B.W. asks from Vienna, VA on October 17, 2008
Experience with ADHD (Inattentive-Type) Treatment Medications?
I have a 13 year old son who has been on Adderall XR for the past 5 months. We believe the medication is working for the symptoms he is exhibiting: focus, organizational skills, study habits, attention..., yet I have recently read about Adderall XR possibly "stunting growth and reducing appetite". My son a large boned, normal size boy is not interested in eating, has lost 6 pounds in the past 5 months (he has been on the med.), going from 101 lbs. to 95 lbs. His weekly activity level is high: three, 1.5 hour soccer practices a week and a game on Sunday; two, 1.5 hour basketball practices a week and a game on Sunday eve; four, 1.5 football practices (as gym class), 4 times a week and a game mid-week. He for the most part eats well, but at times is dissinterested in food all together. As well, I have read the medication can cause lack of appetite, which we were prepared for, but the weight loss and potential stunted growth (he also hasn't grown to the predictions of his growth rate chart), have given me reason to pause. Does anyone have any alternative medication(s) or homeopathics that have been tried and been successful for your child, without such grave side-affects?
L.S. answers from Washington DC on October 18, 2008
Ironically, Dr. Mercola's Newsletter today has an article re ADHD. He has something to sell usually, so I read with a critical eye...however this article may be beneficial to you. I don't know how to send you the link as I think it usually won't be allowed through this site...but email me directly for it ____@____.com is an interesting excerpt:
In my medical practice at the Natural Health Center, here’s what I recommend for kids, and adults, who suffer from ADHD:
• Increase your intake of omega-3 fat from krill oil. This is the single most important nutrient for ADHD children and adults.
• Drink only water for a beverage, taking care to avoid fruit juices, soda, and pasteurized milk.
• Restrict or eliminate all processed foods, sugars and most grains from your diet.
• Avoid processed foods, especially those containing artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which may aggravate or cause ADHD symptoms.
• Spend more time in nature.
Another important element that you can teach your children, or do right along with them, is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This is a form of psychological acupressure that you can perform anywhere (it involves only tapping with your fingertips and repeating some positive phrases), and that would make an excellent addition to any type of behavioral therapy your child is receiving.
Most cases of ADHD will resolve naturally when you follow the recommendations above. So rather than relying on a dangerous quick-fix like Ritalin, teach your child that they can excel in life, and overcome their symptoms, by taking control of their health.
1 mom found this helpful
A.V. answers from Washington DC on October 21, 2008
I would definitely look into the diet factor despite the fact that not much research has yet been done. Elminating Red Dye #40 has been anecdotally shown to improve the symptoms of ADHD. Who knows what could happen if you tried a diet of natural (not processed, dyed, chemicalized) foods? Can't hurt! Good luck!
J.M. answers from Washington DC on October 18, 2008
You might really want to consider working with a psychologist who has expertise in the area of ADHD to help address your concerns. While the first individual who responded provided information that will benefit one's diet, none of those approaches have clinically been proven to reduce the effects of ADHD. Based on the research the best approaches to managing ADHD is medication and/or behavior management techniques. The specific course of treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms being manifested. If you are familiar with CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), you ought to get further information and suggestions from them. www.chadd.org. Best of luck as you pursue the best form of treatment for your son.
A.K. answers from Washington DC on October 19, 2008
Yes, the two most significant side effects are reduced appetitie and sleep. Recent studies have also documented that another long-term side effect is lessened growth (about 1/2-1 inch). There are some promising studies on fish oil and neurobiofeedback, but nothing conclusive. I have two boys with AD/HD, have served as the local coordinator of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit) and own and operate an in-home tutoring service in Fairfax. Many of our students have AD/HD and receive educational coaching to help with academic issues such as organization, time management and study skills. If you're interested in more information, please feel free to contact me at ____@____.com or visit our website at www.ectutoring.com. Good luck!
E.F. answers from Washington DC on October 18, 2008
I would like to respond to Laurie S's response below. I have a 6 year old boy in first grade. I've been in communication with his teacher quite a bit, and we suspect he has ADHD. I have a dr. appt for him in 2 weeks. I am currently reading "Driven to Distraction" & also suspect I have ADD (the daydreaming, get sidetracked easily kind, not the hyper kind that my son seems to have). I am not opposed to medication, but definitely would like to try all other alternatives first. So, I am interested in the excerpt Laurie posted. I'm also interested in seeing what other responses come in for B. W. That is definitely important to know about the growth stunting. Thanks B. for posting the question. If anyone has good information about ADD/ADHD, diagnosis, treatment, etc.. I would be interested in hearing more. I've often suspected I had it, but just kind of laughed it off. But now that I am trying to raise children, I see how hard it is for someone with low-energy ADD to raise a high-energy ADHD kid! My husband said it's like the blind leading the blind. Ha! But, seriously... I do want to take care of it early, so I can do the best for my family. My email is: ____@____.com if anyone has any good info for me. Thanks! ~ E.