View Full Version : Link Between ADHD and Genetic Mutations


hypergirl96
03-18-15, 02:20 PM
Hey, everyone! Hypergirl here! I just learned some stuff recently and I thought I'd share as this might help some of you out there. I'm not sure if there have been threads/posts about this before, but I thought it would be good to tell you all as you might find it helpful (or at the very least interesting).

I know it's really long. I broke it up into sections with bold headings to make it easier to read. I also included a very brief (three paragraphs) summary at the end of this post for those of you who don't have the time or ability to get through all this. I highly suggest you read it all, though, if you can because it contains a lot of research condensed into one article.

Also, I may have done a lot of research, but I am not a certified nutritionist, psychologist, psychiatrist, pharmacist, geneticist, or neurologist so all my information comes from my extensive research. So if you are more knowledgeable and see any mistakes please point them out and clarify because the last thing I want is for people to leave with incorrect information. Thanks and I hope you enjoy :)


The Link Between MTHFR Genetic Mutations and ADHD
__________________________________________________


A. What are MTHFR and MTHFR Variations?

I am not sure how many people know what MTHFR is. Briefly, it's an enzyme in the body that processes B-group vitamins which are then used by the brain in certain processes. Some of you may have also heard of MTHFR variations which are different types of genetic mutations of the MTHFR enzyme found most commonly in people of Mediterranean descent. The bodies of people with MTHFR mutations have trouble processing B-group vitamins and turning them into the substances their body needs. This can cause some severe problems.

My Aunt has always had problems with her body, specifically her immune system, but no medication was helping her. She has been researching like crazy to try to find out what her issues could possibly stem from. She ended up coming across information about MTHFR mutations and their effects and realized there was a correlation between those and her issues. She also read that it is most common in people of Mediterranean descent and she is 90% Italian (she has taken a DNA test in her efforts to find out what's causing her issues) so decided it would be worth giving it a shot. She purchased a home test lab, tested positive for a certain variation, and began taking B12. As a result, many of her symptoms have lessened considerably.

But the most curious thing is that she found in her research that there seems to be a positive correlation between MTHFR mutations and ADHD.



B. MTHFR Variations and Manifestations

The thing about MTHFR mutations is that there are several different mutations (MTFHR variations) that manifest themselves in different people in different ways, depending on which form of the mutation a person possesses. For some people it is physical pain and severe problems with one's immune system (as in my Aunt's case). For some it is severe anxiety or depression. For others, studies seem to show, it can even manifest itself as disorders such as ADHD and autism. It has even been linked to miscarriages and certain forms of cancer. It is most widely linked to anxiety and depression.

When my Aunt learned this, she immediately told my mom since she knows both my father and I have ADHD as well as the fact that my mom is 100% Hispanic and the mutation seems to manifest itself most prominently in people of Mediterranean descent.



C. The Connection Between MTHFR, Dopamine, and ADHD

I did some more research on the topic, and this is what I found:

The role of [folate]* is crucial and without it, there would more problems than there are with ADD. Before [folate] acid can donate to the methylation of the dopamine receptor, it has to be altered as well. In order for this to happen, an enzyme known as MTHFR for short has to process the [folate]. This then leads to the availability of [folate] for the enzyme known as methionine synthase. This enzyme can be poisoned by mercury and the first enzyme I mentioned (MTHFR) can have genetic problems that lead to poor processing of [folate]. This would ultimately mean there is not enough [folate] around to do the job of changing the receptor sites, which means dopamine doesn’t bind properly and we are left without the proper change in shape of these binding sites for dopamine. So put another way, you can have dopamine around all day long, but if you don’t make room for it, it doesn’t help you very much.

This quote was taken from an article on the Center for Wellness website about ADHD. You can find it here (http://www.printfriendly.com/print/?source=homepage&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfwellness.com%2Fhealth-topics%2Fadd-adhd).

So, if MTHFR is responsible for processing the vitamin needed to change the receptor sites where the dopamine is to be bonded making it difficult for the dopamine to bond, then it would make sense that a mutation in the MTHFR enzyme would affect the amount of dopamine our brains are actually using. As the quote stated, the role of folate (B9) is crucial to how our brains manage dopamine. If the enzyme that is supposed to process it is faulty, the folate doesn't process right and then can't do its job. We know ADHD is caused by a dopamine deficiency. Therefore, if a mutation in the MTHFR enzyme were affecting the amount of dopamine our brains are able to use, it would make sense that a mutation in that enzyme could lead to ADHD.

*Note: Please refer to part G.



D. Why is this Important?

So, what does this mean and why is it important? Well, if a specific MTHFR variation were affecting the amount of dopamine in our brain causing ADHD or contributing to it, it is possible that treating the MTHFR mutation (or mutations, as double mutations can and do occur) may help treat the ADHD. I have read several articles written by people who have discovered the link between their neuropsychological disorders and MTHFR mutations and one (link posted below) was from a woman who had severe anxiety from a young age, realized later that she had an MTHFR variation, and by taking a combination of folinic acid (5-formyl tetrahydrofolate) and menthyl B12 (which is much cheaper than anxiety medications, over-the counter, and worked much better for her) was able to essentially "cure" her anxiety, according to her own words.



E. Managing vs Treating ADHD and its Causes

Despite the hype surrounding ADHD nowadays, it is still not completely certain what causes ADHD in everyone. For instance, my father's ADHD symptoms were found to be caused by an issue with the his brain stem as it was found to be underdeveloped and therefore did not connect properly to his brain. I am unsure of the exact details (as it has been a while since I was told them), but whatever the issue was, it manifested itself as ADHD and thus is treated in the same manner as any other form of ADHD.

It seems highly likely that there is more than one cause of what we have termed ADHD. The causes could be different but since they all manifest in a similar way and the symptoms can be treated in the same way, we classify them all as ADHD. This might have something to do with why certain medications work for some people and don't for others, make their symptoms worse, or have little effect while others are highly effective.

But, is that really wise? If this is the case, and there are different things that cause ADHD, would we be better able to treat it if we tackled the causes, rather than trying to combat the symptoms? It's like the difference between taking an anti-inflamatory and an antibiotic. The anti-inflamatory treats and mitigates the symptoms but doesn't actually do anything to kill off the bacteria and the bacteria is still there making you sick. The antibiotic, on the other hand, tackles the bacteria causing those symptoms directly. That is why even if the dopamine deficiency that causes ADHD is the result of different issues, the medication still works because it is treating the symptoms, not the cause. We are essentially managing the ADHD by treating the symptoms, not treating it which would involve tackling the cause directly.

Consequently, the reason we don't attack the ADHD directly now is that we are still trying to find the root cause of it. Therefore, until we can do that, all we can do is try to manage the symptoms through medication, coaching, and counseling. But if there is more than one cause of ADHD, then there may be more than one treatment specific to each cause. Whether your ADHD is caused by an enzyme mutation, an underdeveloped brainstem, or something completely unrelated, it is currently still considered and treated as ADHD as the symptoms are the same.



F. MTHFR Mutations and Treatment of ADHD

However, if there are any of you out there whose ADHD is caused by an MTHFR variation, then it is likely that much more inexpensive treatment is possible. In this case, the issue isn't a lack of dopamine in the brain but rather an inability for the brain to use that dopamine properly, having the same effect a lack of it would. However, the difference between an actual lack of dopamine and just an inability to use the dopamine is in the treatment. Instead of supplying your body with more dopamine, which is what stimulants do, you instead attack the issue on the vitamin level. By supplying your body with more folate, you attack the problem at the core which is your body's processing issues. More B-vitamins = more vitamins processed ---> more of the necessary acids in your brain to change the receptor sites to bind the dopamine which will then help you focus and stay calm. Now if the cause is both a lack of dopamine as well as an MTHFR mutation, it may be that a combination of stimulants and B-vitamins might be the key to combating your ADHD (Ha. That rhymed XD)

However, just supplementing your diet with B-vitamins isn't enough. A total change in your diet is necessary as well. Cutting down on sweets and other unhealthy foods and avoiding foods with artificial flavors, artificial colors, and preservatives is paramount. There are a lot of ADHD-friendly diets out on the internet so, if you haven't already, I would go check them out and see if any work for you.

But even all that isn't enough. While supplementing and changing your diet to account for your MTHFR variation are certainly important, sleep and exercise are too. It is important to take time out of your day to exercise for at least twenty minutes (cardio, running, biking, swimming, sports, or if you're older and/or can't do those for health reasons, then fast-paced walking or other exercises that are primarily cardio) a day. Exercise has been clinically proven to help combat ADHD symptoms by calming your body and sharpening your focus. If you feel that you have literally no time to exercise, always remember that by taking twenty minutes to exercise and destress, you are becoming calmer and better focused which will all only work to help you get all your work done and will cut down on some of the time lost due to lack of focus and stress and will help you do a better job. Exercise has also been shown to help decrease anxiety and mitigate depression. If those are co-morbidities of yours, exercise can help with some of those symptoms, too.

There's a reason people preach about living a healthy lifestyle as it not only makes your body feel better but also increases focus and productivity. Those changes alone can help with a lot of your ADHD symptoms. And if you have an MTHFR mutation, supplementing your diet with the necessary natural vitamins will help with a lot of the rest.

None of this will "cure" you of your ADHD, of course. The genetic mutation is still there and it isn't going away. But you can attack your ADHD directly at the cause instead of just managing the symptoms.

With all the research I've done concerning ADHD, there are many people who mention how supplementing your diet with certain B-vitamins helps combat the symptoms. By tying it in with MTHFR mutations, we can now definitely see why that's the case. We knew it worked for some people, and now we can put a name as to why. MTHFR mutations can cause B12 deficiencies which may either cause your ADHD or add to the symptoms already present. People who take B12 to help mitigate ADHD symptoms could possibly have a deficiency due to anemia or poor diet, but studies are showing that there is now also a strong link to MTHFR mutations and ADHD, as well. Folate (B9) deficiencies may also cause or exacerbate ADHD symptoms as the less folate (B9) there is to process, the fewer receptor sites being changed, the fewer places for the dopamine to bond, the less dopamine the brain is able to use.

But taking just B12 isn't always the best treatment for MTHFR mutations. Depending on the variation or how many, people may respond better to folinic acid (5-formyl tetrahydrofolate) or folinic acid (5-formyl tetrahydrofolate) supplemented with menthyl B12 for those with more than one MTHFR variation. This is something, however, that is better to be discussed with a doctor who works specifically in the field. They may be hard to find, but they are out there and if you can find one who can advise over the phone or over the net (video conference), even better.

Now, I haven't tested myself yet so I do not know whether or not an MTHFR variation is causing my ADHD, but I do know there is a history of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other mental illnesses in both sides of my family. Perhaps it is due to an inherited genetic mutation that was manifested in different ways in my family through the generations. Also, considering my mother is Hispanic and MTHFR mutations occur most commonly in those of Mediterranean descent, I believe it is something I should check. Until I do, I cannot speak from personal experience that taking the necessary B-Group vitamins will have a positive effect on me, but what I do know is that learning she had the variation and taking B12 has helped my Aunt immensely with her immune system issues and that there are studies and articles across the internet of people who have been able to, if not cure, then at least vastly reduce the symptoms of their disorders caused by the mutation.

Now if you are seriously considering this it is, of course, important that you do your own research. This post was just an overview of the important facts and a few suggestions. I am also, as I said before, not certified or an MD or psychiatrist so it is important that if you do test positive, you discuss treatment with someone who is. B-vitamins in the wrong balance can hurt instead of help. They may be over-the-counter, but I would still recommend getting a professional opinion. I've known people who just up and decide to start taking something after only reading a couple of articles and maybe posting to a couple forums. I probably don't need to warm most of you, but I'm just writing this just in case. After all, it's not always good to trust the people who "know what they're doing" or are "not a professional, but I might as well be 'cause I know so much." Make yourself an expert on your own condition and the treatment options, risks, and benefits. That also helps you to prevent yourself from being scammed.



G. Important Distinction: Folic Acid, Folinic Acid, and Folate

Folinic acid is not the same as folic acid. Folic acid is the fully oxidized synthetic form of folate. The body does not naturally need folic acid. What it naturally needs is folate. People, even in the medical community, tend to use the term 'folic acid' and 'folate' interchangeably, but that is wrong. Folate (B9) is a naturally occurring vitamin our bodies need found naturally in leafy green vegetables.

*The term used in the article was folic acid instead of folate. This is wrong and a common misconception, even in the medical and nutritional communities. I replaced it with folate as that is the proper term. What is being processed by MTHFR is the naturally occurring vitamin folate (B9) not the synthesized acid folic acid.

Having too much folic acid can actually harm your body and exacerbate things such as existing cancer as well as cause health problems with age. It is in not the same as folate. You want folate (B9). You don't want folic acid. So eat your spinach! They're rich in folate as well as iron which is why they're considered so healthy for you.

Now, folinic acid (5-formyl tetrahydrofolate) is a type of folate that occurs naturally in foods and is sold over-the-counter as "calcium folinate." There is also 5-methyltetrahydrofolate which is more expensive than over-the-counter "calcium folinate." I could not find any information on which ones might better help treat ADHD symptoms. You can find more clarification on the difference between folate, folinic acid, and folic acid here (http://www.tahomaclinicblog.com/folic-acid/) and more on just folinic acid here (http://www.printfriendly.com/print/?source=homepage&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.integratedhealth.com%2Fhpdspe c%2Ffolinic.html).

So remember, you don't want folic acid, you want folate. You can find folate over-the-counter as "calcium folinate," and also get more from eating a lot of leafy greens. Other vegetables and fruits rich in folate can be found here (http://www.printfriendly.com/print/?source=homepage&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalhealingcenter.com%2Fnat ural-health%2Ffolic-acid-foods%2F). The only thing is the writer of the article seemed to be a bit confused about the "necessity" and effects of folic acid, but he lists a lot of good fruits and vegetables high in folate which are good to eat.



H. MTHFR Mutations and the Medical Community

MTHFR mutations are not new information to the medical community. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few people on here who know about them or have come across studies linking MTHFR mutations to ADHD or if there is another super-long post like this talking about the exact same thing. In which case, sorry if this feels like spamming though I haven't come across any posts concerning this topic. I searched and didn't find one, but I did find a conversation about the issue on ADDConnect.

However, back to the topic on hand, even though the connection between MTHFR mutations, mood disorders, and neurodevelopment problems have been known to scientists for years, it has rarely been adopted by the broader medical community. GP awareness of the issue is low and so many people who have it only find out through stumbling across it on the internet while looking for the answers (like my Aunt did).

If these mutations exist and people treated using folate are showing success, why isn't it that this has gained GP awareness or made it's way into the medical community beyond a few fringe groups? I'm not sure. The only guess I have is that the drug industry does not want to have this pushed because it could cause a loss in some of their market. Medications for anxiety, depression, and ADHD are not only expensive but make prescription drug companies a lot of money. If a large portion of their consumers turned to over-the-counter supplements, it would lose them a lot of business which means big bucks out the window. However, that is merely speculation. Though it wouldn't surprise me.


I. More Information on MTHFR Variations: Research and Testing

If you want more information on the variation, you can go here (http://www.printfriendly.com/print/?source=homepage&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmthfr.net%2F). This site has resources and research strictly about MTHFR variations and its mission is to inform people about MTHFR variations and try to put it on the map in the hopes to get standardized medicine to start screening for it. You can also purchase a home lab test there to test yourself for a variation. It's a one-time-use test and is about $150 (not cheap, but certainly much cheaper than ADHD meds and about half the price of most psychiatric visits) but it tells you whether or not you have the variation and which kind which can then allow you to find a way to treat it. It's not a scam, I can assure you. This information was provided to us by my Aunt who purchased a home test from the site and tested positively for one variation and is now able to treat it which has caused a vast improvement in her health.

I know it's an investment and certainly something you wouldn't do "just because," but if you strongly believe there might be a link between your ADHD (or even your co-morbid depression, anxiety, autism, or other disorder) and a possible MTHFR mutation, it's worth a shot. After all, if you test positive and are able to treat your ADHD using natural supplements, that is a lot of money you will be saving on medication and psychiatric help. Obviously the coaching and counseling will still likely be necessary, but for those who take medication, it will be a huge chunk of cash out of your bill, may work just as well if not better without the symptoms caused by the medication and all it entails, and for those who cannot afford medication, if you do have the variation, you may be able to treat it in this far more inexpensive manner.

Also, there is a good article one woman wrote about her struggles with life-long anxiety and then the important she saw after learning of and treating her MTHFR variation right here (http://mobile.news.com.au/national/south-australia/how-a-vitamin-cured-my-anxiety-elisa-blacks-story-of-lifelong-struggle-and-new-hope-for-the-future/story-fnii5yv4-1227251037624) if you want to read it.

This was all just a basic overview, so if you really want to learn more, go out and do your own research. I provided some links throughout this post I thought you might find helpful that could help you start. And if you find anything good (whether it agrees or disagrees with what I've posted) feel free to post below. I'd love to read them and I'm sure anyone else who is interested in this topic would love to, too.

__________________________________________________



Brief Summary of Main Points

MTHFR is an enzyme that processes B-group vitamins and turns them into substances the body needs. One of these substances is responsible for binding dopamine to the proper receptor sites in the brain. A mutation of the enzyme (known as an MTHFR variation) may cause MTHFR to be unable to properly process the folate (B9) (a B-group vitamin) meaning that not all of the dopamine is properly bound to the receptor sites. Since a lack of dopamine is what causes the symptoms of ADHD, there is a positive correlation between certain MTHFR variations and ADHD.

MTHFR mutations can be naturally treated. You can purchase over-the-counter folinic acid (5-formyl tetrahydrofolate) which is sold as "calcium folinate." For those with double mutations, this does not always work and a combination of folinic acid and menthyl B12 seems to work better. Also eating lots of leafy greens that are rich in folate (B9) such as spinach and having a healthy, balanced diet with daily exercise also goes a long way towards mitigating symptoms. You can also supplement your diet with more B-group vitamins but do not do this unless you know exactly what you're doing. You should find and talk to a professional before even considering beginning treatment: do not try to self medicate without the absolute proper knowledge as it could be detrimental to your health.

MTHFR mutations occur most commonly in those of Mediterranean descent. Lab testing for MTHFR variations can be done at home.



Author's Concluding Statements

Well, I hope you're still with me after all of that. Sorry it's so long, but at least I hope it was helpful. This took me a really long time to write, so I hope you will find it useful. I am, of course, no expert on the issue, but the link I posted may allow you to get into people who are. If this is able to help even one person (or at the very least provide you with an interesting read) then that would be awesome.

Have a good day, everyone, and thanks for taking your time to read! :thankyou: :grouphug:

sarahsweets
03-18-15, 03:00 PM
Can you list some of your sources for this info? I'm looking for peer reviewed legit information.

namazu
03-18-15, 03:18 PM
Thanks, hypergirl96, for taking the time to look into the issue and write up your findings.

I would caution that a number of your sources, though perhaps well-meaning, are also commercial in nature -- for example, the MTHFR site, which calls itself "unbiased", is run by a naturopath selling test kits (and saunas and water electrolyzers...). While those test kits may provide useful information, there may be cheaper and better-controlled ways to obtain that information. Your regular doctor should be able to order a lab test for folate if there's some reason to suspect a deficiency, and then the test would most likely be covered by insurance, if you have insurance. Still, your advice to become your own best expert on yourself and your conditions is sound!

Here are some peer-reviewed studies looking at links between MTHFR mutations and ADHD. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=mthfr+adhd)

The results were mixed, with some studies finding an association and others finding no association at all between MTHFR variants and ADHD. Keep in mind that there are only a handful of studies, and some of them were very small.

Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), which is run by Johns Hopkins University, has well-referenced reviews of studies of genetic variants and ADHD (http://www.omim.org/entry/143465?search=adhd). The site is quite technical, geared towards people with experience reading scientific literature, but it is a solid resource.

hypergirl96
03-18-15, 03:37 PM
Can you list some of your sources for this info? I'm looking for peer reviewed legit information.

Here's another link to the MTHFR site I posted (http://www.printfriendly.com/print/?source=homepage&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmthfr.net%2Fmthfr-research%2F2012%2F01%2F27%2F), which contains a lot of research and scholarly articles (some peer reviewed, some not) concerning MTHFR mutations and their effects and treatment, most of which have been published in medical journals.

Most of the other links contained in my post weren't peer-reviewed scholarly articles as some where basic info pages that took their information from either medical common knowledge or certified sources and one was actually just a personal account (the one about the woman with anxiety) of her experiences as well as what she's seen in research and her doctor's work. That was actually the first article I read and then everything else just dovetailed from there. I didn't link any of the other stuff directly as you can find them on the one above and the info pages and other accounts were better places for extra common knowledge and to start some research if one so chooses.

I'm really sorry I didn't have sources up there besides the ones linked throughout the post. I completely forgot to post them and, by the time I remembered, it was too late to change anything.

However, if you really want to see the peer-reviewed stuff it's all in the link. As I wrote earlier, though, this post was a very condensed overview of all of the research I've done. Very condensed. Well, hyperfocus can be good for some things at least. lol

hypergirl96
03-18-15, 03:41 PM
Thanks, hypergirl96, for taking the time to look into the issue and write up your findings.

I would caution that a number of your sources, though perhaps well-meaning, are also commercial in nature -- for example, the MTHFR site, which calls itself "unbiased", is run by a naturopath selling test kits. While those test kits may provide useful information, there may be cheaper and better-controlled ways to obtain that information. Your regular doctor should be able to order a lab test for folate if there's some reason to suspect a deficiency, and then the test would most likely be covered by insurance, if you have insurance. Still, your advice to become your own best expert on yourself and your conditions is sound!

Here are some peer-reviewed studies looking at links between MTHFR mutations and ADHD. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=mthfr+adhd)

The results were mixed, with some studies finding an association and others finding no association at all between MTHFR variants and ADHD. Keep in mind that there are only a handful of studies, and some of them were very small.

Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), which is run by Johns Hopkins University, has well-referenced reviews of studies of genetic variants and ADHD (http://www.omim.org/entry/143465?search=adhd). The site is quite technical, geared towards people with experience reading scientific literature, but it is a solid resource.

Thanks for that. I didn't know about those sites. Thanks for posting them. I'll be sure to check them out once once I get a chance. It's hard finding truly unbiased sources, especially credible ones, unless you know exactly where to look. Makes research papers an absolute nightmare. Though I'm sure I'll be an expert once I finish college. lol

And thank you for the feedback. :)

hypergirl96
03-18-15, 03:54 PM
@namazu By the way, I saw you edited my links. I didn't know there was a way to post a "print friendly" version of a sight without marketing. I have Chrome with AdBlocker installed, so the only thing I get adds on is hulu since they make you turn off any ad-blockers or they won't let you watch the movie. I'd almost forgotten they even exist at this point. lol

Is instructions for how to do it also posted in the forum guidelines on links?

Sorry, I didn't know. I'll be sure to remember in the future.

mildadhd
03-18-15, 09:03 PM
Are the genetic variations controlled by the environment?


P

namazu
03-19-15, 12:20 AM
Are the genetic variations controlled by the environment?
Some environmental conditions could, in an evolutionary sense, influence how common the variations are in a particular population.

That may be the reason why certain MTHFR gene (http://www.omim.org/entry/607093?search=mthfr) variants are more common in Southern (vs. Northern) European, Mexico, Northern (vs. Southern) China, etc. (http://jmg.bmj.com/content/40/8/619.long) -- the populations in those areas may have been subject to environmental conditions that favored the survival of individuals with one or two copies of the mutated gene.

And yes, environmental conditions can and do interact with genetic variations, and there's a lot we have to learn about these interactions.

Batman55
03-19-15, 12:36 AM
100% Italian here (although born and living in the states) therefore 100% Mediterranean.

I tried a strict regimen of two kinds of B12 (methyl and adenosyl) with B complex, methylfolate, and a few others for a while. It did seem to help:

1) Improved, more stable moods
2) Increased energy

However I don't think it did very much for attention span/focus in particular. Nonetheless, it did help overall. But in terms of helping my ADD? The improvement was minimal.

I eventually stopped taking the regimen:

1) A lot of vitamins=a lot of money. And it just gets annoying. It's another thing to be "tied down" by
2) Quite frankly I have strong suspicion that the methyl-B12 was increasing the rate of hair loss.

sarahsweets
03-19-15, 04:44 AM
I'm sure there is merit to this research. I take issue with the idea of treating adhd or the "cause" of adhd with vitamins and other such natrual ways if it is meant to be considered in lieu of medication. What I have found in these circumstances is people say the reason this research isnt more known or talked about is because of Big Pharma. Its often the go to response for why more people dont try the natural route. I dont think the big pharma consipiracy is as much a an issue as people make it out to be when it comes to adhd. Big pharma is not making loads of cash off the backs of people on stimulants. Maybe with other drugs lik cancer drugs they are raking it in, but I dont believe their profit margin is defined by me, Sarah on dexedrine. I am not trying to dismiss your whole theory, I am just saying that treating adhd with homeopathic ways goes against most proven medical guidance.

mildadhd
03-19-15, 08:46 AM
I'm sure there is merit to this research. I take issue with the idea of treating adhd or the "cause" of adhd with vitamins and other such natrual ways if it is meant to be considered in lieu of medication. What I have found in these circumstances is people say the reason this research isnt more known or talked about is because of Big Pharma. Its often the go to response for why more people dont try the natural route. I dont think the big pharma consipiracy is as much a an issue as people make it out to be when it comes to adhd. Big pharma is not making loads of cash off the backs of people on stimulants. Maybe with other drugs lik cancer drugs they are raking it in, but I dont believe their profit margin is defined by me, Sarah on dexedrine. I am not trying to dismiss your whole theory, I am just saying that treating adhd with homeopathic ways goes against most proven medical guidance.

I thought patients where to be checked and treated for deficiencies and other issues that may appear like ADHD, ( or make ADHD severity worse) before trying medication?

Technically there are health issues that should be considered before ever trying medication.



P

headsamess
03-19-15, 02:18 PM
Someone actually called me a "genetic mutant" once.

eclectic beagle
03-19-15, 03:27 PM
Someone actually called me a "genetic mutant" once.

Mutants can be very useful.

hypergirl96
03-19-15, 04:42 PM
100% Italian here (although born and living in the states) therefore 100% Mediterranean.

I tried a strict regimen of two kinds of B12 (methyl and adenosyl) with B complex, methylfolate, and a few others for a while. It did seem to help:

1) Improved, more stable moods
2) Increased energy

However I don't think it did very much for attention span/focus in particular. Nonetheless, it did help overall. But in terms of helping my ADD? The improvement was minimal.

I eventually stopped taking the regimen:

1) A lot of vitamins=a lot of money. And it just gets annoying. It's another thing to be "tied down" by
2) Quite frankly I have strong suspicion that the methyl-B12 was increasing the rate of hair loss.


The more I look into it, the more I think that while some people may have been diagnosed with minor ADHD due to B9 and/or B12 deficiencies compounded by improper diet, lack of a proper sleep schedule, and/or lack of proper diet, this could be only something that exacerbates symptoms in others.

Because if a B9 and/or B12 deficiency were the only cause for someone with an MTHFR mutation, then for that same person, stimulants wouldn't do squat since they increase the amount of dopamine and in the case of someone with just the mutation, dopamine deficiency isn't the problem and increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain will do absolutely nothing since the problem is that there aren't enough receptor sites being properly modified so the dopamine can bond. So they'd have extra dopamine, but absolutely no improvement.

If they do have the mutation and stimulants do work to some extent, it could be that both a B9/B12 deficiency and a dopamine deficiency are the problem, not just one or the other.

Even without the vitamin supplements, though, proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise also play a large role in combatting symptoms. If you have one but not the other, it isn't going to do much. It's as much a lifestyle change as it is a change in supplemental diet.

Unfortunately, doing that is always easier said than done, especially for people with ADHD. I find it ironic that the things we can do to best help mitigate our symptoms are the very things we have trouble getting ourselves to do since we have trouble sticking to new routines. Though it's likely that the reason our symptoms are as bad as they are is because we can't get ourselves to do them in the first place and then we don't do them which makes our symptoms worse which makes it harder for us to get ourselves to do them....

ADHD is such a vicious cycle.

hypergirl96
03-19-15, 05:11 PM
I'm sure there is merit to this research. I take issue with the idea of treating adhd or the "cause" of adhd with vitamins and other such natrual ways if it is meant to be considered in lieu of medication. What I have found in these circumstances is people say the reason this research isnt more known or talked about is because of Big Pharma. Its often the go to response for why more people dont try the natural route. I dont think the big pharma consipiracy is as much a an issue as people make it out to be when it comes to adhd. Big pharma is not making loads of cash off the backs of people on stimulants. Maybe with other drugs lik cancer drugs they are raking it in, but I dont believe their profit margin is defined by me, Sarah on dexedrine. I am not trying to dismiss your whole theory, I am just saying that treating adhd with homeopathic ways goes against most proven medical guidance.

I have to agree with you. Granted, the pharmaceutical industry certainly hasn't given us much faith in it's "integrity" with how much some pharmaceutical companies do try to scam patients, I believe the main issue with the whole "ADHD scam" everyone is talking about is due less to pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists actually scamming their patients than it is bad parenting.

Now, by that I mean if a kid is being a pain or obnoxious or not doing well in school or seems to not be concentrating, he gets put on Ritalin. It doesn't matter if the issue is actually an improper diet, vitamin deficiency, or a lack of discipline/attention in the household. Some parents would rather blame ADHD then their own lack of ability to properly raise their kids because A) They don't want to feel responsible or like they're being blamed for the issue and B) They don't want to parent. Too many "problem children" are being diagnosed with ADHD when that isn't even the issue because they feel their kid is too obnoxious or too much trouble and don't want to address the issue of their own lack of parenting (or don't care enough to actually be parents and just want their kids to shut up) so they put them on meds, blame the disorder when people complain to them about their kids, and then feel that they don't need to do anything else.

And it's not just bad parenting. Especially in the US, children are eating progressively worse diets and aren't getting proper exercise. Since these things exacerbate symptoms, kids who may not have shown bad enough symptoms for it to be an issue are now showing more signs of ADHD and instead of their parents enforcing a lifestyle change (some because they're too lazy to bother to) to reduce the symptoms enough that they aren't an issue, they get slapped with meds.

Now, I'm not saying these are the only reason for the rise in kids being diagnosed with and receiving treatment for ADHD. After all, a greater awareness of the disorder among the public and more competitive education systems and market likely have a hand in this. However, they are part of the problem.

However, just because that's the case doesn't mean doing other things on top of medication could also help combat ADHD. Also for some for whom the symptoms aren't as severe, a change in diet, exercise, and sleep and supplementing their diet with vitamins may help mitigate the symptoms enough that they aren't so much of an issue that they need meds and possibly may just need a coach to help them learn to manage the minimal symptoms they still experience and won't have to dump loads of money into getting medication every year that may or may not help and may or may not cause other issues.

I'm just saying that, for some people, doing this may be enough for them not to need to take medication. But that's obviously not the case for everyone.

mildadhd
03-19-15, 07:52 PM
Who is not a mutant?

In biology and especially genetics, a mutant is an organism or a new genetic character arising or resulting from an instance of mutation, which is a base-pair sequence change within the DNA of a gene or chromosome of an organism.

The natural occurrence of genetic mutations is integral to the process of evolution...

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutant


P

Batman55
03-20-15, 12:45 AM
Unfortunately, doing that is always easier said than done, especially for people with ADHD. I find it ironic that the things we can do to best help mitigate our symptoms are the very things we have trouble getting ourselves to do since we have trouble sticking to new routines. Though it's likely that the reason our symptoms are as bad as they are is because we can't get ourselves to do them in the first place and then we don't do them which makes our symptoms worse which makes it harder for us to get ourselves to do them....

ADHD is such a vicious cycle.

I think it's a good point. I've rarely been able to have a good sleep cycle, probably due to my own stupidity--I believe I work/focus better at night, so I make sure I make good use of those hours. Less distraction, less noise=greater focus for me. It's still stupid, though, because it makes me half worthless in the daytime.

Exercise is decent when it's spring and summer, but not otherwise. I guess this could be fixed by joining a gym. Haven't done it yet, and I can't tell you why. It's just more stupidity or apathy, I guess. Exercise definitely helps.

SB_UK
03-20-15, 08:48 AM
What helps with ADHD ?
Really simple.

Identify
What do you (ADDer) want to do ?
(you will bne able to do this without medication)

Identify
What do you (ADDer) have to do ?
(helped by medication)

Now simply work out what is the difference between what you WANT to do and what you HAVE to do - and you've a general idea of the form of life which you would like to live.

If you need meds to engage - then you're not really interested.

ADDer meds are just motivation in a bottle.

There has to be a considerable amount more of identifying why the ADDer is not motivated and less of 'just do it' ... ...

Key observation - when I discovered that there was no overarching point to anything that I needed medications to engage in.

Though ... ... persistently forcing oneself to do something that they do not want - can lead to chronic stress which makes the individual unable to enage in behaviours which'd be motivational if the individual hasn't been broken by society and its demands.
So - contradicting myself a little - I guess that actually motivational (to the ADDer mind) could become unmotivational if the ADDer's broken by stress through life in this current world.

Take home message ?

The ADDer at birth is predisposed towards a reward system which does best when it's trying to become the best that it can be in context of collaboration.
I have no desire to beat anybody else - only to synergise with others - all of whom are trying to be the personally rewarding best that we can be - towards (through recruitment of all of our personal qualities) the emergence of something better for us all collectively.

How does one strive towards a personal model of 'better' in a world where nasty, greedy types (selected through the structure of society we're forced to endure) encourage division and competition at all ranks in society - for reasons of control.

Just divide and conquer.

-*-

You don't need to understand anything about neuroscience, genetics or biochemistry to launch a personal enquiry into what is and what is not motivational. Surely it's clear that persisting at some endeavour which the individual knows is immoral (to a mind which strives to morality) will bring the individual (through distress) much self-inflicted harm.

sarahsweets
03-21-15, 06:51 AM
This is tough because i sort of agree with you and then sort of dont. I want to commend you though because I cant tell you how many people come on here with posts about diet and additives and big pharma and refuse to discuss any other ways and are nasty bitter folks to boot. Seriously, mad props for your responses. The thing is, more diagnosis's of adhd has alot to do with more awareness but there is still a huge deficit with girls being really overlooked and underdiagnosed. Boys too but the gap between girls and boys is pretty big. There has also been alot of research that indicates that people sensitive to additives and poor diet are often misdiagnosed with adhd because people assume that the two are one and the same and the reason they are doing better by making dietary changes isnt because adhd treatment involves these type of changes, it has more to do with someon'es sensitivity to those things.

And bad parenting is also a popular blame game. People assume that more diagnosis's of adhd means that more parents are sick of their kids and cant deal and would rather give a child a pill then parent them. I do not believe that overall this is not the case. Im not saying it is never the case but all too often a child has symptoms of adhd and people assume parents want to take the easy way out. I can tell you from experience, putting a child on meds should never be a quick and easy solution It wasnt for me and it involved a lot of soul searching and research. In fact a lot of parents are not treating adhd because of fear mongering and bad stuff on the internet about stimulants being speed and killing kids. My one son and daughter took meds for awhile and then stopped because they could not tolerate them anymore and my youngest isnt able to tolerate meds at all. I made attempts to treat them but meds are just not for them at this point in their lives.
Of course like I said nothing is 100% wrong or right with what both of us are saying either. Its so much easier having this discussion with you rather than a black and white argument. I have issues repping people from my kindle but seriousy, thank you for being so open minded.

mildadhd
03-21-15, 08:55 AM
This is tough because i sort of agree with you and then sort of don't..



I agree with Sarahsweets, "..I sort of agree with you and then sort of don't."

I have an impairment.

Like a blind person.

But the impairment is not in my eyesight mechanisms (as far as I can see, my eyesight is not impaired)

The impairment is in my self regulation mechanisms.

The fact is I don't have and never have had the focus capacity to semi-read or semi-reply with any semi-consistency to even my preferences without medication.

(That does not mean I am not highly interested in learning every other form of treatment available, example: being aware of the effects of my horizontal and vertical postures helps a lot, as well as watching my blood sugar levels, etc..especially when taking a medication vacation. It is very important for me to learn to live without medication as well.)

This is real, and if this is real there will be real biological mechanisms involved.

The link between "ADHD and genetic mutations" and brain mechanisms.

All mammals have similar basic brain mechanisms called basic feelings.

There are three types of basic (base) feelings.

-Emotional affects
-Homeostatic affects
-Sensor affects

Focusing on the biological psychological mechanisms, in addition to ADHD and genetic (endophenotypes) might help.



P

mildadhd
03-21-15, 03:54 PM
ADDer meds are just motivation in a bottle.



I think the med I take for focus is antimotivation in a bottle.

I feel I am over motivated, without.

"Most likely to want to, least likely to" (-my son honestly describing me, in his very early teens)




P