I recently took my neurotypical 6 year old to the doctor after several stomach ache complaints. He has had some struggles with constipation recently. This was our first time seeing this NP at our normal pediatricians office. She asked if I'd noticed any hyperactivity in him, as he jumped off the exam table for the 3rd time. I said yes, that I had noticed a pretty drastic change recently. It has been hard for him to stay focused, sit still, and follow directions, which he is typically pretty decent at. She made the statement that I should notice a change once we get his gut working properly. That they are finding a connection between gut health and brain activity. My oldest son, who does have adhd, has not had a normal bowel movement since coming off the breast as an infant. It has been a real struggle. I tried to do my own research, but I find nothing that backs up her claim. I find several articles stating a higher occurrence of constipation in adhd kids but nothing about constipation or gut health contributing to brain function. Has anyone heard of this? I'll report back if I do notice a change in my youngest son. I just found it odd that she mentioned that and there being such a dramatic change recently.
Gut health and adhd: I recently took my... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...
Gut health and adhd
it isn't about the bowel movements, per se. Those are just a symptom. It's about the microbiome. The gut-brain axis is real. Science is only just beginning to understand specifics, but it is understood that a microbiome out of whack can alter production of neurotransmitters, thereby affecting the brain.
Thank you! Any suggestions on readings or tips on how to regulate the microbiome?
My son (12) and I both have ADHD and use supplements for this for gut health (greens as well as a prebiotic, probiotic and digestive enzymes). Fibre supplement has also been beneficial for us, we add to our protein shakes, wouldn’t even know it’s there. Aside from supplements we try to fit in whole foods that are beneficial - with our ADHD, it’s sometimes easier said than done which is why the supplements are important for us. Drink lots of water too 💦I don’t mind sharing with you what we use for supplements, but perhaps you want to discuss with your doctor what is the best options for your son 😊
Please do share what you use. I feel like I get more out of a doctor's visit if I go in knowing as much as I can. Your info will be a good jumping off point for my own research.
Sent you a message!
I’m also curious what supplements you use.
Sent you a message 🙂
adhdjourney , I'd love to hear what supplements you are using too! I'm thinking about trying some for myself and if I like the results, I'll try them with my son.
that gets you into specialized health advice, but what I usually read is to reduce or eliminate processed foods, to not over-rely on antibiotics, and to increase intake of prebiotics and probiotics to improve the health of the microbiome in the gut. There is quite a bit out there on the subject now, and I don't have any specific recommendations.
Interesting. I always just assumed the kids were acting different because the constipation made them miserable, similar to when I have a headache. I'll have to look into this because my ADHD kid suffers from chronic constipation and very limited diet!
I ran a quick web search and found 2017 study, "Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis." In the conclusion they note that studies have shown that probiotics effectively mitigated anxiety and depressive symptoms similar to conventional prescription medications. In addition to ADHD, my son has both anxiety and depression. We used to give him probiotics when he was younger. I might try adding them back into the daily routine to see if I notice a difference. If nothing else, it should help with the constipation! I'm going to try to research this a little more this weekend. I'll let you know if I find anything. And, if you find any studies/material worthy of reading, please post a link.
This is a bit from gut health, but I did find a good starting place for supplements and how they impact the brain from additudemag. additudemag.com/reviews/pos...
I'm late replying, but thanks for the link. I started my son back on probiotics a couple of weeks ago. I haven't noticed any changes, but it is still early and we had a stomach bug run through our family last week.
The gut/brain axis…
I quickly found this medical outback article- I am not sure if the link works. In case you had the title below.
The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health
My ADHD son has never been constipated in his life but he has always even as a baby had suppressed appetite and struggle gaining weight and a baby but not now and needing number 2 at weird times like 4am.
Also my ADHD kid always gets tummy bugs and his younger brother just gets these so rare that I can’t even think when he had his last tummy bug.
I can definitely see that ny neurotypical kid eats well, knows when he’s hungry, has normal bowel movements (never really constipated) and if he says he’s a bit struggling a prune or more fruit and veg sorts it out in a day.
It might be this microbiota thing. I mean I give my kids l reuteri probiotics and some other. Clearly if hasn’t sorted my ADHD kid tough😄 And the non ADHD kid has always been fine regardless if he takes those probiotics. It is probably more complex than just giving them over the counter probiotics…
I think it’s genes… with my 2 kids I did earthing the same. Both breastfed for 2 years… except the ADHD kid was failure to thrive and just not wanting to eat and the non ADHD kid was gaining well and having good appetite.
Could you get an appointment with his doctor and have a conversation with that person? I wonder if he agrees with the NP.
Brain function is very different than distraction..
One could say due to ADHD a child is more hyperfocused on his stomach issues and there for there is a connection.
Usually if there is a GI issue, it is not related to ADHD.
Our son has both and is treated for both.
Good luck in getting help with your son's stomach ache. I can not tell if your son takes any medication for ADHD, if he does maybe there is a side effect that creates stomach issues.
Hi My son has gut problem since baby he is now 4y. He used to vomit and diarreah and then hard stool but mostly diarrhea and gas. I recently stared lovebug probiotic for kids and he is much better after 15 days of treatment. I will do IgE test and gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance test to see if he has predisposition to these food. Yes I think the gut is very important specially for Adhd people. I recently read a book ADHD Non medication treatment and skills for children and teens and they talk about adhd and the effect of gluten. My son has very low iron . I did not know but iron affect sleep and adhd. I hope things get better for your son. maybe the book is available in the library. probiotics, prebiotics are good for them.
Hello, I have heard of gut health and brain activity. My son who has ADHD hasn’t had constipation issues but he had struggled with stomach bug and parasites. I started recently giving him prebiotic, probiotic, I will let you know if I see any difference in his behavior. I also give him supplements (magnesium, Omega 3, attention support and multiple vitamins from Amen clinics which I strongly recommend. Hopefully this is helpful.
This article lacks scientific studies ( 59 kids) and seems to be supported by a company that manufactures live biotherapeutic products. While this seems to look as if it is scientific, unless it is based in science it doesn't prove anything.
I also find their recommendations the same that any child should follow get enough sleep, eat well. Surprised to see them recommend get outdoors, not sure how that would impact the gut...?