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.
“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.
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.
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.