The Four A's of Fiber: "Remember the four A’s of fiber: apples, artichokes, apricots, and avocados. "

Thursday, June 21, 2007

ADHD or Erratic Blood Sugar?

Do you remember the old commercial that asked, "Is it live or is it Memorex?" Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. It's equally hard to blame frustrating behavior on poor discipline, ADHD, and less than optimal nutrition. Although they can all be connected.

There's a blame game being played by parents, teachers, and pediatricians when it comes to a child who just can't sit still and who attends to everything except what he needs to attend to. ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) is often misdiagnosed, first by parents and teachers, then by doctors. We believe that your pediatrician is the last person you query about your child's behavior, not the first.

Nutrition can play a part in any person's behavior; erratic blood sugar is often the culprit. Every person's personal body chemistry reacts differently to different amounts of sugars, proteins, and other nutrients. Knowing how your child responds is crucial. If poor nutrition choices is ruled out, then you may need to look more closely at your child's behavior. You can view a behavior checklist to see if you need to investigate further.

How well hydrated is your child? The brain, as an organ, needs water to process the other nutrients we ingest in order to perform optimally. Without censoring, keep track of what and how much your child is drinking. If water isn't a normal part of your child's diet, then a change is in order. Simple sugars, which are nutrient-poor, are still found in many of the drinks children tend to use to quench their thirst. Until they are old enough to make their own decisions, we need to decide for them what they should drink and how much.

Attention to a child's nutrition is not a "cure" for ADHD but a complimentary treatment for it. It can improve quality of life and increase in learning when nutrition is improved - regardless of whether your child is ADHD or not. There is still great controversy about treatment options, but a good parent is an informed parent. To find out more, check out both CHADD and the National Research Center on ADHD.

Recipes that offer a more balanced approach to eating only benefit the body, brain, and well being of each and every one of our children.


wood man said...

Excellent post. As a child diagnosed with ADD (the H was not in the early acronym) I was a participant in a JAMA study of the impact on diet on ADHD. Heavily medicated on the olf faithfull Ritalin I was given a rash of tests, food diaries, and all preservatives, food colorings and high fructose corn syrup was removed from my diet. 6 Months later no change and back to Ritalin, HOWEVER... there were several children my age that had great results by diet modification and were subsequently removed from the ADD stigma.

Happy ww

kelly hammer said...

You may have been diagnosed as ADD (attention deficit disorder)as a child without the "H" left out.
ADHD (Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) is another condition. They are actually two seperate conditions.
Thank you or your comment and interest in our site. Keep checking us for more up to date info concerning kids and diet.

Eat Well and Live Happy!
Kelly Hammer, Nutritionist

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