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Hypoallergenic Diets

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The use of hyperallergenic diets, including diets low in common allergens (often called oligoantigenic diets or elimination diets) is a common strategy to identify patient food sensitivities and thus reduce symptoms of hyperactivity. A carefully designed hypoallergenic diet, based on preliminary food-allergy tests, can be very beneficial for ADD and ADHD patients. Common changes include substituting rice beverages for cow's milk; the introduction of wheat-free bread; the substitution of rice-syrup solids for sugar or corn syrup.

 

Common Allergenic Foods

Examples of the most common foods to which people can be sensitive or allergic, include: Wheat (or refined flour), peanuts, cow's milk, cheese, sugar, corn syrup, barley, eggs, corn, rye, chocolate, soy.

 

Research Into Hypoallergenic Diet and Hyperactivity

A number of double-blind dietary tests have shown that food sensitivities can sometimes trigger hyperkinesis and other ADD/ADHD behavior changes, and that improvements in behavior occur once the identified foods have been eliminated from the diet.

 

A diet low in common allergens - a hypoallergenic (oligoantigenic) diet - has also been demonstrated to prevent bedwetting and migraines in some hyperactive children.

 

In one 1997 study (1997) which investigated the efficacy of an oligoanitgenic diet in 49 hyperactive children, effects were compared to those from Ritalin medication. 12 children (24 percent) who followed the hypoallergenic diet showed significant improvements in behavior, compared to control diet conditions. However, improvements in those taking Ritalin medication were seen in 44 percent of the children.

 

Are you looking for a diet for hyperactivity? Go to Diet for ADD and ADHD to learn more.

 

Hypoallergenic Diets

Although dietary changes alone are not effective in every case of ADD/ADHD, nevertheless it has been shown that hypoallergenic diets do work in many children with attention deficit. An accurate patient history, which includes details of any previous signs of allergies is invaluable in order to pre-select patients who are likely to benefit from these special diets.


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