Diet for Hyperactivity

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Diet For Hyperactivity or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The condition previously called "hyperactivity" is now classified as attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More than 1 in 10 of school age children in USA are nowadays diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and the corresponding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In this article we consider dietary treatment of hyperactivity, as an alternative or complementary approach to the use of Ritalin medication.

What Type of Diet is Best For Hyperactive Children

There is no firm consensus about what type of diet is best for ADD or ADHD. Parents of hyperactive children report improvements after a variety of dietary treatments, while clinical trials of various nutritional and metabolic approaches are illuminating but inconclusive. In part, this lack of certainty about dietary treatment is due to the multiplicity of symptoms of hyperactivity, as well as uncertainty over the influence of genetic predisposition to the disorder.

Dietary Approaches to ADD and ADHD

Diets designed for hyperactive children are largely based on the restriction or elimination of certain food substances. Some hyperactivity experts consider that food additives such as artificial colorings and preservatives may be a prime cause of ADD and ADHD. Caffeine is also a possible culprit. Other pediatric dietitians consider that sugar-free diet plans may be helpful, while some nutritionists believe that omega-3 essential fatty acids can reduce hyperactivity. Lastly, some ADD and ADHD experts believe that salicylates (natural chemicals present in many fruits and vegetables) can trigger hyperactivity in susceptible children.

Diet and Hyperactivity

Nutritional deficiencies in hyperactive children - such as lack of certain minerals (eg. magnesium, iron) or vitamins (eg. vitamin B-complex) - have also been discovered.

Nutritional Treatment For Heavy Metal Pollutants

Blood tests of hyperactive children have detected significant amounts of toxic metals, like cadmium, lead and manganese. Nutritional measures to reduce this toxic burden are under investigation.

Diet for Hyperactivity

There is no single diet to reduce hyperactivity (ADD or ADHD) in children. This is because doctors remain uncertain as to the exact causes of the disorder. A number of different dietary treatments are under investigation. At the end of the day, it is quite possible that no recommended diet will emerge, and that parents of hyperactive children will need to experiment before finding an eating plan that best suits their child.

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