Gluten free as a treatment for ADHD/ODD/CD

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by ducky8888, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. ducky8888

    ducky8888 New Member

    As a preface, my mother is celiac (gluten allergy) and tends to believe that going gluten free is a cure all for almost everything. She has suggested that there is a link between food allergies and brain function. I.e. if your body isnt getting the proper nutrients because a gluten allergy is blocking the stomach and intestines ability to absorb them, then the brain cant function properly and the neurons could be misfiring. This misfiring in the brain is a common thing found on many the medical pages I have read regarding the cause of behavioral problems.

    I have also read through a few dozen pages of the HL/NT portion of this forum and I see gluten free mentioned many times.

    My question is, how many have tried a change in diet, such as a transition to gluten free, and seen a change in their child?

    A documentary I was watching the other day about the manufacture of wheat had a portion about gluten, and how it has been changed by the hybrids and genetic modifications that had been done to the majority of the mass produced crops, and they even suggested that this "hyped up" gluten could be the cause for the the uprising of its own allergy.

    I am a logical person, and it makes sense that our bodies are made to process things a certain way, and if the things get modified our bodies COULD react by rejecting the modified foods, and the rejection of those foods COULD cause to body to be rejecting others things at the same time. Our bodies are finely tuned machines, and a lack of these blocked nutrients could certainly inhibit the bodies ability to function properly. We use many foods to fake out our minds and bodies, i.e. we use caffeine and sugar to fake our bodies into thinking it doesnt need rest. We add MSG to our food to tell our brains that the food we are eating tastes good. (have you ever wondered what ramen would actually taste like without it? If your a bad cook, just add Mrs. Dash, its 100% MSG, Guaranteed to make your brain think your food is tasty, and put holes in your brain at the same time...)

    I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas and experiences.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I only know what I've read and heard but I actually believe it could help. I truly wish I could get my son to go gluten free but for my carb loving difficult child it is impossible; seriously for him it is a battle we cannot fight. Food is one of the few things that I believe he would still get violent over. Part of me would love to have him checked in somewhere where they could deal with what he eats until he was safe to come home. I think the gluten free would really help him.

    On a side note I have Celiac's and am gluten free and it has been amazing for me!
  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My daughter was diagnosed with ODD and Depression. She could be violent if she was angry. She was taking the maximum dose of Lexapro and we were going to add an antipsychotic drug to help with the violence. She was 10 and this had been going on for years.

    We discovered she was gluten intolerant and put her on the girlfriend/CF diet. It was a miracle! We were able to get her off all of her medicine and she was a different child. Every now and then, she would go off her diet and the oppositional child would return.

    She is now 17 and doing well enough. I think she could feel better if she was stricter about her diet but she will have to figure that out for herself.

    Personally, I have been strictly girlfriend for 7 years. I used to be irritable and tired all the time and going girlfriend got rid of that. I have mistakenly had some gluten a few times over the years and it makes me anxious, depressed, tired, and OCDish for a few weeks. This was just something like the wrong kind of soy sauce, not anything like a piece of bread, that did it to me. To really see results, you might have to be extremely strict.

    I really believe it could help a lot of people.
  4. ducky8888

    ducky8888 New Member

    Wiped Out - I have been contemplating a girlfriend diet for a while, most of my family, if not all, already are either because of celiac or intolerance. I could see this being a problem in our household because gluten based foods are a staple, even for me. It hard to imagine the cupboard without bagels, and bread, and muffins. But I guess it could be the same as the way we reduced our difficult child from stealing the junk food, if it not purchased and in the cupboard, it not there to be taken. Obviously there is always the possibility of getting it elsewhere, but it would be limited at least.

    Hope - Thank you so much for sharing your experience. this is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. I know what you mean about gluten being hidden in things. I have become pretty adept at searching the ingredients for sneaky gluten, it can be in anything like "caramel coloring". I have stocked my cupboards and got in a habit of gravitating towards brands of foods that are "freak friendly" (i tease my family about the way they eat, its a joke) like the soy sauce you mentioned or even sour cream and ice creams. It upset me the first few times my parents would come to visit and Mom would touch anything because she was too afraid of getting sick. We also have lots of gatherings where we bring food to share and I either make something girlfriend or make 2 separate versions of the same dish (i.e. regular cheesecake with graham crackers, and another with girlfriend cookies) and of course being very careful not to cross contaminate.

    How did you discover her intolerance? did you just do a limited diet and see the change, or did you have her tested for it?
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For a gluten-addicted difficult child who might be "somewhat" intolerant... (rather than celiac disease, for example), you can try the following ideas:
    1) For cookies, use barley flour recipes instead of the usual. There's some really good recipes out there.
    2) Get ancient strains of bread wheat (not spelt and kamut, which are way too soft, but ones like Red Fife, which is a commercially available hard red spring wheat), and make your own bread (and buns and bagels and muffins... )
    3) Use ancient wheat and/or rolled oats as part of many other recipes to reduce the "modern wheat" impact.
    4) Use pot barley in soup, in place of pasta

    unfortunately, I haven't found any actually enjoyable substitute for real pasta...
  6. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I used to test, but the results of the diet are what convinced me. My younger daughter had stomach problems and I had long suspected celiac disease. None of her celiac tests came back positive and the doctors all said gluten wasn't the problem. We also have a family history of celiac so I was unconvinced. When she tested positive, I tested myself and my older daughter. We were both positive, too, even though we did not think we had stomach issues. Since then, I have realized I did have constant bloating. I intended to follow the diet when I was with my kids and eat what I wanted when they were not around, but I felt so much better that I am very strict about it.

    I really don't do gluten free substitutes much, but eat naturally girlfriend foods. Rice, potatoes, veggies, fruits, meat, eggs. I am also dairy free. I used to love bread and bagels, but I don't miss it. As an added bonus, I lost about 20 lbs without trying when I went girlfriend.

    If you have a family history of celiac, there is an even better chance it would help your child, in my opinion.

    When we first started this diet, I made lots of girlfriend treats so my kids wouldn't feel deprived. It is hard watching other kids eat cupcakes, donuts, etc., if you feel you can never have it. I told them if there was a treat at school, I would make a treat at home. I have found you can substitute girlfriend flour for regular flour in cakes and cookies and get good results with regular recipes. Also add about 1 t of xanthan gum per cup of flour. A mix of different flours works best.
  7. gwend1

    gwend1 New Member

    Going gluten free helped my now 8 year old daughter a lot. Her constant need for movement disappeared, her motor skills got better and she was dry at night for the first time within 6 months and has never had an accident since.

    We are now casein (dairy) free, gluten free and follow the Feingold diet. It's taken my daughter from a raging, hitting, irritable child to a sweet girl who still has her grumpy moments - but they are all within the range of normal. I have become a huge believer in assessing food sensitivities. We did all of our assessment through elimination and reintroduction to determine what foods she could and couldn't handle, but we are now working with a nutritionist because she has some vitamin/mineral deficiencies and I want professional guidance while using supplements. It's a lot of extra work, but the time and emotional energy I've gotten back because of her new behavior has more than made up for it.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I'm suffering with several health concerns and interestingly, several of my docs suggested I go gluten free about three or four weeks ago. One problem involved painful stomach cramping. I cut out gluten, sugar, and reduced my coffee to 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup in the afternoon. the only milk I use now is a splash of organic, lactose free milk in the coffee. Many of my problems are much better I and effortlessy have lost about seven pounds.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So glad to hear that going gluten free is helping!