Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

 
Kate, a real ADHD mom, shares her problem of keeping friends and why she only has one BFF . . .
 
I very literally have been able to keep one friend (yes, you heard me right, ONE). Even keeping that one friend is sometimes tricky! Luckily, she is able to forgive my rudeness, inappropriate social etiquette and general “flake –ish” behavior most of the time, but even she has limits I can push!Kate_SM
 
Last week, I had something funny I wanted to tell her right away. I knew she was on a business trip, and she had warned me she would be pretty busy, but that didn’t stop me from emailing her three times, and when I didn’t hear back right away, I texted her excessively. Why did I need her response immediately? Couldn’t the story have waited? Not in my eyes. Nope. Had to be right that minute.
 
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve made plans to get together and I’m all like, “Yes, sure! I’d love to do that!” and then I back out on my commitment. Now, when we make plans, I think we both make them knowing there’s a good chance I’ll back out eventually. When I do follow through, it surprises us both!
 
(Oh, and just yesterday, February 6th, I remembered to wish her a Happy Birthday. Her birthday was in December).
 
Am I the only one that has trouble keeping friends? What kinds of flake-ish behavior do you have that your friends (or friend..singular) put up with?
 
~Kate
 
 

The Importance of a BFF

Everyone wants to have friends. At an early age, forming friendships allows a child to develop a multitude of skills needed throughout life: teamwork, cooperation, sharing, dealing with conflict, competition, etc.

If your children or clients are struggling with ADHD, they may need your guidance to help develop successful, long-lasting friendships. Here are some tips to help.

Keep Play Groups Small – One or two friends at a time will allow your child to be successful without being overwhelmed.

Form Friendship GroupsTeam Esteem is an organization based out of New York. Run by social workers and psychologists, their goal is to create an environment for children with behavioral, social, and academic challenges. Attitude Magazine says that if your child is having a difficult time forming friendships, a friendship group may be the answer. The article also goes on to caution parents that running the group themselves is not the best answer and should be left to professionals.

Plan Play Dates – Scheduling specific dates for playtime allows your child with ADHD to prepare for the event. It gives you an opportunity to discuss and role-play different scenarios. It also gives you an opportunity to plan what will happen during the play date. While not completely controlling the event, you’ll want to have some clear ideas on what will go on.

Control The Environment – Your child may be bursting with energy. Let them exhaust some of that energy during the play date by kicking a soccer ball with their friend, playing an informal game of basketball, or swimming in the pool. Then, after the little tikes are worn out, provide a snack and a quiet movie. This will help them transition into the next activity calmly.

Deflect Boredom – Play dates that are too long can lead to boredom. It’s important that these end on a high note for everyone involved. An hour after school is certainly adequate to get in some socialization without throwing nightly routines off. You can increase that time to a couple of hours on the weekend. Making an entire day of a play date may lead to disaster by forcing your child with ADHD to be on their best social behavior for far too long.

Positive Reinforcement – After friends go home, talk to your child about the play date. What did they like? What didn’t they like? What made them feel good about their friend? Be sure to provide positive reinforcement for things they did well. “I liked it when you shared your bike with Jimmy and let him ride it first.”

In his book, The Friendship Factor, Dr. Kenneth Rubin explores the impact of friendships on a child’s emotional, social, and intellectual growth. After 25 years of research, Dr. Rubin put his findings on paper to better prepare parents with helping their children form friendships.

If you’re looking for a children’s book, check out Making Friends. Written by American icon, Fred Rogers this book is intended to teach preschoolers about friendships and social skills.

Learn how Play Attention can help your child develop better social skills.

Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

 Join in the conversation with Kate, a real ADHD mom, as she describes her relationship experiences…

I’m a bit hesitant to write on the relationship topic, but as we close in on Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share some of my relationship experiences. I know I’m going to get blasted for being selfish, but I’ll take a deep breath and get it over with…

If you and I were on one of those speed dates, and you asked me if I’d make a good partner in a relationship, the short answer would have to be a resounding “No”.

Now, if you wanted a second date with me, and we had time to dig a little deeper, here are the things I would have to disclose…Kate_SM

I will only worry about ME. I will only get ME through the day. It takes an incredible amount of energy for someone with ADHD to focus on what they need to do to have a semi-successful day. I will not have enough energy to worry about you too, so don’t ask me where you left your keys…I don’t even know whether I even took my own keys out of the ignition last night.

I fall short on promises. I have the best intentions, and will promise you the moon, but I have no follow through.

I grow bored within minutes. You can’t keep my attention no matter how many times you tell me about the funny thing that happened at the office today.

You will not find my disorganization cute, funny or charming.

You will feel ignored because I will pay attention to everything else except what you are saying. I won’t ever really listen to you with my full concentration. You will have to repeat yourself A LOT.

Lastly, no matter how stinkin’ hot it is, I will not sleep with the fan on. The noise is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. And, no I will not care if you whine about how hot you are. I WILL NOT SLEEP WITH THE FAN ON.

And on our third date…wait, what? No third date?

~Kate

ADHD and Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

Are you SAD during the Winter Months?

This month we have discussed how diet and exercise can affect your ADHD symptoms. There is another disorder highly associated with ADHD and that is called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

“According to the National Mental Health Association, the most difficult months for SAD sufferers are January and February, and younger persons and women are at higher risk. Many SAD individuals also have ADHD.”[1]

“As seasons change, there is a shift in our ‘biological internal clocks’ or Circadian rhythm due partly because of changes in sunlight patterns,” says Andrea Rogers, Supervisor for Intensive Outpatient Programs in the Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai. “According to Rogers, melatonin, a sleep-related hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, is produced at increased levels in the dark winter months.” [2]

young woman in depression near the window

In the previous blog we discussed the different food groups and how they can help improve your ADHD symptoms. Below are nutrients that are mind and body boosters and can help with your ADHD/SAD symptoms.

Folate (Folic Acid, Vitamin B9)

Increased intake of folate is associated with a lower risk of depression.

Folate is especially important for pregnant women, but everyone needs folic acid for production of cells. It is especially important for healthy hair, skin, nails, eyes, liver and red blood cell production.

Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains have high amounts of folate, or folic acid.

Vitamin D

Rates of depression are higher in people with Vitamin D deficiency compared to people who have adequate levels of vitamin D. Lack of Vitamin D is thought to play a role in Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is depression that commonly starts in the fall, lasts through winter and subsides in the sunnier spring and summer months.

Vitamin D is needed to help the body absorb calcium for strong teeth and bones, and the health of muscles and the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with heart disease and increased risk of heart attacks.

Most foods do not naturally have Vitamin D, but many are “Vitamin D fortified.” Fatty fish like salmon and tuna have the most naturally occurring Vitamin D. Other foods like milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals have Vitamin D added.

Our bodies also produce Vitamin D as a result of being in the sun. Five to thirty minutes of sun exposure twice a week generally produces enough Vitamin D, with lighter-skinned people requiring less time than those with darker skin. Time in the sun beyond the suggested amounts above requires use of sunscreen to prevent skin damage and reduce risk of skin cancer. Vitamin D supplements may be used in fall and winter months.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Some studies suggest that omega-3s may be helpful in the treatment of depression and seem to have a mood-stabilizing effect. Omega-3 essential fatty acids may also help boost the effectiveness of conventional antidepressants and help young people with ADHD.

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be important in reducing inflammation, the primary cause of conditions like arthritis and asthma, and play a role in heart health by reducing triglycerides (blood fats). They may also reduce risk for certain kinds of cancer.

Oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, anchovies and sardines) are the most highly recommended sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and the American Heart Association suggests eating these types of fish at least twice a week. Omega-3s can also be found in walnuts, flax (or flaxseed oil), olive oil, fresh basil and dark green leafy vegetables.”[3]

Time just seems to slip away during the darkness of the winter months. Focus and attention along with organizational skills seem to falter as the days become shorter and the nights longer. You are not alone, Play Attention has written an eBook to help with Time Management: http://www.playattention.com/time_management

Let Play Attention help you improve focus and attention during these winter months! Go to: http://www.playattention.com/free-adhd-consult/ and schedule a FREE consult at a time that best meets your busy schedule. Or, call 800 788 6786. Play Attention not only offers customized, individualized programs – full support is included in the program.

 

[1] http://blog.samhsa.gov/2014/10/09/lets-talk-about-depression/#.Vqpd3E-PYQo

[2] http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Andrea-Rogers/274768305

[3] http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/healthy-diet-eating-mental-health-mind

ADHD: Diet and Nutrition

Best Foods for Kids With ADHD

In our previous blog: ADHD and Food Additives, we discussed how certain types of diets may help to control ADHD symptoms and how sugar and gluten may worsen ADHD symptoms.

“Diet may play a significant role in managing symptoms in children with ADHD. Adding certain foods and nutrients that may boost brain function, eliminating foods that seem to worsen ADHD symptoms, and trying other diet and nutrition tips to improve your child’s diet may all help with ADHD.”[1]

Below, is a compilation of fruits, dairy, vegetables, protein, and food high in Omega 3, which may improve ADHD symptoms in children and adults as well.

FRUITS

“Apples are a great source of complex carbohydrates. Doctors have recommended that children with ADHD increase their intake of complex carbohydrates. Eating these types of foods right before bed has also been known to help children sleep better. An apple a day will keep your ADHD symptoms at bay. Much like apples, pears are a good source of complex carbohydrates. Similar to apples and other complex carbs, eating pears at night can help aid sleep. Much like oranges, apples and pears, kiwis are an incredible source of complex carbohydrates.

x-ray image of human head with vegetables for a brain.

Eating oranges or grapefruits – and drinking 100 percent pure orange juice – are both great ways to add more complex carbohydrates to your diet. These foods are known to help aid with sleep (falling asleep can be very difficult for kids with ADHD) and are a great source of Vitamin C as well.

DAIRY

Cheese is a great source of protein and protein. However, many who suffer from ADHD suffer with a cow’s milk allergy or intolerance, which can exacerbate  ADHD symptoms. If you suspect you or your child has an allergy to cow’s milk/dairy, try switching to goat cheese instead to improve concentration and improve how ADHD medication works.

VEGETABLES

Spinach is one of the most effective vegetables when it comes to controlling ADHD symptoms in children. Doctors often recommend leafy green vegetables and spinach is most definitely at the top of that list.

OMEGA 3

Omega 3 fatty acids have been known to significantly decrease ADHD symptoms in many children. Tuna is a phenomenal source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Similar to tuna, nuts are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts and Brazil nuts have been shown to have the most impact when managing ADHD symptoms but other types like almonds are a great alternative as well.

Eating salmon at least once a week will help alleviate some of the symptoms your child might be experiencing from ADHD. Salmon is one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and is one of the healthiest fish you can eat. White fish is a great way to incorporate more Omega-3 fatty acids into you and your child’s diet. If you’re eating too much salmon (or simply looking for an alternative or addition to salmon) white fish is a great option.

PROTEIN

Eggs are also a great source of protein. Protein is essential in maintaining a balanced diet and controlling symptoms in children and adults with ADHD. Much like cheese, eggs will improve concentration and increase the time ADHD medications work. Beans, much like cheese and eggs, are a great source of protein as well.

Chicken boasts countless health benefits but the biggest nutritional factor when it comes to chicken is the amount of protein. Most kids love chicken and there are countless ways to incorporate it into your weekly meal planning. Adding protein to your meals will improve concentration and will increase the time ADHD medication works.

Lastly, we’d like to mention cereals. Whole grain cereal can be a very healthy breakfast option for kids suffering from ADHD but there are a few key things to remember. First, you’ll always want to choose multi-grain options. Instead of normal Cheerios, choose multigrain. Secondly, you’ll want to avoid cereals with artificial colors and artificial sweeteners. What does that mean? It simply means opt for kinds like Corn Flakes and Fiber 1 instead of Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms.

We need to stress this: Every person is different and will react to certain foods differently. Some people have allergic reactions to certain types of food (dairy etc.) which can trigger ADHD symptoms. It’s always best to talk to your doctor before making any significant changes to diet.”[2]

Play Attention realizes that all individuals with ADHD are different from one another and require different needs. Play Attention not only offers customized, individualized programs – full support is included in the program.

Call: 800 788 6786 for more information or attend one of our FREE upcoming Speed Webinars to learn more. http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/

 

[1] http://www.everydayhealth.com/adhd/diet-tips-for-kids.aspx

[2] http://www.activebeat.com/diet-nutrition/15-best-foods-for-children-with-adhd/

http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/

www.playattention.com

 

 

 

 

Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

Kate, a real ADHD mom really could use some suggestions…

Like many of you, I didn’t grow up knowing I had ADHD. I went through the same struggles you did, and like you, I naturally figured out ways to cope without even being aware of what I was doing.

I started thinking of all the things I do in my every day that help me live with ADHD. I may lose you here, as some of them are just plain weird, but I’ll lay it all out there in hopes of finding people who relate and in hopes of getting more “out of the box” suggestions on how you cope with your ADHD.Kate_SM

(I’ll start with the disclaimer that…yes, I know all about list making and post it notes. I’m a brilliant list maker. However, once I complete number one on my list, the novelty has worn off and the list is forgotten. And Post-its are just too much work).

I notice I buy clothes in neutral colors. Black, tan, etc… mix and match stuff. No outfit planning required.

I turn off the radio/TV before trying to speak or listen to someone.

I tend to eat lots of cereal. No meal planning needed.

I disable every bathroom fan I encounter.

I HATE the noise. It is torture to me. It bothers and distracts me.

I rehearse conversations before they happen so I stay on topic.

I play games with the clock…like okay, between 3-4pm I will only focus on cleaning my daughter’s bedroom… no leaving the room until 4 pm… how much can I get done by then? (helps me with my time management)

And I notice I have a better day if I wear my Spanx tank top (made out of stretchy fabric that sucks in your gut…reminds me of the weighted vests some kids are required to wear) It’s super tight fitting and keeps me grounded. If I’m not wearing it, I feel untethered. (I know, I know…weird, right?)

What do you find yourself naturally doing in your every day to help you cope with ADHD?

I’m going to attend the free Time Management webinar hosted by Play Attention this Wednesday to see if I can learn some more coping skills. (Although I doubt I’ll hear anyone talking about form fitting tank tops) Join me!

http://www.playattention.com/time_management​

~Kate

Starting Right: A Healthy Breakfast

Starting Right: A Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is claimed to be the most important meal of the day. Yet research shows that 31 million US citizens skip this meal every day. Reasons vary from not enough time to weight loss. With growing brains and bodies, children need to continually refuel their bodies for good development. Research shows that children who eat breakfast come to school on time and are more successful.

How often do we get up and pour our favorite cereal into a bowl for our child or ourselves. While convenient, this sugary concoction may exacerbate the symptoms of AD/HD. It makes simple sense that adding sugar and carbohydrates may give that initial burst of energy, but that’s not exactly what one wants for someone who has a difficult time controlling their behavior.

Many authorities find that a breakfast high in protein is most beneficial for people with attention challenges. In her article in Additude magazine by food and nutrition researcher Laura Stevens offers her take on the benefits of the right breakfast for people with AD/HD.

So how does one create the perfect protein breakfast on an already hectic morning? There are many ways to incorporate protein. Some easy make-ahead ideas can be found on the Internet. With a little planning, these high-protein breakfast ideas become “grab and go” for hectic weekday mornings.

It makes sense to start each day in the best possible way. What we put into our bodies is closely related to how we perform throughout the day, but diet alone is not the complete answer to the test. Cognitive attention training along with a healthy diet will create long lasting results when battling AD/HD. Play Attention, the world leader in feedback-based attention training, along with a high protein breakfast, will set anyone up for success.

Barb Rollar

 

ADHD and Food Additives

The List Just Gets Longer . . .

There is still much debate whether food additives such as dyes and preservatives used in processed foods can worsen ADHD symptoms. To further confuse the issue, sugar and gluten are also in the debate.  More foods are being added to the list daily.

Two of the primary pioneers in the area of food additives were Hertha Hafer author of (The Hidden Drug – Dietary Phosphate)[1] and Ben F. Feingold (Why Your Child is Hyperactive).[2]

Hafer had a son who was hyperactive: “Michael never knew what homework he had to do. He could not stay focused and lost track of a lesson after only a few minutes. He remembered and understood barely anything. At the end of each school day we telephoned neighbors to find out what his homework was and tried to teach him ourselves. It was a miracle that he learnt anything at all in primary school.

Couple having lunch at rustic gourmet restaurant

After much research, she confirmed her suspicions, it was something he was eating – the common element in the many foods which triggered Michael’s behavioral problems was phosphate, a versatile food additive which during the last fifty years has been added indiscriminately to many foods.”[3]

“Feingold, a pediatrician and allergist, introduced the hypothesis that some growing brains are sensitive to certain synthetic chemicals in food. He pioneered the Feingold Diet, which was used to help improve the symptoms of ADHD, among other complaints. The diet is based on Feingold’s theory that food additives—especially artificial food colorings—adversely affect the nervous systems of susceptible children.”[4]

There has also been debate as to whether sugar and other food elements such as gluten cause ADHD. The vote is still out, but many parents do see an improvement in their ADHD loved one with the exclusion of these ingredients.

Sugar – As the Villain for ADHD

“It’s a popular belief that sugar + kids = hyperactive behavior. Take a roomful of kids and give them sugary soft drinks, cake, or candy and they’ll go wild. Yet studies have not found a strong connection between sugar consumption and ADHD. Nevertheless, it still might be helpful for your ADHD child to cut back on sugar to be healthier and it may reduce some ADHD symptoms.

Sugar and the Brain

Recently, researchers at the University of Colorado revisited the question of a possible link between sugar and ADHD, and speculated that sugar consumption may play a role in altering dopamine brain-signaling. ADHD patients’ brains typically show evidence of these alterations in dopamine signaling. A recent Australian study examined the relationships among sleep, diet, and behavior in children with ADHD. Parents reported more sleep disturbances among children who ate more sugar, which suggests that diet might play a role in this aspect of ADHD. While intriguing, the results were not definitive.”[5]

Gluten-As the Villain in ADHD

“Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some oat products. It is also added to some foods, such as ice cream, as a thickening agent. In recent years, it’s made the news due to increased awareness of Celiac disease (sometimes called gluten intolerance), a relatively rare autoimmune disease, and gluten sensitivity, a condition in which people experience allergy symptoms after eating products containing gluten.

The Celiac/ADHD Hypothesis

What does this have to do with ADHD? According to an emerging theory, there is a possible link between Celiac disease and a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, including ADHD. Proponents note that many people with undiagnosed Celiac disease also exhibit symptoms of ADHD. Furthermore, the symptoms of ADHD fade when these individuals begin a gluten-free diet.

ADHD is known to involve a disorder in the serotonin signaling system in the brain. Serotonin, like dopamine, is a brain chemical made from compounds obtained through the diet. Among these is tryptophan, a fundamental amino acid and an essential nutrient used to make serotonin. According to the Celiac/ADHD theory, people with Celiac disease do not absorb adequate tryptophan from the foods they eat, and so are unable to make enough serotonin. This results in ADHD symptoms.

While the relationship between Celiac disease and ADHD remains controversial, a recent study conducted by German researchers suggests that a gluten-free diet may dramatically improve symptoms of ADHD among children with undiagnosed gluten intolerance. Researchers examined the blood of 67 subjects with ADHD for antibodies to gluten. Finding these antibodies is the best way to diagnose Celiac disease. They found that Celiac disease is “markedly overrepresented” in this group, which at least suggests a link between the two conditions.

Going Gluten-Free

Although Celiac disease was once considered very rare, new information suggests that the number of people with gluten sensitivity, gluten allergies, and gluten intolerance is growing. The association between gluten and ADHD is still under investigation. Given the promising results of recent preliminary trials, however, it may be worthwhile to explore a gluten-free diet if you or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD.

Adopting a gluten-free diet requires avoiding all products containing gluten: breads, pasta, cakes, seasoned snack foods, soups and soup bases, malt vinegar, etc. The challenge is to get enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals for complete nutrition. Since many grain products are enriched with vitamins and minerals, eliminating these foods may reduce your intake of these important nutrients.

Grocery stores are now stocked with all types of gluten-free products (although not all are healthy), so going gluten-free can be less of a challenge. Still, the diet takes dedication and consistency to maintain. If you believe a gluten-free diet may be an option for you or your child, first speak with your doctor or a dietician.”[6]

Let Play Attention write you a recipe for improved focus and attention! Go to: http://www.playattention.com/free-adhd-consult/ and schedule a FREE consult at a time that best meets your busy schedule. Or, call 800 788 6786. Play Attention not only offers customized, individualized programs – full support is included in the program.

[1] http://www.phosadd.com/hertha/hertha.htm

[2] http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-diet#4

[3] http://www.phosadd.com/hertha/hertha.htm

[4] http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-diet#4

[5] http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-diet#3

[6] http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-diet#6

http://www.playattention.com/free-adhd-consult/

Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

Kate, a real ADHD mom, shares her positive spin on her ADHD.Kate_SM

So, as I sat down to write “Things I Hate about having ADHD”, I made the (impulsive) decision to honor the upcoming Valentine holiday and put a different spin on it… How about “Things I Love About Having ADHD”? I surprised myself when I started writing…It wasn’t too far of a stretch to take the negatives and pull the positives out. It made my day a little brighter! So here they are…Things I LOVE about having ADHD:

  1. I have the most amazing imagination! If I could only sit still and focus long enough to write or tell all the stories and ideas in my head! You’d be amazed!
  1. I laugh at myself every day. I find myself super funny and enjoy my own company.
  1. I don’t worry about long term consequences. I enjoy the moment.
  1. I’m super flexible. If something goes unexpectedly wrong, I am the master of “go with the flow”. You could just call me flow. My new nickname! Not like the Progressive ad lady Flo, but like…Agh…got off track…hold on…where was I?
  1. I never think “inside the box”. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know what the inside of the box looks like!
  2.  I’ve had many unexpected adventures due to impulsivity and an uncanny ability to act without thinking.
  1. I’m rarely bored. My one good friend (that I’ve been able to keep) always says I could amuse myself in a paper bag.
  1. I love that I can be spontaneous and take risks.
  1. I’m not bound by convention. There’s no “right” way to do something in my eyes.
  2. For my tenth thing that I love about having ADHD, it’s the feeling I get when I realize this crazy thing I deal with every day is not mine and mine alone. You’re all right there with me. You get it. I love that.

Sincerely,

“Flow”

 

Association Between Eating Behavior and ADHD Symptoms

It’s not just WHAT we eat, but HOW we eat…

In the upcoming series of blogs we will be discussing diet as it pertains to children and adults with ADHD.

In prelude to that topic, it is important to discuss the research conducted to ascertain the correlation between eating behavior and ADHD symptoms.

“One study included 471 preschool children from the Rhea mother-child cohort in Crete, Greece. The researchers found; There is some evidence that aberrant eating behaviors and obesity co-occur with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Regarding children’s food approach eating behaviors, we observed a positive association between food responsiveness and total ADHD index, as well as impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity subscale, separately.

Young lady having a late night binge of cookies and milk.

Similarly, there was a significant positive association between emotional overeating and ADHD symptoms. With regard to children’s food avoidant behaviors, food fussiness was found to be significantly associated with the impulsivity subscale. A dose-response association between the food approach behaviors and ADHD symptoms was also observed. Children on the medium and highest tertile of the food responsiveness subscale had increased scores on the ADHD total scale, as compared to those on the lowest tertile. As regards emotional overeating, children in the highest tertile of the scale had higher scores on ADHD total and hyperactivity.

Our findings provide evidence that food approach eating behaviors such as food responsiveness and emotional overeating are associated with the increased ADHD symptoms in preschool children. Future studies to better understand this overlap will enhance potential interventions.”[1]

Another study analyzed the disruptive patterns of eating behaviors and associated lifestyles in males with ADHD.

“The study population consisted of 100 boys aged 6–10 years diagnosed with mixed type ADHD by DSM-IV criteria and 100 aged-matched healthy male control subjects. Patterns of eating behaviors and associated lifestyles were scored by structured parental interviews using a nominal rating scale. The interview scores indicated statistically significant differences in patterned eating behaviors in subjects with ADHD in comparison to healthy controls.

The researchers concluded: Disruptive patterns of eating behaviors, metabolically unfavorable nutritional status, and diminished physical activities of male children diagnosed with ADHD are linked to compromised growth and development and appearance of metabolic diseases in adulthood.”[2]

These studies help confirm the correlation with binge eating in ADHD children and adult ADHD eating disorders.

“Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are substantially more likely to have an eating disorder similar to binge eating, new research shows.

Investigators at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Maryland, found that children with ADHD were more than 12 times more likely to have loss of control eating syndrome than their counterparts without ADHD.”[3]

“ADHD symptoms related to hyperactivity such as impulsivity are sometimes present in patients with eating disorders, said researcher Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Ph.D. These disorders ‘are found mainly in patients with a more impulsive personality: people suffering bulimia, binge eating disorders and unspecific eating disorders.’

‘On the other hand, more restrictive anorexic patients and those with more ability to control themselves do not show these symptoms.’

ADHD symptoms are positively associated with impulsive personality traits and age. More impulsive and older patients have an increased risk of developing an eating disorder. Impulsivity is also associated with a greater severity of the disorder.”[4]

“For now, Dr Reinblatt said that, inasmuch as ‘most people who treat ADHD look for decreases in appetite with medication,’ it might be appropriate for clinicians to be mindful of loss of control eating and screen for binge eating.”[5]

With this information, parents as well as doctors, can watch for these symptoms and take the appropriate steps to create a healthy, nutritional diet for their ADHD child or loved one.

Learn how you can control impulsivity and improve focus, register for a FREE speed webinar at Play Attention. http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26706046

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999164/

[3] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/844339#vp_1

[4] http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/07/11/adult-eating-disorder-adhd-clinical-challenges/57068.html

[5] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/844339#vp_2

http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/