5

votes

Hack options for ADHD?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 19, 2011 at 11:46 AM

My therapist believes I suffer from adult ADHD and it is something I suspected I had for quite some time way before I started paleo, however, I am pretty much against taking prescriptions drugs unless I absolutely have too. Are there any paleo or natural remedies for this condition?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 02:19 AM

Eric - You have to pay Quilt for that. Sorry.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:35 PM

I know a lot of people say that amphetamines just make non-ADHD people hyper, but calm people with ADHD, but I have quite a few friends who have taken amphetamines recreationally, who don't have ADHD, and they found it helped them focus, too. Maybe the difference is more subtle, like a difference in your thought patterns, even though you're productive either way. I haven't taken it myself, so I don't know, it just seems difficult to coalesce these conflicting reports.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Funny cartoon, MikeD :P. We're working on ways to accurately diagnose ADHD via fMRI, but so far the specificity and sensitivity leave a little to be desired. There was a competition to see who could get the best results from resting state fMRI last summer, but interestingly the highest scoring team didn't even use the fMRI data, but just the phenotypic data.

Da19dae8f2904efb21298b785f5d6cb7

(100)

on October 29, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Exactly! This is why I watch movies at 2am...its the only time my brain has slowed down enough to focus on it.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:50 AM

The sensitive individual she speaks of could be either celiac or the less severe gluten sensitive. In the same article she mentions that those who have celiac disease may number as high as 1 in 30 as opposed to the previously thought 1 in 200. I didn't see anything there, but I have read other places that 1 in 3 people have at least some gluten sensitivity, so this could apply to a good 1/3 of people. I've never been tested for celiac, and guess that I am merely in the sensitive category, but I am in no shape to operate a motor vehicle after having a bagel or pancakes.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on September 20, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Do you know if a 'sensitive individual' is a celiac, or just an outlier? If the latter, how can we determine that? Eg, I don't react to gluten in any obvious way, but perhaps I am still sensitive to it in some sense, but its not clear how I would determine that (though I generally avoid it anyway). Thanks for the quote!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 20, 2011
at 12:56 PM

Haha, Aaron that sounds like my life. It's weird because I guess I can get things done when things are on the line. I often work best when it's 3AM, I'm desperately tired, hungry, and irritable...I guess it takes the ADHD out of my brain.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 20, 2011
at 12:24 PM

Like Happy Now said, if something *really* grabs my attention, then I can bring all my resources to bear on it, and it's a powerful thing. Unfortunately, that can be good, as when it's a web server that crashed at 3am and they need it up ASAP, or it can be bad, like a failed romance that suddenly seems like the most important thing ever. It's kind of like having several different brains, all multitasking on different things and having to take turns using the common resources. If you can get them all trained on the same topic, look out.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 20, 2011
at 06:42 AM

"Exposure to gluten in a sensitive individual essentially shuts down blood flow to the prefrontal cortex—the part of our brains that allow us to focus, manage emotional states, plan and organize and exercise our short term memory. The prefrontal cortex is our brain’s “executive function” control center and is the part of our brain that basically makes us the most human." http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/?p=805

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on September 20, 2011
at 05:33 AM

How might one raise colostrum? What is the range of appropriate 'doses' of coconut oil in this context? And what counts a smart exercise protocol here? I understand that it will vary across individuals. But perhaps you can provide some rough guidelines. This would make a great - and much appreciated - blog post!

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on September 20, 2011
at 05:16 AM

Happy Now: that's interesting, I've never heard that before, any chance you have a link or reference?

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on September 20, 2011
at 05:11 AM

as someone with a learning disability who works with people on the autism spectrum, I have to make a huge fuss about the idea that ADD is on the spectrum. it's not. While there are people with both, just because someone has one does NOT mean they have the other. ASD often involves an ability to "hyper-focus" and ignore all outside stimuli, an ability many people with ADD would LOVE to have.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on September 20, 2011
at 02:51 AM

I realize that medical classifications are often arbitrary, but ADD/ADHD is not considered an autism spectrum disorder-- http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/hcp-dsm.html

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on September 20, 2011
at 01:46 AM

I agree with Melissa 100%. I've also been diagnosed with ADD as has my dad and brother. We all notice things other people don't and are very aware of our environment. It's just that in the modern world we get overwhelmed with stimulus and options.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on September 19, 2011
at 11:06 PM

I've noticed that too

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 19, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Apparently the kicker with ADHD is that the more effort you apply trying to focus and plan on the things you are "supposed" to be doing rather than the things you are interested in, the more that part of the brain that controls you ability to do those things refuses to work. A trick I use is to try and keep things as novel and varied as possible. ADHD folks can have laser-like focus as long as it is something that gets them fired up. I think each diagnosis should come with a prescription for a personal assistant.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 19, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Patrik nailed it with the gluten thing, it actually reduces blood flow to the part of the brain that controls focus.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 19, 2011
at 05:42 PM

I've thought seriously about hiring someone to call me up and yell at me for not doing things...haha

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:09 PM

...Which isn't to say that his problem couldn't be partly dietary, or a chemical imbalance caused by poor diet or even his mother's poor diet. Something has to account for the massive increase in people having this problem. But it has increased. If it were just doctors pushing amphetamines on normal kids, you'd have those kids climbing the walls in class, not sitting quietly and doing their work.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:08 PM

...Which isn't to say that his problem couldn't be partly dietary, or a chemical imbalance caused by poor diet or even his mother's poor diet. *Something* has to account for the massive increase in people having this problem. But it *has* increased. If it were just doctors pushing pills on normal kids, you'd have those kids climbing the walls in class, not sitting quietly and doing their work.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:06 PM

I always assumed it was drastically over-diagnosed, because I didn't see how we could go from having one hyper kid per class of 25 a generation ago, to 10% of boys needing to be drugged today. However, the ADHD drugs are stimulants (except Strattera, which is pretty new and not used much). For most people, they're "speed", but for the minority with ADD, they have a reverse calming effect. If a kid is out of control in the classroom because his parents spared the rod, then a stimulant should make him *more* hyper. If he calms down and focuses, then there had to be *something* wrong with him.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Yes, if we could maintain a routine, there wouldn't be a problem in the first place! I don't know how many times people have told me, "Make a list of what you want to get done," or, "get a planner...." Gosh, never thought of that!

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Low-carb, high-fat, fish oil, magnesium, sunlight, stress reduction, and sleep all *helped* mine. But they didn't cure it, and whenever unavoidable stress made it worse, the carb cravings and just not caring enough to stick to the program would kick in, and then it'd be a vicious downward cycle for a while. As animalcule said, diet isn't going to fix a structural problem in the brain, although it may help to alleviate the symptoms and at least not make it worse. So now I'm on Vyvanse, and five days in, I'm seeing a big improvement.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Thanks Neane! I don't take a fish oil supplement, but I do eat a lot of fish and very high in fat. I will definitely do my research before I take steps toward getting medicated - not sure if Adderall is the place to start. Computer addiction is a big problem, for sure. I've made a lot of improvements in the past couple years, but still need to find ways to restrict my access to things which trigger hyperfocus and neglecting responsibilities!

8a4ce6a9e1ab27616920b828df08b259

(354)

on April 28, 2011
at 08:48 PM

I have the same type of ADD that you do. Have you tried fish oil? And adding more fat to your diet? That's what helps me, diet-wise. I take a low dose of extended release methylphenidate, and have tried not taking it, but I just HAVE to take it. Adderall is a devil drug, I hated it. It made me into a monster. Keep that in mind, (esp. since we both have ADD-PI) What REALLY helps is changing my lifestyle. I just CANNOT be on a computer..it's too much stimulation and leads to intense hyperfocus. I try to be outside as much as I can. Hope I helped at least a tiny bit.

A6cffe7397214f338ae098613eea6737

(50)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:07 PM

Also check out on how diary, sweet things (surga, fruits, etc.), coffee and other simulators affects you

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 20, 2011
at 04:09 AM

Stay away from wheat/gluten and gluten-like substances.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:54 AM

None of these things apply to me, but I don't have ADHD. ADD can be a very different animal. Light modulation could be helpful for me... I sleep like a log, but have no natural wake cycle ATM (will go 10 hours if my boyfriend doesn't get me up, then feel hung over all day).

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:52 AM

And thanks Mike. I have no shame at all. ;) The right diet has been nothing short of miraculous for me, but it can't cure the structural problems in my parietal lobes. And I think I need help, to be a happy and functional person. Most people I have known with ADD do very well with Adderall and have few side effects. http://www.ldpride.net/addsub-types.htm Left column is my issues to a T. lol/sob

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:47 AM

Higher leptin would probably be good for me, Dr. K. I'm still pretty emaciated.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 02:59 AM

DHEA can also be a huge help....but you need to be tested before I would start it........

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:58 AM

adderal raises leptin levels......and hence why it causes huge issues. Got to solve it without a drug that cause central resistance.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:57 AM

everything on my list is natural.....

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:56 AM

For adrenal resistance we test for alot.......but without testing I can tell you what we would use but no doses without values. Melatonin, Colostrum, coconut oil, fish oil, Magnesium, and dark lights at sunset.

367a9e46f06d13e100b953f8e429f7dc

on March 19, 2011
at 09:21 PM

I share everyone's concern about mind-altering perscription drugs, but I'm currently on Vyvanse (similar to adderal). I resisted for as long as I could, but I simply wasn't able to function anywhere near the level I'm capable of. Don't be ashamed if you do end up deciding to try Adderall. I'm certainly not.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on March 19, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Right MikeD, I definitely agree that it is a real disorder. I just was noting it is often over diagnosed.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 19, 2011
at 04:27 PM

there is actually a way to diagnose ADHD through MRI brainscans but the method is too expensive at the moment. while over diagnosed it is real. http://www.drstevenberk.com/Cartoons/ADDPetscan.jpg

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:55 PM

Sadly yes. I think, presently, when a patient sees a physician or therapist the mindset is: "If I don't specify a disorder/illness or prescribe a drug I'm not doing what the patient wants." Pharmaceutical pressures probably also play a factor. *Hopefully*, this will change with growing awareness of health and physician/therapist-patient practices.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:48 PM

I agree, overdiagnosis of these are a big problem. I think the reason is that we have drugs for them, and having a drug to put someone on relieves responsibility somewhat.

  • 22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

    asked by

    (5773)
  • Views
    6.2K
  • Last Activity
    1283D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

14 Answers

7
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 19, 2011
at 03:13 PM

I think the major issues with ADHD and paleo is that there is nothing wrong with people with ADHD. In the Paleolithic, we would have been highly successful, but in the modern world we have to focus on monotonous tasks for hours and hours on end. I'm not sure paleo helps that much with ADHD. I still have it and I know plenty of others who do as well. Every single person in my immediate family has been diagnosed with ADHD. I've often felt depressed because nobody holds a normal job, but then I realize that you can be quite successful with a strange career and I've shifted my own track towards that. However, I realize that's quite a luxury.

I've come up with things to manage it, but they are a struggle for someone to ADHD to follow because they require a level of strictness that doesn't exactly come naturally to me. Forbidding myself from any electronic device from 9 PM onward works really well for example, but I can count on two hands the number of days I've been able to do that. Heavy morning exercise definitely helps as well, but I also struggle to maintain that routine.

We are the remnants of a hunting mind in an age of farming. I find that hunting also helps me control my ADHD and my family is full of great hunters. Being in the woods, being alert for deer but not overstimulated...that's medicine right there.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on September 20, 2011
at 01:46 AM

I agree with Melissa 100%. I've also been diagnosed with ADD as has my dad and brother. We all notice things other people don't and are very aware of our environment. It's just that in the modern world we get overwhelmed with stimulus and options.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 19, 2011
at 05:42 PM

I've thought seriously about hiring someone to call me up and yell at me for not doing things...haha

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Yes, if we could maintain a routine, there wouldn't be a problem in the first place! I don't know how many times people have told me, "Make a list of what you want to get done," or, "get a planner...." Gosh, never thought of that!

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 20, 2011
at 12:24 PM

Like Happy Now said, if something *really* grabs my attention, then I can bring all my resources to bear on it, and it's a powerful thing. Unfortunately, that can be good, as when it's a web server that crashed at 3am and they need it up ASAP, or it can be bad, like a failed romance that suddenly seems like the most important thing ever. It's kind of like having several different brains, all multitasking on different things and having to take turns using the common resources. If you can get them all trained on the same topic, look out.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 20, 2011
at 12:56 PM

Haha, Aaron that sounds like my life. It's weird because I guess I can get things done when things are on the line. I often work best when it's 3AM, I'm desperately tired, hungry, and irritable...I guess it takes the ADHD out of my brain.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 19, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Apparently the kicker with ADHD is that the more effort you apply trying to focus and plan on the things you are "supposed" to be doing rather than the things you are interested in, the more that part of the brain that controls you ability to do those things refuses to work. A trick I use is to try and keep things as novel and varied as possible. ADHD folks can have laser-like focus as long as it is something that gets them fired up. I think each diagnosis should come with a prescription for a personal assistant.

Da19dae8f2904efb21298b785f5d6cb7

(100)

on October 29, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Exactly! This is why I watch movies at 2am...its the only time my brain has slowed down enough to focus on it.

4
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on March 19, 2011
at 03:46 PM

Anecdotally, my ADD tendencies seem to normalize when I go low carb (30g or lower)

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on September 19, 2011
at 11:06 PM

I've noticed that too

3
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 19, 2011
at 05:23 PM

ADHD is complex but one major common tie in those patients is they have high cortisol levels, bad sleep and a permeable gut. I generally go after that leaky gut hard with diet.....especially raising coconut oils and colostrum and smart exercise protocols. We also advocate using light modulation in tougher cases.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:54 AM

None of these things apply to me, but I don't have ADHD. ADD can be a very different animal. Light modulation could be helpful for me... I sleep like a log, but have no natural wake cycle ATM (will go 10 hours if my boyfriend doesn't get me up, then feel hung over all day).

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on September 20, 2011
at 05:33 AM

How might one raise colostrum? What is the range of appropriate 'doses' of coconut oil in this context? And what counts a smart exercise protocol here? I understand that it will vary across individuals. But perhaps you can provide some rough guidelines. This would make a great - and much appreciated - blog post!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 02:19 AM

Eric - You have to pay Quilt for that. Sorry.

2
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on September 20, 2011
at 05:58 AM

I'm 30 with ADD and take Adderall. After almost a year on paleo I haven't noticed any ADD-related changes. In fact, paleo became my primary hyper focus topic, and my work has suffered because of it.

I thought Melissa's answer above was really sharp. Unfortunately, though, we ADD folks still have to function and compete in a world dominated by Normals.

One problem I've run into with natural supplements is that a lot of them interact with Adderall in a way that reverses their effects. ZMA, for example, enhances and extends the effects of Adderall. Rhodiola interacts in the same way because it inhibits the re-uptake of the neurotransmitters that Adderall overproduces. When I combine them it makes my head feel like its going to explode.

I've read on ADD forums that Adderall mixes nicely with GABA and Kava Kava. I'm going to experiment with these combinations next, beginning with Kava*Adderall.

Taking 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds (mixed into yogurt a la Seth Roberts) seems to help decrease the desire to smoke while on Adderall. That's a welcome effect. There are other people on Roberts' website that report similar results, so the effect seems to generalize to some extent.

I'm going to start playing around with colostrum now that Dr K has mentioned it.

The blog ADHD Interactions is an interesting and deep resource for dietary, supplementary, and prescription treatments of ADD. It also provides theoretical considerations about what ADD is and how it operates. The psychiatrist behind it is anonymous, but he seems pretty smart and intellectually curious. You can find it here:

http://adhd-treatment-options.blogspot.com/

Off the top of my head, that's all of the ADD stuff that I've collected along the way so far. Hope it helps. Critical comments and elaborations from everyone would be much appreciated - ADD is such a complicated puzzle for us to grapple with!

2
F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on September 20, 2011
at 01:32 AM

In a somewhat ironic twist, when I go off all stimulants (especially caffeine) I find my ADD symptom are significantly alleviated. That said, Adderall is a pretty fantastic drug that literally saves lives. In particular, my brother was so unable to control his life due to severe ADHD: could hold a job, couldn't finish any tasks, could hardly drive. He was suicidal until he got on Adderall and turned everything around.

2
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:45 PM

Emily Deans of Evolutionary Psychiatry has some articles devoted to this. You can find the links at this site map

2
51c76061b40a97b150d87bf3988ec9f6

on March 19, 2011
at 12:24 PM

Just going Paleo should help. Cutting out the gluten and cassien in ones diet has been shown to help with autism spectrum disorders, which ADD is.

Another helpful, although semi-controversial option, is following the guidelines of the Feingold Diet, which eleminates certain artifical additives. Obviously paleo does this, but Feingold goes one step further eliminating certain foods high in salicites, such as berries and tomatoes.

My son, who although never was "officially" diagnosed, has issues with ADD/ADHD as well as some OCD and some other issues. We started him on Feingold about 3 years ago and have noticed a huge difference. We can tell almost instantly when he goes off diet. Originally he was super sensitive to salicites getting crazy hyper and restless after eating any. This has improved a lot, but he still reacts some if he has a large quantity of say berries.

We were very anti-drug also and were relieved that we found success with dietary changes.

I say give it a shot for a few weeks, 30 days or so, and see if it works for you... It can't hurt, right?

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on September 20, 2011
at 05:11 AM

as someone with a learning disability who works with people on the autism spectrum, I have to make a huge fuss about the idea that ADD is on the spectrum. it's not. While there are people with both, just because someone has one does NOT mean they have the other. ASD often involves an ability to "hyper-focus" and ignore all outside stimuli, an ability many people with ADD would LOVE to have.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on September 20, 2011
at 02:51 AM

I realize that medical classifications are often arbitrary, but ADD/ADHD is not considered an autism spectrum disorder-- http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/hcp-dsm.html

1
1a65db77c3445729d54bc97cfe1555af

(205)

on September 20, 2011
at 05:44 PM

My oldest daughter has ADHD (combined type). From birth, she had food allergies, had colitis, strange rashes, intolerance to my breastmilk even as I nursed her on a very restrictive diet, etc. We fed her a very limited diet, slowly adding in and usually failing foods. As she got older, it became apparent that she had ADHD and that her behavioral issues when we would trial milk or gluten were actually a result of exacerbating her ADHD symptoms. We ended up putting her on Strattera, which was simply a wonder drug for her, and we still maintain a fairly restrictive diet for her. No milk, soy, corn, gluten, artificial dyes, artificial sweeteners, etc. We can tell a difference when we let her have any of these things. We also give her fish oil and try to stay away from too much sugar.

My husband also has ADHD (primarily inattentive) and was diagnosed after my daughter. He eats primarily Paleo and would probably say he can't tell a big difference in focus on and off the diet, though I think when he's more disciplined in the diet area of his life, it overflows into better discipline in other areas as well. But he can tell a huge difference (as can I), when he's on meds. Our marriage is much better when he's consistent with his meds as well.

1
B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on September 20, 2011
at 06:36 AM

Side question; has anyone who was not able to handle stimulants pre-paleo tried them again post paleo? I took adderall in college but it made me an anxious mess and I didn't have a feeling of "wellness" while on it. I'm curious how I'd do on it now that I've eliminated food allergies and strengthened my body overall..

1
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on March 19, 2011
at 08:32 PM

Thanks for all the responses. I've been pretty strict Paleo for about a year now and have seen some focus change, but overall still not were I need to be. I have healed my gut and currently going through some cortisol issues, so maybe they will continue to improve.

Is there any natural supplement that helps?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:56 AM

For adrenal resistance we test for alot.......but without testing I can tell you what we would use but no doses without values. Melatonin, Colostrum, coconut oil, fish oil, Magnesium, and dark lights at sunset.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:57 AM

everything on my list is natural.....

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 02:59 AM

DHEA can also be a huge help....but you need to be tested before I would start it........

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on March 19, 2011
at 03:37 PM

My ADD-PI hasn't been improved by a healthy lifestyle including paleo/primal diet. I've tried VLC and that made it worse (my biggest problem is hyperfocus) . Now I eat starch.

I don't want to take drugs, but am considering Adderall ATM because I'm struggling with so many basic things.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:52 AM

And thanks Mike. I have no shame at all. ;) The right diet has been nothing short of miraculous for me, but it can't cure the structural problems in my parietal lobes. And I think I need help, to be a happy and functional person. Most people I have known with ADD do very well with Adderall and have few side effects. http://www.ldpride.net/addsub-types.htm Left column is my issues to a T. lol/sob

367a9e46f06d13e100b953f8e429f7dc

on March 19, 2011
at 09:21 PM

I share everyone's concern about mind-altering perscription drugs, but I'm currently on Vyvanse (similar to adderal). I resisted for as long as I could, but I simply wasn't able to function anywhere near the level I'm capable of. Don't be ashamed if you do end up deciding to try Adderall. I'm certainly not.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:47 AM

Higher leptin would probably be good for me, Dr. K. I'm still pretty emaciated.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:58 AM

adderal raises leptin levels......and hence why it causes huge issues. Got to solve it without a drug that cause central resistance.

8a4ce6a9e1ab27616920b828df08b259

(354)

on April 28, 2011
at 08:48 PM

I have the same type of ADD that you do. Have you tried fish oil? And adding more fat to your diet? That's what helps me, diet-wise. I take a low dose of extended release methylphenidate, and have tried not taking it, but I just HAVE to take it. Adderall is a devil drug, I hated it. It made me into a monster. Keep that in mind, (esp. since we both have ADD-PI) What REALLY helps is changing my lifestyle. I just CANNOT be on a computer..it's too much stimulation and leads to intense hyperfocus. I try to be outside as much as I can. Hope I helped at least a tiny bit.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Thanks Neane! I don't take a fish oil supplement, but I do eat a lot of fish and very high in fat. I will definitely do my research before I take steps toward getting medicated - not sure if Adderall is the place to start. Computer addiction is a big problem, for sure. I've made a lot of improvements in the past couple years, but still need to find ways to restrict my access to things which trigger hyperfocus and neglecting responsibilities!

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Low-carb, high-fat, fish oil, magnesium, sunlight, stress reduction, and sleep all *helped* mine. But they didn't cure it, and whenever unavoidable stress made it worse, the carb cravings and just not caring enough to stick to the program would kick in, and then it'd be a vicious downward cycle for a while. As animalcule said, diet isn't going to fix a structural problem in the brain, although it may help to alleviate the symptoms and at least not make it worse. So now I'm on Vyvanse, and five days in, I'm seeing a big improvement.

1
B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:06 PM

ADHD and bipolar disorder are the two most commonly over diagnosed disorders. I'm not saying you don't have the disorder but sometimes therapists just diagnose someone that is a bit more energetic or distracted than the 'norm' as having them. (Source: Abnormal Psychology course/professor)

But, as mentioned above, going paleo would probably help alleviate your symptoms.

If there is a naturopath in your area you might try seeking their expertise for a natural means of minimizing your symptoms, or just browsing the internet for 'adhd and natuaral cures/treatments'.

http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/teen-adult-adhd-symptoms-info.html Not sure if this site is useful, but I found it on a quick google search.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 19, 2011
at 04:27 PM

there is actually a way to diagnose ADHD through MRI brainscans but the method is too expensive at the moment. while over diagnosed it is real. http://www.drstevenberk.com/Cartoons/ADDPetscan.jpg

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:55 PM

Sadly yes. I think, presently, when a patient sees a physician or therapist the mindset is: "If I don't specify a disorder/illness or prescribe a drug I'm not doing what the patient wants." Pharmaceutical pressures probably also play a factor. *Hopefully*, this will change with growing awareness of health and physician/therapist-patient practices.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on March 19, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Right MikeD, I definitely agree that it is a real disorder. I just was noting it is often over diagnosed.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:48 PM

I agree, overdiagnosis of these are a big problem. I think the reason is that we have drugs for them, and having a drug to put someone on relieves responsibility somewhat.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:09 PM

...Which isn't to say that his problem couldn't be partly dietary, or a chemical imbalance caused by poor diet or even his mother's poor diet. Something has to account for the massive increase in people having this problem. But it has increased. If it were just doctors pushing amphetamines on normal kids, you'd have those kids climbing the walls in class, not sitting quietly and doing their work.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:08 PM

...Which isn't to say that his problem couldn't be partly dietary, or a chemical imbalance caused by poor diet or even his mother's poor diet. *Something* has to account for the massive increase in people having this problem. But it *has* increased. If it were just doctors pushing pills on normal kids, you'd have those kids climbing the walls in class, not sitting quietly and doing their work.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:06 PM

I always assumed it was drastically over-diagnosed, because I didn't see how we could go from having one hyper kid per class of 25 a generation ago, to 10% of boys needing to be drugged today. However, the ADHD drugs are stimulants (except Strattera, which is pretty new and not used much). For most people, they're "speed", but for the minority with ADD, they have a reverse calming effect. If a kid is out of control in the classroom because his parents spared the rod, then a stimulant should make him *more* hyper. If he calms down and focuses, then there had to be *something* wrong with him.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:35 PM

I know a lot of people say that amphetamines just make non-ADHD people hyper, but calm people with ADHD, but I have quite a few friends who have taken amphetamines recreationally, who don't have ADHD, and they found it helped them focus, too. Maybe the difference is more subtle, like a difference in your thought patterns, even though you're productive either way. I haven't taken it myself, so I don't know, it just seems difficult to coalesce these conflicting reports.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Funny cartoon, MikeD :P. We're working on ways to accurately diagnose ADHD via fMRI, but so far the specificity and sensitivity leave a little to be desired. There was a competition to see who could get the best results from resting state fMRI last summer, but interestingly the highest scoring team didn't even use the fMRI data, but just the phenotypic data.

1
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on March 19, 2011
at 01:32 PM

This was an encouraging, somewhat mainstream article supporting the idea that diet might have more to do with treating ADD/ADHD than previously suspected. The study's conclusions do not lead to a paleo diet per se, but they do point to greater care in figuring out what foods trigger ADD/ADHD in children.

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/12/134456594/study-diet-may-help-adhd-kids-more-than-drugs

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 20, 2011
at 02:12 AM

Saw a documentary on Netflix the other day about ADHD/bipolar in children (http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Frontline_The_Medicated_Child/70092244?trkid=2361637). Of course, during the course of interviews, they showed them eating: processed grains and other crap. They had obvious thyroid issues, skeletal problems, etc... but the answer proposed was more and more medication. I could only think that if these kids got the right nutrition, they'd minimize their psychiatric issues.

An elimination diet would probably very appropriate for what you're trying to figure out.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!