ADHD : Food Sensitivity & Hyperactivity

If your child is showing hyperactivity and other signs of ADHD, it's worth testing for food allergies and sensitivities. Some food allergies involve an antibody called IgE, and reactions to foods like peanuts or shellfish are severe and immediate. But another type of allergy, which involves IgG antibodies, is less severe. Symptoms can be varied and take many hours to appear. These allergies often go undetected.

One survey found that hyperactive children are seven times more likely to have food allergies than other kids. They Hyperactive Children's Support Group reports that 89 percent of kids with ADHD react to food dyes, 72 percent to artificial flavors, 60 percent to monosodium glutamate (MSG), and 45 percent to all synthetic food additives.

Australian researchers found that 75 percent of kids with ADHD had adverse reactions to foods containing salicylates, which are naturally found in citrus fruits, berries, almonds, apricots, apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, and otherwise nutritious foods and processed foods with those flavors.

Many hyperactive children may benefit from eliminating foods containing artificial dyes, flavors, and preservatives -- in other words, foods that are overly processed. Focus on organic, nourishing whole foods that are packed with nutrition.

Be aware that the foods that commonly cause severe allergic reactions -- wheat, corn, soy, peanuts, and eggs -- are also found to cause behavioral changes in susceptible kids. An exclusion diet or a blood test for allergies or intolerances can help identify foods that may be contributing to hyperactivity.
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