The gut is an essential component of health with its influence being seen through the entire body. Specifically, poor gut function and gastrointestinal dysfunction can lead to disruption of neurological function that may result in the development or worsening of ADD/ADHD symptoms. Fortunately, there are ways to support and restore gut health, which may lead to improvement or resolution of neurological issues including ADD/ADHD.
A Quick Look at ADD/ADHD
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are frustrating conditions that can have long-lasting effects on one’s ability to function in everyday life. The various symptoms and dysfunction prompted by ADD/ADHD can inhibit one’s ability to learn, communicate, and progress in their career.
Neurological disorders such as ADD/ADHD are quite common. According to a 2011 report released by the CDC, 11 percent of children between the ages of 4-17 were diagnosed with ADHD. However, this condition does not only impact children. This is supported by data showing that cases of ADHD among all Americans have increased from 7.8 percent in 2003 to over 10 percent in 2011.
Depending on individual patient factors, symptoms of ADD/ADHD can vary in form and intensity. ADD/ADHD patients may experience some or all of the following symptoms and at varying degrees of severity:
- Changes in mood
- Coordination problems
- Difficulty focusing
- Lack of restraint
- Short attention span
How Is the Gut Involved?
The gut is highly integrated into multiple systems including the brain. Microorganisms within the gut produce neurotransmitters that are later transported to the brain. Once there, these agents regulate neurological communication with the entire body while supporting healthy brain activity. Deficiency of neurotransmitters such as of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin are considered by many experts to be the primary cause of ADD/ADHD. Without a well-balanced and functional gut, the chemical balance in the brain can become disrupted resulting in the development of ADD/ADHD or related symptoms.
There are many factors that may imbalance or damage the gut resulting in neurological disruption. Individual patient factors such as those listed below can contribute to poor gut health:
- Chronic stress
- Environmental toxins
- Excessive or unsafe use of antibiotics
- Exposure to artificial fragrances and pesticides
- Increased consumption of processed or sugary foods, preservatives, emulsifiers, and dyes
- Specific medications (antidepressants, birth-control pills, etc.)
Each of these elements can damage the gut and disrupt microbial balance. Such disruptions often result in various symptoms including neurological issues relating to ADD/ADHD.
Restoring and Protecting Gut Health with Probiotics
Dysbiosis, or an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, is one of the primary causes of poor gut function. Restoring this balance is critical to normalizing gut function and by extension the brain. An effective way of restoring and maintaining gut function is through the use of probiotics.
Probiotics are collections of various strains of helpful bacteria. A healthy gut requires a substantial collection of good bacteria or probiotics. Roughly 85 percent of microbes found in the gut should be widely varied good bacteria. Introducing a greater volume of helpful bacteria to the gut helps it better maintain proper microbial balance. Maintaining good gut balance supports neurotransmitter production and activity, improves brain function, stabilizes mood, supports better sleep, and helps eliminate cognitive difficulties. These benefits are all highly valuable for those suffering from symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
Multiple studies have shown the benefit of probiotics in combating neurological disruption relating to ADD/ADHD. In a 2003 study it was shown that treatment with probiotics and other nutritional substances was just as effective at relieving ADHD as Ritalin. This is exceptionally good news as probiotics do not have the risk of side effects associated with ADHD medications.
Another study done in 2015 found that probiotics have a powerful preventative affect. 75 infants were given probiotics or placebos for their first six months of life. After this period, they were observed for 13 years. The results showed that of the probiotic group, none of the participants developed ADHD. In comparison, 17 percent of participants in the placebo group did develop ADHD. These two studies suggest that probiotics are an effective method of both treating and preventing symptoms of ADHD.
Where Can I Get the Probiotics my Gut Needs?
There are multiple ways to acquire gut-supporting probiotics. Following a probiotic rich diet is perhaps one of the most common approaches. Consuming a high volume of probiotic foods can provide plenty of beneficial bacteria. Some of the best probiotic food options include:
- Miso soup
- Non-dairy yogurt
The effect of probiotics can be improved by consuming prebiotics. These non-digestible fibers act as a food source for probiotics allowing them to thrive and multiply. Some of the best food sources of prebiotics include:
- Dandelion greens
- Jerusalem artichoke
For some, diet alone is not enough to get the requisite number of probiotics to maintain gut health. Fortunately, by taking a high-quality multi-strain probiotic one can further boost their levels of good bacteria.
UltraBiotics is a probiotic supplement produced by HoltraCeuticals that focuses on promoting healthy intestinal and microbial balance. By utilizing a powerful multi-strain probiotic such as this, you can support gut function and help restore neurotransmitter production and regulation. Each capsule of UltraBiotics contains 20 billion live cultures to replenish levels of good bacteria. Resolving an intestinal imbalance through effective supplementation can help alleviate symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD and may even lead to resolution of the conditions themselves.
Support the Gut to Relieve ADD/ADHD
The gut is integral for many bodily processes including neurological function. Because of this, gastrointestinal disruption and imbalance can lead to the development of ADD/ADHD and related symptoms. By supporting the gut through the use of probiotics, be that through diet or a supplement such as UltraBiotics, symptoms of ADD/ADHD may be alleviated. Providing the gut with a healthy supply of probiotics supports numerous aspects of wellness and may be the key to treating ADD/ADHD.
1. What Really Causes ADHD? Early Childhood Stress, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Genetics & More. ADHD Boss. http://adhdboss.com/what-causes-adhd/
2. 20 Gut Health Tips for Kids with ADHD. Whole New Mom. https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/probiotics-and-adhd/