Removal of Allergens
Doris Rapp, MD in the book, Allergies and the Hyperactive Child, advocates the removal of common food allergies. There is a detailed description of signs which when observed can indicateallergic reaction. Facial signs include puffy eyes with wrinkles under the inner canthus (Dennie’s sign) wrinkles on the nose from repeated rubbing, dark discoloration around the eyes, dryness and cracking of the mouth from mouth breathing and rough or scaly skin. Foods frequently implicated in allergic reactions include: Milk, Chocolate, Yeast, Corn, Sugar, Peanuts, Wheat, Citrus, Tomatoes, Eggs, Soy, Shrimp. There are testing diets suggested which can help determine which foods the child is actually reacting to. The best approach is an elimination diet with the gradual return of foods suspected of causing reactions.Another alternative is using a rotation diet in which foods likely to cause reactions are encountered on a 4-5 day rotational basis. Both techniques are described in the text.
The KP diet which is fully described in the book, Why Your Child is Hyperactive, by Benjamin Feingold, MD suggests the elimination of most forms of sugar, food additives, food colorants, artificial preservatives, and foods which contain naturally occurring salicylates. Salicylate containing foods include: Almonds, Apples, Apricots, Berries, Cherries, Currants, Grapes, Nectarines, Oranges, Peaches, Bell Peppers, Pickles, Plums, Strawberries, Tomatoes.
The Hyperactive Children’s Support Group of Great Britain recommends that the following food additives be avoided:Tartrazome, sunset yellow, Benzoic acid, Amaranth, Red G2, Brilliant Blue FCF, Carmine, Quinoline Yellow, FCVC, Carmolic acid, Sulfur dioxide, Potassium nitrate, BHT, Caaramel, Cochineal, Sodium benzoate, Sodium nitrate, BHA, Indigo.
If your child has eaten foods that he or she is highly sensitive to and is having a reaction you can often neutralize the reaction by having the child drink Alka Seltzer Gold.
- Consider the addition of these supplements to enhance brain function and mood stability
- A good multivitamin- use one with minerals. Deficiency in these vitamins have been associated with behavioral alteration; B1, C, B3, B6, E, Manganese, Zinc, Copper. Recommended-Rainbow Light Advanced Nutritional System; Metagenics mycelized multi-vitamin liquid.
- Vitamin C – 1,000-2,000 mg/day: Decreases allergic reactions.
- Calcium, Magnesium ( not necessary if multi contains): Calming effect on the nervous system.
- Liquid Magnesium: consider the addition of additional liquid magnesium to decrease hyper muscle tone.
Brain Nutrition-Balancing Fats
Dr. Michael Schmidt, in his book Smart Fats discusses the importance of obtaining specific fatty
acids for optimal brain function. Dietary fats effect brain structure and function, thus they have an effect on learning, memory, mood, behavior and mental and emotional intelligence. Breast milk is known to contain the fatty acids critical to brain function, but formula contained none of these fats prior to 1997. The diet of early man contained omega 6 fatty acids in a 1:1 ratio with omega 3 fattyacids. Today the ratio has changes such that it might be as high as 30:1 creating a deficit in omega 3 fatty acids. DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid and is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain.
The first step is to avoid saturated fats and fats that are artificially hydrogenated or have been heated to high temperatures as in frying. Avoid large quantities of arachidonic acid — source animal products, milk and eggs. Total fat intake should be approximately 30% of calories eaten.
- ALA – Alpha-Linolenic acid important precursor to anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Sources are flax, canola, walnuts, chia seeds. Dose 1-3 teaspoons of flax oil.
- GLA – Gamma Linolenic acid – a source of essential fatty acids which have been shown to reduce inflammatory prostaglandins. Source: borage oil or oil of evening primrose. Dose 500-1500 mg/day.
- DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid. An important omega 3 fatty acid in the brain. Source: cold water fish and some algae. Dose: 25-200 mg/day.
- EPA – Eicosapentaenoic acid. A precursor to prostaglandin PGE3, which reduces inflammatory prostaglandins. Source: fish oils, salmon, mackerel, sardines, algae. Dose: EPA/DHA 400 mg/day.