Clinical

ADHD and Refined Sugar

Recently interest in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has risen in childhood. ADHD is described as a neurobehavioral developmental disorder marked by constant inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, and is particularly prevalent in childhood. Unlike those with simple hyperactivity, children with ADHD have three subtype symptoms: primarily hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive, and mixed hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive. The Conner Abbreviated Teacher Rating Scale (CATRS) is commonly used to measure the behavioral pathology behavior of children with ADHD. ADHD etiology encompasses genetic, nutritional and environmental influences. In particular dietary factors such as coloring agents or simple sugar have been reported to increase the risk of ADHD.

Is ADHD Overdiagnosed? Disorder’s Broad Definition Could Subject Kids To ‘Unnecessary’ Treatment, Medical Daily

Simple sugar intake can trigger hyperactivity, provided that snacks containing high sugar content cause severe secretion of insulin from the pancreas, resulting in hypoglycemia. This stimulates a spike in epinephrine, contributing to the triggering of nervous reactions and behavioral hyperactivity disorders. A recent research on sugar intake indicated that higher sugar consumption is positively associated with higher levels of hyperactivity and ADHD-like attention deficit. However it is still controversial whether or not there is a correlation between ADHD and sugar consumption. In a study conducted by Wolraich et al., diets high in sucrose did not have major effects on behavior and cognitive performance in children.

Diet alone probably isn’t the driving force behind the multiple behavioral and cognitive symptoms that plague children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But several studies have renewed interest in whether certain foods and additives might affect particular symptoms in a subset of children with ADHD.

Harvard Mental Health Letter

Sugar does not cause/worse ADHD in general, but you should take a test to decide whether sugar influences the actions of your child. Enable your child to eat sugar and track his or her actions for a week and keep a written record. Then exclude the sugar from your diet for a week. Then repeat so that you have a total of four weeks of data and compare the results. This is easy, but it’s effective.

Note that no matter how the person acts, the consumption of refined sugar is not safe. From cavities to immune suppression, to taking the place of healthier foods, to rising the risk of diabetes, to obesity, it is well known that too much sugar can cause a variety of health problems, even if ADHD is not a problem.

Reference:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201404/adhd-and-refined-sugar

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Categories: Clinical, Mental Health