Do You Know Anyone Whose ADHD improved with Gluten-free diet? What about Cogmed brain training (sp?)?

Hi all,

Been a while since I've posted much.  Added "Stay Focusd" (actual spelling) to Google Chrome in order to limit my time on the computer.


I recently read a great article in ADDitude magazine about gluten sensitivity (which is NOT the same as Celiac or a wheat allergy).  It mentioned some physical symptoms (allergies, eczema, sensitive skin) as signs of a likely food sensitivity. I love wheat, so I figured it had to be THAT, so like a good impulsive ADHDer, I quit cold turkey 3 weeks ago.  I don't know that it's helped my ADHD so far.  I have read elsewhere that gluten can cause inflammation/inflammatory responses, which I thought (inexpertly, albeit) would explain some of the weird issues/sensitivities I've had, which I won't bother to explain, only because I feel they expose my identity a little more, they are so weird.  So on a hunch, 5 years after developing a nickel allergy which made it impossible to wear my wedding/engagement rings without eczema so bad it woke me up at night (will spare you gross details), I put it back on two days ago.  No reaction.  None.  I keep waiting for it, but so far, nothing.  Maybe gluten was a catalyst to me developing more allergies?  I used to put on my ring and feel it immediately "attacking" my skin.        Still waiting for cognitive benefits, though.  Sigh.  


Also, keep hearing about brain training/Cogmed but would love to hear from someone who actually used it.  I don't want to jump on the bandwagon just because...  I would like a little anecdotal evidence first.

I can't help but think that I'm missing something here with my ADHD.  I take meds 3 times a day, take fish oil, have a therapist who understands ADHD, am great at creating new strategies.   I keep hearing, reading about pre-diagnosis vs. post-diagnosis success.  I don't understand what the pros are talking about.  I don't feel like that person who still has ADHD, but doesn't feel like it rules their life.  It rules mine.  I have been on meds for 11 years.  I am not yet where I want to be.  I am not as lost as I was before, but I am not leading the life I want.  I am a hard worker; always have been, so that is not an issue.  This is not simply my perception; I have been told that my entire life.  I also have learned how to harness my creativity to solve problems. I simply am overwhelmed everyday and have felt like this basically since I can remember.  I feel like every day, I am barely treading water.  One big issue for me is anxiety and the other is consistency, and when I'm not consistent, my anxiety increases, which makes it harder for me to concentrate, and well, you can see the cycle that causes.  I'm hard on myself when I don't experience the kind of success I want; not the greatest thing for someone who struggles to begin with.  My husband understands my ADHD to a point, but thinks that if I just "tried harder," I could be more consistent.  ARE YOU F------ SERIOUS???? I bust my ass daily; I just cannot produce the results he can.  I work more slowly, unless there is a dopamine surge due to SUPER anxiety or a novel situation, which is incomprehensible to my husband, especially because he doesn't understand that is part of the ADHD issue (hyperfocus and novelty).  I think the other part of this is that for the first time ever, as a working mom, my kids' lives are getting more complex and taxing my executive functions more than ever.  Sports, homework for my older child, who has ADHD, laundry on the rise, lunches, correcting (I'm a teacher), planning, actually planning a weekly schedule.  Friends?  Forget it! Don't have time for them anymore.  Just dropped the first committee I ever joined, which was actually fulfilling, thus making me feel like even more of a failure...

My husband is more helpful than 99% of husbands out there, even though this is year 3 of a marriage crisis, so that isn't the problem, either.  I'm starting to get the feeling that he loves me again, or perhaps he's realized that he still does beneath all his resentment (forgiveness being a weak spot in general, and not just with me), that he's realizing what he will lose.  But he's frustrated with me, and I'm frustrated with myself.  

Help!  What am I MISSING?  Why is this process taking so long to get my freakin' ADHD under control??

Thanks for any suggestions,



My heart really went out to you with this post ADDmom

It does sound like there should be another ingredient for you that would fill in the gap that you still feel, but it sounds like you have all the legs of the stool covered.  At least all the legs that I know.

On the plus side, you are a working mother with an ADHD child, who is successfully holding down her job and raising her family, so that is an accomplishment in itself. I know many people with ADHD who cannot consistently hold down a job at all.

There is absolutely nothing about your posts that would cause me to doubt how hard you are working.  I will be honest with you, that you sound like you are working a lot harder on your ADD symptoms than my husband and you are having way less results than he is. Based on your posts, it sounds like your ADD is much more severe than my husband's and also he doesn't seem to experience the anxiety that you do so that could be part of the difference too.

I wonder if your meds are doing all for you than they should be doing?  

Do you have perfectionistic tendencies?  I do, so I know how they can make you feel like you aren't getting anything done while all the people around you are amazed at everything you are juggling.  Are you perhaps doing much better than you realize you are? and the progress is just slower than you'd like? 

I ask because my husband has been improving consistently but not with the kinds of leaps of improvement that I'd love to see.  ADD progress is just a lot slower than any of us are hoping for from what I understand.  And we all know personal change is slow for all of us, so if you slow that down even more.....maybe you really are on track?


Just know that there are a lot of us here cheering you on and wishing all the best to you and your family!!!   We need more success stories around these parts!!!!!

Hi Aspen,  Thanks for your

Hi Aspen, 

Thanks for your post.  Your support means a lot to me, and I have been thinking about it all week.  I haven't had access to my computer to make a longer post (thanks to Google Chrome, "Stay Focusd" extension, which I highly recommend for ADHDers who hyperfocus on the computer).  My other posts to YYZ were shorter, and sent from my phone (and hit wrong button and clearly double-posted).

Yes, I am a perfectionist about some things.  My best friend, a former teacher who obviously knows a little about executive functioning, recently said to me, "You know, I never realize how difficult having ADHD must be for you. You're a Type A personality trapped in an ADHD body."

It's true.  I went to parochial school, and nuns LOVE order, neatness, and the like.  I obviously was an enigma to them.  From an early age, I admired what I could not understand:  the girls around me with their neat binders, neat handwriting, organized minds who weren't clumsy, who had better motor-planning skills.  I was constantly tripping, bumping into people, had to go to OT for my fine-motor weaknesses, etc...  Yet, I knew I could be better, I knew I was smarter than I presented, because I had flashes of brilliance where I could suddenly focus, everything became clear and I suddenly not only understood, but understood better than anyone else in the class.  I remember these moments because they were rare, they gave me hope, and frankly, they were confusing as hell to me.  What was stopping me from being like this all the time?  Why couldn't I be more consistent?  At the time, I was diagnosed with a Sensory Integration Disorder, wasn't receiving any accommodations because I was "compensating" too well (because I worked my ass off!).  Now I remember reading a booklet about SI and saying to myself (in elementary school) that the diagnosis didn't make sense.  Yes, I had trouble sequencing, following directions, paying attention, and so on, but other than being a klutz, I had had no sensory issues.  Well, take away the sensory issues, and what is left?  ADHD! I would not even hear of this disorder until several years later.  I was hyper, but the nuns scared me and I was taught to respect authority.  Plus, I'm a girl.  So my movements were limited to twirling my hair constantly, chewing on  my pens, and having a constant knot in the pitt of stomach, where acid churned and churned, where  I waited in fear to be called on, and possibly chastised or yelled at for not listening.  It was horrible, and the fear made my concentration epically worse.

My parents knew how hard I worked, and didn't care what my grades were, because they knew I was doing my best.  They cheered me on when I started to improve, and encouraged me when I struggled.  In fact, my mom used to tell me I put too much pressure on myself. I did, but because I wasn't reaching my goals, and knew I was missing something, knew I was capable.

I still put pressure on myself, because I'm still learning what I need to do.  If I didn't put any pressure on myself, I would never be where I am now.   But having recently listening to some great podcasts from Ari Tuckman on Itunes about how anxiety about not doing well only makes production worse, I am trying to cut myself a little slack; just enough to stop beating myself up and to "get back on the horse."

I do think I am on to something with gluten.  My nutritionist confirmed my hypotheses that going gluten-free "cured" my eczema.  I'm staring to see other benefits as well.  In the past few days, for no reason at all, I felt calmer, even before my medication!  I know I will not be cured with this diet, but I actually think it might help me.  I don't want to get too excited, yet, though.  She put me on a whole foods diet and then we will start adding known causes of food sensitivities to see if there are any other issues besides gluten (milk, eggs, etc...)  I'll let everyone if permanent changes start to happen.  I want to see a "longitudinal study" of myself before I declare this to be another possible "leg" to the stool of treatment (for some individuals).


Many similarities to my life...

I'm up too late, again, I need to be up in 4 hours and 30 minutes. I will come back to this post today. I do understand a lot of what you are saying here.

Typing from my phone. Keeps

Typing from my phone. Keeps scrolling right so can't edit well. I read your other post: Band chaperone might send me over the edge. My DH would react similarly, often citing what he is Able to accomplish/handle vs. me. Hurts my feelings when He does that. Has NO clue how hard I work. He knows I am a hard Worker. So why make me feel like a burden? The changing sports seasons/lack of rhythm are killing me.

Phone entry

Typing from the iPhone, iPad and the Galaxy S3 is equally bad. I think it is something more to do with the website. There is a great app for forums called TapaTalk, I use it for, but I don't believe the site is available the app.

I love helping out the band, but the commitment they ask is huge and all year long. I need my structures in place and this has blown them all out. 15 hour contests on the weekends, contests during the week keeping me out until almost midnight during the week. We have been sitting on the edge with this extra work. My DW then flips out late in the weekend because "Everything" is not done... Really, I wonder why?

My improved time management knew this was too much, but my DW insisting on being the perfect example of parents has really strained things. I think a vacation should be in order...

What do you think?



it sounds like wayyyyyyyyyy

it sounds like wayyyyyyyyyy too much. I know you are a great dad And neither of you have to kill yourselves to prove your parental Prowess. You get that, I know. Funny. My DH and I said we'd never be the parents who Have no life due to kid activities. He has a life b/c he is not ADHD And can do it all: stepford dad, if you will. When I ask if we can cut back, he acts like I am a little Selfish. Not drowning. Selfish.

Too much...

Thanks for the "Great Dad" compliment. I of course feel guilty about not wanting this job, but there is not enough hours in the week.

"When I ask if we can cut back, he acts like I am a little Selfish. Not drowning. Selfish."

That was exactly what I was met with when I suggested it was adding too much load. The thing is, "The Stepford Parents" is in her head and she knows that if she does not push things through things will not happen. We were rushing around trying to get everything done before. All I know is that my ADD symptoms are worse than they have been in a long time and I know it is directly related to being over-tasked, structures broken, sleep deprived and I'm not getting my walks in like I should.

Parents without a life because of activities... Yep... I just get a little tired of the "We have to do this because of the fear of judgment from others" thing. And if I dare speak up it is just me wanting time to lay around and be lazy, I ever did much of that before.

I hope things improve for you soon. You are a good mom, for sure.


it sounds like wayyyyyyyyyy

it sounds like wayyyyyyyyyy too much. I know you are a great dad And neither of you have to kill yourselves to prove your parental Prowess. You get that, I know. Funny. My DH and I said we'd never be the parents who Have no life due to kid activities. He has a life b/c he is not ADHD And can do it all: stepford dad, if you will. When I ask if we can cut back, he acts like I am a little Selfish. Not drowning. Selfish.

Easy there

It appears you are striving mightily for a destination, when actually you are on a journey that never ends.  Until, well, it does.  Life. 

RANT:  It can be very hard to separate out life struggles resulting from ADHD, and life struggles arising from, well, life.  I recommend, to take some pressure off yourself (stress is only helpful/healthy in very short bursts -- like when you have to lift a burning car off a loved one), to set small goals, X done to Y standard, Z% of the time, then look for evidence.  You are letting a "sense" of failure color everything.  And many people do this, not just ADHDers.  Being a parent and spouse and working full time, with all the accessory demands of those responsibilities (YYZ, there is something wrong with your school's band program if being a chaperone takes over your life.  Everything in moderation! )  is challenging for all of us, ADHD or not.  I know family members and friends, young parents who are very bright and loving, who suffer anxiety attacks, never fully enjoy their lives, worry about tomorrow more than enjoy today all because they aren't happy being "good enough".  Be a good enough parent.  Be a good enough worker.  Be a good enough spouse.  Clearly, you have to feed and wash the kids.  Pay the bills.  Do what needs to be done.  But does it always have to be more, more and more?  If you are not constantly beating yourself up about never doing enough or being enough, you can actually bring a little joy and fun and peace and love into people's lives, which seems like a greater contribution than saying yes to every committee, letting your kid join every activity on offer, going, going, going, doing, doing, doing.  Empty.  All those choices are on offer because they will appeal to some people -- they are not intended for you to do all of them, all at once!  Pick a passion or two, and pursue it.  When something else appears, ask what will have to go?  The American idea that you just have to do better, work harder and YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL, is nonsense, and distorted vision of what could be a great concept.  You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want. 

Back to Momof2:  You're probably doing pretty good, if you look at the evidence.  What's wrong with that?  Or, if you had a wise old person, who knew you well, and loved you deeply, do you think they would honestly say, now look Momof2, you better buckle down and try harder!  You need to get an accurate idea of how you are actually doing (which I understand can be hard for everyone, not just those with ADHD) and then you need to enjoy your life.  Push just hard enough to get up and love your people and do the things that make your life grand, and push no harder.  When you are being pushed, you stumble and fall all too often. 

Lastly, Mom, the difference between you and someone not successfully managing ADHD (like my guy) is this:  You are here, you are looking for answers, you are using strategies, you are aware of your particular challenges, and on alert for straying off your desired path.  Sounds like success to me.  Describe for yourself what success would look like, for you.  Then -- is that possible, or likely?  Are you, deep down, trying to cure your ADHD?    For example, I have been on a new fitness and diet regime for several weeks to reshape my old body.  If I describe my Ideal Goal, it would require me to be taller, have smaller feet, and be 15 years younger.  Doomed to failure.  Working harder won't get me there.  I guess I'll just have to settle for being a "good enough" version of me.  And there is a lot of work I can do there, that will result in something good. 

And really, really lastly -- try really hard not to let your husband set the definition of how you "should" be.  Together, the two of you can set the definition of how the marriage "should" be and how the family "should" be, but he doesn't get to decide stuff for you.    Best wishes.

Hi Gardener, I guess what

Hi Gardener,

I guess what bothers me is not only can I not handle the same volume of work as others, but I can't handle what I do have to do.  Further, I can't handle it and have a life.  I want to have time to relax.  To spend time with my friends before I lose them.  To spend time with my husband and kids and not be thinking about what else I have to do.  The sports issue for my kids is nothing like YYZ's time-sucking Band chaperone commitment.  Time-management is my number 1 issue, even on the mega-doses of meds that I take (my psychiatrist ONLY deals with ADHD and he told me I am on the highest dosage of all his patients. Sigh).  Even with behavioral cognitive therapy and my efforts.   So I am working on being on time.  I think that is affecting everything else.  I also truly believe my ADHD is rather severe, and I have daily exposure to other people with ADHD /this website/books for comparison.   This is why I believe I've missed something.  ADHD should not have this much of a run over my life.  I work with people who understand executive functioning, and have a friend at school with superior executive functioning and given that she really gets this concept better than most and has the opportunity to observe me daily, have received great advice and feedback from her.  She sees how frustrated I am and tells me I am doing my best.  But as Melissa has wisely pointed out, it's not just about trying harder, it's about trying differently, right?  So I am trying to find out if there is an avenue I've missed, something I have overlooked.  While I'm frustrated with my husband's understanding/complete lack of understanding of ADHD (it fluctuates wildly), and don't necessarily always agree with him, I am no longer trying to be what he wants.  It's just annoying to be criticized constantly by someone who thinks his shit doesn't stink.  After all, when he's constantly bemoaning how people close to him (not just me) have wronged him, he doesn't really have to take a look at himself.  I'm starting to think that's the point...



Hi ADHDmom,    I had my son go thru the cogmed training program a few months ago. Now since i personally did not do it i can't say yes it helped as i really don't know what goes on in his brain sometimes.  I can say that from the day he started and the last day of the program his progress showed significant does that relate to his ability to remember things..I don't know. Does he keep his room clean-no, does he still hate doing homework - yes....  in the past month he has been getting his homework done more consitenstly and brought all 'D' grades up to B' that due in part of Cogmed, or just that he is maturing..I could not say. He is a teen, and oh such a wonderful age, so even asking him if things seem easier I get a shrug...  All the information on Cogmed seems very promising so I was willing to give it a shot, anything to make life a little easier.  He is doing better in school, that is one fact, why...who knows.   A year ago we also tried Neurofeedback...I have to say i did notice a big improvement in his moods and things didn't seem to get him as frustrated as easily, he can be so inflexible sometimes, and i noticed within 2 weeks that he seemed... well more flexible.  I stopped the NF after a few months, only because it was So expensive and i was having a hard time keeping up with other expenses.  Now here is the health insurance covers both cogmed and neurofeedback for traumatic brain injuries, but not for ADHD as its considered experiemental...if it can help with brain injury why can't that thought be applied to other brain based issues....  IF my insurance ever does cover these for ADHD in the future I would definately try them again, i do believe they have potential.   Another thing, there is an online 'brain training' program called Lumosity,  i signed my whole family up for it last year, its a heck of a lot cheaper than the $1500 cogmed price tag. I did this myself for a month and i have to say on the mornings i did the 'game' i felt sharper, more focused.  The problem we all had though is after a month it gets pretty boring, but if you haven't tried that one, give it a shot and see if you feel any improvement before you drop the money for cogmed.

Funnnnnnnnyfarrrrrrmmmm :)!

Hi Funnyfarm, my fellow New Englander!

I've been thinking about you and wondering if things are alright with you.  Good to hear from you!

Thanks for the information.  It does sound like it helped.  Is this something you do online or do you go somewhere to do this?  I'm going to call my insurance company to see if they cover it.  If they do, my son and I are going to do this.

I tried a free version of Luminosity for a little while and found it boring, too.  So boring, in fact, that I think I would benefit from the pressure of going into an office and doing this or knowing my insurance company would cover Cogmed so I would actually do it.  Do you know if there is a certain point after which the effects are permanent?  Or do you have to keep doing it to maintain the benefit?


ADHDMomof2 :)

Hi I have thought of you

Hi I have thought of you lately too.  I had decided to stay away from the site for a couple months and try and work on me, how i react to the craziness, etc.. and unfortunately I feel like I have done all I can and nothing is ever going to change between my H and I. I don't even feel like trying anymore.  He just seems unwilling to change his behaviors for any length of time. We have 'break-thrus' where things are better for a few weeks and then he falls right back into the same old patters. I am tired of the rollar coaster ride.  I want to ask him to move out when the timing seems right...but then when is the timing ever right to end a marriage and split up a family ???  I have stayed in this situation far longer than I should have because I always thought well maybe next year, then the next..and now its 18 years later. I am hoping to find the strength and courage to say enough is enough..before I am nothing but a miserable hollow person.  

Ok no more of that...  I found 4 places in my area that offered Cogmed.  I ended up going to a facility very close by to start the program. You do the program from your home, but every day it sends the data to whoever you do the program with so they can see your progress and they follow-up with phone calls to coach you. My kids tried a demo of it when I first looked into it a year ago, it is various games that increase in difficulty as you progress. After the 4th week my son was bored but he knew he had to finish it..or mom would ring his neck...after 5 weeks you are done.  you can do quick one week 'tune-ups' every few months to stay sharp, supposedly the effects are permanant... the therapist said that it can take a few weeks after completion for the full benefit to be noticable but that some notice a difference immediately. Every therapist i discussed this with before actually getting it said that they saw significant improvement in people, from memory to less hyperactivity in kids.  I should have kept a journal of my sons behaviors so i would have something to look back on, but just like growth in kids since you see them every day you don't notice it until all of a sudden there is a big jump. Anyway Cogmed can't hurt, the only downfall was the cost.

I applaud how well you manage your ADHD, your life, work, children, from all your posts you are trying to do everything you can.

Gluten-free and seeing improvement :) in my symptoms!!!

O.K.  This gluten-free thing is definitely working.  I feel calmer even off my meds.  Even my impulsivity anger has improved!!!! This is no fluke.  Yesterday, I switched back to Concerta, and told my MD I wanted a lower equivalent dosage from what I was on (apparently Focalin is twice as strong; had no idea).  Anyhoo, I'm now on a dosage equivalent to HALF of what I was taking with Focalin.  HALF!!!!  I knew yesterday that I had to decrease it because my normal dosage of Focalin was making me shaky and physically nervous, even though I wasn't.  It was like having too many cups of coffee!  

I still have work to do here, and have no idea what, if any impact this will have on my other symptoms.  

My mom just wrote me an e-mail saying she hasn't seen me this relaxed since I was a kid, and how happy it made her.  Enough said :).

It's no cure, and I didn't expect it to be.  Last night went to the store and did a lot of extra wandering before picking up my meds this morning...


Thats great ADHDmom,  i think

Thats great ADHDmom,  i think I may try and give it a go for my family, or at least try and reduce the amount of gluten products we all eat.  I certainly would love to feel more relaxed, and if anything could calm the anger/impulsivity in the family I'd be willing to try anything.

Glad to hear you are feeling some benefits.

Hi funnyfarm, Thanks so much

Hi funnyfarm,

Thanks so much for the info re:  Cogmed.  I found several places in my state and tried to call my insurance company but talked to someone who didn't seem to know definitively (it's hit or miss whenever I call them).  I need to find out which "keywords" are the ones customer service would need to type in to the computer to have a yes or no pop up.  

He said "yes" to neurofeedback when "medically necessary" (whatever that means) starting in February, but I don't know if Cogmed is neurofeedback or if I would qualify.   The Cogmed website said to contact the Cogmed providers directly to see if their service is covered, so I think that is the route I will try next.  

First day on a half-dose.  I'm a little spacey still, but at least I am much more relaxed.   My muscles are much more relaxed, like when I take a hot bath.  

I'm not reacting as much to my husband either, and when I am, I can pull back quicker.  He's been cranky for a couple of weeks.  Today, he accused me of not peeling potatoes (which I had forgotten to do) on purpose since I wasn't eating the same meal as the rest of the family and apparently didn't care about what they liked.  I totally forgot because they were the yellow ones with the thin skin.  He's really edgy about the impact of me being gluten-free and how that will affect him (he does the dishes due to my skin issues).  I have been cleaning the extra pots myself.  He keeps saying I'm chasing a magic bean but I swear on some level he's trying to fire me up to prove the gluten-free isn't working.  Not that he doesn't want me to be more relaxed.  But I'm not sure he wants me to be right.  

O.K.  Piles of laundry are calling my name!

Good luck reducing your gluten. (even though I don't have celiac) was my nutritionist's recommendation for best info.


More on Gluten

One more thing...

Unlike the Additude magazine article, it took me about 3 weeks before I started feeling calmer.  The two children referenced saw cognitive results within a week.  By that point, I had not only eliminated gluten, but was on a whole-foods diet, which I am still following. To be precise, within a few days of starting a whole-food diet, I started to calm down.  I don't know if that's because my body was still detoxing from gluten or if I am sensitive to other foods (I suspect the latter).  My nutritionist wants me to "detox" and then add things back in to see if I have other sensitivities.  The article I'm referencing states that while gluten (wheat) and casein (milk) are most often the triggers, eggs, citrus, corn, nuts, and soy, as well as artificial colors and flavors could be other possibilities.

I've already decided that if I need to be on a whole-foods diet for the rest of my life, I will simply have to improve my culinary skills even more.   I refuse to eat boring food.  That's my suggestion for dealing with impulsivity and lack of consistency for ADHDers.  I'm not even remotely worried about staying away from gluten.  It isn't hard.  But if I have to give up cheese forever, tears will be shed ;)!


cranky about not peeling the

cranky about not peeling the potatoes - seriously ?  peel the darn potatoes yourself then i think i would have replied. I happen to purposely leave the skins on yukon gold or white potatoes.

I have been following an organic whole foods diet for a few of months, now while its easy for me, its hard to get the rest of the family on H also gets cranky after we had a meal of rice/kale/broccili, and steak, he is in the pantry looking for a 'snack' nachos or some other processed food..and there isn't anything to satisfy his craving. I know he isn't 'hungry' he just wants that other stuff. So i keep the 'crap' in the house only because I don't feel like dealing with his crankiness about food.   I would like to try and see how my son does gluten free, but after seeing everything i would eliminate there wouldn't be much left for him to eat..yogurt, cheese, pasta, bread, milk, crackers, are staples in his diet. Actual meals are easy, its the constant snacking a growing teen does...and I can't control what he eats as easily as a younger child.  Any good suggestions on non-gluten snack foods to keep in the house that don't require me to constantly be in the kitchen cooking ? He also has food allergies to citrus and nuts.

Keep us posted how you think going gluten free is helping you.

I have tried several brands

I have tried several brands of GF pasta and the one that has the best taste, I feel, is made by DeBoles. (brand). There are many GF cracker choices. Glutino makes gluten free pretzels that are really not bad at all. A lot of this is sold now at Wal-mart. My son loved cereal so the Chex cereals (rice or corn because the others aren't casein free) and almond milk (by Diamond) was a good choice for a bowl of cereal. Not exactly the same, but not horrible either. There are also GF breads, but I never tried them as my son wasn't a huge fan of bread to begin with. Granted, the majority of these foods are far more expensive than your average 'snack' foods, but with a little research you can find things that he can and will eat. I've been doing GF/CF for my son for 5-6 years...if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

gluten free snacks

Unless he is casein-free as well, he wouldn't need to eliminate dairy.  

There is a great brand of snack chips, so good, in fact, I can't believe it's gluten-free.  A company named "Lundberg" makes them (barbecue flavor) and I found them at Hannaford.  Alas, whole-foods has nixed that for me...

I'm also sick of cooking.  I think I need to get a cook book from Barnes and Noble...  I'll let you know if I think of something else. 

Someone I know recommended "" as a cheaper resource for gluten-free.  Haven't had a chance to try it as my nutritionist put me on whole-foods and has limited my grains to 1  a day, telling me that even non-gluten grains in excess can cause inflammation... :(  Waaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

O.K.  I'm done.

Supposed to take 6 months to a year to "detox."

At least I can still eat meat...


They say it can take 6 months

They say it can take 6 months before your body is completely gluten free...but I saw tremendous results in my son within about 6 weeks. Decent results within about 4.

My son is autistic and had

My son is autistic and had some definite anger issues. He was aggressive to the point of hurting others physically. I put him on a GF/CF diet and within about 4 weeks he was a changed child...within 6 weeks it was like he was a new person! That was 4-5 years ago. If he eats gluten or casein, he will not sleep for 24-36 hours. He used to sleep MAYBE 3-4 nights a week, now he sleeps 7 nights a week NO PROBLEM. It changed his life. Wish I could convince my DH to try it. (my son isn't his biological child)

Thanks for the support,

Thanks for the support, Sheri.  I know this is a relatively-new concept without a ton of support from the ADHD community.  I will say that one of my student's who was on the spectrum was so sensitive that his mom actually took video of him on and off gluten to demonstrate the difference.  I wasn't a believer; I was desperate.  I only stuck with it because 3 different medical issues have cleared up in the past month.  I was resigned to the fact it wasn't going to help me with my ADHD after 3 weeks.  Then, slowly, it has just started to work.  I'm calmer.  Less of the "H."  Less anxiety.  Can concentrate better with the meds (which is the point, but I knew I was missing something)... Not cured, but better.

Never more grateful to be so damn stubborn and persistent :D


Thanks both of you,  I am

Thanks both of you,  I am going to try to convince my son to give it a convincing a 14 year old not to eat foods he likes is no easy task..i can't convince my H to do what is best for himself either.  I would do anything to get my son to be less .... I don't know..irritable, reactive, hyper...he is really a good kid, WHEN his meds are in his system but as soon as they wear off he is another person completely, and not a pleasant one at all.  I can't control what he eats at school or other places, I think going G-free is not going to happen but maybe even if i can cut back on what he eats at home it might have some benefit...i hope anyway.

Good luck with that.  It

Good luck with that.  It really, really, REALLY does help with irritability, reactivity, and hyperactivity.  My brain is starting to feel clearer, too.  Not perfect, but a lot clearer.  The meds really do help control those symptoms, but it is so difficult for my son and I (me less so now) when they wear off.  I am hoping to see even more improvement, but don't want to get my hopes up.

Yeah, I know what you are saying about not being able to control what he eats elsewhere.  However, if does choose to comply, he has a much better chance of compliance as he is medicated, as we ADHDers tend to be impulsive.  

I don't know about you, funnyfarm, but have you started to notice the effects of everything you eat more distinctly?  Or getting stressed (which is the body's natural response) and realizing you're hungry (the latter part might have something to do with the fact I don't feel hungry as much even though I am while medicated).  This is eye-opening.  I really went into this with an open mind, but really not too hopeful, but am glad to be wrong.

Question:  How do you avoid cross-contaminating yourself as the mom?  I feel like with 3 gluten eaters in the house, I am so outnumbered.  I make lunches and cook.  Husband doesn't know how, doesn't understand nutrition (that well, at least, he's very intelligent about many other things), and would really resent me EVEN MORE for my issues impacting him (in addition to ADHD stuff).  Plus, I am fine doing these things.  


Cross contaminating - well I

Cross contaminating - well I have been trying for myself to cut back on 'animal products', not to go entirely vegetarian but just less of it, and more vegetables and grains.  I have definately cut back on the meat portions for everyone just because i don't buy as for myself while I may make a 'usual' dinner of meat, vegs, grains,  I may only eat the veg/grains and not have any meat or very H was cranky about the portions at first, then would fill up on chips and crap after dinner because he didn't feel satisfied even though he had plenty to eat.  So just as I got the hang of organic/whole foods/somewhat vegetarian, etc..the idea of gluten free came into the mix..i haven't quiet gotten that figured out yet.  I have been serving less gluten type foods, (but I LOVE pasta) but i certainly have not eliminated everything...working on getting there slowly.  Between what everyone likes/wants to eat and the food allergies its not easy...  even though my son has nut allergies, citrus allergies, my H will still come home with the things my son is allergic to and completely forget that he can't have them...drives me nuts.   I wont be able to have my son go gluten free unless the entire house hold does, and I can't convince my H to do it...even when I try not to have something in the house, he will just go to the store and get what he if its in the house my H and son will eat it..   If it were just me, then i just wouldn't buy or eat what I was trying to avoid, and would let them eat what they I'm sort of opposite from what you are doing, since you are the one trying to avoid gluten and I am trying to convince them to avoid it....I can't even get my H to take his meds everyday, can't make someone do something they don't want to do.  Cooking has always been such a hassle...I actually like to cook, but i hate having to clean up afterwards...i very often cook two meals, one for them one for me, but it gets very tiring..they aren't very adventurous eaters and i get bored with the same old things. 

Honestly I have not noticed much difference in myself, going to a whole foods/less meat diet, but i never was a 'bad eater' in the first place, I just wanted to eat healthier. What I did notice right away though when i started eating more vegetables was my face is much clearer, and healthier looking and I don't feel as sluggish after meals.  I don't tend to get 'stressed' when I'm hungry however I have always gotten lightheaded and my hands start to shake when i need to eat..i notice it physically more than it seems to effect my mood, but I have always been that way.  My H on the other hand gets REALLY cranky when he doesn't eat...when he starts bellowing at everyone i know either he needs to eat or he has forgotten his pills once again.

Great to hear that this does seem to have merit, between you and the other posters comments, it is something i am definately going to strive towards.  Thanks for keeping me posted.

despite the signs...

Hi ADHDMom, 

Just wanted to post to say hello, and to say that every time I (sporadically) troll the posts here, yours stand out for being helpful, well-phrased, and getting right to the heart of things.  So, thanks for being a role model, and a voice for all of us women with ADD out there!!

Now to the point of your post.  I am open-minded to the idea that going GF and/or CF might help my symptoms, but I said this to one doctor about 5 years ago and it still rings true: "I would rather take a higher dose of meds than give up beer or cheese!"  These are my two FAVORITE things in the world.  I am also feeling quite closed-minded about limiting my options more... Hubby's new year's resolution was to eat meat only once a week, I already don't eat pork or shellfish (and even pork-free can be an issue living here in "oh-you-didn't-want-bacon-on-that?" Germany).  And yes, I know options in stores/restaurants are getting better every single day, but I also think, "what, another dietary ball to juggle?"  

How did you convince yourself that the improved focus, decreased symptoms etc are worth cutting out all the beers and cheeses and breads in life?  And, would a reduction help at all?? (my instincts say it would have to be cold turkey...)

Hi frankcesca, Thank you for

Hi frankcesca,

Thank you for your kind words of support.  I frequently feel alone as a woman with ADHD and I know I am different than other women.  No one really gets what the day-to-day struggle is like, so it's nice to hear from someone who truly understands.

If it is any consolation, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that protein at breakfast is NECESSARY for neurotransmitter development.  In switching from a high-carb diet to a higher protein diet, I have really noticed a substantial difference in whether or not I eat meat at breakfast and whether or not I have a day where I concentrate well or not.  Eating lean meat really engages my brain..  I have tried peanut butter, nuts, or cheese in the morning, but no food works as well for me as meat.  It's a complete protein.  I've heard eggs are great as well, but I have always hated eggs.  

I, too, LOVE cheese and bread.  Beer, not so much (funny, because I am half German and had German speaking grandparents).

As far as HOW did a gluten-casein loving person give up her favorite foods? In a word:  DESPERATION!  I was ready to do absolutely ANYTHING to improve my symptoms, which were steadily worsening due to gluten consumption.  I don't recall whether or not I mentioned this in an earlier post, but several months ago, a neighbor had asked me what it FELT like to have ADHD.  Now, I had heard of food sensitivities, but I didn't know how they manifested, and I certainly had never heard that the inability to break down these proteins resulted in opiods.  My impulsive and visceral answer to his question?  "It's kind of like being drunk when I'm off my meds."

I am still spacey, still struggle with time management and organization, but I no longer feel stoned when I'm not on my medication.  Now, some people out there might be saying, "Hey, what's wrong with feeling like that?"  Nothing. I just want to have the choice whether I feel that way or not, and not FEAR getting in a fight with my husband when my medication wears off.  

Knowing my diet before, I would not think it possible for me to be eating as well as I am.  I was not overweight, but I was eating A LOT of carbs, not enough protein, and not enough fruits and vegetables.  I found I just started to look at food differently.  I now look at the processed food in the grocery store in think, "That isn't even REAL food."  I can never go back to eating a typical American diet.  I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to make it my mission to eat food I enjoy.  I didn't want to be the mopey martyr.  I found a couple of good cookbooks, and I'm happy.  I eat a TON of nuts, peanutbutter, and meat a few times a day, and I have to say, I look pretty awesome right now for a Mama of 2.  I have been too busy to work out (but I have always worked out so this needs to change), but I feel like the protein is really building muscle even though I'm not doing much of anything.  Protein really does make a difference.  My brother always used to tell me that (he can pack on muscle easily and like few people), but I thought it was an exaggeration.  Protein is key.  I am not hungry, feeling deprived, or sad about this.  I had one weekend of misery whilst I started to detox from gluten.  Now I'm fine.

I think you need to go cold turkey, but I wouldn't remove gluten and casein at the same time.  I highly recommend the blogs for more information on food sensitivities.  Dr. Charles Parker knows what he is talking about!

O.K.  Have to go for now.  Nice to "meet" you, frankcesca!



channeling Mariah Carey, see pgph 3

I know what you mean about feeling stoned!  One time I tried pot, and the whole time, I complained that it just felt like being off my meds :)

OK, so meat or eggs for breakfast, eh?  Meat could be hard as my man has resolved to eat meat just once a week and I don't like the hassle of making something separate for myself.  But eggs I could probably live with, I'd be more OK to make eggs just for myself than meat just for myself.  Did a bit of googling too, the web also recommends fish and cottage cheese as breakfast proteins.  I think I could fit in fish or eggs or cottage cheese most mornings. 

Did I mention, the love of my life is German and CAAAAN'T LIIIIIIIIIIVEEEEE without starch at every meal?  It's hard enough at Passover, 8 days a year when the only flour I allow in the house is in the form of matzah.  Also verboten: rice, peanuts, corn, beans, lentils, wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt in any form.  Last year we survived on LOTS of potatoes.  And he was allowed to eat whatever he wanted outside the house, as I am the observant one.  

Working out!  I really really need to get back into that, too.  In college I was on the crew team, did 10 workouts a week, and found I sometimes needed just 5 mg of meds, when I'd been on 10-20 at a time in high school.  So I KNOW it helps.  Not to mention I have a wedding dress to fit into in May :)  Just.... new continent, new job, new schedule, no gym yet.  I take the stairs, at least!  

I will try protein at breakfast first + start working out again.  Going GF is still a step too far for me at the moment... but I also know my brain, it won't be forced into doing things it's not 100% on board with but might slowly shift.  I am soooo reluctant to try things that might help because I have that wonderful ADD instinct of "it works for everyone else, dagnabbit, if I just want it hard enough it's bound to work for me eventually too!"  I feel like Wile E Coyote who paints a tunnel on a rock face, Roadrunner zooms through it, then he tries to follow and smashes right into the rock.

Nice to meet you too!!  Hope to get more regular on the boards because I could really use some support.  We just moved to Berlin and I don't have friends here yet, so I would love a support network of understanding people somewhere out there!  

ADHDMomof2 Health Update

Hi Everyone,

I have been busy, busy, busy and also did not have much to say.  Until now.

Turns out I have quite a few health issues that have amplifying my ADHD to an obscene degree..  Numerous food sensitivities which do include gluten, leaky gut syndrome which has meant my food and medicine were leaking out of my stomach and wreaking havoc all over my body, and vitamin deficiencies have all contributed to my ADHD being unmanageable, especially in light of my efforts.  The biggest help so far has been methylated B12.  It has only been 1 week, but my medication usage has dropped dramatically since going from 1 pill to 2.  Tomorrow I start 3 pills of B12.  I don't totally understand the science behind it yet, but my methylation pathways have been blocked, which I understand is common in ADHD and Autism.  


This is the miracle I have been looking for.  


Day 1: No ADHD meds, and, unbelievably, I did well.

Today, I increased my methylfolate, which is a B12 vitamin in methylated form, to 3 pills , per doctor's orders.   First day of my life I had true clarity.  I keep remembering things without trying!!! My prospective memory is sooooooooooo Much better..   I am prioritizing without trying.  It. Is. Just. Happening.  Holy F***, if this is what it is like to be a Non-ADHDer, I sure hope you all appreciate this gift. This is amazing.   This is not hyperfocus.  I know the difference.

FRIENDLY DISCLAIMER NOTE:  If you have ADHD and think you can try this at home, you're a dumbass :D!   I'm saying this for the sake of your marriage.  Also because, you, like me, might, uh, have a habit of shooting, firing, and aiming.  This has been a 6 month process for me...  I have a had a lot of lab work and am working with a registered dietician and a Homeopathic doctor who loves Biochemistry as much as she understands it, which is considerable.


Hello. I read this and immediately looked it up. Perhaps it holds potential for dh. So the title says no ADHD meds, is that true? You say you had a doc guiding you through this, what was the rationale for no meds? Did you suggest it or did she? Dh would eventually like to be off meds but that's terrifying to me. Awesome you are having success!

Hi ShelleyNW!

Yes, it is true. This is day 2 of no meds, and I can focus better than ever.   No effort.  It is weird.   I can concentrate right now with moms talking incessantly around me while my DD is in ballet class.   I have not thrown out my meds yet; I don't want to shoot myself in the foot with impulsivity...

I sought out the help of a Naturopath on the recommendation of my nutritionist, who recommended the practice. Both women are brilliant, and they have helped ADHDers off meds before.  They suggested it; I have to be honest, though I trusted them, I thought it was preposterous, as in "That's nice that you think that, but those people probably did not have ADHD.  Also, I do.   Worse than most people with ADHD, and I am a teacher , so I know where I fall on the ADHD 'spectrum.' "

I did not actually articulate this, but I thought it.   I was just desperate enough to shut my mouth and listen...

This is cutting edge science.  Thank you for not dismissing me outright.   I really can't wrap my own head around it yet.



I'm having heavy metal testing soon.  I'll let you know how that goes.  Based on what I've read about ADHD, I expect to have results comparable to Wolverine.  I don't know that I've processed out much metal with the B12; apparently you can SEE metal when you pee with chelation (Blech!)  I'm still medication-free.  I have my last appointment with my ADHD doc in a few weeks.  He's been so good to me; I need to let him know I don't need the meds anymore and thank him for his patience while I kept adjusting the dosages that never worked for long because of all my other issues.   So it's just me and my B12!  Kind of unbelievable.  And I don't really feel that hyper anymore...  I still think there are gains to be made, but when I look at my original post in this thread, I can't believe how far I have come.  I KNEW something was amiss, even with everything else going on in my life...


Thanks for update

Are you finding the B12 still as or more effective than the stimulants? How is it different? Are heavy metals an issue common to ADHD? Thanks.

B12 vs. stimulants

I think the B12 helps me MORE with hyperactivity (mental and physical), emotional self-control, such as actually being able to listen to my husband and hear what he's saying.  It's also helping me remember better and learn from my mistakes, and I'm not worried about forgetting the lesson, which is my usual M.O.  I'm not perfect, but even in this state, I'm doing better than I was.   The other day for example, I wrote down a grocery list (nothing new, I do that), but then misplaced it in my car or purse (I am still disorganized).  I was able to recall all 7 items from having written them down.  It did not feel like a fluke.  I had to think, but I was able to recall both my items and the ones my husband had added just before I had left.  I probably would have forgotten 3 or 4 even on stimulants and would have had to call my husband to help me remember the list, which he LOVVVVVVESSSS, by the way.  So I am still disorganized and struggling with time-management, but less hyper, less emotional, and I am also able to actually function before my first B12 dose in the morning.  I am still getting used to not feeling revved up in the morning, but that's O.K.  Also, pollen count is atrocious where I live at the moment, so the second my head hits the pillow, I start coughing.  This has been disrupting my sleep for 2 weeks, so when I feel better, I will have a clearer picture of B12 vs. stimulants.

From what I have read, heavy metal toxicity is extremely common in both autism and ADHD, and is, in fact, a major part of the problem, much like B12 synthesis can be.  I have to take a methylated form of B12, which means it is broken down for me.  I don't break down gluten well, which leads to peptide chains that link into dopamine receptors and act like opiates.  Think about ADHD behavior and look into the eyes of an ADHD person when they are being inattentive or are not there.  Laughing when no one else thinks it's funny, not taking things seriously, not getting it no matter how intelligent, being argumentative... kind of like we're a little intoxicated, right?    We simply don't process toxins out very well.   Yeast is another extremely common problem for those with ADHD.  Shocker:  I have excessive yeast in my stomach as well as a food sensitivity to it.  Sugar is another issue.  Even conventional ADHD treatment recognizes the fact that people with ADHD can't break down sugar as quickly and it lingers around.  This also feeds yeast growth, which leads to excessive candida albicans, which contributes to leaky gut syndrome, which leads to EVERYTHING from gluten, yeast, sugar, metals, everything we eat, plus medicines to be coursing throughout the body and causing weird symptoms that don't seem even remotely related but are, such as joint pain, eczema, histamine reactions to foods, fatigue, etc...  In order to detox from heavy metals, food sensitivities must be identified and the gut must be healed.  If I hadn't experienced these things myself and weird physical symptoms simply disappearing with dietary changes, I'd think it a load of crap from people who don't want to admit ADHD is real.  However, my doctor knows ADHD is real, as does my nutritionist, and the things they have told me are true have been consistent with my experience.  Believe me, I don't judge anyone for taking stimulants.  They helped me as much as they could considering the additional issues I have.  In my case, however, my ADHD was so out-of-control that I had to seek a better way for me.  I hope my rambling makes a little sense.  I'm a bit tired from my two weeks of sleep-deprivation...




I'm very happy to hear the b12 is doing the job. And all the dietary changes. It must be challenging to make all the adjustments. Thank you for the info. I did some looking around the Internet regarding the heavy metals and it was fascinating. They have learned a lot about ADHD in the last ten years. Hope you get some sleep soon. Allergies have been brutal this year.