From Neil Patel D.C.
There is no one cause or one treatment for ADHD, as every diagnosis is unique and should be treated as such. However, almost every child with ADHD and other developmental disorders has a dysfunctional gastrointestinal tract. It is just as important work on the gut health of children with ADHD as it to incorporate treatment for their developing brains.
A healthy gastrointestinal tract houses three pounds of beneficial bacteria and is maintained with healthy fats, proteins, green vegetables and probiotics. The three pounds of beneficial bacteria have many functions throughout the body, including a direct connection to the brain, not only through the vagus nerve, but also through the neurotransmitters that are made by healthy bacteria there.
Current literature notes that actually 80% of the neurotransmitters in the entire body is made by the healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Neurotransmitters are the way the brain communicates. Without enough neurotransmitters, the brain can’t make connections from one area to another. Therefore, without a healthy gastrointestinal system, there is no way to have a healthy brain.
A lifestyle high in sugars and starches, especially refined sugars, starches, boxed, packaged and processed foods, will change the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome refers to the menagerie of species that reside in your gastrointestinal tract. It is very easy for the good, beneficial bacteria to be overtaken by the pathogenic forms. Overgrowth of yeast, mould, fungi and parasites alter the terrain of the gastrointestinal tract, diminishing function and eventually decreasing the integrity.
These pathogenic species – or a “bad microbiome” – produce by-products and send chemical signals to the brain. These chemical signals bombard the brain and inhibit its ability to develop properly. Other symptoms of an overgrowth of this bad microbiome can include, eczema, asthma, anxiety, allergies, acne, bad breath, rashes, skin discolorations, irregular bowels, brain fog, hyperactivity, mood disorders, picky eating habits and other digestive issues.
The brain and gastrointestinal tract are intimately related. If the gastrointestinal tract is dysfunctional, the brain will not be able to function to its potential. The gastrointestinal tract provides the brain with the hard material to build the foundation while brain exercises and rehab develop, tighten or refine the bridges that are weak. Gut health is just as important as brain training in persons with ADHD. Once the terrain of the gut bacteria is altered, an array of symptoms can manifest. This altered gut microbiome is seen as a huge player in persons with ADHD.