'Picky eating', a hypersensitivity to certain foods or a tendency to gorge, is something that we at DMC have noted present in one form or another for 20 years now, as being related to RRS.
It appears logical to link that when those with ADHD are so prone to adrenal overstimulation, that they binge eat on foods to achieve blood sugar rushes and fat highs. Perhaps to counter the crashes from these 'rollercoaster rides' their CNS is undergoing? Not to mention, that someone with ADHD is far more susceptible to act impulsively and reach for that extra sweet treat.
Research papers continue to come out with these associated links, but are still unable to pinpoint the exact reason as to why. Below is an article citing that those with ADHD are likely to have loss of control of eating.
Personally, I see it as there being three most likely causes. Although there are many other possibilities.
Could it be;
- An undeveloped neuro-physiological system with an inability for the gut to communicate with the brain to indicate when full?
- Is it the ADHD tendency to rush and gorge on high calorie foods that means that those affected overeat before the perceived 20 minute window. The timeframe it takes that is widely acknowledged for the gut to communicate to the brain that one is now satiated?
- Or has the impulse nature associated with ADHD that leads those to take on calorific content dense food sources, changed the microbial gut bacteria? Recent studies have suggested that high fat content diets affect the symbiotic relationship between the brain and the native population of microbes in the gut. Ruining the 'communication' between the two, to the extent that after some time, the Nucleus of the Solitary tract, in the medulla oblongata, is left irreversibly damaged. Research paper, by Krzysztof Czaja, details below.
A separate study of 917 subjects, taking into account a number of variables and home environments, identifies that picky eating often has cause other then personal taste and the old adage that it is just a developmental stage. Available here http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/07/28/peds.2014-2386.full.pdf+html.
If you as a parent are unable to find the cause, it is imperative that one continues to persist on enforcing good habits and diet. The adult has the final say in this decision and sometimes it can be beneficial to look at ones own eating habits too.
Whatever the cause a well balanced diet is extremely important, particularly for children. Not only do they benefit greatly from a healthy and varied diet, but they also are learning their eating habits of a lifetime.
Food quality and its content has been noted to make a significant effect to the difficulties associated with ADHD. This is more focused on helping those affected to stay in a more steady level state, as tending to be more susceptible to highs and crashes, stimulants such as sugar, caffeine and the previous trend focus on preservatives and e numbers all take a greater toll on the person with ADHD. Recently there has been a renewed interest in how added omega 3 into the diet can be beneficial to aiding those with ADHD, but it is a supplementary aid only. It doesn't address the root cause of the difficulties experienced.
ADHD is a difficult and complex condition. It is one that affects many in varying degrees and can manifest itself in different behavioural issues, often a distinct and stark opposite of extremes. This is why at the DMC it is important to assess each person individually. While we believe there are certain root causes that lead to the fundamental effects of ADHD, there are certainly different manners and tools to help in the interim.
For more information see below.
Psychological and Psychosocial Impairment in Preschoolers WithSelective Eating
Research: Diet-induced obesity is associated with a change in the intestinal microbiota, activation of microglia, and reorganization of the nucleus of the solitary tract
Lead Author: Krzysztof Czaja, Department of Veterinary Biosciences and Diagnostic Imaging, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
- E. Cooper, Department of Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
- C. Vaughn, Department of Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
- P. M. Di Lorenzo, Department of Psychology, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
- J.H. Peters, Department of Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
- J.L. O’Loughlin, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA E. M. Cooper, Department of Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
- M. E. Konkel, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Pediatric loss of control eating syndrome: Association with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and impulsivity