Learning Disorders / ADHD
The affected child has poor concentration and motivation, with periods of excess activity, mood swings, irritability, and generally under achieving. In recent years, much attention has been paid to the role of Allergy and Nutritional supplementation in a range of behavioural and learning difficulties, including Dyslexia, ADHD, and Dyspraxia. These conditions have a tendency to run in families, and features of each may be present in the same individual...
Q. My Child has Learning Difficulties and Attention Deficit Disorder, how do I know if Diet/Allergies are contributing to his condition?
A. A study of a low allergy diet carried out seven years ago at
Q. I don’t believe my child is allergic, but can sugar affect his behaviour?
A. Very definitely yes. There has been a massive increase in intake of refined carbohydrates (chocolate, biscuits, cakes, soft drinks) over the last 20-30 years. There is increasing evidence that a high sugar/fat diet can have an impact on behaviour and academic achievement. A soft drink or bar of chocolate can contain up to 6-8 spoons of sugar. A high increase in blood sugar levels will produce symptoms of over-activity, restlessness etc. This is followed a few hours later by symptoms of a falling/low blood sugar including irritability, anxiety, mood swings, poor concentration
Q. My child’s general health and concentration is worse since frequent antibiotics – could there be a connection?
A. Most certainly yes. Antibiotics disturb the normal bacteria/flora of the gut and there is increasing evidence that these are important in the immune system and allergies in general. So called Candida Syndrome affects people who have had a high level of antibiotic intake and a high sugar diet. Other suggestive symptoms include dandruff, recurrent thrush, athlete’s foot and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Treatment of the Candida Syndrome including dietary elimination, supplements and anti-fungal medication can produce a significant affect in selected individuals, both for learning / behavioural difficulties, as well as overall general health and well-being.
Q. I have heard about Essential Fatty Acids including Omega 3 – How do I know if they are likely to help my child?
A. Research over the last few years has shown that a significant proportion of children with learning difficulties can be helped with fatty acid supplementation including Omega 6 and Omega 3 (found in Fish Oils – not Cod Liver Oil.) History and examination will indicate individuals most likely to benefit. Levels of fatty acid can be determined by blood tests. Supplementation at full dose is usually for about three months, followed by reducing dose.
Q. What other vitamins and minerals should I use?
A. A variety of supplements can be used, but these will vary between individuals. Possible supplements include Zinc, Vitamin E, and B Vitamins. While these have a low rate of side effects, correct dose of good quality products should be given.
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