiotics.
  1. Talk to Your Doctor: Visit your doctor to discuss any bowel issues your child may be experiencing. If you are having no joy – consider visiting a more holistic practitioner, like a chiropractor, nutritionist, or ADHD coach/therapist.
  1. Monitor: Keep track of your child’s behaviour before and after certain foods. Use a journal or food diary to connect the food to how your child feels and acts after eating. If you notice any correlations, take that information with you to see an immunologist or gastroenterologist
  1. Testing: Get your child tested for food allergies or sensitivities, and see what pops up. Obviously, if there is something you confirm as a food to avoid, eliminate it from your child’s diet.
  1. Restrictive Diets: Try the GAPS diet or Feingold Diet. Experts and acquaintances claim these diets heal many issues related to poor stomach health and restores health.
  1. Elimination Diets: As a last resort, go for a full-fledged Elimination Diet. Before embarking on your journey into Elimination Land, talk to a physician or nutritionist to ensure that you continuing to provide your child the nutrients he or she needs during this time period.

Finally, do your own research and get educated. The science in this area is constantly evolving. Find a physician who is staying on top of the medical research, and seek out nutritionists, physicians, or ADHD coaches that can help develop better stomach health for your child!

 

 

Comments

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NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS – GOING BEYOND THE QUICK FIX TO OPTIMAL HEALTH

A new year brings new hopes and desires to improve health. We seem to want to lose weight, improve our fitness levels, change our look & even relook our personal & business goals and aspirations.

Personally, I am one of those that sweeps clean and starts off with great gusto on new projects and have found that without proper thought & planning - I seem to lose sight of the very goal I set out to achieve in a very short space of time due to being unfocused – probably a little ADD which in itself would probably require Mentat – Jokes aside, I do know for myself that if my nutrition is good and my exercise regime is regular I can accomplish so much more. Without the planning and structure so necessary to achieve the desired outcomes, I invariably fail to accomplish all I set out to do.

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A silent tragedy

There is a silent tragedy that is developing day after day in our homes and concerns our most precious jewels: our children.
Our children are in a devastating emotional state.
Over the past 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics about a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:

Statistics don't lie:
• 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
• A 43% increase in ADHD was noted
• A 37% increase in adolescent depression was noted
• A 200% increase in the suicide rate in children between 10 and 14 years has been noted.

What is going on and what are we doing wrong?

Today's children are over-stimulated and overloaded with material objects, but they are deprived of what is truly fundamental for a healthy and happy childhood, such as:
• Emotionally available parents
• Clearly defined limits
• Responsibility
• Balanced nutrition and good sleep quality
• Movement in the open air
• Creative play, social interaction, unstructured play opportunities and spaces for boredom.

Instead, these last few years we have filled them with:
• Digitally distracted parents
• Indulgent and permissive parents who let children "rule the world" and be the ones who set the rules
• A sense of right, of undeservedly everything without earning it or being responsible for it
• Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
• A sedentary lifestyle
• Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification and the absence of boring moments.

What to do?
If we want our children to be happy and healthy individuals, we must wake up and go back to basics.
It is still possible ... with the following recommendations:

• Set limits and remember that you are the captain of the ship. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you are in control of the helm.
• Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what they need, not just what they want. Don't be afraid to say "no" to your kids if what they want isn't what they need.
• Provide nutritious foods and limit junk food.
• Spend at least an hour a day outdoors doing activities such as: cycling, walking, fishing, bird / insect watching.
• Enjoy a daily family dinner with no phones or technology to distract them.
• Play with family board games or if the children are very young for board games, let yourself be carried away by your interests and allow them to lead the game.
• Involve your children in some homework or homework according to their age (folding clothes, ordering toys, hanging clothes, arranging food, setting the table, feeding the dog, etc.).
• Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure that your baby sleeps well. Timetables will be even more important for school-aged children.
• Teach responsibility and independence. Do not protect them in excess against any frustration or error. Making mistakes will help them develop resilience and learn to overcome life's challenges,
• Do not load your children's backpack, do not bring their backpacks, do not bring them the task they have forgotten, do not peel their bananas or oranges if they can do it alone (4-5 years). Instead of giving them fish, educate them to fish.
• Educate them to wait and delay gratification.
• Provide opportunities for "boredom" as boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. You don't feel responsible for keeping children entertained.
• Do not use technology as a cure for boredom, nor offer it on the first second of inactivity.
• Avoid the use of technology during meals, in cars, in restaurants, in shopping malls. Use these moments as an opportunity to socialize, thus training your brains to work when they are in "boredom" mode.
• Help them create a "jar of boredom" with business ideas for when they are bored.
• Turn off phones at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distraction.
• Become a regulator or emotional trainer of your children. Educate them to recognize and manage their frustrations and anger.
• Educate them to greet, to take turns, to share without remaining without anything, to say thank you and please, to recognize the error and apologize (do not force them), be a model of all those values ​​that you inculcate them.
• Connect emotionally - smiles, hugs, kisses, tickles, reading, dancing, jumping, playing with them.

Thank you for the share.

Article written by Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos psychiatry.
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It has taken twenty years of research, but the verdict is now in and scientists are saying that negative feelings, especially those of un-forgiveness can lead to the development of cancer.
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