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ADHD Test: Urinary Peptides

If your child has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder, your doctor might have mentioned that this is a genetic problem best treated by medication and some behavioral therapy.  However, there is increasing evidence showing that chronic conditions like ADHD, as well as allergies and asthma, are due to certain toxins that interfere with the digestive system, the immune system, and the brain and nervous system. Once toxins are eliminated, the symptoms slowly go away.

A number of children with ADHD have been found to be intolerant of gluten and casein, the proteins found in wheat and milk, respectively. When the body is unable to digest them completely, as is the case with most children suffering from ADHD, they affect many neurological processes and cause many disturbances in the body.  Establishing the source of the problem, however, will require detective work through urine or blood testing.  Although there are many routine tests that a regular doctor can run, objectively determining food sensitivities and intolerances is more complicated since it will require more specialized testing.  To find out whether undigested casein and gluten play a role in a child’s ADHD, we need to perform a test called "urinary peptide."

When digestion is optimal and the gut lining has proper integrity, only a few peptides are produced and they are eliminated without harm through the urine.  However, a high-carbohydrate, high-dairy diet, combined with improper digestion and gut barrier function will lead to the production of too many peptides.  Some of them will be excreted, but most of them will get absorbed into the bloodstream, causing an antibody response that simulates an allergic reaction. This is why intolerances to gluten and casein are often mistaken as food allergies.  Peptides in the bloodstream can then reach the brain where they can bind to opioid receptors on the nervous system, altering behavior, speech, and sensory integration.

A urinary peptide test is a non-invasive way of detecting gluten and casein that has not been properly digested.  All you need to do is collect at least 10 ml of your child's urine  and send it to a laboratory that offers urinary peptide analysis.  Through RA Methods, HPLC, or spectrometry, a lab technician can detect the presence of peptides in your child’s urine. The mere presence of peptides in urine would mean that they passed through the blood, which in turn got collected by the kidneys; hence, the peptide content in the urine reflects the peptide content of the blood, to a certain extent.  If the child has an unusually high level of peptides in his or her urine, the child is intolerant to gluten and casein and will require a gluten-free, casein-free diet as part of his or her treatment plan for overcoming ADHD.   

Since there are many environmental factors that can trigger ADHD, the urinary peptide test is done as part of a comprehensive diagnostic approach.  We recommend that your child be also tested for other food allergies, since most children with gluten and casein intolerance also have allergies to other specific foods.  A nutrient element analysis will also help us determine if your child has a nutrient deficiency we need to address as part of our holistic treatment plan.

In case your child needs to follow a gluten-free, casein-free diet, we invite you to check out our UnRitalin Solution to help you get started.


Genova Diagnostics (look for a test called "Urinary Polypeptides with IAG")