Yes Really – Your Gut Health Can Affect ADHD Symptoms

Experts weigh in.
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The health of our gut can determine the health of other areas in our bodies. Feeling constipated, it’s time to clear your gut. Been experiencing brain fog? It could mean that you have a poor gut imbalance. Noticed that your ADHD symptoms are out of control? Your gut could be to blame for that as well in some circumstances.

Yup, according to some experts, there’s a connection between our gut and ADHD. George Sachs, co-founder of inflow explains that those with ADHD have to work hard at maintaining balance in their gut so they can manage their symptoms of ADHD.


An unhealthy gut can exacerbate ADHD symptoms 🧠 Your gut and brain are linked through a communication pathway between the gastrointestinal and central nervous systems called the gut-brain axis 📡 The gut produces neurotransmitters and sends signals to your brain, affecting cognitive function, mood, and overall mental health- all things ADHDers could use a little help with! By incorporating foods rich in pre and probiotics, like greek yogurt, quinoa, kefir, and garlic (garlic gworls UNITE), individuals with ADHD may experience reduced symptoms and improved overall well-being 🌟 For more information on the link between your ADHD brain and food, check out the Nutrition and ADHD module in our app 🥬🥑🍏 Link in our bio to start your free trial 🔗 #GutHealth #GutHealthTips #ADHDNutrition #GutHealthy #GutBrainAxis #ADHDSupport #ADHDTips #ADHDAdult #Inflow #InflowADHD

♬ original sound - Inflow: ADHD app

“One way to do this is by adding more probiotics into our gut. You can do this through a number of different foods,” Sachs says. You should be eating foods like yoghurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut.

“You also need to reduce sugar intake, which is very difficult if you have ADHD but it’s super important,” he adds.

Want to make your gut happier? It’s probably time to chop out the processed foods too.

“Both sugar and processed foods can lead to an imbalance of bad bacteria in our gut, which again causes inflammation and can make our ADHD symptoms worse,” Sachs explains.

Dr. Rabia Topan, a gastroenterologist calls this the ’bi-directional communication’.

“The gut-brain connection is basically communication going bottom up and top down between the brain and the gut. There’s cross communication between these systems. There’s actually four systems involved so your hormones, your immune system, your nervous system, and then your gut bugs,” Topan says.

Sarah-Nicole Bostan, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist and director of behaviour change strategy at Signos says it’s not widely understood how ADHD and inflammation are linked yet.

Speaking to Healthline, Bostan says “The study of gut-brain interactions is still in its infancy as it relates to functional impairment from mental health symptoms.”

One theory suggests that it could be related to the protective layer around the brain.

“Just like the gut, the brain has a barrier, called the blood-brain barrier,” Jordan Haworth, a gastrointestinal physiologist at the Functional Gut Clinic in Manchester, UK, says.

But, he goes on to say that “we know from studies that increased intestinal permeability is closely linked to a disrupted blood-brain barrier—[although] we can’t be sure what’s causing it.”

Dr. Sarah Cooke, a UK-based general practitioner specialising in nutrition states that there are benefits to some brain inflammation. However, issues can creep up when inflammation takes place for long periods of time.

Cooke says: “Neuroinflammation (inflammation of the brain) has a primary function of protecting the brain against pathogens (disease-causing organisms) via a process which encourages tissues to repair themselves.”

“However, if the inflammatory state is prolonged, then the inflammation can become detrimental and stop the renewal of cells,” Cooke adds.

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