Need Help with ADHD.....tired of Meds.

Updated on May 04, 2008
J.J. asks from King George, VA
30 answers

I have a 8 year old son who has been diag. ADHD at the age of 4-5. Since then we have been on ALL types of meds. we did behavor conceling and karate that has helped some. The meds seem to work once we begin them, then about a year later they seem to not work as well. We have switch med every year since he was diag and now we are back in that boat again. He is currently on Adderall XR and it is starting not to work as well. I was hesitant on putting him on meds at such a young age but I figured i give it a try. Now I am tired of switching meds every year. I have been looking into diet mods but everything tells you what NOT to eat I am wondering what CAN he eat. My husband and I are willing to make changes in our diets to help our kids in any way. My question is if you anyone knows of a book or anything that tells you what you CAN eat please-please-please let me know. Thanks in advance and any other info will help too. THANKS

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi there.

I think youre in the right direction. A change in his diet (and yours would be good also) is a positive change. Ok what to eat. This is a simple rule of thumb: look at the packaging. If you see more than 5 ingredients, chances are that it has additives and preservatives and is not very good. This is a radical change from how we live. Many foods in our fast life diets are processed. If you return back to nature so to speak, you'll be on the right track. That is lots of veggies, fruits, nuts, beans, and fish.

Here is what I cut and pasted from the Dr. Mercola site:

Following these steps could greatly improve their ADHD:

Omega-3 oils, specifically fish oil, are probably the single most important nutrient for a child with ADHD to take. Please read, "Does Your Child Have ADHD? Consider Fish Oil Over Ritalin" to find more information on omega-3 oils and why they benefit children with ADHD. I also highly recommend Dr. Stoll's book The Omega-3 Connection. He is a Harvard psychiatrist who has done a great job compiling evidence supporting the use of fish oils.

Try to avoid fruit juices, soda and milk. Have your child drink water as a primary beverage.

Restrict sugars and grains, which cause elevated insulin levels.

You may also want to consider EFT to improve your child's emotional well-being. Emotional Freedom Technique is psychological acupressure, an inexpensive, simpler and proven way to eliminate the negative emotions barring you from a full and healthy life.

and here is more:
Exclusive Interview with Lendon Smith, MD

Lendon H. Smith earned his MD degree and began the practice of medicine almost 55 years ago and has fought for children's health and nutrition issues for over three decades. Dr. Smith was among the first to caution against sugar, white flour, and junk food known to contribute to sickness, hyperactivity, obesity, allergies, and many illnesses in children and adults.

He has authored or co-authored 15 books, dating back to 1969. He appeared on the Phil Donohue Show more than 20 times and The Tonight Show 62 times. He was awarded an Emmy for his "My Mom's Having a Baby" after-school special. Dr. Smith has had a truly illustrious career, going from US army medic to pediatrician to national bestselling author.

For more information, you can try his website (www.smithsez.com) that is currently being upgraded.
Optimal Wellness Center (OWC): You have been active on the issue of behavioral problems in childhood for many years. How did you first get involved with the issue of ADHD and related behavior disorders?

Lendon Smith, MD: My father was a pediatrician and he believed that behavior was more genetic than environmentally produced. I was going to be a psychiatrist from about age 15 on. I felt that if we straightened out one generation, every one, including their children, would be normal after that - Freudian concept (wrong!).

In my fourth year in medical school I attended a lecture by a Portland pediatric neurologist. In the 1930s he was in charge of a home for "oddball" children. One of his clients was a wild and crazy girl. He told his nurse to give her a dose of bromide. She reached up and by mistake got hold of the benzedrine bottle. In about 30 minutes the girl was asleep.

The doctor said to the nurse, "That bromide works." The nurse said, "What did you say?"

Of course she had to fill out an accident report, but the two of them could not believe the therapeutic results. They repeated the maverick dose the next day and the girl calmed down again. The doctor wrote a paper about this and it was reported in one of the pediatric journals. He noted that most of the kids he was seeing for this same syndrome had had some sort of "hurt" to the nervous system at birth such as:

Cord around the neck
Prematurity
Second of twins
Collapsed lungs
He felt it was a "hurt" to the part of the nervous system that had to do with self-control. He had no idea why a stimulant had this calming effect. We now know that it is because there is not enough norepinephrine in their limbic system, the part of the brain that is supposed to filter out unimportant stimuli.

This serendipitous result of an accident has now allowed the psychiatrists and pediatricians to prescribe this type of narcotic drug to 4,000,000 kids on any given school day, and even pushed some of them into psychosis and homicide.

I was one of those drug-pushing pediatricians for a couple of decades. Then it became clear to me that there was a pattern to the behavior of these children. Genetics is there, of course, and can result in "hurts" to the nervous system, but my patients were 80% boys. I found in examining them -- - trying to find some common denominator that I could use as a diagnostic criterion -- - that they were exquisitely ticklish.

They were unable to disregard unimportant stimuli.

That is why they have trouble in the classroom with 30 other kids burping, coughing, passing gas and dropping pencils. The teacher says, "Charlie, sit down and stop moving around." No wonder home schooling is becoming popular.

Blood tests were not helpful, but hair tests showed me that they were all low in calcium and especially magnesium. No wonder they craved chocolate. (There is more magnesium in chocolate than any other food on earth.)

I began to treat them with oral doses of 500 mg magnesium and 1000 mg calcium daily. It took three weeks, but 80% of them were able to get off Ritalin or dextroamphetamine, or whatever stimulant they were on. It did not work on all of them. As time went by, I had them take vitamin B6 if dream recall was poor and essential fatty acids if they had dry skin or a history of eczema. If they had ear infections as infants, they were taken off milk.

As time went on, I found it worked on adults if they had symptoms of ticklishness and inability to disregard unimportant stimuli. Apparently these people have some enzyme defect, genetic or nutritional, that prevented them from making norepinephrine, a stimulant, which we all now recognize is made to help the filtering device in the limbic system do its job.

It is too bad that psychiatrists have failed to recognize that if a stimulant acts as a calming agent, then they must shore up the flagging enzyme that is under-producing. This all fits with the damage that we have done to the top soil. It is washing and blowing away and with it, the magnesium. The psychiatrists have made ADD/ADHD a disease, like pneumonia.

It is actually a syndrome due to a defect in the screening device of the brain. I understand that since they had made it a disease they can be compensated for treating it. Another rule they have used: "If the Ritalin works, they need it." Sort of like a Ritalin deficiency.

They had another one: "Dyscalcula" if one is bad at math. They are good with words. For instance, they know that vegetarian is an Indian word meaning: "poor hunter."

OWC: Is ADD/ADHD a single disorder with a single cause or optimal treatment or is it more of a broad term to describe nearly all children with behavior problems?

Dr. Smith: I am glad you said "disorder," because as I mentioned previously, the condition is not a bona fide disease, but a collection of symptoms and signs that seems to get in the way of a child being educated. The teacher or school administrator is usually the one who suggests that the child see a doctor for the behavior problem (psychiatrist or pediatrician), whom they know will put the kid on Ritalin or a similar drug.

The doctor hears the story from the parents that her child (usually her son) will be thrown out of school unless something is done. She has tried isolation, spankings, standing in the corner, etc, but nothing seems to work. She also knows that a one-to-one situation would be effective.

The teacher may write down the symptoms noticed: restlessness, talkative, doesn't seem to listen, forgetful, short attention span, distractible, class clown, wants attention, may be a bully, as well as a few other related symptoms and signs.

The doctor knows what to do. Usually without even an exam, except a quick look in the eyes, and a listen to see if his heart is beating, the doctor reaches for his prescription pad and writes one out for Ritalin, 5 mg, #20 (or one of the newer drugs of the same type). "Try one or two in the morning after breakfast, and see what the teacher says. It may wreck his appetite, however."

The next day, the very first day of treatment, his attention span is better and he cannot eat his lunch. It works. It is a miracle. The doctor is called and thanked profusely. He assumes since it works that the boy needs it.

When I became familiar with nutrition, I found that if a stimulant drug had a calming effect like the above, it meant that the child did not have enough norepinephrine (a stimulant) in his limbic system, and that I could help with a good diet and some supplements which should shore up the enzymes in his brain that make that neurotransmitter.

If he had ever had ear infections, I stopped his dairy products, and added calcium 1,000 mg, usually at bedtime.

If he was ticklish, I added magnesium - 500 mg is usually safe for child or adult.

If he was a "Jekyll and Hyde" type of person (severe mood swings), he had intermittent low blood sugar and he needed to nibble all day to keep his blood sugar up. Or at least eat some additional protein and less carbohydrates for better maintenance of blood sugar levels. No sugar or white-flour junk food.

If he could not remember his dreams, he needed vitamin B6 - 50 mg is about right.

If he ever had eczema or dry scaly skin, he is to take the essential fatty acids.

If he had dark circle under his eyes, he was eating something to which he is sensitive. Milk, wheat, corn, chocolate, eggs, citrus. Usually it is his favorite food.

I often ask these children what they like to eat. I often get a smart-alec answer, like, "rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, and broccoli." (The mother is sitting in her chair shaking her head.) People tend to eat the food to which they are sensitive. It is like the alcoholic who has low blood sugar. The child who loves milk is usually sensitive to it. They continue to drink dairy products, because somehow they need the calcium, but they are so sensitive to it, it does not get absorbed. Blood and hair tests will reveal the deficiencies.

Just to recap some of my previous statements, after a few years of trying to be a good diagnostician, I accumulated these findings:

1. If a person is ticklish, goosey, sensitive, and notices everything in his environment, as he is unable to disregard unimportant stimuli, it means that he is low in magnesium, and possibly calcium. Muscle cramps and trouble relaxing or going to sleep also suggest low magnesium and calcium. These symptoms correlate nicely with the hair test showing low levels of these two minerals.

2. Poor dream recall is related to a need for vitamin B6.

3. A history of eczema or dry, scaly skin usually means a person is low in the essential fatty acids. These acids are also necessary for brain function. The nutmeg-grater feel to the skin on the thighs and back of the upper arms is usually a Vitamin A deficiency. White spot on the nails is due to low zinc.

4. A bad self-image could be the result if the parents, teachers, and classmates who are all screaming at him to sit still, shut up, and constantly asking disparagingly "What are you dong now?"

Ritalin works in just 30 minutes, while the minerals and the other supplements and diet changes take about three weeks to achieve results. The whole family has to stop the desserts, sugars, white flour, and "put-downs". Too many questions and commands lead to the poor self image.

OWC: Are Ritalin and other stimulant drugs being over used or at least oversubscribed? Is there a proper place for these drugs? Are there any children who can't be helped in any other way? If so, what % would you say fall into this category?

Dr. Smith: There is no doubt that these stimulant drugs are being over-prescribed for these out-of-control children. If, however, the prescribing doctor feels he/she has no alternative for the child who has been "diagnosed" by the teacher who is trying to scrape this child off the wall, the drug seems mandatory. "If it works, the child needs it" seems to be the motto.

Those of us working with these children like Dr. Doris Rapp and Dr. Billy Crook have no doubt that this is usually "a physiological screwup" and not a disease. (One reason it is called a disease is that insurance companies need a standard diagnosis before they will pay for the treatment.) ADHD and ADD have been now called diseases and have a diagnosis code number, for the psychiatrists along with the previously mentioned "disease" called dyscalculia.

ADHD will subsequently soon become a palpable disease called a neurosis when the child gets depressed and even suicidal if he is put down at every turn by teachers, parents, and his peers.

The only proper use for these drugs for a vast majority of kids -- - as I have come to realize -- - is that it will temporarily control the restless behavior.

If it works, it is not a "Ritalin deficiency", but likely a magnesium, calcium, or vitamin B6 deficiency. I have learned from my naturopathic and herbal therapists that our topsoil is becoming deficient in several minerals. The farmers are putting nitrogen, phosphates, and potassium (NPK) on the soil and their plants grow and look healthy but magnesium, zinc, selenium and other valuable minerals are depleted.

At the height of the dust bowl, the US Department of Agriculture put out a "white paper" saying that the minerals in the top soil were deficient and people may have to supply their own with supplements to avoid sickness and problems like early aging, heart attacks, joint problems, and surliness.

The point seems to be that sometimes we cannot get everything we need for healthy living from eating foods from the store or maybe even from organic farms, although those will likely be better.

Then, on top of that, if we or our children are eating the "Standard American Diet" (SAD) our nutritional status will only be worse. If a person has even one cavity, he is flawed already, and it is a clue that other nasties are just around the corner.

Maybe, a small percent, like ten percent or less of "hyper" children may need the drugs to calm them, mainly because they have had some sort of injury to their nervous system that diet will not touch.

Many of those, however, can be still be salvaged with neurodevelopment therapy. I have seen the work of those therapists and know of the miracles they can perform. Homeopathy is a well-known and sometimes surprising type of treatment, that has saved many of these "throw away" children before they give up and go into crime for their kicks.

There are so many side effects from the stimulant drugs, I would recommend that the diet modifications, outlined elsewhere, should be tried first. These children realize they are not so bad and will even start to smile and laugh. It helped me. I was the class clown in the 6th grade, because the teacher did not know what to do with me besides making me the "humor editor" of the class newspaper.

Don't give up on these children! Remember Edison, Sir Winston Churchill, and Einstein.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.A.

answers from Washington DC on

HI J. -

I am sorry I am not sure of the best books. if you have not already look for a Holistic Nutritionist or Naturopath in your area that can help guide you.

Also it was just on the news about the dangers of the medications for ADHD and how it can lead to heart problems and children need to be monitored. I am a naturalist and believe that they body can heal itself if given the right tools and environment.

My mom and I have both seen or heard of people that have be diag. with ADD/ADHD and just with a change in environment and lifestyle have seen successes with out medication.

Another thing is to check out the 5 steps on www.healthychild.org to create healthy environments for children. Also, there are many that beleive that over vaccinating has been linked to ADD and ADHD as well.

Check out these articles as well:
http://tinyurl.com/64tukn

Vaccine information:
www.novaccine.com

God Bless.

Casey

www.SunshineOrganics.net
www.holisticmoms.org

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.T.

answers from Dover on

Did you know that the products in your house can have harmful toxins in them that can contribute to ADHD/ADD. I am not trying to sell you anything, but just wanted to share this with you. I have discovered a great company that sells all natural products that can improve ADD/ADHD.
Again, i am not trying to sell you anything but if you I can help, please send me an email [email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.D.

answers from Roanoke on

Your situation sounds similar to mine. After going thru most meds with varying results (not effective to zombie) I decided to have him reevaluated. I took my son to the Pediatric Neurodevelopement Clinic and found out that he didn't have ADHD - he had Asperger's Syndrome. Write down all the symptoms you see your son having problems with (attention, sensory, recall, antsyness, odd habits/quirks, etc.) and then contact your local mental health center. Usually the people there can help you figure out other possible issues that your son may be dealing with. When you get other ideas, research each one so you are prepared when you talk to the doctor. For my son, medications don't work but knowing WHAT the problem is helps me to help him. It also changed my expectations of what he is capable of and what he isn't. For example, I know now that multi-step directions are useless unless I write them down for him to refer to when he forgets/gets distracted. I no longer "require" him to "look at me" when I am talking to him because if I do, he concentrates so hard to continue looking at me as I speak that he can not hear or remember what I am saying. (eye contact is difficult for people with Asperger's) I also know now that routines are very important for him and advance notice of changes are needed for him to adjust. Also, I understand that his reaction to situations is not always appropriate (Laughing when he should be serious, crying when frightened, no expression when he 'ought' to express something or reacting way out of context to something others wouldn't not necessarily react to at all. Check out this website for more info: http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/
Good luck - and TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!

D.S.

answers from Allentown on

Hi J.,

There is a Dr. Laurie Dietzel that may be able to help you.

Tell her the problems you are having and see if she can refer you to someone to help you where you live.

Her e-mail address: [email protected]____.com

Look up on the web www.CHADD.org

Hope this helps. D.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I know this can be very difficult, I have a step-son who also has ADHD and we had him on several different meds, but it sounds to me like you just havn't found the right one, I was hesitant to put him on it at first to, but like my husband says you have to take the good with the bad. Now as to what he can eat, I would say a healthy well balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies, but I would call you doc. Also have you looked online about diets for adhd, I am sure there are plenty. Hope this helps.
J. S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.R.

answers from Richmond on

Our journey goes back 12yrs...when I look back there are so many things that we have changed along the way. I know what you mean about wanting a list of the CAN HAVES verses all of the CAN'T HAVES. It can get overwhelming sometimes. I would like to start with the mental part of it first. This was the most important part for us when I look back. I had to get it in my brain that it is my job (for now) to help him stay on track. Until he is old enough to do it for himself, which we work toward daily, it is my job to support him and keep him focused.
This job is hard! Period! Especially with 2 other kids that you must take care of and your husband too. I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT! I live it every single day. I don't want you to feel like you have no where to go for help/advice. You can email me anytime and I will help anyway I can, okay? I really commend you for trying an all natural approach to ADHD treatment. YOU can do this! The food part is easy once you get the hang of it. There are certain foods that are a no go at least in the beginning. But then you will learn that there are "trigger" foods. Things that will trigger more hyper activity and lack of concern for consequences. For us, MSG will do it to him even today. In less than 30 mins he will be talking a mile a minute and bouncing off the walls. When he was younger, before we knew this to be a trigger food, his behavior would become AWFUL! He didn't even like to be around himself! But then we learned...NO MSG! So this went on for a few years. Now if we have food with MSG, which we try not to cause it's just not good for us, we let him know ahead of time and that lets him know to get ready to self-control. If he has a hard time, again, it's my job to step in and help. I redirect his behavior constantly. I know him and when he is about to get into trouble, I redirect him to help him. Compared to 6yrs ago, he has come a LONG way! He self-controls so much more now than when he was younger. So keep this in mind, it takes time. No matter how good the food and supplements you give him.... No matter how good your teaching and redirection is... it will still take him time to learn how to self-control his hyperactivity. Just remember, our job as parents is to teach our children how to do it on their own.
Email me anytime! [email protected]____.com
Take Care, N. =)
I'm wife to one great man for almost 15yrs & SAHM of 3 wonderful boys 12, 7 & 2 yrs old.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.G.

answers from Charlottesville on

Hi, J.,
Wow! You sure have gotten a lot of responses! It was a little overwhelming to me and I just browsed through them! I market a product called SPARK that has gotten many kids and adults off Ritalin. It's a powder drink that you mix with water that helps with focus and mental clarity. I have a good friend who has two boys who were both on meds. She put them on SPARK as well as our Omega 3 product and multivitamin and they have seen vast improvement. We do not make medical claims, but when one puts quality nutrition in your body, good things happen. Texas Tech did a study on SPARK in 1999 and proved that it helped in neuroactive function. I'd be happy to mail you a few samples if you'd like to give it a try. He would take 1/2 a serving for his age. To read more, go to https://www.advocare.com/05102522/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?i.... Best wishes!

J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.K.

answers from Washington DC on

if the meds were working instead of switching have you tried increasing the dosage. as my son grows i have to increase the dosage usually once a year. we are on foclinxr and it has been great.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.,
I am bipolar and also add. I am a believer in medication. I am a totally different person when I am not on my meds. and it's not a pretty site. If you son is still on meds and you decide to take off don't do it cold turkey. That can cause some problems. It can cause depression but I would suggest you talk to the dr. on other options of treatment if you are wanting to take him off the meds. A question, how is he when he isn't on medication? Is it something that can be dealt with? I myself have been thru several medications and I mean several. I have finally found one that actually helps and I have been on one of them for a year now. I am also taking a mood stabilizer which helps with my moods from being so up and down. I take effexor and limiktal. They also help with my add. The dr. wants to eventually just have me on the mood stabilzer which is the limiktal. I have a friend who's son is adhd and he is on concerta. I don't know if you have tried that or not. It seems to work for him but there are also mood side effects. You can also get him back into therapy and have a physcologist work with him. There are other options out there but first I would start with the dr. or look into a different dr. that specializes in adhd. Whatever you decide to do just don't give up and just be there for your son. I am sure this is very tough for him too. What are his symptoms? Is he very hyper? I hope the best for you. You never know it could be something different from adhd all together. How many times has he been tested and was it by a phychritrist? I can't spell that word sorry.
Anyway let me know and I will help with advice the best I can.
Thanks
S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.G.

answers from Norfolk on

Hmm...I don't have a suggesting of a book but I can tell you.

All natural. Fruits & veggies. Anything fresh, natural, organic, or "raw". Some people swear by raw milk (like from a farm).

Anything with natural sugars.

Limit preservatives, additives, and added sugar.

I teach 4th grade & have lots of ADHD kids...if the parents would just control the diet they wouldn't have so many problems in school.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.Q.

answers from Richmond on

Dear J.:

You really need to check out a place here in Richmond called the kSero Center - www.kSero.net. They specialize in children who have been diagnosed with ADHD and using a
non-medicated approach. The director, Dr. Susan Hardwicke, is an absolute whiz on the brain and nutrition has helped hundreds (including adults)with her unique approach. You don't have to suffer through this. Their contact information is on the website and they are located at Innsbrook.

Good luck,

P. Quick

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

W.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Some people have had incredible success with Nutritional Cleansing and Supplementation. Here is a link to an audio session about kids and Isagenix: http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/get.link?linkid=6942...
This program provides nutrition in the form of shakes/smoothies, food bars and juices. It uses very advanced technology to provide bio-available nutrition so the body can get the most benefit from what you eat. The website for Isagenix is www.harmonyhealth.isagenix.com
You can contact me if you have any questions. My family, including my 5 year-old twin boys, have been using these products for over a year with great and sometimes surprising results.
Good Luck, W.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

J.,

I don't have any advice for you as my son has been in this boat for even longer - medicated at 5, now he's 13. We've been playing with meds the same way you describe all that time, but about two or three years ago we settled on a pretty good cocktail. It doesn't work perfectly all the time, but it works well enough. His case is pretty severe. The thing about the meds is that once you get started on them it's almost impossible to get away from them if your kid's severely level is anything more than mild, because you get used to not having to deal with the behaviors. When my son is unmedicated, he's completely unmanageable - behaves literally like an infant.

Anyway, just wanted to commisserate and let you know that you're not alone. Good luck, and let me know if you get any potential solutions. My eyes and mind are always open.

Jenny

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Richmond on

J., there have been numerous links associating diet to ADD & ADHD, so I commend you on your desire to research & adjust your family's diet. Most will recommend eliminating all processed, additives, preservatives & dyes/colors in foods, as it is found that children can have a sensitivity or allergy to these additives. As to what that allows, it is learning about & cooking up some great, tasty, healthy meals. One can find online healthy recipes or through a cookbook. I just moved to Richmond & am grateful that many of the local grocery stores carry natural & organic foods... Which is best for everyone in the family. Yes, sometimes the price is higher, & it also saves big bucks when it comes to not requiring frequent visits to the doc or meds! Personally, I find it tastes better!

One person who has written for children with ADD/ADHD is Doreen Virtue. One book of hers is entitled, The Care & Feeding of Indigo Children. You can purchase it new or used ($2.84 & up, love their used book prices!) on Amazon. Read over the profile on the book & see if it speaks to you. She does discuss the spiritual aspects. So if you are desiring to address this on a holistic (addressing all parts of oneself ~ physical, emotional, mental & spiritual) this has a wealth of info & recommendations.

I love reading that you are a stay at home mom! I hope you are taking time on your own each week, without kids around, doing things you love, to fill you & replenish you! It is an awesome opportunity to be a mom & we need to take great care of ourselves, to better meet the needs of our families.

Blessings

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi J.,

I am a mom of 2 ADHD boys (now grown). While I really resisted it at first, my oldest did really well with meds. My youngest was a different story...a nightmare really...we tried everything and nothing helped...vitamins, diet (when we could - very challenging as they get older), ton's of different supplements, homeopathic, chiropractic, body work, vision therapy, specialized camps, etc. It was crazy. At times we had Daily / Weekly conversations with Teachers, Guidance, Administration, Therapists...problems with the law...in the end, there was little real help for us.

So from 1st hand experience, I've been down the road when conventional works and when nothing works. In my searching, as well as trying to find some sanity for myself, I migrated towards some really alternative methods as well as life coaching and am now a Wellness Coach and Business Consultant. One of the areas I'm specializing in is with ADHD. I really understand things differently now and have seen some impressive results. I will tell you that a few of the tools I use are highly unconventional, not well known, but are highly effective.

First the diet. There are a number of factors that are contributors, some fairly well known some pretty unusual. When I look at dietary factors, I do consider blood type, allergies and some other factors that can be derived from birth information (sounds impossible, I know!) and can help to improve the absorption of nutrients which equates to improved cognitive and immune function. Allergies are often a factor as well. Most people have at least some core food allergies. The stress can show up as response to the specific food, but often the problem shows up elsewhere, such as behaviors, pollen, animal allergies. There is a way to get to these underlying imbalances...some it's a few sessions, others, it's quite an ordeal.

Secondly and more importantly, I have learned about apparent contributing factors that when addressed, are seeing issues just drop away. I say apparent because while there's some research and documentation, not much is validated or recognized by the professional medical community (although there is one study).

The two factors that I am seeing really impressive results with are in addressing inheritable stresses from what's called a TB Miasm as well as environmental stresses such as EMF...cell phone, wireless devices and radio signals - we're bombarded by them and a higher activity here from the military. From what I understand, the TB miasm is a residual stress that is a result of someone contracting TB, recovering and then it is passed down to the next generation, and so on. There's an interesting study from South Africa on seeing the behavioral changes in children after recovering from TB-Menangitis. I have had clients experience a relief of symptoms to the point that they say they don't need their meds, the mind chatter is gone, and the anxiety reduced amongst other improvements. It is suspected that upwards of 60% of the population has this underlying energetic stress. I am seeing roughly this percentage in my clients.

The EMF problems can mimic ADHD symptoms. Again, after rebalancing, many are experiencing a relief of the problems they are experiencing.

If you'd like to find out more, you can go to www.GreaterClarityAndProductivity.com. I can't express how impressed I am with the results I'm seeing and while everything in divine timing, I wish that I had access to what I know now, then. But isn't that often the case?!

However you choose to move forward, I wish the best for you and your child. In our own pain and frustration, we can often miss how hard it is on them. I know I did. Hope this information is helpful.

Warmly,
S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, here is the link and the phone number for the Washinton Institute for Natual Medicine. www.washingtoninst.qpg.com
###-###-#### They will be able to formulate a whole food/lifestyle plan for your son that doesn't include meds! When I was pregnant with my first child I worked in a 3rd classroom of add adhd kids. Some on the meds that you spoke of and some who were being treated with diet plans. One child, who was most remarkable started the year on the traditional meds and then his parents switched him over to a diet plan that incorporated ginsing- he was "normal" on the diet plan. And best of all he seemed happy and energetic, not all zombied out like the meds made him. Good luck with your journey, stay strong! You're an awesome mom! J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.T.

answers from Norfolk on

I am not sure if you have read any of the latest research regarding food preservatives, colorings, and additives. Basically, avoid them. They tend to cause hyperactivity in children, and there were exaggerated effects to those with ADHD. So, avoid Sodium Benzoate, MSG, Yellow # Blue # Red # (anything like that is a signal that it is artificially colored) Cereals and kid snacks are loaded with them. Look for organic alternatives to cereals and snacks as well as fruit. Fruit tends to be colored for our eye appeal. Avoid any sodas or carbonated beverages, they are loaded with Sodium Benzoate. Try 100 % Juices. Look at Trader Joes selections. They are much cheaper than the other supermarkets for health food. You don't have to feed him tofu, but do read labels.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Washington DC on

J.,

Try The Kid-Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook by Pamela Compart and Dana Laake. It contains great information about the diet, other culprits, and how to get started. Plus it has some very good recipes.

What to eat, every kids nightmare, fruits, veggies, meats. A help would be to find a whole foods, or natural food market in your area.

Good luck, let me know how it goes,
S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.C.

answers from Richmond on

Hi J.,

I just responded to a similar post yesterday. You may want to browse the site and see if she had any good responses.

Here are my thoughts. My oldest son has "ADHD". Fortunately, for us, I was given a tape to watch. It talked about how 80% of the children diagnosed with ADHD actually have food allergies. As it turns out, my son was allergic to whole wheat. For some reason, his brain would be unable to function about 20 minutes after he ate whole wheat. I don't understand it, but it is true right to this very day.

According to the tape, whole wheat and dairy are a the two main foods that cause the problem. I decided to take my son off of those two to see what would happen. Then I would reintroduced the foods. He was completely normal without them for two whole weeks. I added back in the dairy and he was just fine for another week. The day I added back the whole wheat is the day he became "retarded" again. Then I realized that all of his problems started when I decided to improve our diet with whole grains.

Your son may be one of the 20% who actually has ADHD. However, I think the food elimination diet would be a good thing to try...maybe he is one of the 80%!

Best wishes,

T.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.S.

answers from Dover on

Go to Feingold.org. You can order their diet for $69. It will tell you everthing that is free of artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweetners and nasty preservatives such as BHT, BHA, and TBHQ. When you order their materials, you will receive a list (specific to your area) of foods that are appropriate. On this diet you can still eat normal food...you just may have to switch brands to avoid the petro chemicals. You can try to avoid them yourself...but The Feingold Organization has done extensive research and they make it super easy for you.

Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Richmond on

Hi J.
Please take some time and visit this website www.theblockcenter.com. I've sent so many parents there and they have received so much help from Dr. Mary Ann Block, she I am sure is the only expert who is treating ADHD without all the meds. The other suggestion is to get him detox from those meds but please check her out first and call her, she has patients all over the world.
C. H. @ AweSum Cleansing, Inc.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.A.

answers from Norfolk on

Ok this may sound crazy but have you tried caffeine? A friend of mine swears by it she has a son who is well into his teens now, and when he was little and hyper she used to give him some mountain dew with his lunch and he would promptly take a nice long nap. When he started school the school wanted him put on meds which she really didn't want to do but did initially and which like your story worked but they all hated the side effects. So she started letting him drink a cup of coffee in the morning and at her next parent/teacher meeting the teacher was like wow those meds are working great, she's like he's not taking them. Anyway just an idea. About the diet have you tried talking to someone at a good health food store, they might be able to send you in the right direction, also I'm not sure about your financial, health insurance situation but a consultation with a good naturopathic dr might also get you there.

Good luck - R. A

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Washington DC on

J.,

I can relate. I dated a man for 4 years with a son, who is now 11, with ADHD. What is happening is his body is getting used to the meds. What we would do is not give him the meds on the weekends. Believe me, that was sometime difficult, but it would give his body a break. We would also give it to him very sparingly over the summer.

But, to answer your question, if you go to Whole Foods, there is this big book there, I think in the vitamin isle, that you can look up any illness and it will list vitamins and foods that contain the natural chemicals to help balance the chemical imbalance that is present. Also, it sounds totally wrong but caffine also works temporarily to calm ADHD. I also have ADD/ADHD and I take Focalin XR, which is a more refined version of Ritalin. I think it works really well, better than Adderall.

Good luck...

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Norfolk on

There really aren't any diets that are for kids with REAL ADHD. If there were MD's would be prescribing them. My daughter has ADHD. We did take out all foods with Red Dye 40 in them. But I didn't seem much improvement. I understand your frustation. Have you tried Adderall (not the XR)? The XR didn't work for our daughter but the regular has made more than a huge difference! I would encourage you to stick with the meds. It is a long hard road but the benefits out way anything else. Take it from me...I had ADHD as a child and suffered miserably b/c of no medication. I was singled out in the classroom b/c I couldn't sit still and the emotional outburst made home life pretty hard. Not to mention I have a 22 year old nephew who wasn't diagnosed til he was in 3rd grade and his life was so dramatically changed with medication. Sometimes it just takes upping the dosage. Don't be discouraged you're not hurting your child. ADHD is a disease just like diabetes or anything else for that fact. And you wouldn't with hold medication from them then. Be encouraged that you are doing the right thing and your child's childhood will be better for it!
God bless!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I herd if you change the diet.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.

My son was also diagnosed with ADHD although I hesitated for the longest time to put him on medication. We finally did with the premise that if my son didn't feel like it was helping him, he could come off it (he was 15 at the time). After a year he did stop the medication. We changed our diets by eating as basic as possible, meaning home cooking with no preservatives, as fresh as we could get and no artifical stuff. We would allow him to occasionally est other stuff but he sooned found out by himself that he wasn't feeling well. All the doctors kept saying that diet had nothing to do with this. To this day, I refuse to believe this as food is fuel for our bodies. How can it not affect us!

I found out by trial and error that certain food colorings and high sugar contents made him very mooding and agitated. My son is now 24 and knows now what certain foods help him and which don't. At the time he was diagnosed, it was hard to find any information. Now there are lots.

Here are a few that I suggest:

http://www.add.org/ This is one that I have used for research and as reference several times.

http://www.drhallowell.com/resources/index.html This is Edward Hallowell's home page. I found it really good with a lot of good ideas and tips.

I have also used and still do aroma therapy both in the house and in the bath. My son still to this day will take a nice long bath with essential oils (lavander to sooth him, eucalyptus for stuffiness,) to help him. I would recommend that you find someone whois well trained in this area.

The other important thing about children and ADHD is to be very consistant and have a routine. If you did only these two things, (not that I am suggesting you are not), you may find it very useful and with another child coming, a godsend.

I hope this will have helped in some way. Good Luck

C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.R.

answers from Washington DC on

I was a school teacher of fifth and sixth graders before becoming a mother and I was amazed at how many of my students were on meds. At one point I think there were 12. In one class.

I do think meds are necessary in SOME SEVERE CASES but meds are completely and utterly over-diagnosed. I was really tired of seeing my bright and lively students turn into zombies because of meds.

My brother was held back in third grade and told to be put on medication for ADHD. He just couldn't sit still and focus. Although I know you said you didn't want to hear what your son can't eat I am going to tell you what worked for my brother and what I did for my students as well. My mom took him off of meds after one week because she didn't like how the meds changed him.

My mom noticed that even more than watching his sugars, any processed, additive or synthetic type foods triggered my brother. No jello, no fake cheese, no oreos, no fruit snacks. Basically no junk food. Nothing with all of those chemical additives in them.

So what CAN he eat? Fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy cereals like Cheerios and granolas... raisins, crackers, peanut butter, basically anything that is in a more original form. She said even homemade treats were fine - like cookies and cakes and things, it was just the twinkies and ding dongs and hohos that were awful. Makes sense to me. Of course, sugar should be eaten in moderation though.

A book I strongly suggest is "One Mind at a Time" by Mel Levine. Here is a quote from it:

“Instead of diagnosing or labeling, I much prefer to use a description, to say that a kid is having trouble with social relationships, for example. When you use a description you are coming up with a plan to help him instead of trying to figure out what are we going to call him. I believe a lot of the labeling today is being fomented by the drug companies. It’s a marketing strategy. The more people you call depressed, the more Prozac you’re going to sell. I know that isn’t going to make me very popular with the drug companies.”

I wholeheartedly agree. I am VERY VERY VERY against labeling. A child will get it stuck in their head that they are ADHD and limit themselves and think there is something wrong with it. I will never forget the time I had a former student call me at home nearly in tears and tell me "Guess what??" I was so worried..... "I just got back from the doctor and he said that I have ADHD". It was like she had some awful disease. I told her I didn't believe in ADHD. I think she wanted sympathy but I didn't give it to her.

In that book, Dr. LEvine also talks about approaching the child with the idea of focusing on what they ARE good at instead of what they aren't. I tried this approach and it worked wonders. And their weaknesses became strengths.

I am really getting on my soapbox but I just have strong feelings that we need to get kids out of the house and running around and breathing the fresh air and playing. Another GREAT book is "Last Child in the Woods" - the author suggests that if we encourage children to play outside more and be in nature that many of our children will be healed of things like depression and ADHD.

anyway, sorry so lengthy. Hope it helped some.

T.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.H.

answers from Washington DC on

My coworker has had extreme success (and immediate success) with the Goldfine diet. Of course, there are foods your child cannot eat, but they give a list of foods he CAN eat. She subscribes to a newsletter and is sent updates on foods as they are added.
The diet is a progressive thing. Phase 1 is pretty restrictive, then phase 2 adds more foods to try. Go online & look up Goldfine -- or maybe Goldfein. She is very happy. On her recommendation, another friend tried it and noticed results very quickly too. Give it a try. You'll know within a week if the diet is effective.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.K.

answers from Washington DC on

J.,
You might want to investigate CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). This is a national non-profit with lots of great resources.
www.chadd.org

Good luck!
A. Dolin, M.Ed.
www.ectutoring.com
www.anndolin.com

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions