ADHD & ADD

I'm frequently asked about ADHD, ADD and what can be done about it naturally.

Something can be done about it without having to put our children on drugs.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is being diagnosed in up to a staggering 20% of school children. The three common issues identified are impulsiveness, being easily distracted and hyperactivity. Other key features are a child that is emotional changeability, lack of good co-ordination, short attention span, lack of organizing, perceptual motor impairment, among other things. Because there has been no definitive test for the condition, many feel it is highly over diagnosed, with dozens of completely different childhood problems lumped together under this "convenient" heading.

Underlying Cause

For many children there is an overwhelming environmental factor at play, such as dietary toxins, food additives and drugs, coupled with poor nutrition which provides little protection for the sensitive systems in the body, such as the nervous, immune and hormonal systems. Teaching methods and stresses at home can also be contributing factors.

It is worth noting too that learning disability, minimal brain dysfunction and hyperactivity have been shown to be associated with food allergies. Prenatal nutrition and toxicity also have very real affects on fetal development.

75% of children with ADHD have been shown to have blood sugar abnormalities, and this is a key area. Meanwhile, Nutrasweet and Aspartame (found in many soft drinks) are both associated with neurological side-effects.

Grape seed extract is known to help ADHD because it neutralizes many of these dangerous free radicals, and there are other natural remedies that can be specifically applied also.

Medications

A million and a half children are now taking Ritalin - a form of "Speed". Though this "works" for several hours in 60-75% of children the side effects can include such things as a loss of several inches in height, poor appetite, insomnia, tics and personality changes, as well as other side effects. In spite of using Ritalin, the condition for two thirds of childhood ADHD sufferers persists into adulthood, so the condition is not be cured in these people. The toxic effect of drugs is another issue that shouldn't be forgotten.

The use of Ritalin has raised concern in the medical and legal professions. Here is a quote from Health and Nursing Issues:

"A NSW Judge had slammed doctors for creating a generation of Ritalin kids now committing violent crimes and coming before courts. Judge Paul Conlon said ADHD was the most over-diagnosed condition in the community, with "naughty kids whacked" on to drugs like the powerful stimulant Ritalin. Judge Conlon said he was worried because the effect on the mental health of children who were given powerful drugs they didn't need was unknown..."

The amount of Ritalin being prescribed is rising. In 1992 there were 11,114 prescriptions in Australia, as compared to 264,000 in 1996. There are many reasons why a child might be displaying behavioral or educational problems and rather than drugging, the real cause should be identified and addressed, such as nutritional deficiencies, blood sugar imbalances, lack of exercise.

Natural Therapy

To treat behavioral problems, including ADHD, both lifestyle changes and nutritional therapy is normally recommended, as follows:-

Diet

Eliminate foods with artificial colours and flavourings. This will involve a lot of label reading and the best solution is to have a diet of fresh, unprocessed whole foods, with no junk or tinned foods.

Eliminate sugar and sugar-added foods, e.g. lollies, chocolates, cakes etc. Sugar provides no nutritional benefit at all and requires a lot of other nutrients to process it. You can substitute with dried fruits or plain fruit.

Supplement the Diet

A well balanced diet rich in nutrients is essential for brain development, particularly in young children. In fact, many children with nutrient deficiencies have significant cognitive and behavioural problems. The body requires extra nutritional tools and equipment to heal and rebalance and I recommend children supplement with specific minerals and take a homeopathic complex, Bio AI, to treat ADHD symptoms and rebalance the body. These have shown to greatly improve the symptoms.

Exercise

This is important and should be undertaken daily to burn up energy, stimulate and get fresh air. Children who are inside watching TV and playing computer games for long periods of time and not exercising are much more likely to be restless and have behavioural problems.

If you or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD please contact me if you would like further advice or recommendations.

Best wishes,

Nick Dale
Naturopath
Tel: 9397 9124
Mobile: 0412 596789

I am available at the Galleria from Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am - 5pm and late night shopping on Thursday's. Come by and see me and give me an update on how you are going when you can.



 

 


 

Nick Dale, Naturopath Perth and surrounding areas
4 Collier Road, Morley, WA 6062
Tel: (08) 9397 9124, Mobile: 0412 596789, nd@perth-naturopath.com

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