Can Adhd Be Linked To Food Intolerance? | The Knowledge Dynasty

Can Adhd Be Linked To Food Intolerance?

How important is it to consider a food intolerance test when working with a child who has ADHD?

There are clearly multiple influences on attention-deficit and hyperactivity (ADHD), these include including genetic, environmental and dietary factors. Many think the main food culprits to be additives such as colourants and preservatives. However, although children with ADHD can show improvement on additive-free diets, better results are gained by using comprehensive dietary changes.

A controlled trial of 76 children conducted by Egger et al (1985), found that although artificial colours and preservatives were the most common (and most instant) provoking substances, not one child was affected by additives alone. This trial concluded that the influence of diet on behavioural disorders in children is critical, and that it is the combination of different foods, and not individual foods or additives, that alter behaviour.

The problem with dietary modification is that first you need to know what to change. This can be done using a long trial and error process where first one thing then another is removed from the diet; like trying to drive from London to Edinburgh without a map and without knowing the route! Another option is a ‘few foods’ diet whereby only limited foods are eaten; this approach can achieve good results but is not considered practical by parent groups, and certainly isn’t advisable long-term.

Targeted elimination diets, based on food-specific IgG levels using YorkTest foodSCAN, the only service recommended by Allergy UK, offer the ‘route map’ needed. One person who has had experience of the service is five year old Michael’s Mum. Michael was so hyperactive that he was only allowed to go to school on a part time basis. He could not concentrate, was disruptive in class and didn’t socialise with other children. After Michael took the YorkTest foodSCAN test Michael’s Mum discovered that his body was reacting to carrots, kiwi fruit, garlic, and pork. Under the guidance of a nutritionist, Michael followed the elimination diet. The staff at Michael’s school cannot believe the difference, he now calmly sits and reads books and attends school full time.

Delayed food allergies in children with ADHD are unique to each child, and it is clear that targeted elimination diet based on measurement of food-specific IgG antibodies can be of help.

Dr. Gillian Hart is a Scientific Director for YorkTest Laboratories specialists in food intolerance testing and can identify many food intolerances including gluten intolerance and wheat intolerance. For more information on and food intolerance symptoms visit

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