by Laurie Lynch, N.D.
/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is rapidly
increasing to become the most common behavioral
disorder in American children.
In 1985, 500,000 children in the
USA were diagnosed ‘ADHD’, today it’s
around 6 - 7
may begin at birth and continue through
adulthood, however, prevalence
was highest among children over 8 years, and most
prevalent among boys aged 16 and girls aged 11.
classroom with 30 students will have between 1 and 3 children with ADHD.
are diagnosed with ADHD 3 times more often than girls.
development in children with ADHD is 30% slower than in their non-ADD peers. This
means that a child that is 10 years old will have the emotional development of
a 7 year old, a 20 year old will have the emotional
maturity of a 14 year old.
fourth of children with ADHD have serious learning disabilities such as: oral
expression, listening skills, reading comprehension and/or math.
of children with ADHD exhibit problems in defiance or problems with authority
figures. This can include verbal hostility and temper tantrums.
of children with ADHD experience sleep problems.
with ADHD have almost four times as many traffic citations as non-ADD/ADHD
drivers. They have four times as many car accidents and are seven times more
likely to have a second accident.
of teens with ADHD skip school on a regular basis, and 35% drop out of school
before finishing high school.
of children with ADHD have been suspended from school at least once
(Dr. Russell Barkley
After 4 years of psychiatry, 51% of children
diagnosed with ADHD
have been shown to require tutoring,
34% will have repeated a grade, 15% will be in
special classes, and 16% will have been
diagnosed with a learning disability. Compared
to children without ADHD, they will be 10
times more likely to have manic–depressive
disorder, 8 times more likely to have
depression, and 4 times more likely to have
major anxiety problems.
One uncontrollable child with ADHD
can so disrupt a whole class that learning becomes
impossible for everyone, and can drive parents and
teachers to their wits end. So
I'd like to share an
understanding of this problem and some tips on
preventing and eliminating this dreadful
What is ADHD?
ADHD is not a specific disease that can be cured
with a specific drug, but the name given to a
group of symptoms caused by a variety of diseases
and other causes. ADHD "is characterized
especially by difficulty in sustaining attention,
by impulsive behavior (as in speaking out of
turn), and usually by excessive activity"
(Webster's Medical Dictionary).
How is ADHD diagnosed?
“AD/HD is diagnosed using the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
[of Mental Disorders], 4th Edition (DSM-IV).
ADHD is defined by symptoms only and not by
causes. According to the
diagnostic manual (DSM), there are three
patterns of behavior that indicate ADHD when
they appear consistently.
a. often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in
schoolwork, work, or other activities
b. often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
c. often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
d. often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish
schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional
behavior or failure to understand instructions)
e. often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
f. often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require
sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
g. often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g. toys, school
assignments, pencils, books or tools)
h. is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
i. is often forgetful in daily activities
and Adults with
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
hyperactivity and impulsivity are:
fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming
or leaving a seat, in situations where
sitting or quiet behavior is expected
Blurting out answers
before hearing the whole question
waiting in line or for a turn
everyone shows some of these behaviors at
times, the DSM contains very specific
guidelines for determining when they
behaviors must appear early in life,
before age 7, and continue for at
least 6 months.
The behaviors must be more frequent or
severe than in others the same age.
behaviors must create a real handicap
in at least two areas of a person's
life, such as school, home, work, or
social settings. So someone whose work
or friendships are not impaired by
these behaviors would not be diagnosed
with ADHD. Nor
would a child who seems overly active
at school but functions well
ADHD can be associated with very
risky behaviors. Those with ADHD can be a danger to themselves and to
others. ADHD can totally demoralize children to
the point of depression, substance abuse
and related motor
vehicle and other accidents, other
psychiatric disorders, and even suicide.
Psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual (DSM-IV)... has grown since its
inception in the 1950s from 60 categories
of abnormal behaviour
to about 410"
news: abnormal behaviour is a disease,
North Shore News, Vancouver, B.C, Sept. 6, 1999).
assumption is that these children have a
dysfunction or disease. Yet doctors
prescribing Ritalin rarely, if ever,
perform neurological tests. Instead, they
take the word of parents or teachers,
whose judgments are invariably
subjective. The scores that are
obtained from the various scales used to
diagnose ADHD give the appearance of
scientific precision, as though they were
measuring something tangible, like blood
sugar levels. But in reality, ADHD is
defined entirely in behavioral,
non-medical terms….in fact, a number of
studies have shown that when parents,
teachers, and clinicians rate the same
child, they frequently come up with wildly
differing scores” (John
Robbins, Reclaiming Our Health, p.163).
You may be "told that a medical laboratory
test such as an EEG positively confirmed a
diagnosis of ADHD in your child. There is
no brain wave pattern measured by EEG
equipment that is distinctive to ADHD. No
laboratory test can positively confirm
ADHD” (Kennedy, p. 32).
Many scientists refer to ADHD as
a "fictitious medical
disorder" invented to promote the sale of
pharmaceutical drugs, such as the
formerly illegal amphetamine drug,
"Speed", now called Ritalin.
What are the
standard medical treatments and their harmful side
Since 1991, prescriptions for ADHD medications
quintupled (Ritalin use increased 700%). ADHD
medications prescriptions for children ages 2 to 4
increased almost 300% between 1991 and 1995. (The
PDR warns against its use in children under 6.)
About one in eight children take ADHD
Side effects of
ADHD medications, such as
antidepressants and Ritalin (the formerly illegal,
addictive street drug, "Speed"), could include
passivity, loss of appetite,
loss of bladder control,
heart problems, brain development abnormalities,
suicide, psychosis, nervousness, insomnia,
mood swings, behavioral problems, aggression,
make the hyperactivity worse, causes
nervous tics, zombie-like behavior, and suicidal
each drug also has individual side effects.
"The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) spokeswoman Susan Bro says
GlaxoSmithKline's Dexetrine drug and Novartis AG's
Ritalin must now include warnings about risks of
serious heart problems and sudden death. ADHD
drugs act as stimulants and can raise blood
pressure, possibly triggering heart trouble. Users
of the drugs are also at risk of displaying
behavioral problems -- which the drugs are often
prescribed to treat -- such as aggression and
classified as a Class II controlled
substance, along with morphine and
a neuro-stimulant, addictive,
illegal amphetamine, formerly known as
Ritalin may cause the following
mental abilities, jerky movements (Dyskinesias, tics,
Tourette's syndrome), nervous habits (such as picking at skin or pulling hair),
behavior, and/or decreased social interest.
* Cardiovascular side effects
rapid heart beat (palpitations, tachycardia),high blood pressure (hypertension),
unusual heart rhythm (arrythmia),
and heart attack (cardiac arrest)
Central Nervous System Side Effects
altered mental state, psychosis, hallucinations,
depression, over sensitivity, mania, excitement,
convulsions seizures from
excessive brain stimulation,
agitation, irritation, anxiety,
nervousness, hostility, insomnia or drowsiness or "dopey" feeling,
* Gastrointestinal Side Effects
disorders (anorexia), nausea, vomiting, stomach ache / cramps,
dry mouth, constipation, abnormal liver function tests.
* Endocrine/Metabolic Side Effects
problems (pituitary dysfunction), adrenal
insuficiency, weight loss
. Other Side Effects
could include blurred vision, conjunctivitis,
headache, dizziness, rash (hives), inflammation of the skin (dermatitis),
hair loss, blood disorders
(leukopenia), incontinence of urine, fever,
joint pain, excessive perspiration.
The issue of
the Journal of the American Academy of Child and
showed that Ritalin stunts the growth of
A study at
the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), and published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association, not only confirmed the similarities of cocaine and
Ritalin, but found that Ritalin is more potent than cocaine in its effect on
the dopamine system in the brain.
could cause insomnia, "evening crash",
depression, hyperactivity, irritability,
worsening of ADHD symptoms.
ADHD symptoms may be under control
early in the day, but as the medicine
wears off and leaves the body, there
may be a rebound effect. The
withdrawal effect can cause ADHD
behaviors to return, often worse than
With a 700 percent increase in the
use of Ritalin since 1990, parents have been
repeatedly told that their kids probably have ADHD
and that Ritalin is the treatment of choice. In
the most extreme cases, parents unwilling to give
their kids drugs are being reported by their
schools to local offices of Child Protective
Services, the implication being that by
withholding drugs, the parents are guilty of
(Lawrence H. Diller, M.D.
“The growth of Ritalin
research in the 1970s and 80s was headed by Dr. Stephen Bruning
[sic], psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh. But in 1988, he was charged with, and subsequently pleaded guilty to,
falsifying his research. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, five years
probation and fined about $11,000. While he is no longer in a
research or academic institution, his published research sparked the increased
use of Ritalin in the United States and abroad" (http://www.parentingnaturally.net/addarticles/cocaine.htm)
Other drugs given for
is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor,
Some of the "inactive" ingredients
include sodium laural sulfate (a
cancer-causing foaming agent), and
several artificial coloring agents
that area cause of ADHD. Side
effects could include nausea,
vomiting, constipation, extreme
fatigue, allergic reactions, hives,
dermatitis, angioneurotic edema,
weight loss, retarded growth, high or
overly low blood pressure, increased
heart rate, irritability, aggression,
mood swings, dizziness, headache,
somnolence, ear infections, influenza,
cough, rhinorrhea, decreased appetite,
In September 2005 the FDA issued a public health
advisory about reports of suicidal tendencies in children and adolescents taking Strattera,
and requested a warning label to be included on
the drug label.
Wellbutrin (Bupropion ) alters brain chemistry,
Side effects—Rashes, nausea and vomiting,
irritability, sleep problems, and headaches.
WELLBUTRIN XL (a different type of antidepressant)
may cause seizure. Taking more than 450 mg/day
increases the chance of serious side effects.
Wellbutrin XL is approved only for adults 18 years
and over. ...It could cause worsening depression,
thoughts of suicide, or sudden or severe changes
in mood or behavior, especially at the beginning
of treatment or after a change in dose.
Wellbutrin could also cause a variety of harmful
side effects such as cardiovascular problems,
gastrointestinal problems, dermatological
problems, genitourinary problems such as
impotence, arthritis, and neurological problems
Clonidine (Catapress, Dixarit)
inactive ingredients include
coloring agents, weakness, fatigue,
headache and withdrawal syndrome,
fever, (a cause of
ADHD), lactose (a major allergen and a
cause of ADHD),. Side effects could
include dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation,
retinal degeneration, various
cardiovascular problems such as
congestive heart failure; nightmares,
anxiety, restlessness, visual and
nervousness, agitation, depression,
insomnia, behavioral changes,
delirium, skin problems such as hives
and hair loss, nausea, vomiting, liver
problems, impotence, urine retention,
weight gain, high blood sugar, muscle
and joint pain.
Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil),
Clomipramine hydrochloride (Anafranil),
Desipramine hydrochloride (Norpramin),
Doxepin hydrochloride (Sinequan),
Nortriptyline hydrochloride (Aventyl,
Protriptyline hydrochloride (Vivactil),
Trimipramine maleate (Surmontil),
and others) "disrupt neurotransmission to the
frontal lobes of the brain. In many of
their uses, the tricyclics are
substitutes for the chemically related phenothiazine neuroleptics and their
lobotomizing impact." (Peter R.
Side effects could include dry mouth or metallic
blurred vision and
dilation of pupils,
high fever, muscle stiffness, or
muscle weakness, drowsiness, nervousness,
insomnia or headache, dizziness, weakness,
sweating, or fatigue, tremors, allergic reaction
(Swelling of your lips, tongue, or
face; difficulty breathing,
closing of your throat, hives,
etc.), Rash, constipation or urinary
retention, speech difficulties,
or hypertension, mania or paranoia,
heart trouble or liver
problems, bone marrow malfunctions
According to information at the Education World website:
The number of preschool children being treated with medication for ADHD
tripled between 1990 and 1995.
The number of children ages 15 to 19 taking medication for ADHD has increased
by 311 percent over 15 years.
The use of medication to treat children between the ages
of 5 and 14 also increased by approximately 170 percent.
Dr. Peter Breggin, in his testimony to the US House
of Representatives, suggests that something other than a desire to improve the
quality of the learning experience is the reason for these increasing numbers: “ADD/ADHD diagnosis was developed specifically for the purpose of justifying
the use of drugs to subdue the behaviors of children in the classroom. The
content of the diagnosis in the 1994 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association shows that it is
specifically aimed at suppressing unwanted behaviors in the classroom.”
So why are so many
taking these drugs? Is it because of persuasive
marketing and political influence by the
pharmaceutical companies, and grants of more than
$450 a month for meds to low-income parents of
ADHD children, and to schools of $400 for each
child diagnosed with ADHD?
parent of an ADHD child will tell you that
this is a real problem that must be dealt
with. However, even though the drugs
appear to help control the systems at
first, the use of man-made chemical brain
stimulants that eventually damage the
brain, become addictive, and make the
causes worse, is totally illogical. The
common sense approach would be to find the
underlying causes and eliminate these
causes with natural remedies that have no
harmful side effects.
What are the Causes of ADHD?
Medicinal drugs, such as allergy
medicines, antibiotics, anesthesia,
vaccinations, anti-seizure drugs,
and even the very drugs used to treat ADHD are considered the most
common medical cause of ADHD symptoms.
Seizures - A petit mal seizure causes a
child to stare with a blank look for several
minutes and lose track of what's going on.
and hearing deficits can interfere with
the child's ability to make sense of what he
hears or reads.
chronic fear, or abuse.
Brain damage/brain chemical
imbalances such as malfunctioning brain
neurotransmitters inhibit transfer of
information from one brain cell to another.
if the spine is not connected to the brain
imbalances such as thyroid problems, sex
hormone imbalances, and low blood sugar.
Consumption of refined carbohydrates will
cause a sudden raise in blood sugar,
triggering the production of pancreatic and
adrenal hormones that bring the blood sugar
back down too low and too quickly, removing
necessary glucose from the brain, and wearing
out these glands.
Chemical pollution, from ozone, industrial
smoke, burning garbage; fumes from
glue, marking pens, window cleaners, paint,
urethane; chemicals in plastic toys,
pesticides, herbicides; disinfectants;
furniture polishes; new carpets, furniture,
bedding; and air fresheners. Scientists have
shown on EEGs
abnormal brain wave activity within fifteen
seconds of exposure .
Children are more vulnerable to toxins than
adults. Toxins can cause
hyperactivity, attention deficits,
irritability, and learning problems.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning - Thousands of
children each year are exposed to toxic levels
of carbon monoxide from auto exhaust,
cigarette smoke, gas
heaters, and other gas appliances such as
fireplaces, dryers, and water heaters.
such as encephalitis (a viral infection of the
nervous system), or bacterial infections, such
as a chronic middle ear infection ,can also
make a child seem inattentive, distracted and
infections, whether from mold, antibiotics,
vaccinations, anesthesia, steroid drugs, or
processed foods, can be a cause of ADHD.
Fungi produce "mycotoxins (neurotoxins)
that affect nerve action, cause
immunosuppression, and may contribute as a
co-factor in Alzheimer’s disease and other
neurodegenerative disorders, and to ADHD.
Mycotoxins are secondary toxic metabolites
produced by many species of fungi that are
increasing in processed foods at an enormous
rate. ... Mycotoxicosis has clearly been
demonstrated to have been the cause of several
major human epidemics, usually involving
ingestions of foods prepared with mold
infested grains and cereals, or from the
consumption of livestock which had been fed
mold infested feed.
"Iris R. Bell,
M.D. from the University of Arizona Health
Sciences Center and other researchers were
able to trigger abnormal brain wave activity
when a patient was exposed to a
immunologically-active mycotoxin or other
toxins. Abnormalities (appear) on EEGs and other
objective neurophysiologic modalities within
fifteen seconds of an exposure, even when
administered in a double blind fashion. This
research documents that mycotoxins and xenobiotics have direct, biological roles in
initiating and/or perpetuating nervous
system-related illness" (Paul
Yanick, Jr., Ph.D., N.D., C.N.C., 2001).
to foods such as cow's milk, wheat,
sugar, chocolate, eggs,
corn, artificial colors/additives/flavors, molds, and
Heredity - Genetic
disorders can exhibit some of the same symptoms of ADHD..
For example, Thyroid problems, pancreas
problems, Turner's syndrome, sickle-cell
anemia, and Fragile X syndrome. as they can disrupt brain functions directly, through a
variety of paths.
Complications of pregnancy
mother's use of cigarettes, alcohol, lead
exposure, or drugs during pregnancy.
Heavy metal exposure (such as
lead, cadmium, and mercury can reduce
learning and memory, and impaired functioning
of the central nervous system that can cause
ADHD symptoms. Lead poisoning is not solely
caused by eating paint chips. Lead is used in
manufacturing of various products such as hair
coloring, miniblinds, crayons, electronic
products such as TVs and computers, soldering,
water pipes, vinyl raincoats, hats and
backpacks, children's toys and teethers made
from PVC plastic, brass, bronze, glass, and
ceramic products; pigments in inks, textiles,
plastics; and adhesives. Aging and sun
exposure can cause these products to
deteriorate, releasing toxic metal dust to
their surfaces. Mercury is as a preservative
in vaccinations and in silver amalgam dental
fillings that continually breaks down and is
absorbed into the blood stream.
such as death of
a loved one, living with family members who
physically abusive or addicted to drugs or
alcohol, or being picked on at school.
Diet influences brain
functioning, learning, and behavior. Studies
show ingestion of genetically engineered foods
linked to learning disabilities, abnormal
behavior in children, and.
”a 3-fold increase in attention deficit
3, Vol. 110 June 2002, pgs.
441-449; (R. Cummins, p. 46). Other
studies show that processed foods, sodas,
sugar, food additives, and nutritional
deficiencies (especially of B complex,
chromium, and essential fatty acids), and
foods prepared with mold infested grains and
cereals, or livestock which had been fed mold
infested feed, can trigger ADHD behavior.
1996 study published in the Journal of Child
Psychology and Psychiatry, revealed
significant deficiencies in essential fatty
acids, amino acids, and zinc, in ADHD children.
A scientific study of 15 children
suffering from food induced ADHD, were
given topographic EEG
mapping of brain electrical activity "following avoidance and
ingestion of previously identified
provoking foods. ... During consumption of
provoking foods there was a significant
increase in beta1 activity in the
areas of the brain, showing an association
between brain electrical activity and
intake of provoking foods in children with
food-induced attention deficit
These data suggest that certain foods may
not only influence clinical symptoms but
brain electrical activity (Uhlig,
are the safe natural methods to prevent
ADHD and to remedy the problem?
Avoid the above causes.
Eat 4 to 6 small meals a day of
organically grown whole
grains, and fresh vegetables.
A wellness consultation
with Laurie Lynch, ND. can give
information on how to eliminate causes and on the
best foods and nutritional supplements for each
individual to quickly eliminate the problem. This
may take some effort, but the future of our
children, their health and happiness, are well
Hypnotherapy with Laurie
Lynch, ND, CHt. can also be a helpful
adjunct to the wellness program.
now to start on the right path to total
health and happiness!
Recipe to help
An example of a good breakfast: that
helps regulate blood sugar levels and
moods: and makes the day go better:
whole OAT GROATS
raw SUNFLOWER SEEDS (soaked 24 hours)
freshly ground FLAX SEEDS
Cook oats (1/3 cup per person)
in twice as much water for ½ hour or until water
is absorbed. Add honey, cinnamon, seeds, and
that has been liquefied in a blender.
Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.
Professor, Depts. Of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Taking Charge of ADHD,
ADHD-Report.com: The concerned
parents' guide to childrens'
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
Steven Parker, MD, director of behavioral and
developmental pediatrics at Boston Medical Center.
Richard Sogn, MD, a clinical specialist in
Lawrence H. Diller, M.D.,
Schools Pressure Parents To Force Ritalin Use
U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) spokeswoman Susan Bro, News
Instruments Company website
Peter R. Breggin M.D.,
Testimony September 29, 2000
before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations,
Committee on Education and the Workforce,
U.S. House of Representatives.
* Uhlig, T.;
Brandmaier, R.; Egger,J.,
Topographic mapping of brain electrical activity
food-induced attention deficit hyperkinetic
disorder, European Journal of Pediatrics, 1997,
Vol. 156 Issue 7, p557.
* Paul Yanick, Jr., Ph.D., N.D., C.N.C.,
Mycotoxicosis: A New Emerging CoFactor in
Alzheimer’s, Environmental Illness, and
Robert Needlman, M.D., F.A.A.P., Things
That Cause ADHD-Like Symptoms
Jim Chandler, M.D.,
Treating ADHD With Medications
American Psychiatric Association, 1987, DSM-III-R
Journal of the American Academy of Child
and Adolescent Psychiatry, August, 2007
* Physicians Desk Reference
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