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It is amazing to me how traditional so called medical experts continue to treat symptoms and leave the root causes of these symptoms untouched. ADD/ADHD is yet another example of the “lets get a quick fix and disregard the future consequences” attitude. I said it before and I will say it again for the sake of my readers who have not heard it. For EVERYTHING there is a cause and effect. The objective is not to label someone with something like ADD, which is not a clinical disease or illness. Therefore it should not be treated as such. This type of attitude will inevitably cause physical problems that may not show up for years later. I will further explain this issue later on.

Experts' opinions differ as to what ADD actually is, and this causes even more even more grief and confusion for parents and those suffering with the symptoms. For example, the American Psychiatric Association lists fourteen signs, of which at least eight must be present for a child to be officially classified as ADD/ADHD. These fourteen signs are:

1. Often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated.
2. Having difficulty remaining seated when required to do so.
3. Being easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
4. Having difficulty awaiting turn in gams or group activities.
5. Often blurting out answers before questions are completed.
6. Having difficulty in following instructions.
7. Having difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
8. Often shifting from one uncompleted task to another.
9. Having difficulty playing quietly.
10. Often talking excessively.
11. Often interrupting or intruding on others.
12. Often not listening to what is being said.
13. Often forgetting things necessary for tasks or activities.
14. Often engaging in physically dangerous activities without considering possible consequences. (16)

Having read that, consider the physicians' dilemma: "Official guidelines for evaluating ADD symptoms are vague and open to interpretation - yet they lead to an all-or-nothing diagnosis. In all the behaviors listed by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association) under ADD, the word is often used to describe behavior that has become a problem. How useful is this?" (21)

Similarly, one specialist writes: "ADD is hard to define exactly... Untreated, [however,] it leaves millions of children and adults misunderstood and unnecessarily floundering, even incapacitated." (17)

ADD (and ADHD) ranks among the most common neurological disorders among American children, affecting up to 5 percent, or as many as 2 million, at any one time. In fact, in every classroom in the United States you can expect to find at least one child with ADHD. While it is not itself a specific learning disability, ADHD can interfere with concentration and attention, making it difficult for a child to do well in school and in social situations. (5)

ADD/ADHD is a baffling and frustrating disorder due to the fact that experts do not agree on its exact cause or causes. There are many theories and much debate.

Both the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference (1998) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (2000) report on ADHD have confirmed that there is no known biological basis for ADHD. (14, 15, 12)

One prominent neurologist stated: "The more you study hyperactivity or ADD, the less certain you are as to what it is, or whether it is a thousand different situations all called by the same name." (10)

"There is no identified cause specific to ADD... We are left with the possibility that ADD may be a catch-all condition." (21)

"The exact mechanism underlying ADD remains unknown." (17)

"The position that ADHD is not a proven syndrome has many advocates, physicians as well as educators. However, whether or not a syndrome exists, it is clear that many children have difficulty in school because of an inability to attend to tasks. The ideal would be to describe each child's strengths and weaknesses and offer an individualized program." (18)

"The cause of ADD and ADHD is not known, but structural abnormalities have been ruled out. The leading suspect appears to be problems with neurotransmitters, possibly associated with decreased activity or stimulation in the upper brainstem and frontal midbrain. There is also suspicion that toxins, environmental problems, or neurologic immaturity could be causative factors." (16)

Though many experts do not agree on the cause of the condition, the mainstay of conventional treatment of ADD/ADHD is medication; usually stimulant medication such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), Desoxyn (methamphetamine) or Cylert (pemoline). When stimulants are not effective, children may be given tricyclic antidepressants. (22) It's no wonder that millions of parents across the United States are overwhelmed and feeling trapped within a very bad situation: Not only have their children been diagnosed as having ADD/ADHD, but the prescribed treatment usually consists of powerful stimulant drugs.

How the Medications Work

Hundreds of animal studies and human clinical trials leave no doubt about how the medications work. First, the drugs suppress all spontaneous behavior. In healthy chimpanzees and other animals, this can be measured with precision as a reduction in all spontaneous or self-generated activities. In animals and in humans, this is manifested in a reduction in the following behaviors: (1) exploration and curiosity; (2) socializing, and (3) playing. Second, the drugs increase obsessive-compulsive behaviors, including very limited, overly focused activities. (12)

Harmful Stimulant Effects Commonly Misidentified as ‘Therapeutic’ or ‘Beneficial’ for Children Diagnosed with ADHD. (13)

Obsessive Compulsive Effects

Social Withdrawal Effects

Behaviorally Suppressive Effects

- Compulsive persistence at meaningless activities (called stereotypical or perseverative behavior)
- Increased obsessive compulsive behavior (e.g., repeating chores endlessly and ineffectively)
- Mental rigidity (called cognitive perseveration)
- Inflexible thinking
- Overly narrow or excessive focusing

- Socially withdrawn and isolated
- General dampened social behavior
- Reduced communicating or socializing
- Decreased responsiveness to parents and other children
- Increased solitary play and diminished overall play

- Compliant in structured environments; socially inhibited, passive and submissive
- Sombre, subdued, apathetic, lethargic, drowsy, dopey, dazed, and tired
- Bland , emotionally flat, humorless, not smiling, depressed, and sad with frequent crying
- Lacking in initiative or spontaneity, curiosity, surprise or pleasure

What Are Some of These Drugs' Side Effects?

Several authorities report that the long-term consequences of stimulant drug use could be devastating. Equally disturbing is that for many children and adults these commonly prescribed drugs often do not work very well. More on that in a moment.

Several short-term effects could be the "Ritalin rebound," loss of appetite and resulting weight loss, insomnia, headaches, stomachaches, drowsiness, potential liver damage, facial tics, and a "sense of sadness," to mention just a few.

Consider these well-known downsides of Ritalin:

Ritalin is derived from the same family as cocaine
Ritalin lasts only four hours
Ritalin treats only some of the symptoms of ADD
Ritalin provides superficial healing, does not treat the root of the problem
Ritalin can cause side effects such as appetite loss, anxiety, insomnia, tics, headaches, stomach aches
Ritalin use is responsible for causing children to begin a habit of taking drugs
Ritalin may need to be taken over entire life span (22)

All stimulant drugs impair growth not only by suppressing appetite but also by disrupting growth hormone production. This poses a threat to every organ of the body, including the brain, during the child's growth. The disruption of neurotransmitter systems adds to this threat. Studies of amphetamine show that short-term clinical doses produce brain cell death. Similar studies of methylphenidate show long-lasting and sometimes permanent changes in the biochemistry of the brain. (12)

These drugs also endanger the cardiovascular system and commonly produce many adverse mental effects, including depression. Too often stimulants often become gateway drugs to additional psychiatric medications. Stimulant-induced over-stimulation, for example, is often treated with addictive or dangerous sedatives, while stimulant-induced depression is often treated with dangerous, unapproved antidepressants. As the child's emotional control breaks down due to medication effects, mood stabilizers may be added. Eventually, these children end up on four or five psychiatric drugs at once and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder by the age of eight or ten. (12)

It is important to note that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and all other drug enforcement agencies worldwide, classify methylphenidate (the generic name for Ritalin) and amphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall) in the same Schedule II category as methamphetamine, cocaine, and the most potent opiates and barbiturates. Schedule II includes only those drugs with the very highest potential for addiction and abuse. (11, 12)

OK, so here are my conclusions

 We can plainly see the dilemma which is caused by drug use. I did not even get into the anti-synergetic aspects of using un-natural substances. We must treat the body as a whole entity. Look at it as if you were a car; if the engine was making noise would you throw a large blanket over it and close the hood? NO! it would cause an array of other problems, while it may minimize the noise at first.

 Two thousand five hundred years ago, Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine," said to his students, "Let they food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." Moses Maimonides, the great 12th century physician, repeated the Hippocratic sentiment when he said, "No illness which can be treated by diet should be treated by any other means." In essence, Hippocrates and Maimondides were insisting that their students practice nutrient therapy.

 "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Genesis 1:29

  "... and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

Genesis 1:29

 I believe with all my heart that God knew what He was doing when He told us that He gave us plants for healing. Why do we try to change His gifts to us?

 Below is what I have found through my studies in this area to have produced the best results. Of course, your daily prayers, combined with not losing faith and hope is of utmost importance…

 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2)

 Top research institutions worldwide now understand that there is a two-way chemical dialog between the brain and the immune system. Each can influence the other directly. There is an ongoing chemical dialog between the brain and the immune system, a connection that depends on two languages: the neurotransmitters of the brain, and the immunotransmitters of the immune system. Therefore it is proper to say that by treating the brain we are most always treating the root of most any problem. Suffice to say that if it is an allergy, hormone or chemical imbalance, or what ever the diagnosis, something is telling the gland to produce less/more, telling the blood to react in an allergic manner, etc. By treating the brain with all the nutrients it needs, its amazing power will go to work. Studies show that 99.999% of all brain cells are under nourished, which causes a multitude of challenges for the rest of the body.

 The following foods, alternatives & supplements are the ones I have seen work drastically in many cases. (in order)

 Distilled water. That’s right, good old fashioned water. If you read my article on dehydration you will see the amazing facts concerning water, and a lack thereof. I believe this factor to be second only to essential oils. Many people do not want to go to a doctor and have them say : “go home and drink 8-10 glasses of pure distilled water a day” so we go to get a prescription instead of a cure; do not discredit the body’s need for water (coffee, fruit juices and drinks, etc. can not replace water).

 Essential oils and fats. Our brain is made of them! We are talking about all the essential fats that we eliminate from today’s diet. There are no such things as essential sugars, essential carbohydrates or otherwise but there are essential fats. These are recognizable "good" fats required by the body. These fats are essential and necessary, as your body cannot produce them naturally. The need to be derived from a natural food source or supplement. They are derived from two families of fatty acids called Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. EFA’s are required by the body in order to produce of a group of hormones. These hormone-like chemicals are called prostaglandin’s. Prostaglandin’s are essential for the entire body’s functioning from the smallest capillaries to largest vital organs. Good Fats include: Olive oil, fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose and borage oil. These fats are essential nutrients, they are necessary for health and well being of our minds and bodies.

The "B" Vitamins. Specific nutrient deficiencies will produce specific deficiency symptoms, some of which are familiar as symptoms of hyperactivity and learning disorders. A deficiency of thiamin (vitamin B-1), for example, may produce irritability, nervousness and even increased sensitivity to noise. (35) B vitamins are an important requirement of the brain's diet as they help form neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers of the nervous system. Pyridoxal phosphate, a B-6 member, is pivotal in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). Thirty-five years ago a proprietary infant formula, in which Vitamin B-6 was inadvertently destroyed during sterilization, caused widespread seizures in infants. The newborns were cured with a B-6 supplement and this dramatically establishes the impact that B vitamins have on the nervous system. (32) Some neurological childhood conditions appear to be connected to B vitamins. A study conducted at Saint Joseph Hospital in Pennsylvania found low serotonin levels in hyperactive children. The researchers gave some of the subjects B-6, and observed the neurotransmitter, serotonin, rise appreciably. (19) Autism, also called infantile psychosis, has also been treated with B-6. (31)

Vitamin C. Need I say more? Its antioxidant and healthy properties are endless.

Zinc. Now, as scientists continue to map out the various ways in which zinc is needed by your body, a number of studies are pointing to an association between zinc deficiency and ADHD. One such 1996 study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, revealed a statistically significant correlation between zinc and fatty acids, in that both were decreased in children with ADHD. In another study, this one conducted at Ohio State University, investigators found a relationship between zinc deficiency and response to stimulant therapy among people with ADHD. (Stimulants such as Ritalin are commonly used to treat children with ADHD.) Basically, this study showed that children diagnosed with ADHD may be zinc deficient, and that this deficiency may result in their poor response to stimulant therapy. (5)

Pycnogenol®, It is an approach that is totally safe to use, employing a 100% non-toxic and natural -- and powerfully effective -- nutritional method. It involves the use of an antioxidant nutritional compound from France that has produced stunning health results across Europe for over a decade, and that many progressive doctors are now beginning to recommend here in the United States and Canada. This compound is a patented extract from the bark of the French Maritime Pine Tree (U.S. Patent Number 4,698,360). In an easy to swallow tablet form, has been hailed by researchers as the most potent, natural antioxidant compound ever discovered. This patented compound is not a drug and is now readily available in the U.S. without a prescription. Moreover, it is far less costly than traditional drug therapy. It is as safe to use vitamin C. However, as an antioxidant supplement, it is actually 20 times more powerful than vitamin C, and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E. This company seemed to have the best prices I found VitaCost.

Phosphatidyl serine (PS) is a natural extract of lecithin and it has been the subject many human clinical trials of memory loss, mood, cognitive performance and learning ability. Many of the studies show that PS can optimize cognition. In the most famous human study, researchers gave 300 mg of PS a day for 12 weeks to 149 subjects over 50. Various memory and learning tests were administered before and after. The results showed that PS managed to raise cognitive performance to the levels typical for as much as 12 years younger. (28) Phosphatidyl serine is a phospholipid that is vital to brain cell structure and function. Phospholipids are molecules with an amino acid component and a fatty acid component which are found in every cell membrane in our bodies. Phosphatidyl serine plays an important role in our neurotransmitter systems, metabolism levels of the brain, and maintaining nerve connections in the brain. PS appears to helps reestablish the normal down-regulation of cortisol secretion that is increased in chronically stressed individuals. It's benefit in dementia and depression may relate to improved brain cell membrane fluidity. In the clinical studies, PS (100 mg three times daily) has also been shown to improve the mood and mental function in patients with Parkinson's disease, but exerts no beneficial effects on muscle control. (28, 29)

While this list is not thought to be exhaustive, it is as accurate as can be. There are many products being marketed today specifically for ADD/ADHD which may be tried in addition to boosting the brains and body’s own ability. You may search these out on your own.

Here are a few suggestions

·        Maintain eye contact during verbal instruction.

·        Make directions clear and concise.

·        Be consistent with daily instructions.

·        Simplify complex directions.

·        Avoid multiple commands. Give out only one task at a time.

·        Make sure they understand the instructions before beginning a task.

·        Monitor frequently and maintain a supportive attitude.

·        Repeat instructions in a calm, positive manner.

·        Modify assignments as needed.

·        Develop an individualized education program (IEP) with your child's school. Set up an appropriate study space at home for your child to do homework and study.

·        Keep in mind that children with ADD/ADHD are easily frustrated. Stress, pressure, and fatigue can break down their self control and lead to poor behavior.

·        Give them extra time for certain tasks and avoid distracting stimuli, such as a radio or television on in the back ground.

·        Children with ADHD must receive consequences immediately or they will not remember why they are being punished.

·        Clean up your child's diet! Remove or reduce the intake of refined white sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, preservatives, caffeine and phosphates. The Feingold diet is a great resource.

Back to previous article

Please let’s not forget the Godly aspects of health. Be patient with the child as not to at any time break his/her spirit (there are many books written on dealing with ADD/ADHD). Please feel free to contact us for additional information regarding this subject.

Anthony Reinglas

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