Your Questions About Adhd Diets For Add

Joseph asks…

Can high blood pressure affect mental clarity?

Recently I went to a doctor to prescribe ADD or ADHD medication for me, as I took these meds back in college (5-6 years ago) under the supervision of my doctor then who I had seen for the same reason.

The doctor I saw said my blood pressure was too high for his comfort level to prescribe me any standard ADD meds, so he instead prescribed me some medication (lisinopril) for high blood pressure and suggested I lose some weight to help lower my blood pressure naturally so that I might be able to ultimately discontinue the use of the high blood pressure medication.

FYI I am 26, male, white/hispanic, am about 5’11”, and weigh around 230lbs.

The following day, Tuesday, I began both taking the medication and limiting myself to roughly 1,700 calories a day to help guarantee some gradual weight loss. I’ve also started walking at least half a mile a day in addition to my normal amount of walking. I’ve also avoided caffeine for the most part since Monday.

It’s now Friday afternoon. I’ve lost at least a pound or two. I’m not sure how high my blood pressure is but I’m sure it is likely lower… in addition to the drug I haven’t been under any extra stress or doing anything that would heighten my blood pressure.

The remarkable thing is that for the last couple of days, I have noticed an obvious increase in my mental clarity. All the normal problems I’ve had lately such as difficulty concentrating and remembering, difficulty engaging at work… the very reasons I was seeing the doctor this week in the first place… they’re very much reduced and I’ve found myself more engaged and able to concentrate in meetings, etc…

So… to recap, here’s what I’ve changed since Monday evening:
1. I’m eating less, and more healthy (no eggs with sausage and gravy every morning, etc)

2. I’m drinking a lot more water… I didn’t drink as much fluids before Monday.

3. My blood pressure is lower due to the lisinopril

4. I’ve slightly increased my exercise regimen

I’ve gone on diets before in the last year or two without regaining as much mental clarity as I have this week. Is it possible that the lessened blood pressure has helped as well? Is it possible that the drug itself is directly affecting my mental faculties?

Has anyone out there had a similar experience?

barry jennings answers:

H20 is very important to flush all the systems of your body. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, aneurism, etc. So, in answer to your question YES and NO. Lisinopril in itself will not lead to mental clarity. However, your awesome effort that you are putting forth is!

Drinking more water,exercise,getting more sleep, knowing you are doing a load of positives! GOOD ON YA!

KEPP up the amazing work!!!!!!

Thomas asks…

Do You Think Sodas Can Cause ADD/ADHD?

I have been wondering about this for awhile, and am curious to hear thoughts and opinions. I really want to know if any studies have been done to find a correlation between the mother’s diet when she is pregnant with her baby, and if the child has any effects of that later in life such as maybe ADD or ADHD.

Why I say sodas and ADD/ADHD is because of the high levels of sugar and caffeine in sodas. Everything the mother intakes while pregnant, doesn’t the baby intake as well? All that caffeine and sugar…it is proven that caffeine can stunt development, as well as sugar stunting brain activity. Let’s face it, after we eat lots of sugar, we sometimes feel sluggish and just yucky. Imagine a baby intaking the 64g of sugar that is in a regular coke bottle (I believe it’s 64). Surely that has an effect on the baby’s development in the womb.

Perhaps the intake of sugar and caffeine as found in sodas can lead to the baby having certain disorders later in life? My mother never drank sodas when pregnant with me or my siblings. None of us have ADD. However, a lot of women I know who are pregnant and drink sodas and have other children, their other children show signs of ADD and other disorders.

Thoughts?

barry jennings answers:

It is a fact that poor prenatal care is associated with ADHD. However, although parents often blame sugar for causing children to become impulsive or hyperactive, a number of studies now strongly suggest that sugar plays no role in hyperactivity. In fact, it is more often shown to make children sluggish.

If you are expecting, you can increase the chance of your child not having ADHD by staying healthy throughout your pregnancy. A healthy diet and regular doctor visits are important. So is avoiding the use of alcohol and drugs.

Children whose mothers smoked while they were pregnant have twice the risk of developing ADHD. Some studies suggest a pregnant woman’s exposure to lead as well as that of a young child may be linked to ADHD. Other studies are exploring the possible connection between premature birth and ADHD.

Most importantly what all these studies have in common is an emphasis on good prenatal care.

Re: caffeine consumption by pregnant women

In an article published in the June 2003 issue of “American Journal of Psychiatry,” researchers undertook a thorough review of past studies focused on pregnant women’s lifestyle choices and the subsequent number of diagnoses of ADHD in their children. The review focused on cigarette smoking, caffeine consumption, alcohol use and psychosocial issues like stress levels and depression. The researchers did find a connection between exposure to tobacco smoke while in utero and later diagnosis of ADHD, and a small connection between a mother’s psychosocial stressors and her child’s eventual ADHD diagnosis. However, they did not establish a connection between caffeine consumption during pregnancy and a later ADHD diagnosis in the child.

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