ADHD Treatment Without Drugs

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Have you heard of attention deficit disorder (ADD)? Now they’ve got a double, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They lump them together. This is a complex problem that takes skilled medical diagnose and yet health workers in schools who are not carefully trained are willy-nilly diagnosing active children as having ADHD, hyperactivity and some things were given to me earlier. For example, mold can cause this problem, red dye can cause this problem, poor diet can cause this problem, genetic disorders. There are many doctors now in America who are beginning to speak out and they’re saying ADHD is over-diagnosed and is over-diagnosed by people who aren’t qualified and as a result many children in our nation are being over-medicated. It may some or your children or grand-children. So is there a better way to treat kids with an attention problem? Medical report Galen Jethro has the story on a natural alternative that worked for one family.

Vancouver, Canada. Site of the 2010 Winter Olympics and where hockey rules for twins Scott and Spencer McHaffie. They excel at the national sport and keep up their skills at summer practice. But they get a failing grade in the classroom. A struggle that started in preschool. Doctors diagnosed them with ADHD at age six.

How much were you struggling with math before?

Spencer: I was struggling pretty much. I didn’t really get it.

Jim McHaffie: I was really pulling my hair out. It was really so hard. The house was always messy. They were tearing our house apart. They weren’t really active.

Aggie McHaffie: I was dealing with principals and teachers and doctors and counselors.

You didn’t answer the phone, probably.

Aggie: No, I didn’t actually. Every single day there was a message on the machine, “Hi, Mrs. McHaffie. This is so and so. Can you give me a call. I just dreaded it.”

About 5% of Canadian kids are diagnosed with ADHD; 8% in the U.S. The numbers really jump in the number of drugs prescribed for the disorder. In the U.S. alone, that number has doubled in the last 10 years. So, is there something wrong with all these kid’s brains?

Gretchen LeFever, PH.D., Regent University: It looks like in those children, the minority of children who really have that disorder, that there probably is some neurological underpinning to it. But again, that’s a small fraction of the children who actually carry that diagnoses and get treated for the condition.

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Child development expert Gretchen LeFever believes that ADHD is both over-diagnosed and over-medicated.

LeFever: Those professionals who continue to say that ADHD is widely under-diagnosed or that only about 3% of the children in this country receive ADHD drug treatment are simply wrong. The data do not support it.

But what’s the downside of diagnosing and treating kids.

LeFever: The bottom line is we have simply not looked at the long-term, over the long-haul, years of drug treatment, effectiveness and consequences.

Regardless of the over-diagnosis kids do need some help with their behavior. For millions of parents like the McHaffie’s thought they only had the drug option. So they put Scott and Spence on Ritalin. A drug they said turned the boys into zombies. Then they tried the drug Dextratrim. Although it suppressed the boys’ appetites and their growth, the school’s (?) advocating medication.

Mrs. McHaffie: The Dextratrim didn’t seem to be making a difference anymore. They just wanted us to keep upping the dosage, upping the dosage.

LeFever: As far as I’m concerned there’s very little grounds in most cases to warrant first line of defense being drug treatment or the only treatment.

LeFever notes in one study researchers trained parents and teachers in behavioral techniques such as reinforcing positive attitudes. That was effective for over two-thirds of the children studied. Physician Michael Lyon, M.D., author of “Is Your Child’s Brain Starving?” found nutrition helped him overcome ADHD as a teenager. He recently completed a treatment study using L-Theanine, a substance found in green tea.

Dr. Lyon: I wanted to provide parents with something that they give their kids that was safe and would provide rapid and immediate benefits to buy them time so they wouldn’t rush into using medication.

He’s still analyzing the results but says all the indicators are looking positive. And there’s precedence, considering the Japanese use Theanine as standard treatment for ADHD. The McHaffie’s took part in Dr. Lyon’s study.

Scott: You can do anything when you take L-Theanine. You can breathe better, you can feel better. It’s just awesome.

Spencer: You can learn out there because I haven’t learned any of the stuff. It’s just amazing, I think.

You feel like you’re catching up?

Spencer: Yes, yes, yes.

But the boys stopped taking L-Theanine after the study had ended.

Mrs. Spencer: I get a report at the end of December F’s across the board.

They got back on the Theanine right away and even their hockey coach began to see a difference.

Darin Vetterl: We went down to a tournament into Dallas and the boys were more focused. Listening skills on the bench are much better. Their on-ice time play was a lot more controlled.

And to take it to the next level, Dr. Lyon says that a broad approach works best.

Dr. Lyon: If you go about this in a very comprehensive way, look at a child’s life from a point of nutrition, family dynamics, there’s spiritual life, there’s physical health. You look at that person as a whole person and do everything you can to nurture and nourish that person

For the McHaffie’s that meant changes at the dinner table.

Mrs. McHaffie: Lots more salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, grilled meats rather than fried and whole wheat. Huge difference.

Mr. McHaffie: There’s been a dramatic change in them helping around the house, wanting to go to any event that we have planned. Just way more focused. Much more harmonious family all the way around.

And better grades, too. With renewed hope, the McHaffie’s take to the ice with Olympic Gold in their dreams. Reporting from Vancouver, British Columbia, I’m Galen Jethro. CBN News.

You know I may sound like a broken record but the same thing is causing many other problems and that thing is too much sugar, too much salt, too much white bread, too much sweats, too much candy, too much stimulants like Coke and caffeine and not enough fruits, vegetables, protein rich food that are not fried, and low-sodium and not enough exercise. It’s a no-brainer. They have these manifestations that these kids’ brains need to be fed. They’re starving. They’re growing and they need to be nourished.

You’re right, Pat. I concur. It’s amazing the food we eat can affect our thinking and behavior, our attitude, our outward and inward appearance.

I’m all for green tea, too. It’s really healthy.

Is Your Child's Brain Starving? This is a survival handbook for: • Parents and teachers working with children with ADD/ADHD, behavioural or learning difficulties • Anyone who suffers from hidden food intolerances or allergies • Those struggling with digestive disorders It presents practical information for: • Adults and children who want to improve their concentration, attention and mental alertness • Targeted nutrition to support optimal brain function • Identifying and resolving adverse food reactions.

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