The results of a decade long study conducted in the Norwegian town of Stavanger offers this simple option to parents with children suffering from hyperactive disorders including ADHD: Change their diet.
Twenty-three children from Norway's southwestern region - ages four to 11 and all diagnosed with hyperactive disorders - were put on milk-free and/or gluten-free diets based on theories developed by Dr. Karl Ludvig Reichelt. Reichelt believes that children afflicted with such disorders suffer from a metabolic problem that hinders the adequate breakdown of certain proteins. So, eating certain foods like milk and gluten may accelerate ADHD (and other disorders) because these children lack an enzyme that breaks down proteins like casein (which is found in milk and enables milk-clotting to make cheese). Reichelt felt that reducing the intake of foods containing these proteins would assist proper digestion thus allowing the patients' hyperactivity to be controlled.
Twenty-two of the Norwegian children taken off milk products and other foods containing casein showed an almost immediate improvement in their mental health (including overall behavior), an enhanced attention span plus increased learning capabilities. But, the symptoms returned as soon as the foods were reintroduced into their diets. Most of those involved in the study had been taking medications like Ritalin to treat their diagnosed disorders prior to changing their diets. However, after adjusting their food intake, they were soon taken off the medicine.
Long-term monitoring of these children has found their disorders to be manageable while the challenges they once faced have virtually disappeared.
The study's result came as no surprise to Dr. Kemmy Taylor, a Chassell-based chiropractor. "There are three types of stress that impact how our bodies perform. Psychological stress is commonly enhanced by money problems, struggling relationships or issues at work. Our ability to deal with those problems has a positive impact on our bodies. Physical stress is remedied by how we care for our bodies through exercise, etc. The children described in the study battled bio-chemical stress fueled by what they put into their bodies. The food and medicines we intake directly affect how we function," states Taylor.
Similar international research has already linked the protein disorder with autism and schizophrenia. Now, this study points to ADHD and its kind stemming from the same digestive disorder.
"Be fit. Eat right. Think well. That's the road towards good health. Like those 22 children in Norway, it is often enough to simply adjust our diets before administrating any medications. The old clich, 'You are what you eat,' is a fairly accurate statement," concluded Taylor.
Editor's note: This article was submitted by Superior Family Chiropractic of Chassell.