The Nutrition-Behavior Connection Your child’s diet may be affecting how he acts—and could lead to diagnoses like ADHD. Find out how to help him get the nutrients he needs.

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“Starting at about age 3, Jameson had a lot of irritability and aggression,” says Elizabeth Lohner, of her now 7-year-old son. “He had a hard time interacting with others, and his energy level was so high that he had problems focusing and listening to directions,” she remembers. “It felt as though we couldn’t have a family dinner without Jameson throwing something; and practically every day I got called by his school because he would have a problem. It got so bad that I decided to pull him out of preschool.”

That wasn’t all. Since Jameson was a baby, he would have inexplicable fainting spells several times a month—and occasionally these episodes would lead to seizures. When Jameson was a year old, a particularly bad seizure landed him in the hospital. After a round of extensive tests, doctors were no closer to a diagnosis. “Jameson did not have epilepsy, heart problems, or brain problems, so all the neurologist could do was give us a gel form of valium to pull Jameson out of the seizures,” says Lohner.

By the time Jameson was about 4 1/2 years old, the Lohners, who have five sons and live in Flower Mound, Texas, were at their wit’s end. “We, as a family, could not live like that anymore. We were desperate,” says Lohner. They sought help from a pediatrician who specializes in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). That doctor diagnosed Jameson with ADHD, depression, and anxiety, and prescribed medication. “We tried drugs such as Focalin and Ritalin for ADHD, and other medications for anxiety. We tried eight different medications in total—each for the allotted time—and none of them worked, but they all had crazy side effects, making him either more agitated and aggressive or more emotional,” notes Lohner.

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