Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Red Food Dye

Just had to throw a question out that hopefully someone can answer. Like I have said before I have a son with ADHD. I know that diets can increase hyperactivity and I have been doing a little bit of research but I have learned that sometimes it is more effective to hear about actual cases from people with experience.
We have tried to cut out Red Food Dye and it helps a lot but are there other foods that may also increase hyperactivity? One of my new years resolutions is to be more understanding of his "disorder" and do what I can do to help. My heart breaks for the kid and I wish I could take it all away. I know that in some peoples eyes ADHD is no big deal but I think that noone understands how HARD it is to handle until they are in those shoes. I try to be a little less judgemental about "other peoples children".
Please let me know what you know about the diet. :) Thank you for your help and we look forward to a new year with new posts and ideas.
Have a FINE 2009.


Active Ackleys said...

Hey Mandee, it's funny that you should ask that. Mom and I were just talking about ADHD today and being a nurse and avid reader she has done some research. She told me today that she thinks a lot of the core side effect of ADHD is what is in the food we eat. I will call and leave a message for her. We have an ADHD support meeting on January 13th at our local hospital, so maybe I can make a trip over and sit in on it. I'll get back to you if I'm able to make it.

Kathy Lou said...

I have been reading your site for a few months now and I thought I would comment on the ADHD situation. I am NOT an expert by any stretch. I am a but I am a teacher and I have heard parents and other teachers talk about some things they notice that seem to help. I wouldn't try them all at once, but you could certainly try things for a week or two and see if anything makes a difference. If you are consistent and persistent I think you will find some things that help.
Ok, here goes:
1. Try cutting out all food with added sugar. If someone told me I had to do this I would probably shrivel up and disappear, but I have actually watched the changes in a kid after all sugar was cut off, and it's pretty amazing.
2. Kids with ADHD actually NEED stimulation in the brain to get the two sides of the brain to talk to each other. Try letting your son wear headphones and listen to music while doing homework, or allow other stimulation to occur alongside concentration (throwing a ball against the wall, rocking, tapping foot, etc).
3. A cup of full strength coffee in the morning provides stimulation. I don't think I would try this during the school year, leave it for the summer. The drugs kids are given are stimulants, caffeine would have the same effect without being a prescription drug.
4. More sleep. I know this probably sounds absolutely out of the question, but if you can find any way possible to get the kid to bed earlier it might help. I have a two year old, so I know how impossible this sounds, but try it.
I can hear the frustration in your "voice." Hang in there, you are on a bumpy road. Try a support group, you can find a lot of people just like you trying to deal with things the best they can. You can do it!

Jessica said...

I used to teach too and was going to say something, but Kathy Lou hit evertyhing I have heard of. Good luck to you! I have had so many students that stuggled with this--it's hard, but you just have to love them. It woulds like you are trying and really care, that is what matters most.

Shauna said...

Excellent suggestions from Kathy Lou. I hear you loud and clear.
Whatever you do, don't do everything at one time or you will not know which strategy works the best.
I found that limiting or eliminating processed sugars, flours, and any other processed foods makes a difference.
I would recommend allergy testing.
Get connected with other parents in your area. Look for a support group or start one.
You may be able to meet at the local library once a month.
I also found that life at home had to have structure, less TV, and us not running in too many directions, such as very little in the way of after school activities.

Dover Fam said...

Thanks! All these suggestions are wonderful. We have in fact tried the cup of coffee in the morning when he was in second grade and it increased his hyperactivity 10 fold. But that is always a suggestion (even from the doctors). So I am not sure why it didn't work. :) Thank you so much for your sweet words too. It is nice to know that there are people out there that understand and would never pass judgement. I just had a really good friend tell me today that if she were my sons teacher she would quit. So that has been on my mind all day. How a friend could say something so cold....thanks everybody.

Active Ackleys said...

Mandee, hand in there and you're in our prayers. By they way, Kathy Lou's suggestion about music is a great one!!! I sometimes play classical music in the background or soft Christian music while the kids study and do homework. It really makes a difference. My middle one struggles and that is one thing that helps him.