ADHD

DEFINITION

Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior that is often paired with low self-esteem, struggles with interpersonal relationships, and difficulty in school.

Currently, stimulant drugs (psychostimulants) are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD followed by antidepressants. Stimulants appear to boost and balance levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters; however, these drugs do not provide the building blocks to replenish neurotransmitters and can cause deficiency especially in a young developing brain. These medications help improve the symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity; however, they have high risk for dependency and misuse is on the rise. Side effects of stimulants include anxiety, lack of appetite, abnormal sleep patterns, insomnia, depression, and irregular heartbeat. In fact, several heart-related deaths occur annually in children and teenagers taking stimulant medications.

ADHD and other psychological disorders may be caused by dietary or digestive dysfunction and can be treated with food as medicine approaches. Naturally Nourished approaches include assessing common nutritional deficiencies, identifying food allergies or heavy metal toxicity, balancing blood sugar levels and providing nutrients for optimal cognitive function. We take a whole body approach addressing mind with restructuring thought patterns and self-esteem building techniques, behavior with development of routine and consistency, and diet to ensure we can provide you with balanced support for optimal results.

LABORATORY ASSESSMENT

Mediator Release Test (MRT) to identify reactivity to foods causing interference with brain function

Micronutrient Panel to determine nutritional imbalances that can lead to cognitive dysfunction

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TREATMENT PLAN

  • Individualized Consultation
  • Medical Assessment with Comprehensive Lifestyle Intake
  • Thorough investigation of possible causes or triggers for ADHD
  • Coordination of care with specialists, primary care physician, and medical team
  • Food-as-medicine education about:
    • Mechanisms of ADHD
    • Foods that lead to increased risk for flares
    • Toxins and food additives that cause to ADHD symptoms
    • Foods that help to heal the gut and improve symptoms
    • Eating behaviors and specific nutritional goals
    • Lifestyle changes to support wellness outcomes
  • Customized Meal Plan emphasizing foods that improve digestive health, detoxify the body, provide necessary fuel sources for neurotransmitters, and promote blood sugar balance for optimal cognitive function.
  • Nutritional supplement recommendations: assess those currently taking, prescribe pharmaceutical-grade options to help balance system to promote wellness and decrease medications.

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FOOD-AS-MEDICINE TIP
Naturally Nourished: Focus Breakfast Choconanna Shake

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (Ali recommends roasted organic, grind-your own)
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6-8 fl oz almond milk unsweetened
  • 2-3 Tbsp protein powder (rice, chlorella, pea-based) or 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Blend these ingredients in blender, serve cold as snack or meal.

” Stimulants and anti-depressants are the most commonly prescribed treatments for ADHD; however, these can cause dependency, deficiency, and dysfunction of the body. At Naturally Nourished, we address the underlying causes of behavioral disorders while establishing nutritional balance and structured eating patterns. This improves symptoms as well as supports the the optimal function of your body or growth and development of your child. ”

Ali.

DID YOU KNOW?

Bacteria, yeast, and food allergies can play a role in ADHD. A history of antibiotic use and immune dysfunction is common in those with ADHD. Antibiotics destroy the probacteria in the body. Gut lining is compromised leading to enteropathy and food proteins leaking into the blood stream crossing the brain barrier, interfering with the frontal lobe, which is the primary behavior driver of the brain. Candida, yeast, or bad bacterial overgrowth, dysbiosis, releases over 70 toxins that interfere with brain and neurotransmitter function.

Heavy metal toxicity is common, in fact one in seven ADHD patient shows levels of metal toxicity which interferes with optimal function of the brain. Blood pH levels lower than 7.4, noting calcium deficiency, are commonly associated with ADHD. This is crucial as calcium plays a role in calming the nerves. Additional nutritional deficiencies commonly found with ADHD include: B6, Mg, Ca, Zinc, folic acid, and DHA (omega-3). At Naturally Nourished will work with detoxification protocols and provide nutrients needed to replenish deficiencies where necessary.

Blood sugar spikes and crashes can lead to irritability, irregular energy levels, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and hyperactivity. We will work with you to develop a lifestyle plan that incorporates nutrient-dense foods that are palate pleasing and eating approaches to promote blood sugar balance and optimal cognitive function.

Research demonstrates a relationship to ADHD and processed foods, specifically those that interfere with frontal lobe of the brain. We will work with you to eliminate high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), MSG, and artificial colorants from your diet while providing support in alternatives and clean natural foods meal planning.

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