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ADHD Causes: Imbalanced Gut and Parasites

If you have been browsing our site and reading other articles, you now understand that so-called psychological conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, are caused by imbalances in the brain and the body.  This understanding is a fairly radical departure from the conventional medical view of ADHD, which views the disorder as an imbalance in neurotransmitters.  

Did you know that a well-functioning gastrointestinal system is essential to a healthy nervous system?  The gastrointestinal system is the only system in the body that has its own well-developed nervous system.  The enteric nervous system found in the GI tract contains the same number of neurons as the spinal cord, and produces 95% of serotonin in the body – the neurotransmitter that makes us feel good and relaxed.  This is why researchers call the enteric nervous system the "second brain."

Researchers have recently discovered that children with ADHD often suffer from dysbiosis, an imbalance in gut flora.  Our stomach and intestines – the gut – is home to a complex ecosystem of gut flora, or healthy bacteria that do several things to help the gastrointestinal system function as it should.  Gut flora aids in digestion, in the absorption of nutrients, and in synthesizing vitamins, and it acts as a natural filter to keep carcinogens, toxins, harmful bacteria, and antigens out of the body.  A healthy body usually has 80% of healthy bacteria, called lactobacillus and bifidobacteria; the remaining 20% is made up of other bacteria and yeast.  There will always be a certain number of bad bacteria in the body, but so long as they are kept in check, they won't do any harm.

An imbalanced gut flora is caused by many factors, such as antibiotics, a high-sugar diet, food allergies, and stress.  It is not surprising then that most cases of ADHD in children occur in the United States and other highly industrialized countries where processed foods, junk foods, and sugar-loaded treats are easily available. In my practice, it is not unusual to see children who have had to take between 5 and 15 courses of antibiotics! No wonder their gut flora is out of balance.  

When a child has dysbiosis, yeast and other harmful bacteria overwhelm the good bacteria and start producing toxic and inflammatory compounds. The immune system also gets activated. All immune responses are accompanied by the production of inflammatory molecules. This can happen without gastrointestinal symptoms. As a result, the gut lining gets inflamed and loses its barrier function. Instead of absorbing nutriments and rejecting toxins, it lets toxins in and malabsorbs vital nutrients. We call this leaky gut syndrome; all the toxins from the gut leak into the bloodstream. They can then reach the brain and affect it.

An imbalanced gut flora and a leaky gut also explain why children with ADHD are deficient in key nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, and iron, and why they often have high levels of lead and mercury in the body.  Other symptoms of dysbiosis include allergies and hypersensitivity to food additives and environmental chemicals, which also happen to be among the health problems experienced by children with ADHD.

Children with ADHD often suffer from intestinal parasites.  A study performed by Canadian functional medicine specialist Dr. Michael Lyons found that 65% of children with ADHD had intestinal parasites in their gut.

Because gastrointestinal problems are very common among children with ADHD, one of the first steps in the UnRitalin Solution involves testing for GI function, gut flora, and leaky gut.  Any imbalance needs to be treated properly and naturally to get the best results. Unlike ADHD medication, which only treats the symptoms, the UnRitalin Solution is committed to eliminating the environmental triggers of ADHD so that children can overcome the disorder naturally and receive long-term benefits without any harmful side-effects.