Neurotransmitters and the Gut
03 / 19 / 18

ADD and ADHD in Children: Neurotransmitters and the Gut

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) more than 11% of children have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). That is more than 6 million children between the ages of 4-17. From 2007 to 2011 the number of children with ADHD more than doubled in the United StatesHow Are Bioidentical Hormones Different than Traditional Hormones?

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is caused by neurological rather than parental, social, or emotional causes. ADHD is caused by a brain chemistry problem, not brain damage. The chemicals in the brain are called neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters serve various functions in the brain that have been linked to depression, anxiety, lack of concentration, ADHD, and many other issues. There are 5 different neurotransmitters each having a different function: dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and GABA. Neurotransmitters are used by the brain to stimulate or repress stimulation in brain cells. To pay proper attention, the brain must be adequately stimulated. To have proper control of our impulses, areas of the brain must be adequately controlled, repressed, or slowed down. In ADHD children, both systems of stimulation and repression are not working correctly. Low dopamine and norepinephrine are the two neurotransmitters that tend to be off-balance in children with ADHD. A lack of concentration can be a sign of low epinephrine.

Precursors to low neurotransmitters are vitamins. Who knew that simple vitamins can lead to low levels of neurotransmitters that can lead to ADHD. Low levels of vitamin D, vitamin C, B3, Iron, vitamin C can all lead to low levels of dopamine. Dopamine is the precursor neurotransmitter to norepinephrine. When this is off-balance this then will lead to low norepinephrine. Other precursors to low neurotransmitters are amino acids.

The gut and the brain are also interconnected. Have you heard of the gut-brain connection? Or that the gut is our second brain? That is because when the gut is imbalanced it can lead to many problems from brain chemistries being out of balance to even skin conditions. So the saying you are what you eat is certainly true.

We need to make sure the gut microbiome is healthy and teeming with a diversity of friendly flora which may have a big impact on the chemical balance in children’s brains, along with their overall health and development. The bacteria in the gut can communicate with the brain directly. They do this by sending messages via the vagus nerve, which runs from our brainstem all the way to our abdomen. Gut microbes are crucial for the creation and regulation of neurotransmitters needed by the brain to produce healthy signals throughout the body—the same neurotransmitters that drugs like Ritalin are designed to increase in ADHD children. That’s why healthy gut flora is important for so many functions in the body, including optimal mental and emotional function (the creation of neurotransmitters and proper chemical balance in the brain), which is crucial for children with ADHD.

There are so many things that can wipe out the good microbiome in the gut. Things such as; foods with preservatives, sugary foods, environmental toxins, processed foods, certain medications, overuse of antibiotics (even from years past), over-sanitizing, not being breastfed, vaginal and caesarian births (I guess everyone could have a disruption from the beginning!).

But since many factors in our modern environment can negatively affect the microbiome, one of the best ways to ensure our kids are continually exposed to strong probiotic colonies is through high-quality probiotic supplements.

By increasing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and adding probiotics with supplementation your child may be able to combat the signs of ADHD. We need to balance those neurotransmitters inside their brain and balance their gut flora so that way they have a better time functioning at school, home, social events, etc.

At TM360 MedSpa we actually have a neurotransmitter test that can check to see which supplementation is right for your child. We also have top of the line supplementation that you won’t find in your local pharmacy and health food chain. Another product that we have is frequency waters. The one that we have patients on for anxiety or ADHD is called Relax. This has also been beneficial for many of our patients.

So if you have a child that suffers from anxiety, depression, ADHD, lack of concentration; contact us, we’d love to meet you and help you and your child to function better.