Tuesday, August 14, 2012

1 in 10 diagnosed with adhd

In a recent article, Dr. David Jockers of Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga., and expert in weight loss, customized nutrition and exercise and structural corrective chiropractic care, sheds much needed light on a problem which has puzzled  and continue to pose problems for parents, teachers, school boards, and governments –ADHD.

Known as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, ADHD is a health situation that continues to challenge our medical prowess. The challenge stems from the fact that ADHD is not sufficiently understood and those affected by it are often mistreated and unsupported (for the most part unintentionally). At the same time, it is believed, that, schools need to establish and enhance requisite education to ensure that teachers and support staff have relevant knowledge, skills, and behaviour to practise safe and effective approaches to dealing with victims of ADHD.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed 73,000 children and found that 1 in 10 children suffer from ADHD, a 22% increase in the last 8 years. The Center found that chief contributors are toxic deficient lifestyles.

Chronic ADHD symptoms show signs of mild to moderate brain damage, where regions of the brain become inflamed and signals primitive regions to move into overdrive. In such a case, the frontal lobe function of the brain, responsible for concentration and emotional stability is inhibited. When the brain is imbalanced, it leads to poor concentration and emotional outbursts.

 A recent Lancet study found that many food dyes and the prevalent use of benzoate (a chemical found in many soft drinks, fruit juices, and salad dressings) are a cause of many children becoming hyperactive and distractible. Many food additives and dyes, the study concluded, did as much damage to children's brains as lead in gasoline could do.

Parents and children should show care to the foods they eat every day. Foods that should be avoided include: all pasteurized dairy products and grains that contain gluten such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, kamut, and spelt. Soy products, some nuts, eggs, and heavy proteins are also foods that should be avoided or heavily monitored. Eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes fall on the suspicious list of foods that should be avoided.

What should be eaten if all of these foods should be avoided? Our beloved western diets need to be changed to anti-inflammatory based diets and lifestyle. Anti-inflammatory foods can help to moderate the immune system and lessen its capacity to over-inflame. An avoidance of man-made foods, sugars, and food allergens are critical to recovery. A regular exercise program can also be helpful. In addition, critical nutrients are suggested: "Vitamin D, Folic acid, Pyridoxine (B6), Vitamin B12, Zinc, CoQ10, and trace minerals. Vitamin D levels should be between 60-100 ng/ml. Boost Vitamin D naturally with 20-60 minutes of healthy sunlight every day or 5,000-50,000 IU of emulsified vitamin D3 daily to get the levels where they should be. A raw, whole-food multi-vitamin that supplies ample amounts of folic acid (400 mcg), B6 (4mg), B12(100 mcg), Zinc (15 mg), trace minerals, & CoQ10 (500 mcg) should be consumed daily".

As an educator, I have worked with children in school settings for over thirty-five years and with people in general in a number of societal arenas. I have observed the reactions of people who have lived with the misfortunes of ADD and ADHD and have realized their struggles, the frustrations of teachers and administrators, the incapacity of Special Needs workers, the uncertainty of parents, the inadequate funding of suitable programs on the part of school boards to address the obvious growing needs of ADD/ADHD sufferers. I am first among many to acknowledge the enormity of the problem that confronts us. Yet, when I compare my work with Special Needs students during my 5 years as a Special Education teacher, with many painful situations of the current time, I am appalled at the lack of service that students receive. I also acknowledge that there are several reasons for this, not the least of which is a basic lack of knowledge of the problem.

To support ADD/ADHD students, changes should be well thought out and should not be sweeping in nature. Each change should be small, timely, and measurable. Chief among the supports is learning about the nature of ADD/ADHD. Knowing what is being dealt with is as important as the remedies or treatments that are applied. 

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