ADHD - Structures, Foods, Studies, Ideas? - Help? Please.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 13, 2012 at 12:21 AM

Hi all,

I was diagnosed with ADHD in 7th grade. I'm currently a senior in college.

I've taken three different kinds of medicine, Vyvanse being the most effective, and the one I took from my junior year of high school until the end of my sophomore year of college.

I decided to stop taking it 1. because I hoped to not be dependent on it anymore and 2. because I found I did not act in such a way that I felt was true to myself. E.g., I was not fun to be around, I could never be light-hearted, I was always serious, I did not laugh, I did not smile. I felt like a robot.

And this is distinctly not me. I probably more light hearted and carefree than most people you know. Honestly, I am a relaxed individual.

I've not taken medicine since then, but continue to struggle with the symptoms of ADHD. I have tried to structure my life, and it works for a while, but I lull myself into a false sense of security, and the habits break.

Now, if I can form good health habits (eating and exercise) I can form good work habits. I must form good work habits. I cannot handle constantly under achieving when it is evident that I have potential.

So, I'm reaching out to you who have ADHD, or has a child or spouse that has it, have read good articles at all relating to ADHD, have used techniques to create a more functional mentality and habits that are conducive to completing tasks and staying focused. If you have personal experience with this please share.



on December 13, 2012
at 01:28 AM

I should mention also, I eat Paleo, I am a rock climber and cross fitter. I also run regularly on the trails 3-6 miles. I sleep 7-9 hours a night. I read constantly. It is not so much a inability to focus, but more an inability to focus unless I find the object of my focus stimulating, and I need to work through and past that limiting factor and learn to focus the way people normally do.

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4 Answers


on December 13, 2012
at 01:21 AM

I do not have ADHD, but I've read a lot about it, as similar nutritional therapy is used for digestive illnesses. My daughter and I are both Paleo and recommend it also, but if it seems overwhelming, start with eliminating wheat first (read Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis), then all gluten (Dangerous Grains, by Dr. Braly), and progressing to Paleo (Dr. Cordain) if it fits your lifestyle. Gradual changes are easier to implement than drastic ones, unless you're the type who likes to go cold turkey.

Please keep in mind that you could have food sensitivities other than to grains. Dairy is another common one. You can have ELISA testing done, or do an elimination diet. It's best to seek out a physician who is open to this and will guide you through it.

Good luck.



on December 13, 2012
at 12:33 AM

I had ADD for years. Paleo (I do hard-core Paleo with organ meat, fermented foods, bone broth, shellfish etc, + D3 + home-made goat kefir) has fixed it for me, after 25 years of feeling "off". I wrote about the whole experience in the comment section of this great article (please read the article and the comments): http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2012/11/adhd-stimulants-alternative-treatments.html


on December 14, 2012
at 05:37 PM

Your comments are very interesting and I look forward to the forum discussion. My 15 year old son has ADHD and takes Vyvanse. I think it works well for him in regards to his school work and ability to communicate clearly. For a while we gave him drug holidays on weekends and school breaks but he has chosen to take it every day. He says it if he doesn't take it he acts "stupid". He does tend to be a bit of a task master and gets grumpy if his peers are acting silly. This doesn't him socially, for sure. He is very defensive about his diet and resistant to even trying a gluten free diet. He eats a lots of carbs and nearly no fruits or vegetables but is pretty good about protein. His psychiatrist doesn't suggest any dietary changes unless my son "buys in" to the changes himself. I can kind of understand that but I also feel like I'm poisoning my kids every time I buy a loaf of bread.

I've recently become aware of a psychiatrist named Georgia Ede that has very interesting thoughts on how our diet effects us. She recently spoke at the AHS and is blogging at diagnosisdiet.com. She one of those rare MDs that is interested in and studies nutrition. Definitely worth a look.

Good luck in your studies. If you are in your Senior year, you're doing great!


on December 14, 2012
at 07:48 AM

Hey Jared,

First time post on Paleo Hacks. Had to reply to your question after a google search of "adhd broth". I'm familiar with many diets including Paleo and tried Ray Peat before it was cool. I'll touch a bit more on these later.

The reason for the search was too see if anyone else had seen benefits from consuming broth and possibly reversing some of their adhd symptoms.

I too struggle with "adhd" and am having a very hard time at Business School and am having to drop 3 out of my 4 classes. So right now I'm down in the dumps. Weak social life etc and depressed. ADHD + Depression=Much worse ADHD symptoms IME.

I'm a 28 yo male. I just got my first generic prescription of Add XR 20 a few days ago after recognizing these symptoms since HS and finally giving in after all the troubles. Well after popping one I got no relief so I popped another so I could focus and got a bad reaction and couldn't finish an assignment which was pertinent to passing the class. So basically the plan backfired bigtime, and my whole body/mind felt like absolute crap during finals! The stuff is absolute garbage.

On to the good stuff...

I'd take what Eugenia wrote very seriously! I followed a similar diet called GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) and although I didn't see drastic changes immediately and was only able to participate for about 7 weeks....something was happening. I regret not sticking to it but something came up over summer which didn't allow me continue.

So if you're looking to heal through diet or heal your adhd symptoms...look to Gaps or to SCD or similar to Eugenia's! Some very important factors you must look into and some alternative treatments as well that directly relate to ADHD symptoms from my research:

Gut health/ Metals overload including mercury, lead aluminum boron...Chelate!/ Copper zinc imbalance/ Toxic Molds in your home-room/ Mineral and vitamin deficiencies(magnesium, zinc, etc)/ Thyroid! (Most tests at your docs are not reliable)/ Vitamin B12 defeciency.

Best of Luck

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