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 Charles Parker, DO.
No More Hay Fever?
First, a few of my friends with ADHD report that taking stimulant medication ended their lifelong “hay fever.” Interesting, eh?
Wait! 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 it 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
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.
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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. Soon, your mouth and tongue swell up, you break out in hives and must go to an emergency room 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).
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.
 Dr Marsh – Video: http://theglutensummit.com/michael-marsh-md-dsc-frcp/
How about you?
Are you experiencing seasonal allergies right now?
Have you cut back on certain foods and found a benefit in that?