For those who know how foods affect our whole life, including our thinking processes and behavior, find it easy to look at diet as a potential remedy to the rampant diagnosis of ADD and ADHD. Attention deficit disorder is not just a problem in children. If you were diagnosed with childhood ADD/ADHD, chances are, you’ve carried at least some of the symptoms into adulthood. But even if you were never diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as a child, that doesn’t mean you can’t be affected by it as an adult.
Attention deficit disorder often goes unrecognized throughout childhood. This was especially common in the past, when very few people were aware of ADD/ADHD. Instead or recognizing your symptoms and identifying the real issue, your family, teachers, or other parents may have labeled you a dreamer, a goof-off, a slacker, a troublemaker, or just a bad student.
Alternately, you may have been able to compensate for the symptoms of ADD/ADHD when you were young, only to run into problems as your responsibilities increase.
In the best-selling book by Rachel Bell and Dr. Howard Peiper, The A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. Diet provides a look at the contributing factors and natural treatments for symptoms of these diagnosis’.
Potential causes for ADD and ADHD:
- poor nutrition
- environmental contaminants
- allergies to food and environment that affect the nervous system
- increased and repeated use of antibiotics
- spinal column misalignments and craniosacral system obstructions
- electromagnetic stress from TV and technology
Since this book focuses on diet it encourages the reader to do a few things to see what foods might be causing the problem such as:
- fast and then eat foods separately to notice effects
- use a rotation diet
- get tested for allergies
- read about what other people did
- practice proper food combining
- see a doctor who specializes in natural care for ADD/ADHD
The symptoms – possibly including, but not limited to: short attention span, memory lapse, irritability, anxiety, poor motor control, withdrawn behavior, maldigestion, difficulty communicating, inability to focus, talking too loud and too fast, inability to follow directions, sit still or listen, learning difficulties.
Possible contributing factor: food allergies, chemical sensitivity, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, amino acid insufficiency, spinal misalignment, stress on the central nervous system and more.
- Is there a connection between chemical fumes and learning ability?
- Can maldigestion contribute to behavior problems?
- What is commenly misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD?
- Can diet contribute to fatigue and depression?
- What really is ADD/ADHD?
- Is the problem hereditary?
“This important book, The A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. Diet, will provide the type of answers that are needed to make an informed choice for safer, better, easier and less expensive treatments for ADD and ADHD.” ~ Doris J. Rapp, M.D., Clinical Asst. Professor of Pediatrics SUNYAB, author of Is This Your Child’s World?
Dr. Benjamin Feingold, is a pioneer who popularized a special diet for kids with hyperactivity which was originally presented in ’Why Your Child is Hyperactive’, Dr. Feingold says that the child’s diet should prohibit synthetic or artificial food coloring, flavors, and preservatives.
Avoid These Foods
The diet should also prohibit any food containing natural salicylates, such as almonds, apples (cider and cider vinegar), apricots, all berries, cherries, cloves, coffee, cucumbers, pickles, currants, grapes, raisins, wine and wine vinegar, nectarines, wintergreen (methyl salicylate) essential oil, oranges, peaches, peppers, plums, prunes, tangerines, tea, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant.
The suggested diet changes is much like the Candida Diet, quite possibly because the eco-terrain in the gut has so much to do with our thinking and behavioral processes.
An exclusive three-part interview with Lendon Smith, MD. on Non-Drug Treatment of ADD / ADHD at Mercola.com
ADD / ADHD Testimonials
Diagnosed with early signs ADHD
“James is our 2-year-old son that has recently been diagnosed by professionals as having early signs of ADHD. He is too young to be truly diagnosed yet as he is not in school and the diagnosis is usually made closer to six years of age. A family friend who works with children noticed his behavior was “abnormal.” We had just assumed that he was a “busy” boy as he is our oldest child and so we had nothing to compare to. This was just our “normal” life. Later, we found out that some of his behaviors are typical of the ADHD diagnosis. Some of those behaviors are constant inattention (even when playing with toys), being unfocused when given tasks, and constantly moving around with an inability to sit still. These were just a few of the behaviors our friend noticed. Through the process we learned this is a neurological disorder – not a behavioral or psychological disorder.
The “busyness” started causing a problem when it started affecting his sleep – or lack thereof. James found it hard to relax enough to fall asleep. His whole body would actually flop around on the bed – seeming to be uncomfortable and trying to find just the right position. Then, when he did fall asleep it would not be for long. He would wake up several times a night. Most of the time he would be crying or upset for some reason.
We attended an OT evaluation in which the therapist agreed he did have some signs and symptoms of ADHD although 2-year-olds are busy – especially boys; this is the reason they don’t diagnose ADD or ADHD with children this young. She did give us some strategies on how to manage, especially at night. She suggested some things that we could physically do to help his body calm down. (All of her suggestions included helping with his sensory integration. Some of those measures were using weights around his waist or ankles, actually swaddling him in his blanket on the nights when he was inconsolable, and using squishy balls for him to squeeze when anxious.) Those measures helped a bit but she warned us we would probably not see immediate results.
Then, we went for a visit to see my parents and my mother put me in contact with Nancy Sanderson. She is a wonderfully giving woman who shared with me the positive effects that Young Living Essential Oils have had for others with anxious children. I am fairly open-minded to the natural part of treatment rather than the medical so I was very interested although I knew my husband would be more skeptical. Needless, to say – I signed up that day and Nancy helped me place an order focusing on the specific oils that were shown to help anxious children (Peace and Calming, Vetiver, Lavender, and Brain Power essential oils).
Several days later I received my order and that evening after my son’s bath I put Vetiver on his temples, his feet, and his upper back. I made it a deep massage which would be relaxing to him anyway, with the added benefit of the oil. That night I noticed an immediate difference.
Before going to bed, he played with his cars and trucks for about 45 minutes – very unusual. (Typically, he skips from toy to toy, activity to activity – almost frantically.) Then, when lying down to go to sleep he did not flip/flop like usual. We were able to talk about the day and things of interest to him before he fell asleep. He went to bed around 9:30 or 10:00 that night and slept until 9:00 the next morning – very unusual! He slept in the exact same position he fell asleep in – so I know he didn’t toss and turn much during the night either. The next morning he seemed much more rested and was quite happy.
Later that morning the child development professional came for her usual biweekly meeting with James. She noticed a difference as well as he was able to focus on the tasks she wanted him to do and wasn’t just running wild around us. Keep in mind, he is still two … and a boy! James is still our lovable, carefree, busy boy – just a different kind of busy. He seems to be able to focus on things for longer periods of time and can actually sit for several stories or games.
The next day, I immediately ordered the diffuser so that I can diffuse oils in his bedroom at night, as well as putting the oils on him. I must say that I am truly impressed with the oils so far and plan on continuing them into the future to help my son as well as our whole family.” – Rhonda S.
Essential Oils in Essendulum
“I have a couple of customers who find the most success with vetiver, peace & calming, roman chamomile, and peppermint.
One family bought an essendulum for their son. He wears it to school (under his shirt) with his choice of oil in it. When he feels the need, he simply holds it to his nose and inhales. The essendulum he has does have a cork in it, so the scent is not very obvious to others. I think this is probably why no one has complained about it. When he wore oils on his skin to school, his teachers complained.
Both families also had great success by making major dietary changes. They eliminated food dyes, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, MSG, and most processed foods. By turning to a more whole-foods diet, in conjunction with the oil use, they have been able to avoid medications.
One last suggestion: you might seek out a holistic physician in your area. I am very fortunate in that my kids’ pediatricians are certified in both traditional medicine and holistic medicine. While I have not had to use it, I do know that they have a whole lifestyle protocol that they recommend for ADD and ADHD kids. It includes limited tv time, lots of sunshine, dietary changes and more. Medications are the absolute last resort that they offer to parents. I hope this helps.” ~ Melissa
Peace & Calming on Tissue
“My first experience with essential oils was when my son was overwhelmed with ADHD. While visiting a friend my son could not sit still. He stayed in one place on the sofa but kept bouncing up and down. My friend suggested trying Peace and Calming Oil. We started using the oil at night in a diffuser. He slept so much better and started his day more focused. We put drops of the oil on a tissue and he kept it in his pocket when he went to school. We continued to use the Peace and Calming at night for many years. This was the beginning of successfully overcoming his ADHD.” ~ Carolyn
“We have a 3 year old friend who comes for a weekly sleep over with our 4 year old. His mother has been told that he is borderline ADHD and borderline Autistic, he is very active with no attention span unless he gets intrigued. He is prone to getting up as many as 4 times a night and being up by 6am, rambunctious and ready for the day after a 9:30 bedtime. I started diffusing lavender in the bedroom before I put the boys to bed. Once they\’re tucked in I remove the diffuser. Now both sleep peacefully from 9:30pm til 7:30am without interruption and almost without exception!” ~ Victoria
Young Living Essential Oils Distributor #476766
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." ~ R. Buckminster Fuller