How is Autism Related to Concentration and Attention Difficulties?
The link between autism and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is well known. But what causes it? There are several reasons for the increasing number of Israeli children diagnosed with autism and ADHD.
Despite the much-discussed genetic causes, environmental factors can contribute to the development or worsening of symptoms in children living with autism and ADHD. We’ll take a closer look at them in this article.
Food Supplements Disrupting Concentration and Attention
The following supplements may be a factor in poor concentration and attention:
- E11 (sodium benzoate) can lead to hyperactivity and is typically found in soft drinks
- E122 (azorubin) is a synthetic food coloring in certain heated sweets and sugars
- E102 (tartrazine) is a food coloring used in sweetened concentrates and beverages; It can trigger negative reactions in people with asthma, as well as contributing to behavioral difficulties or sleep issues
- E124 (cochinyl) is found in canned fruits and sweets
Children with autism or ADHD should avoid all of these. White sugar and simple carbs should be avoided, too, which can disrupt serotonin and adrenaline — causing hyperactivity/concentration loss.
Other Potential Causes
The following factors can contribute to problems with concentration and attention:
- An inability to break proteins down into gluten or casein, leading to the formation of gluteomorphins or casomorphins, both of which can hurt brain function
- The build-up of dangerous fungi throughout the child’s digestive system, releasing toxins that affect the nervous system
- Exposure to toxic mold on a long-term basis
- Iron, zinc, selenium, and magnesium deficiency
Iron deficiency plays an incredibly important role in attention and concentration problems in children diagnosed with autism. An iron deficiency can lead to microcytic anemia, and the related disruption to hemoglobin production will lead to memory issues, irritability, and even fatigue.
But what causes an iron deficiency?
Common Reasons for Iron Deficiency
The following can cause iron deficiencies:
- Adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet without sourcing iron from elsewhere, such as supplements or green vegetables
- GI disorders, such as celiac disease or severe diarrhea
- Accelerated growth may cause an increase in the body’s usage of iron, leading to a shortage that must be addressed
- A syndrome is known as leaky gut, which interferes with the body’s ability to absorb iron or other vitamins
How can You Identify an Iron Deficiency?
A serum blood test can be used to examine the body’s ferritin (iron stores) levels, transferrin protein, and iron. In cases of iron deficiency, tiny and pale blood cells will be discovered.
Iron absorption can be enhanced in the following ways:
- Consuming vitamin C while taking iron to stop it from being oxidized in the gut
- Consuming vitamin A can improve the absorption of iron
- Avoid calcium for two hours before and after consuming iron, as it disrupts the body’s ability to absorb iron
- Avoid too much zinc, as excessive amounts can stop the body from absorbing iron
- Avoid excess fat, which can decrease iron absorption
- Avoid too much fiber in diets, which can slow iron absorption down
Follow the above advice to minimize the worsening of symptoms related to attention and concentration in children with autism or ADHD. Behavior, rest, and academic performance may all improve over time.
Legal clarification – the statements herein are intended to expand personal knowledge and general understanding only. The foregoing is not to be considered an alternative to medical consultation and/or medication and/or treatment performed by a caregiver and/or physician, or constitute a recommendation for individual care in any way.