The truth about ADHD, and ADHD symptoms to look out for
ADHD and ADD? What comes to mind when hearing these terms?
Picture yourself in front of a classroom with a few of the kids jumping on the desks,
walking around in the classroom, playing with rules, glue and everything they can lay
their hands on, talking incessantly, making all sorts of noises, and just generally
driving you up the wall.
Well, being a former teacher, I experienced the above in a large class with 45 learners,
as well as being a tutor to only 4 boys with "behavioural" problems.
These out-of-control kids were known as sufferers of ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity
Disorder). They can also suffer from ADD, where hyperactivity is not present, as is often the
case. They then have the opposite behavioural patterns, e.g. daydreaming and the inability to
concentrate, but not unruly and undisciplined behaviour.
Now picture the same scenario, where the kids are taking prescription medication, called
Ritalin, in most cases. Everybody in the class is concentrating, sitting quietly at their
desks doing their work. What a nice picture of success and victory over an life-destroying disease! But.... what is WRONG with this picture?
It will become clear what is WRONG as we discuss the issue further...
Let's start with a list of sypmtoms of ADHD and/or ADD. These are
mostly applicable to children, but some adults may recognise themselves
in this list!
* Is easily distracted
* Is often forgetful in daily activities
* Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
* Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
* Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
* Has difficulty playing quietly
* Acts as if "driven by a motor," talks excessively
* Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
* Has difficulty awaiting turn
* Interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games)
* Fails to give close attention to details, makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
* Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
* Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
* Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores
* Has difficulty organising tasks and activities
* Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork)
* Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for activities
The nutrition guru, Patric Holford, gave SIX crucial factors to help children
with these conditions:
# Balance blood sugar levels
# Eliminate chemical additives and other potential allergens, e.g wheat, dairy or eggs
# Supplement essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6)
# Test for and detoxify toxic elements
# Supplement with vitamins and minerals
# Supplement with nutrients that increase brain communication
OK, in practical terms, how do we then feed the child?
1. Avoid sugar and chemical additives
2. Eat more fish and less meat
3. Limit food that cause reactions
4. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
5. Add ground seeds on cereal
6. Eat whole, unrefined foods and avoid junk foods - look for healthy alternatives
7. Drink lots of water. Add diluted fruit juice if necessary.
8. Avoid caffeinated drinks and drinks high in sugar
Right, but what is wrong with taking the medication route, if the results are so good?
Why go to all the "healthy eating and supplementation" trouble if a few tablets can do the
job just as well and even better?
Consider the following, and then make up your own mind about the treatment of ADD or ADHD:
Prescribed for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder
Ritalin (temporarily) stimulates the Central Nervous System
Prescribed for the treatment or Narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks)
Ritalin temporarily increases some aspects of human intelligence, long-term usage DECREASES intelligence (due to Norepinephrine depletion)
Amphetamines in the short term: alleviates depression, increases intelligence, improves memory, increases
energy, willpower and motivation.
Amphetamines in the long term: causes depression, causes drug dependence, decreases intelligence, impairs memory,
impairs the immune system, causes lack of energy, willpower and motivation.