Recent research has found that is could be possible that gluten sensitivity could be at the core of many neurological disorders and psychiatric conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Gluten is found in a great deal of the foods we eat, so someone with a sensitivity could in fact be fact be at risk of damage from the protein, found in grains like wheat, rye, barley and many oats. In the treatment of ADHD, sugar is usually targeted as the culprit behind the condition, and gluten sensitivity is often overlooked. Grains often react in the body the same as sugar. Scientists know that wheat, dairy and soy contain exceptionally high levels of two amino acids — glutamine and aspartic acid, which eventually, through several chemical processes, end up as glutamate.
Glutamate is an important neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the development of the brain, long-term memory, and for learning. In gluten sensitive people glutamate could react differently than in normal brains and when it comes in contact with particular brain cells it causes them to become excessively excited. This chemical process is called “excitotoxins.”
In a gluten sensitive person, excitotoxins are stored inside the brain instead of outside, which can lead to calcium-induced cell damage and lost connections between brain cells (synapse) to the point the brain cells will eventually die off. This process may contribute to nervous system disorders such as epilepsy, ADD/ADHD and migraines as well as neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease, and others. Excess glutamate has been shown to cause significant impairment of brain development in babies and can lead to mental retardation.
Grains are also known to worsen any condition that has its root in chronic inflammation, such as celiac disease. It doesn’t make any difference in which part of the body the inflammation exists, chronic inflammation can cause enormous problems for your brain, and it’s important that the inflammation be reduced to improve mental health. Scientists have realized for a long time that those who suffer from celiac disease are more likely to suffer from ADHD as well. With celiac disease the lining of the small intestine is damaged and it prevents the body from absorbing necessary nutrients in food.
In two recent studies, the amount of glutamine in the brain could predict the brain damage seen both in pediatric brain injury and brain damage from seizures. By adding large amounts of glutamine to the diet you increase the amount that is produced in the brain and converted to glutamate.
Drug therapy or medication should be the last resort for these patients. The key is to make changes in the diet that include:
- Replacing fruit juices, soft drinks and milk with non- fluoridated waster
- Eliminating most grains and sugars
- Avoid all processed foods, especially those containing fructose, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, which may trigger or worsen symptoms
- Minimizing your use of nearly all processed fats, especially trans fats because they disrupt nerve cell intercommunication
- Increase Omega3 fatty acids, especially Krill oil, which is more absorbant than the omega-3s in fish oil
When looking at the ingredients in the food you eat you will be surprised to see gluten is hidden in so much of what we eat. Food-borne excitotoxins are included in such additives as MSG, aspartame, hydrolyzed protein and soy protein extract. Most commonly you will find the protein in processed foods like ready-made soups, soy sauce, candies, cold cuts, and various low- and no-fat products, as well as refined grain products like bread, pizza crust, pasta, cookies and pastries.
By eliminating gluten from the diet, many people who experience a wide variety of mental and emotional health issues will soon see vast improvements.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory expert. As a memory speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.
PubMed.gov – A new paradigm for depression in new mothers: the central role of inflammation and how breastfeeding and anti-inflammatory treatments protect maternal mental health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17397549?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_SingleItemSupl.Pubmed_Discovery_PMC&linkpos=3&log$=citedinpmcarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed
Mercola.com – Child Have ADHD? Stop Feeding Them This: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/02/gluten-contribute-to-adhd.aspx?e_cid=20111102_DNL_art_2