Link between Gluten & ADD/ADHD?

Oh PLEASE, not again!
and from a source that I would think
would thoroughly research before reporting

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Living Gluten-Free to rid yourself of ADD?

I use “ADD” vs. the DSM-5’s official name for the disorder – click HERE to find out why

The quick hit: Despite what you and I can find all over the internet in articles that have not done their research very completely, gluten does NOT cause ADD, so giving it up will NOT make it go away.

It could reduce the severity of a few symptoms, and there are a great many other health benefits you might experience, but if you want a quick fix for ADD (or a preventative), going gluten free is not your answer!


The Longer Answer

Regular readers are quite aware that I consider myself the ADD Poster Girl, struggling with practically every symptom in an ADD profile with the exception of reading focus and gross motor hyperactivity.

You also know that I have been studying and working with ADD/EFD (Executive Functioning Disorders) and comorbids for almost THIRTY years now.

So trust me when you read the rest of the article: I have thoroughly checked this out through scientific research that is current, reflecting the bulk of what we know for sure at this particular time, given the state of today’s technology.

If the science changes, you can trust me to tell you all that it turned out we were wrong, but it does not seem, from reading a great many studies, that it is likely that I am going to have to print a retraction any time soon.

Why Gluten – why NOW?

May is Celiac Awareness Month, as I reported in this month’s Mental Health Awareness Calendar, so I am just squeezing in under the deadline with a post about gluten.

There has been so much new information for me to digest, I’m sorry to report that more comprehensive articles informing you of gluten’s effects on the brain and body, Celiac Sprue and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity won’t make it under the wire.  Stay tuned for those in the future.

However, doing the research on gluten sensitivities for those more comprehensive articles, I tripped across more than a few posts that that stunned me – and not in a good way.

In my haste to counter the misinformation during the month where this post is most likely to be found, I decided to share with ADDandSoMuchMORE readers one of the comments I left on only one of those articles that seemed to be in the grip of confirmation bias.

Giving up Gluten

no-gluten-symbolSince listening to the expert scientists around the world at the world’s first Gluten Summit (many of whom have spent life-long careers researching gluten sensitivity and celiac disease), I became convinced that gluten is simply not good for human beings.

NEVER expecting to even consider giving it up when I began listening to the speakers, I began immediately to cut gluten out of my own diet before the Summit had concluded.

Get this straight:
I did NOT go gluten-free to “cure” my ADD,
because ADD is NOT caused by problems with diet.

For anyone who is still unclear,
let me say that in a slightly different manner:
based on a great deal of credible research to date,
neither ADD nor ADHD are caused by problems with diet.

The extent to which food sensitivities EXACERBATE an individual’s ADD symptoms may fool some people in to thinking otherwise, when symptoms become much less troublesome when one eliminates a troublesome food.

However (ONE more time), ADD is NOT caused by problems with diet in the same manner Celiac Sprue IS the result of the body’s autoimmune response to gluten, or gluten sensitivities are activated by gluten.

Don’t take my word for it

In a May 06, 2013 article entitled Celiac Disease and ADHD, Eileen Bailey, former ADD Guide for, subsequently writing for HealthCentral, had the following to add to the conversation, supporting my assertion.

Study Negating Association Between ADHD and Celiac Disease

Researchers completing a study at Inonu University in Turkey reported that there is not a link between ADHD and celiac disease.

This study was published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition in Feb. 2013. The study looked at 362 children and adolescents with ADHD between the ages of 5 and 15.

Researchers found that the rates of celiac disease in those with ADHD were similar to rates of celiac disease in control groups (without ADHD.)

Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

HOVER before clicking – often a box will appear to tell you what to expect

Savvy about Celiac, perhaps — ADD, not so much

Doing a bit of research on gluten sensitivities for a couple of article still in draft, I tripped across the post under which I left the comment below, immediately following a comment by blogger and author Gina Pera (whom some of you may follow on Psychology Today for additional ADD information). She also corrected the inaccuracies.

I have not returned to see if the comment copied below has been approved – or whether the requested retraction had been added to the site where I found the article that inspired my comment, but I copied it below to make sure it was on the web somewhere to strongly counter much misinformation (clearing up a few minor points with the addition of a word or several).

I also added formatting and some headings to make it easier to read for those of you who struggle staying focused on long strings of unformatted text.


Thank you for your comment, Gina.

I am also ringing in late to the party, including an impassioned request for a “retraction” article that doesn’t report the work of a maverick few as if they balanced the HUNDREDS of replicated and credible studies by life-long experts in the attentional and Executive Functioning fields.

For context, I am the founder of the ADD Coach Training field and the co-founder of the ADD Coaching field – and have been working with and researching ADD (ADHD) for almost 30 years now. Gina Pera, by the way, is a highly credible expert as well, so please take her comment seriously.

It would be admirable to read something along the lines of “upon researching further, I have now discovered that  . . .”  – and your standing as a professional would only increase.

What IS true about gluten and ADD

Gluten sensitivity HAS been shown to exacerbate ADD symptoms: like mood swings, brain-fuzz, lack of drive and energy for completion, to name just a few.

Going gluten-free, some ADDers might even find their symptoms settle down to a point where they no longer need to take medication to manage.

But that does NOT mean that gluten sensitivity is causal – or that giving up gluten will automatically clear up ADD symptoms in everyone affected – or even in most of those affected.

TO BE CLEAR: the fact that symptoms can be made worse with gluten is not the same as saying that gluten is the cause of Executive Functioning disorders. There are bona fide cases found in individuals with no gluten sensitivity (with clearly diagnostic ADD).

However, gluten sensitivity could be the factor that kicks an individual struggling with Executive Functioning over the diagnostic line.  In that case, avoiding gluten will ameliorate their symptoms.

Not only has the causal link between diet and ADD NOT been scientifically supported, it has actually been debunked several times now (beginning with the World Health Organization’s report on the lack of efficacy of “defined diets” several decades ago now)


Every single time someone like you reports something like this, individuals who need medication to stand a shot at the degree of success they deserve and could have will limp along with diet interventions to no avail until they simply cannot DO it any longer.

Meanwhile, they miss essential life lessons, experience scholastic failures and/or decide that formal education is not for them and flunk out or drop out.

Statistically supported, they can also expect to go through serial marriage and job failures  (along with other problems stemming from needlessly developed lack of self-confidence and self-esteem)

They are more likely to attempt self-medication with street drugs, adding to the daunting addiction and ADD statistics – and worse (statistics that, by the way, fall right in line with the general population with proper diagnosis and treatment).

FYI:  I also have ADD personally (no “H”), diagnosed at 38, at a time when ADD had been erroneously considered to go away at puberty — an artifact of its placement in the childhood section of the DSM-II in 1968, finally given back-door credibility with the first PET studies by Zemetkin et. al. in 1990, by virtue of the fact that they used ADDults for the study.

Had I been diagnosed and medicated at eight instead of thirty-eight, my life would be substantially easier and more successful today.  It has been a needless struggle (and is still, as I endeavor to make up for almost 40 years of lost time).

I truly hate to see anyone else have to experience a similar life trajectory simply because they are afraid of pharmaceutical intervention and are encouraged to believe that other approaches are better by bloggers and reporters who don’t research thoroughly before ringing in with their opinions and reportage.

I ALSO live gluten-free as well – because I did the research and became convinced that gluten was not a good food for human consumption in MANY ways, not because I had even a single symptom of celiac sprue.

I have experienced health benefits,
but zero amelioration of my ADD symptoms.

NOR have they worsened following accidental ingestion of gluten.

The problem with inaccurate causal reportage

What if I were to gather a sampling of others like myself, claiming that my statistical study indicated that “a moderate amount of gluten” could be incorporated back into an otherwise healthy and cautious diet?

How many people would get extremely ill as a result
of a blog article I might write reporting my findings?

Can you relate to our strenuous objections better with that analogy?
There are many ways life can be ruined besides chronic physical illness.

Advocacy and accurate information is important

I know how hard your field is trying to make the public aware of the importance of the distinction between “gluten-free” and “gluten-removed,” and the dangers of “cross-contamination” – with gluten’s potentially disastrous effect on health — but PLEASE don’t make our field’s educate-the-public objectives more difficult as you attempt to make the case for yours.

Thanks to the work of long-time gluten experts and researchers like O’Bryan, Marsh, Volta, Vojdani, Schoenfeld, Hadjivassiliou, Perlmutter, Ford (and many, MANY more), there is more than enough hard science about gluten and immune response to report in your quest to educate the public without stretching to include, at best, questionable “research” about a suspected link between ADD and gluten. Thank you.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
– ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
“It takes a village to educate a world!”

© 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

Shared on the Senior Salon

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

Related articles right here on

Other supports for those reading this article – on

Gluten & Celiac Related ’round the ‘net

BY THE WAY: Since is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

90 Responses to Link between Gluten & ADD/ADHD?

  1. dgkaye says:

    Fantastic article! There’s a book in there somewhere, lol. 🙂 Welcome to the world of gluten-free my friend. I’m also dairy-free which makes it all a little bit trickier but their’s always new goodies popping up in the culinary world for those of us with intolerances. Gluten is nobody’s friend, wonderful of you to spread the awareness. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting, Madelyn. I would not expect any particular food group to be responsible for ADD or ADHD, although, I do agree that certain food my exacerbate the condition and symptoms. I have had to drastically reduce my gluten intake due to a steadily increasing intolerance to these products. I have done so kicking and screaming because it comprises a lot of my favourite foods.


    • I can imagine, Robbie – cakes! How awful to make them like you do and not be able to eat them.

      There’s a blog by Nicole Hunn you might check out when you have some time [Gluten Free on a Shoestring]. She tells her story as to why so I won’t, but her whole family eats GF, so her recipes MUST pass muster or she’s back to cooking two separate meals to feed them all.

      I often think a collaboration by the two of you would be amazing for both – or at least a cross post.

      One of her cookbooks, Classic Snacks – 100 Recipes for the Brand-Name Treats You Love – was written because her kids wanted TREATS that wouldn’t make them sick, but ones like the other kids had. She also has one with bread, etc., the original GF Shoestring, and several other cookbooks published.

      I’ll bet the two of you could come up with something AMAZING for GF kids — or you and Michael could experiment with GF treats for an addition to the Sir Chocolate books on your own. I’ll bet every Mom of a celiac kid would jump at it.


  3. Only! Only! The only positive in hospital is GF Ice Cream.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Osyth says:

    Thank you for this excellent and comprehensive article. With Gluten intolerance on the rise (my eldest daughter was diagnosed several years ago) it is more necessary than ever to get the word out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for seconding my opinion, Osyth. My exploration into the gut-brain axis has been eye-opening — SO much else connected!

      Best wishes to your daughter. Has she had antibody lab tests? (Cyrex labs 10-factor test is the gold standard — the only one currently that produces few false negatives, since the others still only test one)

      I also hope she is aware that Memory-B cells remain for life, meaning that even if her body is no longer producing antibodies (i.e., the gut lining is healing and her diet is devoid of gluten), she must remain on a GF diet for the rest of her life to avoid the recurrence of permeability, antibody reactivation and inflammatory response? [Hard science, btw]

      When you return from you time away, if you are interested, I will give you a link to a video by Dr. Thom O’Bryan that explains in more detail (you can also visit He is one of the most plain-spoken gluten experts, and the one who organized the Gluten Summit – also travels the world educating doctors. (Who knows when I will be able to edit and post the gluten info, but when I do I will link to it as well).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharing this informative post on Twitter and LinkedIn, Madelyn. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not only gluten, but dairy produce is bad for us too, producing much unwelcome mucus while we try to digest food meant for cows!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. -Eugenia says:

    This is a well written and comprehensive post on gluten. The more we know the better off we are in recognizing the effects of gluten and how to avoid them. Thank you, mgh.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brilliant article, Madelyn. Thank you for sharing your wisdom so generously.

    Are you writing a book? It so, please let me know when it will be available for purchase. If you aren’t writing a book, I wish you would!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – and welcome back! JUST in time for PTSD Awareness Month!!! Does this mean that your memoir is finished?

      How dear of you to ask if I’m writing a book myself. I have written quite a few books, actually – the process of polishing and publishing is the hold up. Naively, I thought that blogging would offer me “mini-deadline” prompts when I set up ADDandSoMuchMORE – but other writing has stalled almost completely instead.

      I may have to take a page from your book and call a halt to posting & blogging for a month or several to have time to jump through the next few hoops. I’m still deciding the best way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, my book is not yet finished. At the advice of the therapist I have been seeing since January for neurofeedback, I stopped writing several months ago. He believed that writing my memoir was hindering my progress in neurofeedback.

        The good news is that the therapist finally gave me the thumbs up a few days ago to resume writing. However, I recently had a surgical procedure and a biopsy, so my focus for writing isn’t that great right now. It’s always something, it seems.

        I do hope you will finish and publish your books. I know how hard it can be, though!


        • I am so sorry to hear of your recent health challenges (and hope that you are doing well now) – but I’m thrilled to know that your neurofeedback approaches have been successful enough for your therapist to give you the thumbs up to continuing to work on your memoir. It will come.

          Thanks, too, for your encouragement for me to get my own books out there!

          Liked by 1 person

  9. JM says:

    Thanks for making clear distinctions. I’ve met parents who swear their child’s ADHD was cured by switching them to a gluten free diet or some other diet. What they don’t seem to understand is that their child might not have had ADHD in the first place; their child’s symptoms could have been caused 100% by the food allergy or celiac.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this comment. The distinction between co-occurance and causation is lost on many of the most “vocal” – and they have no idea how much unintended harm they cause by attempting to generalize their experience. I get SO tired countering opinions posted as facts based on, as science says, “an n of 1.”

      Thanks for ringing in. It helps!


  10. Fascinating article, Madelyn. I’ll look forward to future articles about why we should all be gluten-free.


    • Thanks, John. Don’t hold your breath for the gluten articles coming – LOTS to pare down to make them readable! I’d never say we ALL need to stop eating gluten – but the science seems to indicate that it would be a VERY good idea!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was a borderline celiac baby – my mom said I almost died. Hence my interest. I stopped eating gluten for about a year a few years ago, and noticed no benefits. But I’m open minded about it.

        Liked by 2 people

        • WOW, John! Do you (or your Mom) have your medical records from that time? Medical science knows SO much more now – including the existence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity – that it might be a good idea to run them by a doctor.

          The biggest benefit I NOTICED when I went GF was a reduction of body fat around the middle that I had attributed to “normal aging” – and *maybe* a lightening in mood (i.e., easier to rebalance when life gets really touch).

          HEY! I’ll take the flat stomach gratefully, but from what I’m reading, more serious damage remains “underground” for years – detectable only by specific bloodtests for antibody markers.

          Rather than spend a ton of money on tests, I decided to listen to those experts that say NONE of us digest it well, and simply avoid gluten altogether.

          It’s a bit like that joke about the guy on a NYC street corner, wildly waving and screaming to keep the tigers away.

          “There aren’t any tigers in NY” was met with, “SEE? It’s working.” 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • No, there are no records from January 1951 that I know about. My mom died in 2013 and I have no idea who the doctor was or where his practice was in Toronto. Right now my battle is with Type 2 Diabetes – carrying way too much weight and suffering from an exercise allergy. However, I have made inroads into cleaning up my diet over the past two weeks – but more needs to be done as I have 88 pounds to shed. Thanks to universal health care here in Canada, the tests won’t cost me anything as long as they are prescribed by a physician. I’d kill for a flat stomach!

            Liked by 1 person

            • There are increasing links to Diabetes and gluten, John – both Type II and – even more surprising – Type ONE!

              The problem is that, except for environments where diet can be *strictly* monitored to be 100% GF, health benefits are mixed — even the occasional cheat skews the results.

              There was a woman who was suffering from multiple illnesses who is now perfectly healthy on a GF diet — but it took two years and a papal edict to get her 100% GF.

              Turns out she was a nun, and the communion wafer was keeping her sick. If I can find the Gluten Summit interview where they told that story I’ll send it to you.


            • Haven’t found the one I referenced yet, John, but below is a YouTube link to Dr. Thom O’Byan’s wrap up to The Gluten Summit. He also tells a couple of stories about how and why he got interested in Celiac & Gluten reactivity. Interesting and inspiring.

              From the video
              (one of over 70 in my Gluten list – part of my research)
              “When you don’t get the results you want, could it be gluten sensitivity?”


            • Thanks, Madelyn – I’ll check it out.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Not homework! Simply hope to be helpful.


  11. Excellent article refuting false claims and providing vital information. I second every word of it!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This is such an important article for us. We have a family member with this health issue and we need more awareness on the topic. There is so much mixed information on this topic and to be honest we wind up confused at times as to what is what. Your article Madelyn helps us see more clearly. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome.

      It’s why I decided to post for free much of the information from the tuition-based training I designed — especially since I noticed that a great many of my relatively well-known coaching colleagues feel qualified to offer personal opinions that are completely misinformed.

      Even supposedly trained ADD coaches have been swayed by those opinions, btw.

      I’m extremely happy to see that you are willing to read ADD information, especially since so MANY people are unlikely to investigate further after reading a few fear-mongering sources, especially where medication is involved.

      Unfortunately, in the almost 30 years I have been involved, things do NOT seem to be getting better where accurate information is concerned, despite people like me and others spending MANY hours weekly [primarily unbillable] attempting to educate the public and advocate for increased research.

      In fact, with the advent of the web, even the press cites poorly researched blogs and books as if they are primary sources (or quoting them in opposition to journal-published credible research, supposedly in their “quest” for so-called balanced reporting, as if both sides had equal merit. ::sigh::

      Naively, I truly expected to make a difference in this regard.

      When I read about what others can afford to do that I cannot (like retire, for example!), there are days when I wonder if I have completely wasted the precious moments of the prime of my own life in my endeavor to help others have more effective lives.

      Comments like yours encourage me get back up on the horse on days when I’m thinking of chucking it all and applying for a job as a Walmart greeter!

      So thank you VERY much!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You offer help in a world that sometimes doesn’t know how to accept help. Our thoughts are that maybe people think if they ask for help they are weak or inferior. Gosh, if we had a penny for each time I asked for help and understanding we’d be set for life.

        You passionately research and provide information that is understandable and non-threatening therefore desired. You also do so with just the right dash of humor and the extra dash of hope we all need.

        Our thoughts are you should not wonder if you have spent your life wandering down the wrong road. You are doing exactly what you are suppose to be doing and even though the path gets a little narrow or obscure it is the right one because you are helping others in ways that someday will become very clear.

        So yes…. please keep getting back up on that horse and giddy up further along that road, lol. And if you decide to become a Walmart greeter you’ll be the best one there is because it is your nature to be great!!!!!!


        • I may have to print your comment out many times and hang it all over my apartment! WOW guys – that might be the greatest endorsement I’ve EVER read (especially the part about being a Walmart greeter – lol).

          Thank you VERY much.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You are a winner Madelyn. We ain’t gonna let you quit! I do remember however in my career wanting to quit to become a greeter somewhere just to get away from the stress. Then I realized stress is everywhere and I first had to fight it in my own head, lol. Now we just smile a lot.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Aaawww! It’s not the stress of the job itself that gets to me as much as the stress of the *administration and marketing aspects* of the job that is wearing me out after decades — especially since the economy slow-down and clients are no longer rushing to sign-up (tho’ I can’t really refer to my earlier experience as “jumping” to try coaching or brain-based training – lol – even tho’ the feedback is universally positive once they do)

              Only last nite I just read an interesting post from Raili on healing music that might turn out to be an effective antidote to stress, however (link below). If you jump over to read her fascinating info, be sure to scroll down to read my comment on the positive affects on my sleep disorder last nite.

              Ancient Music — Posted on May 24, 2017 by Soul Gifts

              Liked by 1 person

            • I believe there is healing in certain music. I can also believe some music can bring about poor health… mentally and physically.
              Isn’t it true about administration and marketing!!!!!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah – and they have never been among my skills, unfortunately. 😦

              There are actually studies of music’s effect on health – bad and good effects both, depending on music selection. Inconclusive, I believe, but highly suggestive.

              There is ALSO the evidence provided by much personal reportage – which I, for one, do not automatically discount, given my experience with the anecdotal report of MANY ADDults over the years, contrary to quite a few of the studies of (mainly) kids and mostly males.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Interesting that its mostly males.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Because most of the studies were “referred” – and there’s always been too much emphasis on that darned “H”- which most docs equate soley with gross motor hyperactivity in the manner it tends to present in those male “trouble-makers.” The dreamy-spacey presentation (cognitive hyperactivity) got left out, as well as girls whose hyperactivity presents differently. Who refers Chatty Cathy for an AD-H-D study?

              PLUS the experts in ADD in woman and girls assert that we do NOT see “onset before age 7” (as per DSM), we see onset at menses – the cut off point for “childhood” studies – which comprised most of them, thanks to the field amnesia that followed the placement of ADD in the childhood section of the DSM-II in the late 60s. ONLY the real experts in the field knew that ADD persisted into adulthood.

              It was a real tragedy that persisted for 20 years – one of the reasons why I avoid I avoid that H!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Interesting. So much to learn and understand. Thank you truly.

              Liked by 1 person

            • It’s misinformation that more boys than girls have ADD — tho’ more boys ARE diagnosed than girls (that darned “H” again!).

              The big bump in female diagnosis comes at 38, when I finally got my diagnosis, btw, after 10 years in therapy looking for what was “wrong” and misdiagnosed repeatedly. That’s when perimenopause kicks in and the estrogen balance begins to change, leading to symptoms that are unmistakable for anyone who actually KNOWS ADD – then again during menopause itself.

              I really appreciate your interest.

              Liked by 1 person

            • That is interesting that males are diagnosed more often then females. To think of all those years yours was not detected and what you had to go through because the diagnosis wasn’t made. It has to be difficult to be detected in cases due to the ever changing body. I wonder how many of my clients went undetected????


            • A bunch, probably. According to T. Dwaine McCallon, M.D. Medical Director, Buena Vista Correctional Facility, Asst. Chief Medical Officer, Colorado Dept. of Corrections, a large majority of his prison population had undiagnosed ADD. He wrote a fascinating article, w-a-a-y back in the day, entitled, “If He Outgrew It, What Is He Doing In My Prison?” <== link quoting article statistics written by colleague Pete Quilly.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Great recommendation. The article is excellent!!! Thank you. Saw a lot inside and continue too as I continue to help others upon release.

              Liked by 1 person

            • The full original is even more powerful – originally written in the 1990’s, if memory serves, and included as speaker content in the binder for an Institute of Behavioral Health all-expert conference on ADD.

              He had to pull out suddenly, and I was brought in at the last minute to fill his very big shoes — the first coach ever to be invited to speak to this professional body.

              I was honored and filled with hope – yet so little on SO many fronts has changed in that time, despite his ongoing advocacy – and mine. ::sigh::

              Liked by 1 person

            • Such a wonderful honor to be asked to present on his behalf. Great things always take time but we believe they are occurring and often without us realizing it.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Not on his behalf – NO one could fill those particular shoes, and certainly not me. I could only fill his session time-slot with content of my own, ever so hastily thrown together, due to the very little notice it was possible to give.

              I hope you are right that things are changing unseen — and that will be brought to light SOON!

              Liked by 1 person

  13. I appreciate your commitment to providing evidence based information about ADD, gluten, and any other medical condition, Madelyn. There are so many health misconceptions perpetuated by people who don’t review the research, and as you say: that’s all we have until disproven by new studies in the future. Emotions are not statistically significant but you’d think they were to hear some people spout erroneous information. Thank you for your steadfast support of the science.


    • GOD BLESS YOU for this comment!

      I am *also* big on anecdotal information – and wish the reports of individuals who actually experience various medical/neurological challenges would be factored into more of the research.

      HOWEVER, I believe it is essential to remain aware of the studies that have been conducted and report them accurately before ringing in — even if I disagree with their conclusions based on my experience in my own life and reports from clients, students and seminar attendees.

      Having spent your own life in a field where it is essential to remain up-to-date, I’ll bet you have a few horror stories you could share where even doctors don’t know what you know. ::sigh:: And I’m sure you run across many lay individuals who have been needlessly frightened or confused by misinformed *opinions* reported as facts in books, blogs and websites.

      Thank you for letting me know you do not consider me one of their number.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Madelyn, your approach is refreshing in a world teaming with misinformation. I agree the anecdote is important but I would not go to a doctor who bases his or her practice on it instead of research and evidence. And I also need a doctor who can change his or her mind when new research overturns prior held beliefs. Science rules!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m with you on that for the most part. However, back when the majority of the ADD meds studies were based on, as the ADD pros complained, “12 year old boys”, I wanted a doctor who was willing to apply logic, experience, and anecdotal to get out of the box and prescribe [essentially] “off label” for my own challenges with ADD.

          I would have felt exactly the same for my girl children (had I any) — since girls were – *tragically* – left out of the studies for many MANY years – and not just because ADD looks different in girls than in boys (except for the outliers).

          There are docs who specialize in ADD in woman & girls who insist that we have NO credible childhood studies from those years, due to sampling error. According to THEIR reports, we do NOT see “onset before age 7” (DSM criterion) in girls – we see onset at menses (the exclusion marker for childhood studies!)

          So, it’s not exactly black and white – and we all do BEST to stay informed and bring up scientific research and credible books and papers to our docs to make sure they do too – whatever it is we are trying to overcome.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I hadn’t thought of it like that, Madelyn. You are so right there is research lacking for women. Ever since that thalidomide incident there seems to be a shortage. As I age I find there is also research lacking for older people as pharmaceutical companies want their results to look great so you can be sure they don’t include subjects who are geriatric. You are right, it’s not black and white. *sigh*

            Liked by 1 person

            • ALL good points! (btw-there’s an article in my queue bemoaning the lack of research into aging and the elderly, showing how dangerously short-sighted the lack of funding for that research actually IS).

              Treatment and intervention instincts must certainly be driven by the discoveries of scientific research, which is important, but are we really doing the best we can when we WAIT for validated research to act? Mainstream knowledge is always older information, simply because of the TIME it takes for it to become mainstream. (Studies demonstrate an average of 17 years, btw).

              There are different kinds of “evidence,” and I believe that there is a crying need for a balance between scientific evidence, statistical correlation and patient evidence (reports of problems as well as positive results of interventions). I like this quote from Dr. Zac Watkins, “First and foremost, any diet related advice must be based on sound physiological principles.”

              Statistical correlation and anecdotal report MAY (or may not) indicate causation, but it is certainly worth taking a closer look at the relationship! HOWEVER, when a theory has been studied and “proven” erroneous, we need to be wise enough to look farther so that we can go another way.

              The link below is an interesting interview between Dave Asprey and board certified neurologist ‪Dr. David Perlmutter‬ furthering this discussion (one of over 70 on my list as I research gluten)

              Dr. David Perlmutter: Autism, Alzheimer’s & The Gut Microbiome – #250

              Liked by 1 person

  14. Dewin Nefol says:

    Hey Madelyn,

    I’ve been following your excellent and highly detailed Blog for only a short while and find the information presented both fascinating and insightful.

    May I ask if there is any proven scientific link between quality or type of diet and other mental health issues that may (or may not) associate themselves with ADHD, or even ADD? Thank you.

    I ask this question as my employer is in the very early stages of advising and raising awareness amongst staff and specifically management on mental-health related issues arising in the workplace. I would like to participate in future discussions and the information requested above would certainly add to that already made available. Thank you.

    Namaste 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading and for the kudos, Dewin. I can’t answer your question in much detail, since most of what has been written about diet is not conclusive or has never been researched, so I don’t concentrate there until/unless somebody hires me to research for them.

      I’ll tell you a few key points of what I DO know (and leave it up to you to Google for the studies and citations).

      You can also use the search box at the top of this site for articles I have written on, for example, dopamine or serotonin (or sleep, etc) – and click the internal links or scroll down to the Related Content for studies and further info.

      The LinkLists available from the bottom center of the menubar at the top of every page will also let you know what’s already available here (see the list of topics from the MASTER LinkList at the top of the drop-down).

      This will get you started:

      * Protein is essential to produce the precursors for effective dopamine production, and carbs increase serotonin (given gut support). Sleep is a high serotonin state already, so PROTEIN in the morning, saving carbs for the evening meal, makes a huge difference. (The exact opposite of how many of us eat, right?) Dopamine is already kludgy in ADD brains, so we struggle cognitively unless we front-end the protein.

      * Low protein diets aren’t great for our cognition (anybody’s, but especially ADDers) – nor are vegetarian diets of the type ingested by most. It takes quite a bit of knowledge to keep the protein balance optimal, even for non-ADDers.

      * Omega 3 fatty acids have been researched, and have been found to be immensely helpful, but the recommended sources are still a subject of much debate (i.e., diet-based, supplementation, fish oils – and what kind/how much, etc.) Conclusive is that the Omega 6/Omega 3 balance is off in *most* of us in the developing world – a consequence of processed food and junk food, etc. primarily.

      * Exercise is one of the best things anyone can do for brain and body health, and studies have shown that it can reduce ADD symptoms dramatically (also depression and anxiety, btw) [John Ratey’s books on exercise cite many of these]
      See, for example, the Medscape article ==> Exercise and ADD: An Expert Interview With John J. Ratey, MD Search for his name on YouTube – quite a few interviews there, and a couple of excellent interviews with Ginger Campbell are available in her Brain Science Podcast.

      See: The Brain Science Podcast Turns TEN! — which I believe is linked to an earlier BSP article where links to Ratey’s earlier interviews can be found as well.

      * What’s good for the heart is good for the brain and vice-versa. That’s fairly conclusive as well.

      If your employer is interested in hiring me as a consultant, I would be happy to produce information specifically for them.

      Hope this helps!


  15. You know I’m not GF? But if in hospital the o lay positive is GF ice cream! Or a saline drip. Kidney cleanse, don’t knock it. Cheers,H

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I agree with you and I try to avoid gluten… but after all I think it is sad that we need a “gluten summit” because it caused too much problems, we know it can cause allergies and maybe even the darned migraine attacks I have to deal with… why are we not able to disarm gluten or to remove it … and it is a shame what prices we have to pay for gluten free groceries ;o(((

    Liked by 2 people

    • ALWAYS appreciate your comments – and thanks again.

      Are you aware of Nicole Hunn’s Gluten Free on a Shoestring site (google it, if not). She has now written quite a few GF cookbooks, and she has posted many of her excellent recipes online because she simply couldn’t justify the cost of buying GF groceries (or the time to cook separate meals for her family), even though eating GF was essential for one of her children.

      The Summit was needed because far too many people (including physicians) did NOT know about the dangers of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity OR how to test for the presence of antibodies to confirm the dx.

      Dr. Thom O’Bryan put it together to attempt to shorten the 17 years (and more) that it normally takes for the latest scientific studies to make it to “the doctor down the street.”

      I agree that it is sad that it was necessary, but many people won’t take web info seriously unless they hear it out of the mouths of the experts (one of whom was Marsh, whose system for categorizing the degree of severity of Celiac disease is used practically universally).

      Liked by 1 person

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: