Friday, March 1, 2013

Allergies and ADHD behaviors ....

Yesterday one of our psychiatric care team members initiated a fascinating discussion at an ADHD medication check.  For two of our kiddos I have always described their behavior when exposed to allergens as 'very ADHD.'  They become distracted, inattentive, impulsive and generally ADHD to an extreme when their allergies are triggered.

Which seemed like a logical explanation of what I was seeing.....unfortunately, over time, several of our professionals took me to task on this description and almost convinced me that I was wrong.

Until yesterday when our new team member said "do you know about the ADHD/allergy connection? Often times allergies exasperate elevate ADHD behaviors..."

I'm not totally crazy.  It is what several of my kiddos do when they run into that pine tree, cat, mosquito swarm or other trigger.  They go over the top with their ADHD behaviors.

The kid set I am considering are biologically related, have a similar ADHD diagnosis and react strongly to particular allergens with skin testing.  She strongly encouraged us to try adding in Tagamet (the OTC stomach acid reducer...and histamine blocker) into their allergy control plan when things get bad in the summer. I had heard of it before through other moms for the allergy side ....but never thought as an aid in managing the ADHD behavior escalating side of them.

Sometimes I'm a little slow connecting the dots - but the next time I am at Target I have Tagamet on my list.


Learning Together at Home said...


I first heard of this when my first / were small. Lisa Welchel wrote a homeschooling book and also a book called "Creative Correction" (not my favourite books but...) and she mentions this about one of her kids. Reading her story made the lightbulb click for me. Removing the allergens or medicating for them definitely eased additional flare ups as far as reactive ADHD symptoms. It didn't prevent the ADHD but eased the intensity during periods of high allergen exposure.

You aren't crazy! :)

Char said...

My son has both ADHD and pretty severe environmental/seasonal allergies. The allergist recently recommended he take allegra because it is less likely to have behavioral side effects than other allergy meds. I'd love to hear more about the recommendation to use tagamet as opposed to an "allergy" medication.