II. Factors That Contribute to Causing ADHD (Continued from PART 1)
Another common factor that is found with children suffering from ADHD is constipation. This is no surprise and many children and adults alike experience a range of digestive issues.
A 2013 Journal Pediatrics study shows that children with ADHD were more likely to have constipation than children who didn’t suffer from ADHD. (1)
6. Gluten Sensitivity
Another common symptom often found in individuals with ADHD is Gluten Sensitivity. German researchers published a study that proved that children and adults with ADHD showed significant improvement in mood and behavior when a gluten-free diet was administered. (2)
7. GABA Deficiency
If a child’s gut is imbalanced, not only will the intestinal barrier most often be permeable, but the gut will be unable to produce important brain chemicals which are needed for the brain to function properly.
One of the most vital brain chemicals we all need to function optimally is the neurotransmitter GABA. Research shows that individuals with ADHD often are deficient in GABA. Some experts speculate that a GABA deficiency may even be the cause of ADHD. (3)
8. Food Intolerances/Allergies
Many research studies are showing the powerful impact that diet has on ADHD. Food Intolerances/Sensitivities and Allergies to common Allergen foods are often present in Individual with ADHD. (4)
It is not surprising that many ADHD patients have shown incredible improvement in behavior and ADHD symptoms by following an elimination diet. (4)
III. What Does Gut Health Have to Do With ADHD?
In looking over the 8 factors that are discussed in the previous section, half of the factors have to do with birth and early childhood factors such as C-section births, chronic health issues such as ear infections and over-usage of antibiotics.
All these factors contribute to gut dysbiosis which is when the gut flora is out of balance. This is when pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi and even parasites far outnumber the beneficial, healthy gut microbes in the gut. An unbalanced gut will then lead to Intestinal Permeability, a.k.a. a Leaky Gut. Leaky Gut causes then causes the gut to be in a constant state of low-grade inflammation which negatively affects the brain. (5)
If an individual’s gut is imbalanced, not only will the intestinal barrier be compromised and permeable, but the gut will be unable to produce important brain chemicals and neurotransmitters NEEDED for the brain to function properly (such as GABA, Serotonin, Tryptophan, Glutamate etc.)
In order to recover those suffering from ADHD as well as help prevent children from developing ADHD, we must look to healing and balancing the microbiome, first and foremost.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IN LIGHT OF THIS RESEARCH
Do you have ADHD? Or do you know someone who does?
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4. Pelsser, Lidy M., et al. “Effects of a restricted elimination diet on the behaviour of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (INCA study): a randomised controlled trial.” The Lancet 377.9764 (2011): 494-503.
6. Perlmutter, David. Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain-for Life. Hachette UK, 2015. Print. pp. 92-94