ADHD has been placed into the category of a “waste basket diagnosis” which is defined as: “A diagnosis that may be based on fad, not proven to exist, not physiologically explained, or not described with specificity, and thus so broadly inclusive to the point of being scientifically useless”. If your child is exhibiting the typical symptoms that have been associated with the ADHD diagnosis – inability to focus, hyperactivity, can’t sit still, the odds are your doctor will very quickly prescribe some sort of habit-forming amphetamine with properties similar to cocaine, AKA Ritalin. This drug is currently being given to 7 million school children in the US, or nearly 1 in 5. Here’s a list of Ritalin’s side effects from the US Drug Enforcement Administration:
Increased blood pressure, heart rate, respiration & temperature; appetite suppression; stomach pains; weight loss; growth retardation; facial tics; muscle twitching; euphoria; nervousness; irritability; agitation; insomnia, psychotic episodes, violent behavior; paranoid delusions; hallucinations; bizarre behaviors; heart arrhythmias & palpitations and psychological dependence. Really?
To deal with these side effects, children will often be prescribed additional medications such as antidepressants and sleeping pills. This is called polypharmacy and it is on a dangerous rise in children today. For our kids’ sake, we cannot accept this waste basket diagnosis! This is a disease of modern society and we have to start looking at the root cause instead of just medicating the symptoms. It’s highly unlikely that your child was ever evaluated for food allergies or nutritional deficiencies when concerns of attention span and restlessness arise, however, many studies have been done proving that behavioral problems diminish and IQ levels rise when nutritional supplementation is administered, especially essential fatty acids (EFAs) like Omega 3s. (BTW, eczema is a really good indicator of insufficient EFAs). Lower IQ levels are associated with children that consume processed sugars, commercial breakfast cereals, sweets, etc. Processed sugar facilitates the removal of vitamins and minerals from the body, feeds the pathogenic (bad) bacteria in our large intestine and suppresses our immune systems. Excess sugar and out of control insulin levels are at the root of every modern disease from Alzheimer’s and ADHD to cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. Let’s not underestimate the destructive power of processed sugar – or how much of it our kids are really consuming.
Some information in this blog was gathered from the book: “New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind” by Patrick Holford. One of my school textbooks and absolute favorite on the topic on mental health!!