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ADHD Causes: Immune System

In other articles, we have discussed how ADHD is not just caused by an imbalance in brain neurotransmitters, as medicine would like us to believe, but is rather caused by a complex set of environmental factors. In this article, you will learn about the relationship between the immune system and ADHD.

With so many pollutants in our environment today, the human body is under constant attack from pathogens, toxins, and disease-carrying microbes.  We wouldn't live long without a well-functioning immune system. Our immune system, our primary defense system, is made up of two levels of protection: non-specific defenses and specific defenses. The non-specific defenses are made up by the skin and mucous membranes, which function as the first line of defense for keeping pathogens out of the body. Specific defenses get activated when pathogens get past the non-specific defenses and enter the body.  The immune system works by recognizing that it has been invaded by an outside threat.  Once it detects the microorganism, the specific defenses are activated immediately so the invaders get destroyed before they damage our cells.

In children with ADHD, we can find two types of problems with the immune system. The immune systemcan be weakened or it can be over-activated. In both cases, the results is too much inflammation being produced by the body, which in turn affects how the brain functions.

A weak immune system cannot activate its specific defenses fast enough, nor can it detect when the body is being invaded by toxins and pathogens. There are many factors that can weaken the immune system. Poor nutrition and consumption of sugary foods is one of the main elements. Children today eat too many refined carbohydrates, sugar, and omega-6 acids, and too few omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, and green leafy vegetables.  Not only will eating too many unhealthy foods weaken the immune system, it also suppresses the production of leptin, a hormone released by fat cells.  Leptin supports white blood cell production, which enhances immune function.  Obesity, however, makes the body resistant to leptin.  The immune system can also get weakened if it is exposed to extended periods of chronic viral infections. Toxins, such as mercury, lead, aluminum, and pesticides, are also an important cause of immune system suppression.

On the other side of the scale, the immune system can get over-activated. This happens when it is over-stimulated by a constant exposure to antigens. This can occur when the child has food allergies, poor digestion, and gut dysbiosis. Food allergens or improperly digested foods leave small particles that enter the bloodstream, triggering an immune response when none should occur. If the child suffers from gut dysbiosis, or imbalanced gut flora, good bacteria cannot keep bad bacteria in check. The immune system then is constantly on its guards to ward off the bacterial overgrowth.

A weak immune system may also be related to problems in the gastrointestinal tract and an imbalance in gut flora.  Part of the gut flora's function is to synthesize vitamins and minerals and keep toxins out.  When an imbalance or dysbiosis occurs, the gut flora's filtration function fails, and the gut ends up absorbing the toxins into the body.

Those recent discoveries on the relationship between a properly functioning immune system and a healthy brain shed some light on the importance of eating the right foods and staying fit. They also demonstrate that ADHD is not a disorder that occurs in isolation; it is the result of a complex interaction between environmental triggers and a genetic predisposition.  That is why we at the UnRitalin Solution have a logical approach to determining which environmental factors may have triggered the disorder in your child.  Our protocol will take more time than checking symptoms off a list, but only in this manner can we arrive at a holistic, drug-free treatment plan suited to your child's needs.