The cause of this extreme overactivity depends on many factors, ranging from problems at birth, slow language learning, clumsiness and behavioural difficulties. Parents often think hyperactivity stems from something in the diet. This is frequently misleading as they miss other avenues of help.
Food allergies causing hyperactivity are rare. Special diets only help a few but the results are dramatic and are usually seen in children who are exhibiting other symptoms of allergy, such as wheezing and rashes. Doctors tend to under-diagnose these problems.
All over-active children need psychiatric and educational assessment and parents need counselling and advice on how to manage the tricky problem. Paradoxically, stimulant drugs - which you'd expect to make things worse - sometimes bring an improvement.
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.