A-choo! It’s spring, and my husband is sneezing in the next room as I write. Is there a connection between seasonal allergies and ADHD? Maybe. You’ll learn more in this guest column, below, from Dr. Charles Parker.
No More Hay Fever?
First, a few of my friends with ADHD report that taking stimulant medication ended their lifelong “hay fever.” Interesting, eh?
But I am not suggesting that is true for everyone—my husband included.
Every spring, my husband gets a little ditzy. Actually, a lot ditzy. We finally learned to attribute it, at least superficially, to the plethora of pine trees in our neighborhood. They send clouds of pollen wafting through the air, accumulating in fine powdery blankets of green on our cars.
But each year, he forgets that this happen. That means sneaks up on him. He doesn’t know why he’s acting so, well, goofy. Heck, he doesn’t even notice that he’s acting goofy. But I do.
The air purifier goes on in the bedroom. He squirts Nasalcrom in his nose each morning (that he remembers). Then he goes off to work where, blessedly, there are no biohazard pine trees. If he is sufficiently miserable, he’ll cut back on gluten. Rven though he does not have celiac disease, it’s undeniable (even to him, finally) that he functions worse overall when he’s eating bread and other glutinous foods.
The first year this happened, where springtime “dumbed down” my husband, I wondered if his stimulant medication had stopped working.
It all leaves me wondering about the connection among allergies, histamine, and brain function? It seems especially relevant, given that climate change is apparently creating extended pollen seasons.
As with most things involving the nervous and immune systems, it’s complicated. There are no cookie-cutter answers, only comprehensive approaches.
When I have questions on complicated issues like this, I often turn to my friend Dr. Charles Parker, author of New ADHD Medication Rules: Brain Science and Common Sense and creator of a wealth of informative blog posts and YouTube videos. Here’s his response.
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IgG, Immunity, And ADHD Medication Failure
By Charles Parker, DO
Ask yourself this question: Why are so many in the public either overtly apprehensive or seriously disdainful of medical treatment for ADHD?
The simple answer:
- Far too many puzzling and unpredictable outcomes
- Medication side effects
- Simple treatment failures.
In the world of ADHD medications, guesswork often prevails as diagnostic targets move and treatment challenges progress over time – for many reasons.
Most importantly, ADHD medication outcome challenges live downstream from many built-in underlying biomedical problems. These problems often do create serious, impenetrable roadblocks for the successful, uncomplicated medical treatment of ADHD.
In truth, ADHD is far more biomedically complex than many of us previously recognized.
The recent good news is this: Many treatment failures are increasingly explained by fresh neuroscience discoveries, discoveries that reveal important relationships between brain functions and, for example, the foods we eat.
ADHD and Food Sensitivities
One of the most important, yet most often overlooked, contributory underlying problems with ADHD medical treatment failure arises from measureable food sensitivities.
Food sensitivities may reside in the gut, but more often than not, they also directly affect brain function. Yes, the mind and body are connected.
After years of observing ADHD medication treatment failures and thousands of subsequent office laboratory measurements, I’ve come to recognize food sensitivities as the metaphoric medical tip of our biomedical Mount Everest. That Everest casts an ominous shadow over ADHD treatment failure,
A Contributor to “Treatment Failures”?
Unrecognized food sensitivities are the source of many challenges that deteriorate
- brain function
- neurotransmitter balance
- methylation pathways
- hormone regulation
- energy for everyday life
More than 80% of the time, ADHD medical treatment failure resides in part as a “downstream” result from unrecognized food sensitivities that corrupt the complexity of medication metabolism and neurotransmitter actions.
Food Sensitivities, not Food Allergies
Food Sensitivities are different than conspicuous Food Allergies, wherein you actually feel sick after eating something you are allergic to.
For example: you’re allergic to shrimp, but you accidentally eat shrimp. In a short period of time, your mouth and tongue swell up, you break out in hives and must go to an emergency room for treatment to prevent an even more physically dangerous reaction.
The cause of your dangerous physical reaction can be measured in a laboratory by assessing IgE, Immunoglobulin E levels for shrimp. Think of IgE as the “Emergency” Immunoglobulin.
IgE measurements are routinely reviewed by allergists, internists, and pediatricians. Those reactions can cause overtly troubling medical conditions from less dangerous maladies (e.g. seasonal allergies and sinusitis) to more dangerous challenges (e.g. peanut butter reaction with anaphylactic shock and death).
But for chronic, unrecognizable, brain/mind function disorders, often beyond those more somatic IgE life-and-death issues, consider IgG. A different Immunoglobulin G.
The “Ghost” Immunoglobulin also marks food sensitivities, but a different less medically acute kind. IgG food sensitivity issues directly effect brain function, can actually cause brain damage and often arise later [days after that food is ingested], after the passage of time, after years of lower intensity food insults.
IgG is Controversial
Beware: IgG is considered “alternative” and unproven as useful by physicians who only target somatic, medical issues. However those academicians who look at brain consequences downstream from IgG challenges are many, including such leading researchers as Aristo Vojdani, PhD [Immunosciences], Michael Marsh, MD [Oxford], and Alessio Fasano, MD [Harvard].
Consider Your Own IgG Details
1. Start With The Gut: Measure Transit Time, the passage of food from the Mouth to the South. Passage over that tortuous path should take18-24 hrs. Taking Transit Time is an easy, inexpensive marker for several possible impediments – explained in the PDF below.
2. Measure – Don’t Speculate: A certified lab with a national reputation with excellent IgG and associated Candida findings [no affiliate]:
3. Methylation & Epigenetics: After reviewing IgG implications, you will likely wish to consider genetics, and modifications of presynaptic transporter proteins. At first such data sounds too deep, but I’ve prepared a page of multiple references and videos to make those next steps in the search for answers to Treatment failure here: http://corepsych.com/walsh-resources
Bottom Line: New tools can help identify many somatic roadblocks that interfere with mind health. Measurements matter. It’s about the details.
Thanks, Gina, for the opportunity to add some additional references that will help your readers with additional measurement options for challenging treatment outcomes.
 Parker Mind & Gut Video Playlist: http://bit.ly/mindgut
 Dr Vojdani: http://glutensensitivity.net/VojdaniDiagrams.htm
 Dr Marsh – Video: http://theglutensummit.com/michael-marsh-md-dsc-frcp/
 Dr Fasano: http://theglutensummit.com/team/alessio-fasano/
 Transit Time PDF Instructions: http://corepsych.com/tt
How about you?
Are you experiencing seasonal allergies right now?
Have you cut back on certain foods and found a benefit in that?
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13 thoughts on “A-choo! IgG, Immunity, and ADHD”
Interesting, how long does it take for a reaction to go away? For example how long would it take for a gluten reaction take to go away and have ADHD meds work without any allergic reactions.
My educated guess is: It depends. 🙂
It depends on the person’s overall health, the extent of food sensitivities and quality of diet, the amount and quality of sleep (which affects the immune system), etc.
Great info! My son has a complicated case and has been a lifelong treatment failure. Dr. Parker literally saved my child and my family. I thank God for people willing to break down common mispractices and heal people with truth, DATA, and precise answers. He saved my child. Saved him, I tell you!
I’m so happy you and your boy found their way to my friend Chuck Parker. He brings such a diversity of knowledge to his clinical patients, and he never stops learning.
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AT 52 DIAGNOSE stop sniffing immediatly
stop craving sweets
Could speak fluently
Could spell better could write better improve handwriting. Could sell ice to eskimoes charm the hindleg of a donkey could look in the mirror and wonder who was smiling back and not faking it. and some more …
It felt like being superman on earth and not on krypton
ADHD was my kryptonite and the sun my concerta or ritalin.
Wow! This brings a tear to my eye. Yay!
Thanks for starting my morning on a great note and re-invigorating my mission.
This article was eye opening.
ADHD and allergies-a connection, relationship, balance.
I have been (mostly) dealing well with ADHD symptoms for 2 years on the same medication. The SAME day we got a new dog I was given a ‘different’ Concerta (actually “Watson” not “Mallinckrodt”). It’s been awful since then. The day after I couldn’t even hardly SEE straight. I am on Claritin and Zyrtec and the poor pooch breaks me out in hives (huge, high, red, bumpy pockets on my skin) as soon as I let him touch anything but my hands; and I can’t get anything he’s touched near my eyes or I am itching them all day.
The past month has been so hard-I’ve burned food daily, walked into every room in my house wondering why I am there…
T — poor you!!! Get rid of that pooch!
I love dogs, but you are living with a biohazard!
Yes, it sounds like you could work on your immunity, etc, but in the meantime, that’s a huge stress on your body.
Another great article. Thank you both. I am so grateful that more people are being educated about this subject, through people like Dr Parker and many other. I have been fortunate to have known about this for a while because of my circumstances and background, but I know most people are not. I was very surprised last year when I went to a free talk about ADHD and functional medicine and out of about 35 people, I was the only one who had ever even heard about what the Dr. was teaching. This is such an important part of the puzzle, not just for ADD, but for everyone. Especially for those with any type of health issue. Thanks again Gina for getting the word out.
So true, Paige. Sometimes I despair of the American diet and health habits.
We succeeded in eliminating many of the chemicals that we were routinely exposed to in the 50, 60s, and 70s (even if we are just beginning to learn the long, downstream effects). But the diet and lifestyle, and new toxic chemicals (e.g. household cleaners, synthetic fragrances, etc.)….much room for improvement.
Dr. Parker is indeed on the vanguard for many of these issues.
From our first meeting years ago I’ve repeatedly appreciated your passion to explore and translate the details that arise in diagnosing and treating ADHD. I’ve loved working with you, and much appreciate this opportunity to contribute on these interesting new RollerCoaster pages – beautiful redesign – thank you!
We’re all at an important crossroads in ADHD Land – out in fresh and somewhat different landscapes that encourage important new maps for predictable outcomes – how to get there from here. New data provides new answers that address the measurable details of every person’s biomedical complexity.
Thanks for your outstanding contributions at every level of these important conversations,
Dr Charles Parker
Author: New ADHD Medication Rules – Brain Science & Common Sense
Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate you writing that post for ADHD Roller Coaster readers.
You are always on the cutting-edge of new and helpful information for old and seemingly insoluble problems. And you always share it generously.
Have a lovely weekend!