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ADD/ADHD and your child

ADD/ADHD and your child

Did you know:
*Boys are 6-9 times more likely then girls to be diagnosed with ADHD
* In 2002, 1.6 million elementary school children have been diagnosed with ADHD in America (according to the CDC) and the standard medical treatment is drug treatment
* 95% of all Ritalin prescriptions are consumed in North America

Symptoms in Infants and Young Children
  • Crying inconsolably
  • Screaming
  • Restlessness
  • Poor or little sleep
  • Difficult feeding
  • Refuses affection and cuddles
  • Head banging or rocking fits or temper tantrums
Symptoms in Older Children
  • Impulsiveness
  • Clumsiness
  • Accident proneness
  • Bouts of fatigue, weakness and listlessness
  • Poor concentration ability
  • Withdrawn behaviour
  • Restlessness
  • Poor sleep with nightmares
  • Poor appetite and erratic eating habits
  • Poor coordination
  • Hypersensitive to odours, lights, sound, heat and cold
  • Nose and skin picking or hair pulling
  • Bed wetting (enuresis)
  • Dark circles or puffiness below the eyes
  • Red earlobes or red cheeks
  • Swollen neck glands or fluid behind ear drums
What causes ADD/ADHD?

  • We do not know exactly what causes it but we do know it runs in families
  •           * 5-8% of a random sample of children have ADD
              *If one parent has it, the chances of a child developing it shoot up to about 30%
              *If both parents have it, the chances leap to more than 50%

  • ADD is genetically influenced, but not genetically determined
  • Environment combines with genetics to create ADD
  • Environmental toxins, watching too much television and/or excessive stimulation all may play a role
  • Some nutritional deficiencies that correlate with ADD are calcium, magnesium, iodine, iron and zinc
  • High levels of copper, lead, mercury, cadmium and aluminum levels have also been seen in learning disabled children
Foods as a Cause
  • Artificial colours and preservatives are usually the leaders (79%) including red and yellow food colouring agents used in cherries and other fruits; preservative substances that cause symptoms include sodium, formaldehyde, pickles, and brine
  • Processed milk and milk products (64%)
  • Wheat products (49%) but only breads and cereals that are not whole grain
  • Sugar (16%) but that most likely causes more problems
  • Oranges and grapefruits (57%): suspect individuals who drink large amounts of those juices develop a resistance to them
  • Eggs
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Things that can contribute to your child’s ADD symptoms include

  • Newly painted surfaces
  • Perfumes (women’s and men’s)
  • Chlorinated swimming pools
  • Gasoline or petroleum products
  • Pesticides
  • Cut grasses or harvested crops
  • Household chemicals, such as cleaners
  • Gas stoves
ADD and Television

  • A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that watching videos as a toddler may lead to ADHD in later life.
  • TV watching rewires an infant’s brain and the damage shows up at age 7 when children have difficulty paying attention in school
  • Exposing a baby’s developing brain to videos may overstimulate it, causing permanent changes in developing neural pathways.
  • One of the main problems is that when a infants sits mesmerized by the video/TV, neural paths are not being created compared to when they for example play with their fingers and bend, flex, stretch and grasp. This crucial brain development stops by age three.
  • In the study of more than 2,000 children, Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, lead researcher and director of the Child Health Institute at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Centre, Seattle, Washington, found that for every hour watched at age one and age three, the children had almost a ten percnt higher chance of developing attention problems that could be diagnosed as ADHD by age 7. A toddler watching three hours of infant television daily had nearly a 30 percent higher chance of having attention problems in school.
Does ADD ever go away?
  • The symptoms of ADD disappear during puberty in 30-40 percent of children, and the symptoms stay gone
  • ADD persists into adulthood 60-70 percent of the time
  • As the brain matures, it changes in ways that may cause the negative symptoms to abate
  • ADD becomes a trait rather than a disorder
  • Sometimes the child learns how to compensate so well for his ADD during puberty that it looks as if the ADD has gone away but if you look closely, the symptoms are still there but the child has learned to control them.
Nutritional Approach

  • A 1994 study at Purdue University found that boys diagnosed with ADHD had lower levels of the omega-3 EFA DHA (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
  • A 1997 study found that 95% of ADHD children tested were deficient in magnesium (Magnesium Research 10, 1997)
  • A 1996 study found that ADHD children had zinc levels that were only 2/3 the level of those without ADHD (Biological Psychiatry 40, 1996)
  • 100 mg B-complex to nourish the nervous system
  • 100 mg B6, which is essential for the synthesis of seratonin, a hormone important for causing a calming effect
  • Good quality multivitamin/multimineral, taken as directed on the label provides basic nutrients for proper brain function
  • Taurine, tyrosine, tryptophan may be helpful in encouraging the body to relax
  • 500 mg Calcium and 250 mg Magnesium 2 times/day
  • 300 mg phosphatidylserine a day (found in high concentrations in brain cells and helps them function properly)
  • Chamomile tea: take 2-3 heaped tsp of chamomile flowers and pour boiling water over and allow to steep for 10 minutes
  •           *Helps to calm the nervous system and digestive tract

  • Antioxidants like Vitamin C – this is a potent anti-oxidant and helps to clean the dirt and junk from the blood. This will enhance the way your brain functions.
  • Probiotic – the normal and essential flora or bacteria in your digestive system which aids in your digestion, immune function and overall health.

*please check all dosages with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment

Chiropractic Care
  • Patients and parents of children diagnosed as ADD or ADHD have reported dramatic improvement after beginning chiropractic care
  • Musculoskeletal imbalances can create or lead to irregular brain activity, causing many symptoms commonly associated with ADHD. Chiropractic adjustments can help correct these imbalances and help improve or eliminate these symptoms.
  • Motor activity is the baseline function of brain activity-which explains the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment with ADHD patients.
  • AAP advises no child under age two should watch television at all.
  • Limit how much television older children watch as well since their brain continues to develop
  • Intense, prolonged visual stimulation of the brain during such a vulnerable stage of life interferes with the development of the central nervous system.
  • Avoid sugar, refined and processed foods, dyes, additives
  • Focus on family time, exercise, exploration and experiential learning
  • When seeking help for you or your child, schedule an appointment with your family chiropractor to discuss treatment options for ADHD

Dr. Jenna Davis is dedicated to providing you with the absolute best in family wellness care. So take a moment today to discuss with your Family Wellness Chiropractor any concerns you may have regarding your family’s overall health and wellness.

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