Monday, December 1, 2008

The Truth About ADHD, ADD, and Hyperactivity

Have you or has your child been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD? If so, prescription medications may have been prescribed to reduce symptoms for this disorder. There are other options available, as well as causes for ADHD and ADD which may not have been addressed by your health care practitioner. Children who have these disorders are often labeled as "problem" or difficult children with behavior problems. Many children with these issues become left behind in school and may be singled out frequently as disrupting classroom activities.

Medications prescribed to help children with attention deficit disorders do not solve the real cause of the disorder, but holistic health care practitioners such as chiropractors and naturopaths use alternative methods to deal with children or adults who exhibit symptoms of ADHD, ADD, and related problems. We are just now beginning to understand the connection between the foods we eat and the toxins in our environment on our health. Holistic practitioners help patients look for causes and eliminate those culprits in order to set health back on track. Some simple changes can be made which show dramatic improvement in symptoms of ADHD, patience and attention issues, and hyperactivity.

Chiropractic neurologists have seen success in treating ADHD and learning disabilities with proper brain stimulation techniques. The other important change recommended includes alterations in nutrition and lifestyle that can have a noticeable affect on or prevention of biochemical imbalances responsible for ADHD or ADD symptoms. If you are a parent with a child that has ADHD or a similar syndrome, consider the following:
  • Eliminate processed foods from your child's diet as they often contain refined sugars, dyes, preservatives, and chemicals which contribute to behavior issues.
  • Purchase organic foods whenever possible and look for foods with with as few pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals as possible.
  • Determine if there is an allergy—usually starting with dairy and gluten and try elimination diets.
  • As much as possible, eliminate chemicals in your home - plastics, sprays, air fresheners, antibacteria soaps, petroleum-based cleaners and detergents such as dish soaps and laundry detergents, pesticide sprays.
  • Avoid medications -- prescription and over-the-counter, nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs in pregnancy that may harm the fetus.
  • During pregnancy, seek regular relaxation activities. Job-related and personal stress may affect the health of your unborn baby's health adversely.
  • Avoid feeding your baby formula and breastfeed. During the first months and years of a child's life development of the body and brain are at a critical point. Pay close attention to your diet if you are breastfeeding and focus on non-processed foods with whole, organic dairy products, grass-fed meats, raw nuts, organic produce, and few refined grains.
  • Make certain your child receives adequate doses of essential fatty acids in his or her diet daily. This includes Omega 3's found in foods such as fish or good quality fish oils, organic grass-fed meats and organic butter, and Omega 6's found in cococut, olive, and grapeseed oils.
Chiropractic neurologists are in process of compiling data about comparing chiropractic neurological versus pharmaceutical treatments for ADD and ADHD. "We test children before they start the treatment and then every three months," says Dr. Melillo. "Within the first three months, the children get a two-grade-level increase on average—which is pretty dramatic. With children on medications, the improvement in academic performance is short term and lasts only as long as they take the medication. Our programs change the brain function and the improvement doesn't go away."

For more information, visit The American Chiropractic Association web site.

For an informative article about ADD & ADHD, visit Agriculture Society.

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