Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is defined as
age-inappropriate impulsiveness, lack of concentration, and sometimes
excessive physical activity. This condition is associated with learning
difficulties and a lack of social skills. Because there is no laboratory or
physical test that diagnoses ADHD, its diagnosis is based on a clinical
history of symptoms and behavior. Since it is a subjective diagnosis, it
brings up controversy as to whether the behavior is actually normal in many
cases, especially for younger boys. There are three subtypes of ADHD, one
of which mainly involves an attention problem and not a hyperactivity
issue. Between 30 and 40 percent of children with ADHD have learning
disabilities, although in many cases these children are quite bright. ADHD
often goes undiagnosed, if not caught at an early age, and it affects many
adults who may not be aware of their condition.
Many parents instinctively believe that the problem is connected to their
children's diet. They know that children can respond negatively to sugar or
other foods, and they wonder if their child is simply suffering from an
extreme version of this reaction. In most cases, these parents are
absolutely correct. In the last few decades, sugars, preservatives, and
colorings have been added to our food at an increasing rate. Too many
children consume nothing but convenience foods, like hot dogs, fried
chicken fingers, and highly sweetened fruit drinks and sodas. Since
children's small bodies are especially vulnerable to additives in these
foods, it is not surprising that many of them have a toxic response. For
some, the response takes the form of traditional allergies-say, a runny
nose or hives. For others, however, the poisons surface as extreme behavior
Unfortunately, Western doctors have been trained to discount the importance
of diet in hyperactive kids. Instead of nutritional therapy, they will
often suggest medication to suppress the symptoms of ADHD: it is estimated
that more than two million children take drugs like Ritalin on a daily
basis. While medications may be necessary in a few cases, parents should
cultivate a healthy wariness of giving them to their children. The
long-term effects of ADHD medications are not yet well known, and there are
signs that the drugs can retard growth and lead to substance abuse or
emotional problems later in life. Teens who take Ritalin may be tempted to
mix it with alcohol, marijuana, or other recreational drugs, creating a
dangerous brew with unknown consequences. And as with many conventional
prescription drugs, the most compelling argument against ADHD drugs is that
they fail to address the cause of the problem. Without the underlying cause
being treated, children may have to take Ritalin well into their twenties.
There are many underlying reasons why a child may have attention or
behavior problems. Studies show that frequent ear infections and the
regular use of antibiotics, as well as premature birth and family history,
are associated with a greater likelihood of developing this disorder.
Holistically speaking, causative factors include food additives and food
allergies, environmental allergens, and heavy metal toxicity (such as lead,
mercury, and aluminum). A poorly functioning digestive system and increased
intestinal permeability lead to an increase in metabolic toxins that
disrupt brain chemistry. Nutritional deficiencies of essential fatty acids,
B vitamins, magnesium and other minerals, and iron appear to play a role.
Finally, do not underestimate the role of emotional stress and its
relationship to ADHD. The breakdown of the family unit in our culture
places abnormal stresses on a child, which can result in attention and
If your child has ADHD, try the home-care suggestions here for at least a
month and optimally for three months. Some children settle down to a normal
level of activity after just a few days without troublesome foods; others
will need three to four weeks before the toxins are out of their bodies.
Buying and preparing natural foods can be a challenge for busy parents, but
your perseverance will be rewarded with a healthier child and a stronger
family. Nutritional supplements can work extremely well for most children
to correct underlying biochemical imbalances.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; the level
of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements have shown to help ADHD:
Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler,
ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Super Prescription #1
Omega 3, 6 9
- LifeSource Products - See All of our Omega 3 – Fish
Take the dosage as listed on container/bottle. Together
these all work synergistically to help with ADHD.
Super Prescription # 2
Brain Connector & Memory Enhancer
- LifeSource Product This should be taken
as directed on the bottle. It will help focus and other
areas of brain function.
Super Prescription #3
Lecithin / Phosphatidylserine
- LifeSource Product
Take 300 to 500 mg daily for three months. A maintenance
dosage of 100 to 300 mg may be effective for some kids and
adults. Phosphatidylserine is a naturally occurring
substance found in high concentrations in brain cells; it
helps brain cells function properly.
Super Prescription #4
Calcium / Magnesium
– LifeSource Products - See All of our Cal/Mag
Take a combination of these two minerals, at a dosage of
600 mg of calcium and 300 mg of magnesium twice daily.
These two minerals relax the nervous system.
Super Prescription #5
Dophilus Plus – Probiotics
- LifeSource Product
Take a probiotic to maintain good bacteria levels in the
digestive tract. Take as directed on the container.
Super Prescription # 6
Give 100 mg daily for children five years or older. B6 is
involved in the formation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter
that has a calming effect. High doses of this vitamin are
best used under the guidance of a nutrition-oriented
doctor, along with a B-complex for balance.
Super Prescription #7
Multivitamin – High Potency
– LifeSource Products - See All of our Multivitamin
Take as directed on the container. It provides a base of
nutrients required for brain function.
Click Here to See All Products and Info for ADHD
Inability to sit still
Short attention span
Inability to concentrate
Poor coordination and motor skills
Failure to complete age-appropriate tasks
Speech or learning disorders
A diet that's high in sugar and additives
Poor digestion and absorption
Heavy metal poisoning
Melatonin Effective for Treating Insomnia in Children with ADHD. -
Nutritional therapy should be an important component of the treatment of
ADHD. The strategies described here will improve behavior and promote
age-appropriate concentration and stability, and they will also help keep
your child free of many other diet-related disorders.
The best way to ensure that your child eats an additive-free diet is to buy
only fresh foods and prepare them yourself. You don't need to prepare
special meals for your child; instead, feed your entire family a
whole-foods diet. Younger children will usually eat what everyone else is
eating, especially if you can reserve a small portion for them before you
season the meal to the taste of adult palates.
B vitamins are healing to stressed-out nerves. Good sources include brown
rice, brewer's yeast (which you can add to smoothies and yogurt), and leafy
Many children with ADHD suffer from an excess of copper or lead. Food
that's high in vitamin C will encourage the release of these toxins from
the body, so feed your child citrus fruits for dessert.
Iron deficiency is linked to short attention spans and memory problems. If
a blood test finds an iron deficiency, a daily tablespoon of un-sulfured
blackstrap molasses is a naturally sweet way to give your child an adequate
amount of this mineral. Tryptophan encourages the production of serotonin,
a chemical that produces a sense of calm. Incorporate soy products, live
unsweetened yogurt, whole grains, and organic turkey and chicken into meals
and snacks. If your child has trouble sleeping, be sure to include some of
these foods at dinner, and try a snack of turkey or chicken on whole-grain
crackers before bedtime.
Anyone with food sensitivities should drink lots of clean water. Children
over ten years of age should have a glass every two waking hours; children
ten and under should drink half this amount.
Make sure to keep blood-sugar levels balanced by avoid simple sugars and
refined carbohydrates and providing adequate protein with meals (nuts,
legumes, lean poultry, and fish). Also, as much as possible include
vegetables with meals, as they slow down blood sugar release. Eating
smaller, more frequent meals and snacks (every two to three hours) works
well. Make sure that breakfast is not skipped, as it sets the biochemical
balance for the rest of the day.
Regularly serve brain-healthy foods that are rich in essential fatty acids.
Examples include fish (trout, salmon, halibut), nuts (walnuts, almonds),
and ground flaxseeds (1 to 2 teaspoons for children and 1 to 2 tablespoons
Foods to Avoid
If your child suffers from ADHD, it's likely that he or she is allergic to
at least one food product, if not several. Follow an elimination diet and
testing techniques to determine which foods may be causing behavior
problems. You may already suspect that a certain food is a trigger for your
child, and you should target that product right away. You should also
closely examine your child's consumption of the following, all of which are
common allergens: wheat, dairy, corn, chocolate, peanuts, citrus, soy, food
coloring, and preservatives.
Do not feed your child anything with artificial colors, flavors, or
preservatives. This means you'll have to eliminate fast food, as well as
all junk and processed food. If you must buy canned or frozen products,
read the labels carefully. Even items advertised as "all-natural" may
contain small amounts of additives.
Sugar is famous for making children hyper, and, in fact, excess sucrose
often leads to hypoglycemia, a factor in ADHD. Obviously, candy, sodas, and
sweets are out of the question, but so are most store-bought fruit juices,
which usually contain added sugar, and products made with white flour. If
your child has been eating large quantities of refined sugar, you may see a
dramatic difference in his or her behavior within just a few days of
Teenagers may want to try a short juice fast to cleanse their bodies of
toxins and prepare themselves for their new diets. Don't force a teen to
fast, however, as you may set the stage for a future eating disorder. Never
put a child on a fasting program.
For preadolescent children and teens who don't want to go without solid
food, try to increase the number of raw fruits and vegetables in the diet,
so that your child is eating 50 to 75 percent raw foods for several days.
This will help move toxins through the body at an accelerated rate.
Encourage your child to play or exercise outside in the fresh air.
Limit exposure to sedentary, passive activities, like watching
television or playing video games.
Consider buying an air filter to purify your household of environmental
Work with a counselor to help your child with behavior modification and
learning styles. Every child is different and requires an
individualized approach. Emotional counseling may be necessary for
healing, especially in cases of broken families or abuse.
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