Unraveling ADHD & the Gut Connection

Unraveling ADHD & the Gut Connection

Making my way home to the root.

At the age of 16 I was told I had one of the worst cases of ADHD my psychiatrist had ever seen. 

I was left with the question of why? What caused my ADHD?

For over a decade I navigated my condition unmedicated just getting by until I learned the significant connection between my gut and my ADHD.

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When I was 16 I remember one of my best friends coming to school telling me she had just been diagnosed with ADHD. It was shortly after we were in a car accident. She was driving, and like always, she completely lost her focus. We rear ended a firetruck of all things and every single one of us ended up in the hospital. This friend of mine? We were two peas in a pod. I had never known anyone so similar to myself and while I had never heard of this diagnosis before, I instantly knew I had it. All the quirky things that made the two of us so different from our other friends. Abundant energy, either difficulty focusing or hyper fixation, so easily distracted and an inability to finish anything. The constant need to be moving, the making of big decisions on a whim, zero time management and wildly fluctuating emotions. My friend's diagnosis led me to my own clinical evaluation. This was the first time in my life where I was basically told that something was wrong with me and the only way to fix it was to medicate. 

Maybe you are listening because you have ADHD, maybe your child does? Maybe you just want to learn about it “just in case” because you are aware of how significant the rise in ADHD diagnosis is. Either way, I want to continue telling you my story because it leads to what I learned and what you need to know. 

I was told I had one of the worst cases of ADHD my psychiatrist had ever seen. But that it had probably gone undetected my whole life because it is more common in boys. I left feeling so confused. Had I always been that way? 

I am going to circle back around to my answer on this in a minute but first I want to talk about how like so many, I was prescribed Adderall and sent on my way. Just like that. At 16 years old I was handed a stimulant drug. One that compares so insanely close to methamphetamine. I took one pill and instead of experiencing the “regulated calm” I was told I would, I became even more fidgety and felt like I needed to run away from myself. So I did. I ran 15 miles that night. I couldn’t stop. My body was shaking, I was dizzy and didn’t sleep for two days. I had never felt so out of control, scared or helpless in my life. I never touched Adderall again. 

I learned a really valuable lesson at my young age. That the system doesn’t really care about me. No child should ever be prescribed a medication like I had been. No one paused to consider why I had ADHD or if there was a way to heal my body. I was simply treated and unsafely sent on my way. 

I learned how to get by without medicating. Years went by and to be honest, my ADHD was so bad that most of the time I forgot I even had it. I got married, had my first child and fell asleep every single night so defeated because I felt like I was missing all of it. The voice in my head was so damn loud that I was in a constant state of overwhelm. Throw in postpartum hormones, and a colicky second child who screamed for hours on end and I nearly lost myself completely.

If you haven’t listened to the episode on colic go back and give it a listen. Even if your child is older and doesn’t have it any more. Because you will learn that his colic eventually led me to learn something that changed my life in ways I could have never fathomed. 

My child’s colic was caused by a gut bacteria imbalance. An imbalance that I unknowingly had lived with for over 12 years and unfortunately passed onto him when he passed through my birth canal. 

When healing my son my naturopath advised that I rebalance my gut at the same time. Something happened that I never expected. 

But first, are you hearing the generational root cause overlooked by our medical system? Remember when I was 16 and diagnosed with ADHD? I asked myself if I had always been so extremely hyper deficit and hyper active? No. The answer is that I had not always been that way. I was a straight A student all through elementary and middle school. Something changed but I never connected to dots until this experience with my son. At 15 I was put on birth control to “regulate” my hormones. And as it turns out, birth control is very disruptive to your microbiome. 

So what happened when I rebalanced my gut? My mind was suddenly quiet for the first time in over a decade. I could sit and be present in the moment. A gift that so many take for granted that I literally hadn’t had access to for nearly half my life. I was able to pursue dreams, big ideas and actually follow through. This podcast, my business ōNLē ORGANICS, they are products of me healing my gut. 

I can hear your mind spinning. How? Is ADHD curable then? Let’s explore all of this.  

To comprehend the connection between ADHD and gut health, it's important to understand the gut-brain axis. This is a bidirectional communication pathway between your gastrointestinal tract and your brain. Your gut houses trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms collectively known as the gut microbiome. And in addition to my own personal experience, there are several recent studies indicating that alterations in your microbiome influence your brain function and behavior, impacting conditions like ADHD.

Research has shown that people with ADHD often have differences in their gut microbiome compared to those without the condition.

But how does the gut microbiome affect the actual symptoms of ADHD? Well, microbiome imbalances trigger an inflammatory response, leading to changes in neurotransmitter levels and neural pathways involved in attention, impulse control, hyperactivity, mood and cognition.

I am not an expert in ADHD. I have not cured my own. But my son's microbiome journey led me on my own path of discovery. One where I now find myself more calm, content, focused and happier than I have ever felt. I have learned how to embrace my symptoms and the importance of nurturing my gut health every single day. 

For those of you wondering exactly how I healed my gut, I will link my Women’s and Children’s Gut Rebalance Kits below. When you purchase this kit you will get free access to my course, The Essentials of Gut Health where you will learn all about the food side of healing the gut. Beyond rebalancing, I take a small dose of Cleanse, Nourish and Balance CBD every single day. Again, I will link all of this in the show notes. 

Please spend time educating yourself further. Don’t make any changes in your or your child’s medications on behalf of this episode. I am simply sharing my experience to empower you. YOU be the brave and courageous leader of your family’s health and happiness. I believe in you!

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