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LATEST RESEARCH NOTE ON ADHD

STUDY: A study published in PLoS One by researchers at Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health found that children exposed to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy were five times more likely to have ADHD by age 9.

DETAILS: The researchers measured levels of a common pollutant called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs. PAHs are a group of chemicals that are used in making dyes, plastics, pesticides and even medicines and in modern life they are pretty much unavoidable. The EPA has classified seven PAH compounds as probable human carcinogens: benzanthracene, benzopyrene, benzo fluoranthene, benzo fluoranthene, chrysene, dibenzanthracene, and indenopyrene.

The Center for Children’s Environmental Health reports studies that demonstrate that exposure to PAH pollution during pregnancy is related to adverse birth outcomes including low birth weight, premature delivery, and heart malformations. Also higher levels of PAH is associated with a 24% higher score of anxiety or depression for children ages six to seven than those with low exposure levels.

Suggestions:

a) Avoid regions with high air pollution

b) Some studies suggest that children with ADHD may have lower levels of zinc in their body. And some scientists have reported improved symptoms in children with ADHD who took zinc supplements along with traditional ADHD treatment.

c) There is some evidence that fish oil with high Omega-3 can help improve ADHD symptoms.

d) Scientific research on ADHD diets is limited and results are mixed. Some believe that including beans, cheese, eggs, meat, and nuts is good. Add protein foods in the morning and for after-school snacks, to improve concentration and possibly increase the time ADHD medications work. Include vegetables and some fruits (including oranges, tangerines, pears, grapefruit, apples, and kiwi).

Source: PLOS, Wikipedia, WebMD others


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LATEST RESEARCH NOTE ON ADHD

For kids suffering from attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD),

daily aerobic exercises before school can help reduce symptoms of inattentiveness,

moodiness and difficulty in getting along with others in the classroom as well as at home.

Source: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.


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COULD MODERN WHEAT BE YOUR PROBLEM?

Studies show that modern wheat (often called high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat) is significantly less nutritious than the older varieties (1, 2).

But there is also some evidence that modern "whole" wheat isn’t just less nutritious, it may also be significantly more harmful to your heart.

Studies that compare modern wheat to its older counterparts show that it can increase cholesterol levels and inflammatory markers… but inflammation is among the leading drivers of heart disease (3, 4).

Modern wheat also contains different gluten proteins than the older breeds and is significantly more harmful to people with Celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (6, 7).

Read more: http://authoritynutrition.com/4-heart-healthy-foods-that-clog-arteries/#ixzz328ARW9hP


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INTERESTING INSIGHTS ABOUT ADHD DRUGS

Between 2007 and 2012, the number of adults with ADHD prescriptions TRIPLED. 55% of students who are in fraternities misuse ADHD drugs. Many people who use these stimulants without a prescription don’t think they are taking a drug.

And so has ADHD drug-related ER visits. It has tripled in recent years.

Every major ADHD drug has been cited by the FDA for false and misleading advertising. Many are known to significantly impact your Creative abilities. The perceived cognitive benefits of these drugs are caused by Placebo effects. ADHD drug + Drinking may increase the risk of heart problems for people taking these meds. The scariest of the listed side effects for ADHD drugs is the risk of sudden death. In rare cases, stimulant abuse has led to mental illness and psychosis.

Now the kicker: ADHD Drugs release a rush of dopamine in the brain, giving many people a sense of euphoria. They are additive. Doctors and Pharmas are both at fault for ignoring FDA warnings about prescription stimulants and pushing more ADHD drugs to kids.

Fight unnecessary medication of children.

Source: NY Times, BusinessInsider.com


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DOES THIS SOUND RIGHT? JUST THINK FOR A MINUTE

A new government survey has found that 1 in every 13 child is taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral problems.

Of these, 81 % of the children on medication had been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at some point.

Now sit back and think for a minute…….

Aren’t children meant to be full of energy and unfocussed?

Do we want them growing up like robots that follow instructions precisely?

Isn’t the act of growing up fundamentally an act of developing patience, focus, and self-confidence?

If so, why do we rush to put them on psychotropic drugs?

Note that only 55 % of parents reported that these psychiatric medications are helping their children.

Does this sound right to dose young growing mind with drugs that impact their hormone level and brain functions?

Have we truly exhausted all non-chemical options before we medicate our kids?

Before you open the next Ritalin bottle, just think for a minute.


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ADHD article in SALON

A recent article in Salon makes a good read and incisive point on ADHD. (read more here: http://www.salon.com/2014/03/01/the_truth_about_adhd_over_diagnosis_linked_to_cause_championed_by_michelle_rhee/)

ADHD diagnosis has increased over 40% in the last decade. The CDC now estimates that 12 percent of school age kids, and as many as 20% of teenage boys have been diagnosed with ADHD.

A new book, “The ADHD Explosion, by Stephen Hinshaw and Richard Scheffler points out that based on the most recent survey, from 2011, a child in Kentucky is three times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as a child in Nevada. And a child in Louisiana is five times as likely to take medication for ADHD as a child in Nevada.

TOP 5 STATES

The five states that have the highest rate of diagnoses — Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana and North Carolina.

BOTTOM 5 STATES

Nevada, New Jersey, Colorado, Utah and California

BOOK’S SURPRISING FIND

What the team found was that high rates of ADHD diagnoses correlated closely with state laws that penalize schools when students fail.

TAKEAWAY:

Don’t be quick to label. Understand the subtle social pressure that may be influencing you. Seek alternatives before you put your child on brain altering drugs.


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ADHD and Kids

I am increasingly seeing parents concerned that their child is ADHD because he/she is not listening to them. I am concerned with this trend of “labeling” the child for life. Labeling removes the opportunity to prevent and fix problems with non-medicine alternatives rather than resorting to pharma solutions.

The three key symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. These symptoms typically interfere with the child’s functioning in social and academic settings. Children with ADHD have poor focusing and organization skills, which means, among other difficulties, that they have trouble organizing their belongings and tasks.

Parenting a child with true ADHD can pose special challenges but first realize that ADHD is not an end/period but a comma in the child’s life. Many famous, accomplished, and indeed brilliant people of the past and present have had ADHD.

Here is what you can do to Prevent and Manage ADHD:

1. To Prevent

· If you are concerned, communicate with the doctor. If a formal evaluation is needed, this evaluation will involve professionals from various disciplines to provide a comprehensive medical, developmental, educational, and psychosocial evaluation.

· Be Specific to your kids. Avoid vague or open-ended instructions such as “clean up your room” or “Be good”. Break down instructions of larger tasks into simple steps.

2. Avoid

· Inconsistency. Children with ADHD respond well to a defined and predictable system of rewards and consequences.

· Pharma solution as the first step. Kids exhibit different degrees of ADHD and so the care not usually the same. Also most kids on ADHD medicines seem to lose the zest for life. Try parenting changes first.

· Big goals or addressing all behavioral issues at the same time. Set small attainable goals. Focus on one or two challenging behaviors at a time.

· Foods containing color additives like Yellow 5,6 or 13 and Red 3, 40 etc.

3. Follow this care:

· Set an established, while not inflexible, pattern for getting ready in the mornings, preparing for bedtime, and managing after-school homework. It helps the child to know what to expect. It’s very important to stick to the rules and provide fair and consistent rewards and consequences when the household rules are not followed.

· Hang the checklists in a conspicuous place and allow your child to check off completed items as they are done.

· Some parents find that purchasing a second set of textbooks for the home is useful for the child who frequently forgets to bring the proper materials home. They also keep homework space free of external distractions like television and video games.

· Pick a sport (that involve constant activity or motion) and that suits your child and his or her abilities. It is known to help.

· Take away distractions like TV, video games, and cell phones from their bed room. They interfere with sleep, which is critical for ADHD kids

· Avoid soda and caffeine from their diet. Try slight diet changes (gluten free, sugar free etc) to see if they perform better.

· Add Omega-3s to their diet instead. These are found in salmon, walnuts, spinach, broccoli, edamame, flaxseed seem to do good for ADHD.


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THE STEALTH KILLER THAT LEADS TO ADHD

AVOIDING PESTICIDES

Last fall the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report on pesticides that says:
“Children’s exposures to pesticides should be limited as much as possible.”

1. What are pesticides?
“Pesticides represent a broad classification of chemicals that are applied to kill or control insects, unwanted plants, mold or unwanted animals (e.g. rodents).” AAP says that certain pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, organophosphates and rodenticides) are the primary agents that cause acute and chronic toxicity in children. They have nerve-disrupting agents including several chemicals that have been banned for home use in the U.S. because of their adverse effects.

2. What happens when children are exposed to pesticides?
Malathion is an OP that is widely used in U.S. food production. It is used on strawberries, carrots, grapes, sweet potatoes, and dozens more. Research by Harvard University’s School of Public Health on malathion metabolites in the urine of children found that even low levels of malathion were associated with a 55% higher risk of having ADHD. In addition to the food kids eat, children may also be exposed to many pesticides in the home, such as flea treatment for cats and dogs, lawn-care products, and even treatment for head lice. Additionally, young children play on and crawl across the floor, and “exhibit frequent hand to mouth activity.”

Consider this: “One example evident from the biomonitoring data is chlorphrifos, a non-persistent organophosphate (OP) insecticide. Although banned in 2000 for use inside the home, it continues to be used in agriculture, including orchard fruits, such as apples and pears, and other dietary staples of children. In the Center for Disease Control biomonitoring data, chlorpyrifos-specific urinary metabolites were highest for the youngest age group assessed (6-11 years) compared with older children and adults.” Children are more vulnerable to these and other pesticides because of their lower body weight, and tendency to eat pesticide ridden foods like apples (think apple juice, apple slices, apple sauce) that have OP residues like chlorphrifos.

3. What can parents do?
The AAP cites a study conducted on elementary school students in Seattle where participants, ages 3 to 11-years-old, were first monitored for the presence of malathion and chlorpyrifos metabolites three days on their conventional diets before the researchers substituted most of the children’s conventional diets with organic food items for five consecutive days. The children were then re-introduced to their normal foods and monitored for an additional seven days.
The researchers found that “A rapid and dramatic drop in their urinary excretion of metabolites of malathion and chlorpyrifos OP insecticides during the organic diet phase was observed.” Once the children returned to their conventional (i.e. non-organic) diets, the average malathion metabolite concentration increased as did the chlorpyrifos metabolite concentration.

Takeaway

Choose foods that are USDA-Certified Organic.

Read more:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1757