Anyone use supplements or diet changes?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Anyone use supplements or diet changes?
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 9:07am
I've been doing a lot of research and reading on ADD/ADHD and have come across a lot of things mentioning magnesium and calcium supplements that may help with "focusing". Anyone use these? I know cutting out sugar is a big one, and now I'm hearing about dairy products having an allergic affect also. My son LOVES milk!

Just wondering if anyone's had any luck with any of these.



Amy -

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 1:09pm
We have. I know that my son is allergic to corn, dairy and food dyes especially Red 40 and yellow 5.

We also use supplements and cal mag is a big one that helps my ds. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer so it helps calm him down. B-complex also helps, it helps the nerves and helps him handle stress. He knows when he forgot his vitamins. He says that he can notice a difference.

I read your other post this a.m. and I was going to post. I can understand that you feel the no meds is going down the toilet so to speak. Isn't it funny how we think that anything the kids do wrong is has to do with the ADHD or the other disabilities the kids have? I do this all the time, anytime my ds is acting up or not doing something he is supposed to, I start thinking that he ate something he wasn't supposed to or that he forgot his vitamins or something. When in actuality alot of it is because he is just being 10.

Alot of what you described about your ds is the same thing my "normal" dd does. They don't want to do something so they just lie on the couch and act like they didn't hear you.

Anyway, I don't mean to diminish what you are going through with your child, I just wanted to say that some of it might be just his age.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 1:13pm
I'm sorry the age appropriate behavior message was meant for keke. I did read you messages this am too. :)

I hope everything works out with the neighborhood kids and your ds.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2003
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 5:37pm

I noticed a change when I took my son off of dairy. Today I noticed he has

dark circles under his eyes which indicates to me he had dairy. Sure enough, he

told me someone at school gave him a cream cake and piece of chocolate.

I can always tell.

I also heard about the calcium/magnesium and I have ordered supplements to try them.

Also, I want the supplements for the reason of calcium.

It can't hurt to try to see if anything helps.

Take Care!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 5:39pm
Yes we follow the feingold program and also elimate corn, for a true corn allergy. The feingold program eliminates all artificial colors, flavors and 3 preservatives. You can find more information at Its a non profit organization, dedicated to helping people implement the feingold program
Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sun, 09-14-2003 - 8:43pm
I have a daughter with autism. I had a test run on her by a doctor for allergies. The lab he used was Your doctor might recommend an allergist he is comfortable with. My dd also has dark circles under her eyes, which I was told was also known as "allergy shiners". These dark circles are indicative of food allergies, so I have been told. The allergy testing indicated she was allergic to a whole bunch of foods. Wheat, milk, soy, eggs, barley, oats and much more! (Corn was okay!) I knew she always seemed to not do well on milk before I ever even knew that there was such a thing as being allergic to food. I have eliminated all these things and every bite of food she has is homemade, except for Fritos, Darifree (potato milk), and certain potato chips and select foods from the healthfood store. There has been some changes in her. She is being conversational. She usually just echoes what is said, also known as echolalia. Now, we can have a 2 way conversation with her. She comes up with her own sentences instead of inserting pre-learned phrases she's learned from cartoons. She goes to a speech therapist who exclaimed "Her expressive speech has exploded, I'm impressed!" I never told the therapists or doctors about the new diet because I was discouraged from doing it. I was told it would be too traumatic to change her diet. I say, all the homemade food couldn't possibly be bad for her compared to the mac n'cheese, hotdogs, McDonalds and pizza diet she was on before. What, she could learn to eat healthy? It is all still new since she's only been completely on this diet for a few weeks. I had slowly weaned her off of dairy and eggs before going off the rest.

Anyway that's the long part of the story. I also have a 9 year old daughter with severe ADHD. I have no milk in the home and she loves milk. She won't drink the rice milk, but the chocolate Darifree nearly tastes identical to regular chocolate milk and she'll drink that. I don't restrict her diet as extremely as I do her sister. She eats school lunches and has other foods so I don't know exactly what she's eating all the time. So, there is a high possibility of infractions. I haven't seen any changes in her despite having at least largely reducing many of the foods.

So one autistic sister on a extremely monitored and supervised diet appears to be making remarkable progress. Whether that's coincidence is still unknown. I try to remain skeptical knowing me "wanting" her to improve could be jading the results. However, when people like her therapists make suprised comments without knowledge of the diet, it's one little note I take in. So, the other sister is not quite as restricted, but largely eats what her sister eats when at home and I haven't really noted any difference.

By the way, children who are sensitive to milk are also VERY often sensitive to soy. Soy breakdowns very similiarly to that of milk proteins. I had taken my dd off milk a year ago and replaced it with soy products. Interestingly, her seizure activity spiked. That could have been a coincidence also. I took away soy as well, before I ever knew of the allergy tests.

Good luck!

Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 12:13am
I had my son tested for food allergies when he was 4. I wanted to make sure before we started meds that he wasn't allergic to something. I also give him Omega 3 which is supposed to help his mental health (he has bipolar disorder). And we ommit most red dyes. NOOOOOOOOO Mellow Yellow or Mt Dew, he goes nuts with those drinks. Here is a good link about Omega 3's if you want to read about it. I get ours at Walmart.


Edited 9/15/2003 12:19:20 AM ET by

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 10:20am
I do think the sugar part is a myth in general. My son does not have any change in his ADHD symptoms, whether he has sugar or not. I think there is more truth to artificial colors having an effect on some kids though. We tried ruling out all those things before we ever went to meds, and it really did not make a difference unfortunately. What helps my son the most if he is off meds, however, is if he has plenty of physical exercise. Swimming etc.