Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD and ADHD) is prevalent among children.
All too often parents – with the encouragement of teachers – get practitioners to prescribe something like Ritalin – which can have harmful side effects.
There have been many labels attached to this problem, such as minimal brain damage, minimal brain dysfunction, behavior and learning disorder, hyperkinetic-impulsive disorder, hyperkinetic syndrome, developmental hyperactivity, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
What is apparent is that ADHD is a collection of symptoms. The decision to label a child with the diagnosis of ADHD is not to be taken likely as diagnostic errors may creep in.
Some estimates place the numbers at up to 10 percent of boys and 3 percent of girls ranging in age from 4 to 11 years old. The main features of ADHD are things like:
- Trouble getting things done, both at home and at school
- Trouble getting along with adults and other children
The increased activity and short attention span of the child with ADHD have led to the use of stimulant drugs such as Ritalin to control behavior.
Paradoxically, these medications work to “slow down” the ADHD child.
Sadly all too often – in my opinion – this is often to make the child “easier to control” – although it is an unconscious decision in many cases!
Unfortunately, these medications are potentially harmful and act merely to mask symptoms, without getting to the core of the problem.
Early action and successful treatment of ADHD has become even more important because studies show that these children could face greater problems as adults.
Evidence is building up that children with ADHD are at higher risk for depression, restlessness, alcoholism, and antisocial behavior as adults.
There are four routes that I believe one should explore when you think someone in your family is faced with this problem:
- Herbal Possibilities
- Lifestyle Changes
A whole-foods diet, high in protein and complex carbohydrates.
Cut down on sugar and simple carbohydrates.
Cut back on processed junk foods high in additives and food colorings.
Avoid the following food additives:
Tartrazine, Benzoic acid, Amaranth, Red 2G, Carmine, Brilliant Blue, Quinoline Yellow, Carmoiic acid , Sulpher dioxide, Potassium nitrate, BHT, Caramel, Cochineal, Sodium benzoate, Sodium nitrate, Indigo.
There are others but if you can eliminate this from your child’s diet, you may just be on the way to bringing enormous benefits to both your child and your family!
Herbal and Nutritional Considerations
Avoid foods with high salicylate content such as processed (canned ) plums and prunes, raspberries, almonds, peanuts and honey – to name but a few.
- Limit video games and TV watching.
- See a counselor to ascertain whether family circumstances might be triggering this type of behavior.
The most important step of all is not to ignore the condition and to seek out a health care professional who practices integrative medicine – that is – a professional who will explore natural alternatives as well, with you.
After all, that is the least we owe to our children’s well-being!
Remember to check the recommended dosage for children of any supplements with a health care practitioner who is familiar with the supplements! If you do use supplements, please try and use the best you can afford!
We owe it to our children!