Recent research confirms that people with ADHD have a different composition of gut bacteria than their neurotypical peers. A study published in the prestigious journal Nature a few months ago supports this finding. Researchers found that there are distinct differences in the gut microbiomes of children with ADHD, and that gut microbiota maturation coincides with nervous system development.
A focus on gut health may help with symptoms
As this research continues to accumulate, it may lead to new treatments for ADHD that alter, eliminate, or prevent the development of certain gut bacteria. While we’re not quite there yet, based on what we know today it’s safe to say that focusing on gut health is an important part of managing ADHD symptoms.
Nutrition is a key factor in both gut health and ADHD
Many factors influence gut health, but proper nutrition (i.e., eating a varied, plant-rich, whole foods diet with adequate healthy fiber and prebiotic/probiotic foods) is the most important. Many studies have now shown that dietary modifications can lead to improvements in ADHD symptoms.
In addition to healthy nutrition, getting enough sleep, exercise, and time in nature is critically important as well. Not surprisingly, these factors affect both the gut microbiome and cognitive functioning.
If you’d like individualized nutritional support, I’d love to connect with you! My specialty is creating effective nutritional strategies to support brain functioning, mood, and behavioral health and I especially enjoy working with families of children with autism and ADHD. Visit my Work With Me page to learn more!