ADHD is a disease where control or rather lack of
it is key. Feeling overwhelmed by your own brain
is hugely disconcerting and bingeing can lead to
temporary calm that can quickly become addictive.
Soon bingeing turns into an eating disorder and
becomes a devastating symptom of the underlying
condition. ADHD sufferers classically struggle for
self-control so knowing when to pull the plug on
an eating session can be almost impossible.
The link between ADHD and food isn't just
a logical connection, it's supported by clear clinical
and research evidence.
A 2007 study of 99 severely obese teenagers
found a strong link between Bulimia and ADHD.
It suggested that screening for ADHD in obese
teenagers with bulimia would be a sensible
diagnostic tool when treating disordered eating.
Similarly, a study of 150 obese women in
2016 founds an ADHD rate of over 28%. ADHD was
also linked to binge eating, depression and bulimic
behaviours. Dr John Fleming who has conducted
similar studies on patients suffering from obesity
and disordered eating has found a comparative rate
of around 30% undiagnosed ADHD in such groups.
This cycle of destructive behaviour has
devastating consequences for sufferers, many of
whom have never received any diagnosis for ADHD
so cannot possibly fully understand the drivers
behind their destructive relationship with food.
A ray of hope may come from the visibility
of these eating disorders which act as a red flag for
medical professionals. By screening for and treating
the underlying ADHD patients can receive relief
from both weight and food related problems as
well as symptoms that form the underlying ADHD.
ADHD short for:
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder