View Full Version : Natural meds help for my son?


ryanred5
07-15-09, 03:18 AM
Hi

As my son was diagnosed with mild ADHD, the doc said he didn't need medication like Ritalin.

As he has got older his behaviour, concentration and attention have got worse, so we are trying to get him reassessed.

So atm I'm looking for something herbal or natural that can help calm and settle him down abit.

One of the things we have seen is called Kalms contains a unique combination of pure plant extracts that are proven to help you to cope with the stresses of everyday living.

There is also something called Rescue Remedy which is good for periods and stress and to calm you down.

I've also heard Ginko Bilboa is good for concentration.

I've been told about various homeopathic remedies but have no idea which one is the best to go for. Here are the ones that I've been told about:-

Chamomilla
Argentum nitricum
Aconitum Napellus
Hyoscyamus
Helleborus *****
Nux vomica
Rhus tox.

Does anyone have any idea which item might be best to use?

Thanks

Lady Lark
07-15-09, 11:43 AM
The issue with herbal supplements is, one they're dosed for adults, so getting a kids dosage out of it is difficult, and two, they have far less regulation then prescription medication. Not to say that some people can't get benefits from them, but rather prescription meds have a better proven track record.

I'd really talk to his doc before starting supplements just to make sure he doesn't get something harmful.

MGDAD
07-15-09, 11:46 AM
Why do you think "Natural" is safer? Many medications are derived from plants. Then they are put through FDA tests to quantify their effectiveness. Cocoa Leaves are "Natural" too. Then they are processed to make Cocaine. Penecillin is a natural form of mold.

None of those "Natural" herbs have been shown to be effective for the treatment of ADHD. Herbal supplement manufacturers can say almost anything they want on the bottle as long as they dont say that the supplement treats a "disease". They can allude to it (and of course they do), but they dont even have to prove that the supplement does what they claim. They can say things like "...proven to help you to cope with the stresses of everyday living" but they dont even have to prove it.

But by all means feel free to give your child an unproven, nearly non-regulated, substance that might have all sorts of contamination in it because there is no regulating agency that even verifies that the pill contains what the bottle claims.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but the logic people use to convince themselves that herbal treatments are "safer" than medication is just false.

One thing that could possibly turn out to be helpfull is Omega 3 supplements. However, you will probably only get a very slight benefit. I think the liquid is better than the pills.

ryanred5
07-15-09, 03:52 PM
Hi

Thanks both of you for your replies.

Lady Lark I was going to make an appointment with the doctor before I gave my son anything, I'm not daft enough to just give him something willy nilly.

Mgdad I understand what your saying, but as the docs won't give him conventional meds, we are looking for something that will calm him down and help him concentrate more.

The only thing I would destined to try atm would be Rescue Remedy as that is well known for being good for calming people. But I would speak to my doc before letting him try it.

Regarding the homeopathy, we have a local shop that just deals with just homeopathic things. You make an appointment and they go through everything with you to see which would be the best thing to try.

Regarding Omega 3, he took Omega 3 and 6 capsules for nearly a year and he and we noticed no difference. He also tried the Eye Q liquid a few years ago and again there was no difference.

:-)

MGDAD
07-15-09, 05:46 PM
Oh shoot, sorry. I did not notice that you were from the UK. Psy docs have a completely different viewpoint of ADHD there. Very difficult to get a diagnosis unless the symptoms are off the chart.

I do have a problem with Homeopathy. Their beliefs that a couple molecules of the medication do anything, is pretty rediculous.

Dr Amen has listed some supplements that he feels help with ADHD in his books. While he is kind of a "lone researcher" whose research has not been replicated, he seems to have a pretty good handle on the various aspects of ADHD.

There is a separate area of the forum where people try alternative therapies. Some people have reported success with "phosphytidal serine". I think Dr. Amen recommends that too.

In reality I see more and more doctors that augment their treatments with supplements, but there just is not much research to support it. Just their "clinical experience."

FrazzleDazzle
07-18-09, 05:03 PM
RyanRed, there in the UK, are there medical doctors with specialties in naturopathic medicine or similar? Here in the US, we have NMDs (medical degree + naturopathic degree). They would be the best resources to advise you on integrative, alternative, and/or non-pharmacologic approaches and monitoring for your son, and are specially trained, knowledgeable, and equipped in supplements and nutrition. Working with a physician would be a lot more efficient, less frustrating for you and your son, and easier on your wallet than going it alone, as there are many, many directions one could go with alternative or complementary treatments. :)

APSJ
07-18-09, 05:29 PM
Hi
The only thing I would destined to try atm would be Rescue Remedy as that is well known for being good for calming people. But I would speak to my doc before letting him try it.


I am by no means an expert, but I was given a bottle of rescue remedy by someone who was sure it would help me at one time. I didn't notice any effect whatsoever, aside from the one time I took significantly more than the recommended amount on an empty stomach(it is, after all, quite alcoholic).

Fraz_2006
07-18-09, 06:08 PM
How old is your child?

You say his symptoms are getting worse...

ADHD symptoms don't just get worse...

Is he a teenager?... If so.... then a lot of his problems could account for typical teenage behaviour.

ryanred5
07-26-09, 09:13 AM
How old is your child?

You say his symptoms are getting worse...

ADHD symptoms don't just get worse...

Is he a teenager?... If so.... then a lot of his problems could account for typical teenage behaviour.

Hiya

My son is 12, he will be 13 in October this year.

I suppose getting worse are the wrong words.

He's just started secondary school and his concentration is really poor and his report was quite poor.

He is now on Holland and Barretts ABC Plus which is a Multi-Vitamin and Multi-Mineral Formula (including Beta Carotene) plus he's also taking Triple Omega 3-6-9 (Maximum Strength) also by Holland and Barrett.

I checked with our GP first that he was okay taking the tablets and he was said he was fine having them.

Fingers crossed they help him. :)

Archon
07-26-09, 10:17 AM
You say his symptoms are getting worse...

ADHD symptoms don't just get worse...

Sure they do. When you're a kid you're not expected to be able to plan for the future or defer gratification, but as you grow older, life gets more complicated.

Maybe the symptoms don't get worse, but they sure as hell can become more apparent.

LadyLark: I completely understand what you are going through, you're trying any option available, no matter how slim the chance in order to try and help your son. Even if you continue on this path I think you have to prepare yourself for the fact that there may be nothing available to your son that would give anything more than a placebo effect. Supplements in my experience have not worked for me. The kind of naturalistic falacy that the suppliment industry exploits mercilessly enables the sale of what turns out to be expensive urine (your body can't absorb most of the minerals anyway).

There is one option I would recommend. http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/

I couldn't tell you definitively if it works, but there is some literature (academic, not sales pitches) to suggest that it does improve working memory and takes the edge off ADHD. Since it is free, I don't think it could really hurt to try it.

Zoom
07-26-09, 12:39 PM
My symptoms have certainly gotten worse in the last few years, or maybe they've just become more apparent. Either way, there's been an increase.

I've had great success using Rescue Remedy to calm dogs and Bach's does have a great safety track record for quality. As far as use on people, it doesn't seem to be quite as effective, but it's hard to gauge the dosages needed.

ryanred5
07-27-09, 06:11 PM
LadyLark: I completely understand what you are going through, you're trying any option available, no matter how slim the chance in order to try and help your son. Even if you continue on this path I think you have to prepare yourself for the fact that there may be nothing available to your son that would give anything more than a placebo effect. Supplements in my experience have not worked for me. The kind of naturalistic falacy that the suppliment industry exploits mercilessly enables the sale of what turns out to be expensive urine (your body can't absorb most of the minerals anyway).

There is one option I would recommend. http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/

I couldn't tell you definitively if it works, but there is some literature (academic, not sales pitches) to suggest that it does improve working memory and takes the edge off ADHD. Since it is free, I don't think it could really hurt to try it.

Hi Archon

Its not Lady Lark who has the problem with her sons ADHD, its me (Ryanred5).

I thought I'd try these two lots of tablets through the schools summer holiday so that he has got some in his system by September and "if" they help in any way that's good.

I've read up quite a bit that quite a lot of kids are deficent in various vitamins and that multi-vits are a good idea to give them. Also after having a read of what's in Eye Q compared to the Omega capsules I've got, the Omega ones seem to be better. I think its a case of waiting to see if they help.

Also my sons school has applied for him to see the Educational Psychologist when school restarts in September to see if he can get help at school and also to see if his diagnosis of mild ADHD has changed/got worse etc.

:)

Archon
07-27-09, 07:38 PM
Hi Archon

Its not Lady Lark who has the problem with her sons ADHD, its me (Ryanred5).
:)

Attention to detail fail :P

Good luck, hopefully you can get something that works out well for both of you.

ginniebean
07-27-09, 10:40 PM
Is it at all possible to get your child to a specialist of ADHD? I am a little suspicious of mild adhd to me it's like mild pregnancy.

ryanred5
07-28-09, 01:34 AM
Is it at all possible to get your child to a specialist of ADHD? I am a little suspicious of mild adhd to me it's like mild pregnancy.

Hi

I don't understand why your suspicious of mild ADHD.

When both me and my husband and the school filled the Connors Questionaire in and the Child Psychiatrist worked out the answers compared to the chart he had, our son was just over the line into ADHD.

If you look at my first post on the Introduction section, it tells you what our son does.

Imnapl
07-28-09, 02:55 AM
Hi

I don't understand why your suspicious of mild ADHD.

When both me and my husband and the school filled the Connors Questionaire in and the Child Psychiatrist worked out the answers compared to the chart he had, our son was just over the line into ADHD.

If you look at my first post on the Introduction section, it tells you what our son does.You either have ADHD or you don't. There are degrees of hyperactivity - one of the reasons people with inattentive ADHD are often not diagnosed.

Imnapl
07-28-09, 03:10 AM
How old is your child?

You say his symptoms are getting worse...

ADHD symptoms don't just get worse...Fraz, in the book, Driven To Distraction, the authors discuss how many people with ADHD do not seek help until their forties, or even later, because they just can't take it anymore. The demands of earning a living, raising kids and maintaining a spousal relationship are more complicated than attending primary school. My son was a straight A student until he was fifteen and then the bottom fell out.

Imnapl
07-28-09, 03:13 AM
Ryanred5, if the supplements and interventions don't help your son, I hope you keep banging on doors until you find a doctor who will listen.

ginniebean
07-28-09, 03:25 AM
Hi

I don't understand why your suspicious of mild ADHD.

When both me and my husband and the school filled the Connors Questionaire in and the Child Psychiatrist worked out the answers compared to the chart he had, our son was just over the line into ADHD.

If you look at my first post on the Introduction section, it tells you what our son does.

ADHD symptoms can be mitigated by many things, attentive parents, well structured home life, coping mechanisms etc...

The reason I say that I am suspicious of mild adhd, is because I sincerely believe you are or you are not. One person may be able to mask the symptoms for periods of time, but as you point out his difficulty has increased. The stressors as a teen would undermine prior coping mechanisms and ability to mask. Parental structure becomes a bit less effective because the teen years are a natural time to question parental boundaries even if only when not in your presence.

I think many people can be mislead by such terms as 'mild' or 'high functioning' because it assumes a stable condition. Often the stability is provided externally and quite unconsciously. Once the support that maintains symptoms at a milder threshold becomes less stable the supports lose effectiveness which results in more visible symptoms. I suspect this is the case when college age young adults who are for the first time managing without the supports find themselves floundering and finally get a diagnosis.

A person with ADHD can't tell you whether they are mild or not because for them it's something that's normal. It's very difficult to see just how very good we are at disgusing our adhd but the struggle which goes unnoticed can be intense.

TriciaJ
07-28-09, 08:04 AM
Our son was considered mild ADHD as well - at first (age 8). It was that following year that was really telling though - his symptoms really manifest in his ability to focus on reading/schoolwork. He is a good math student but is impulsive with answers. Easily distracted (but, honestly, so are many many children that age).

It is difficult. I found the Connors scale so difficult to complete, knowing what my answers would mean or not mean. I so wish there was a definititive medical test for this. And trying to rule it out through all other available tests is overwhelming and, frankly, very very costly.

~Tricia

Imnapl
07-28-09, 12:16 PM
It is difficult. I found the Connors scale so difficult to complete, knowing what my answers would mean or not mean.I knew a lot about ADHD before I was ever asked to fill out a Connors scale. I refused because, in my opinion, it is a simplistic diagnostic tool for a very complex disorder and therefore quite useless. My diagnosing psychiatrist, who was very experienced with adult ADHD, refused to assess children because he didn't feel competent to.

Neither of my children were diagnosed or medicated during childhood. They were not discipline problems at school or in the community and some experts would say because of that, they have mild ADHD. Both of my adult children have anxiety issues related to untreated ADHD as do other first degree relatives in the family. Many parents or adults seek treatment first for anxiety and / or depression before they discover the underlying ADHD. In my opinion, the co-morbid depression and anxiety that develop with untreated ADHD are mostly preventable. Too bad some experts don't get it.

Which reminds me: after taking a detailed history, the psychiatrist told me I also had mild OCD. I understand why he said "mild" because I know people whose OCD has a greater impact on their lives. As treatment for my ADHD increased, my OCD has decreased, but I am fully aware that it is there and why.

ryanred5
07-29-09, 03:54 AM
Hiya

When our lad was diagnosed I was quite poorly with severe depression, anxiety and bad panic attacks. I was also self harming quite badly and over a period of time took several overdoses, one of which came very close to killing me :-(.

I was also in and out of our local mental health unit and was diagnosed with Cyclothymia (which is a mild version of Bipolar), Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Depression. I was given medication which I am now stable on and doing well (no self harming or overdosing for a good while). :-)

The child psychiatrist was unsure whether our sons ADHD was due to my illness, or perhaps whether I was making him worse.

But since I've been stable on my meds, his behaviour, concentration etc has got a lot worse hence my reason for asking the school to refer him back to be retested to see if anything was missed, or whether he would benefit from prescription meds to help his concentration etc so he can start to perform to his ability. Obviously his hormones are starting to play a part too.

I will let you know things get on after seeing the Ed Psych after he goes back to school in September for his 2nd sec school year.

PS - I can see a lot of things that he is doing now that I remember doing as a child, I also had concentration problems too. Our son definitely hasn't gained any of his dads traits, as his dad is so quiet and chilled out he's almost horizontal lol.

Is it likely that I have ADHD and did have it as a child, so is it worth being tested and see what comes of the tests?

If I did have it, what would I gain; just another label eh??

*Sorry for such a long post*

Thanks :-)

TriciaJ
07-29-09, 05:25 AM
I am so sorry for all you have been through. I wonder though...some here have said that their own ADHD was diagnosed as anxiety, depression at first.

~Tricia

Dizfriz
07-29-09, 09:48 AM
On the issue of problems with the description of "Mild" ADHD, I wish to gently and respectfully disagree here.

ADHD is a spectrum disorder and the spectrum runs from no symptoms to extreme. Also, like all spectrum disorders, the area around the borders of a diagnosis is terribly fuzzy and often a diagnosis can go either way depending on a number of factors. It is easy to determine if someone is clearly ADHD and it is easy to see if someone is not. It is in the inbetween areas that assessment becomes tricky and is one of the justifications for professional diagnosis.

If is was cut and dried/either-or then we could devise a test to determine the diagnoses but alas it is not possible at this time mostly due to those slippery areas of the inbetween cases.

Keep in mind that the diagnosis of ADHD is comparing the individual with others in the peer group. To make the cut the person has to have symptoms scoring above roughly the 93 percentile as compared with others of the same age and sex. With ADHD, some are on the border line and some are in the 99+ percentile. One is described as mild and the other as severe. To complicate issues, one can score just below the threshold for a diagnosis but have the symptoms cause a good bit of difficulty in their lives.

In the case of "mild" ADHD in children, these can, with a lot of good work on the parents part, sometimes go without medication even throughout their entire school career. This is not seen in the 99+ percentile kids. For them, medication is a necessity if they are even to begin to function in most settings.

I usually phrase ADHD as something someone "is" rather than something one "has". ADHD is a part of the human condition but when taken to the extreme becomes an impairment. In most cases, it is not a matter of kind but of degree.

The same for depression, anxiety and a number of states of being with humanity.

I wrote this to help clarify the situation a little. Take it for what it is.

Dizfriz

Imnapl
07-29-09, 12:29 PM
Keep in mind that the diagnosis of ADHD is comparing the individual with others in the peer group. To make the cut the person has to have symptoms scoring above roughly the 93 percentile as compared with others of the same age and sex. With ADHD, some are on the border line and some are in the 99+ percentile. One is described as mild and the other as severe. To complicate issues, one can score just below the threshold for a diagnosis but have the symptoms cause a good bit of difficulty in their lives.Do all diagnosticians make the same judgement call? The psychiatric social worker who was in charge of the mental health unit in my town assessed my daughter and her relationship with her me when she was twelve years old. After several sessions and multiple check lists done at home and at the clinic, the psychiatric social worker told my daughter, "Remember those brain differences we talked about - the differences your mother has? (She had access to my assessment done by a psychiatrist who did not assess children.) Well, you have some of those differences, but because you aren't in trouble (disciplinary referrals) at school or with the law, you just have a little bit of ADHD." I understood this to mean that if my daughter had been a behaviour problem at school or was already known to the police, then the psychiatric social worker would have been comfortable diagnosing my daughter will a full blown case of ADHD.

So, am I incorrect in my interpretation of the reasons given for the results of this assessment?

Dizfriz
07-29-09, 01:47 PM
Imnapl, this really a point that needs discussing and is quite confusing to many. I am so glad you responded.

Originally Posted by Dizfriz Keep in mind that the diagnosis of ADHD is comparing the individual with others in the peer group. To make the cut the person has to have symptoms scoring above roughly the 93 percentile as compared with others of the same age and sex. With ADHD, some are on the border line and some are in the 99+ percentile. One is described as mild and the other as severe. To complicate issues, one can score just below the threshold for a diagnosis but have the symptoms cause a good bit of difficulty in their lives. Do all diagnosticians make the same judgement call? The psychiatric social worker who was in charge of the mental health unit in my town assessed my daughter and her relationship with her me when she was twelve years old. After several sessions and multiple check lists done at home and at the clinic, the psychiatric social worker told my daughter, "Remember those brain differences we talked about - the differences your mother has? (She had access to my assessment done by a psychiatrist who did not assess children.) Well, you have some of those differences, but because you aren't in trouble (disciplinary referrals) at school or with the law, you just have a little bit of ADHD." I understood this to mean that if my daughter had been a behavior problem at school or was already known to the police, then the psychiatric social worker would have been comfortable diagnosing my daughter will a full blown case of ADHD.

So, am I incorrect in my interpretation of the reasons given for the results of this assessment?

"Do all diagnosticians make the same judgement call?" Yes if they do their research on ADHD diagnostics.

The percentiles are built into the DSM criteria and this is pretty much the guidelines they use. Diagnosing ADHD is usually a clinical judgment call backed up by the surveys, observation and a good history.

A critical diagnostic issue is that it must be a disability; there must be impairment in major life activities. If no impairment, no ADHD. The diagnosis cannot be made no matter what the symptom count.

The DSM states it as requiring "Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home)."

And: "There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning."

This is a point that causes a lot of confusion and is so important in understanding a diagnosis of ADHD.


On the other:
Your social worker might have been explaining to your daughter that she was a mild case (nearer the borderline)in terms she could understand. If she was not, then here is where I might disagree with her. (Limiting the discussion to the combined type) There are other areas of major life activates that can be impaired, not just getting into trouble. For example failing at school due to not being able to concentrate and forgetfulness, having no peer relationships due to impulsiveness and difficulty in expressing anger in inappropriate ways or the child putting themselves in danger due to impulsiveness and lack of foresight just to name a few. Not all ADHD kids get into "trouble". Girls will be especially missed if getting into trouble is the only criteria for impairment. Girls are much more likely to express ADHD in ways that do not get them sent to the principal or have issues with the justice system but they still can have a major impairment. In fact it is not all that unusual to see some ADHD kids that might be called severe in symptoms without either of these issues occurring especially if working with understanding and supportive school, teachers, and parents. In these cases you can usually find other areas of impairment if the child is truly ADHD.


Anyway, this is a good subject. I hope this small essay sheds some light on the issues because they are real and not just limited to you.

Dizfriz

MGDAD
07-29-09, 03:47 PM
Thank you Diz. Everything that I have read points out that there are the full range of mild to severe cases of ADHD. Plus, the various "types" of adhd as outlined in the DSM IV. As noted by IMNAPL, every professional has their own threshold for making a determination that medication is necessary. That is where the problems come in, and the importance of the parent being an advocate for their child.

OTOH having a professional say that discipline problems at school are a threshold for medication is absolutely rediculous.

Ryan, you should read Diz's explanation of the 30% rule. That will explain a lot of your sons behaviors that you listed in your introduction thread.

Dizfriz
07-29-09, 04:54 PM
MGDAD

Minor point:

As I read it the discussion with the psychiatric social worker was one of diagnosis. I can see but not necessarily agree with using the "in trouble" criteria for medication but for assigning a formal diagnosis of ADHD it is not in sync with the current work on assessment.

I took this passage "I understood this to mean that if my daughter had been a behavior problem at school or was already known to the police, then the psychiatric social worker would have been comfortable diagnosing my daughter will a full blown case of ADHD." to refer to the diagnostic process.

I could be wrong. Trust me I manage to be wrong often. Sometimes I think it is a not necessarily welcome minor talent.

Oh yes, thank you for mentioning the 30% rule essay. I want as many as possible to read this as I feel it is the single most helpful thing anyone can give the parent of an ADHD child. It explains so much.

Here is the link for any interested:

The 30% rule
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=641396&postcount=18

This has been a good thread and I hope lurkers will get some help from it. Understanding the factors behind a diagnosis of ADHD is of such great importance to those having to deal with the disorder.

Dizfriz

winmentalhealth
07-30-09, 09:07 AM
I read your posts here, for children, there is a lot that can be done without supplements of any type to help them with symptoms of mild and even severe ADHD. Some of the things that parents can do are, cut way back on TV, movie and video game time. If your son is in school, one parent, cut out all of the above to only the weekends, and his son (10 years old) had remarkable improvement, to the point, where he was ADHD diagnosable, and getting D's on his report card, at least a year behind in his math, to the honor role 9 months later. Also, balanced attention to diet can help, that is, cut out sugar, soda, try to give more natural snacks to a child, cut out sugary breakfast cereals, go with whole grain foods, to the extent possible for a child.
Try to get a child out in the park, outdoors, exercise eveyday, it's referred to as "green therapy". These are some suggestions, and there are others also.

This is an Amazon book on the subject and a website: Overcoming ADHD Without Medication: A Parent's and Educator's Guidebook.

Hope this is of some help.

Archon
07-30-09, 09:51 AM
If you take winmentalhealth's advice, I've got some snake oil I'd like to sell you.

Instead of the bother of refuting each point outright, I'm just going to say that you can safely discard all that useless pseudo-scientific garbage :D

Don't feed the trolls.

Dizfriz
07-30-09, 12:17 PM
winmentalhealth

All of these things are nice and will likely help an ADHD child or any child as far as it goes but none have been shown to be specific for working with ADHD children.

If these things "cured" ADHD then it is likely that the child was not ADHD in the first place. A number of issues can mimic ADHD and result in misdiagnosis and that is why many alternative treatments are seen to work at times. Nothing wrong with this, as whatever works, works but you are not going to take a severe case of ADHD and have these things turn the child around. ADHD is a neurological disorder that does not go away.

I could not get your link to work so I am assuming you are not trying to sell something but trying to help. The ideas presented are all good and it is useful to remind parents the possibility of working with some variation of these. If you are advertising then be aware this is a no-no on this forum.

Dizfriz

Archon
07-30-09, 12:28 PM
The ideas presented are all good and it is useful to remind parents the possibility of working with some variation of these.


I disagree completely. A great deal of the ideas presented by winmentalhealth are not only wrong, they are potentially dangerous.

The claim that you can rectify dopamine and norepinephrine deficiencies with a walk in the $%@ing park is sheer insanity.

Basically what I'm trying to say is, if the best you have to offer is "cut down on sugary breakfast cereal", maybe you should resist the urge and give no advice at all because these careless words can do more damage than you realise.

Dizfriz
07-30-09, 01:16 PM
Archon

I can understand your impatience with posters who offer simplistic, unrealistic solutions of complex problems such as ADHD.

On the other hand, ideas such as limiting TV and such, a good balanced diet, cutting out sugary foods is likely to be beneficial to any kid especially if the parents are not doing these things. Frankly, I can find nothing wrong with these ideas when done in a reasonable manner.

Exercise, especially aerobic exercise is specific for raising dopamine levels for a period of time and can be quite beneficial for ADHD individuals. Barkley reports the effect lasting for about 45 minutes and I suspect longer.

The problem, on which I post often, is when these are offered as "cures" rather than helpers.

I try to respond politely for the benefit of those who might be reading the posts and to offer a more accurate picture of the suggestions place in the scheme of things. This, for me at least, is the most productive way of handling this type of post. Many are well meaning and deserve politeness. For the others I still try, for the most part, to treat the same way.

Take it for what it is.

Dizfriz

Archon
07-30-09, 01:33 PM
Taking a deeeeeeeeeeeep breath.

MGDAD
07-30-09, 03:44 PM
That site from Win seems to be selling something. Plus it is good at citing studies to make its statements seem to be based on evidence, but their anti-drig statements clearly are not based on evidence. So they mix medical advice with opinion, and their opinion is that mental illness can be cured with lifestyle changes. It is an irritating web site, due to their methods of mixing studies with opinion. Bleh!

Dizfriz
07-30-09, 04:21 PM
That site from Win seems to be selling something. Plus it is good at citing studies to make its statements seem to be based on evidence, but their anti-drig statements clearly are not based on evidence. So they mix medical advice with opinion, and their opinion is that mental illness can be cured with lifestyle changes. It is an irritating web site, due to their methods of mixing studies with opinion. Bleh!

Yep, kinda suspected that.

Diz

Imnapl
07-31-09, 11:42 AM
If you take winmentalhealth's advice, I've got some snake oil I'd like to sell you.

Instead of the bother of refuting each point outright, I'm just going to say that you can safely discard all that useless pseudo-scientific garbage :D

Don't feed the trolls.For people new to to forums, winmentalhealth could be another drive by posting / one post wonder, of which there are hundreds on the forums. I suspect that the people who do this are paid to pretend to be people who have experienced a disorder in order to sell a product or others who evangelize their current treatment of the month with religious fervor, often because the medical system is unable to "fix" things for them; one group preys upon unknowing and desperate people and the other has already been preyed upon.

Just this morning, I received an email encouraging me to renew my paid subscription to a well known "not for profit" diet organization to help support those who cannot afford to pay and to provide funds so that the "non-profit" organization can continue to spread the word. They too send disciples to post anywhere people will let them.

MGDAD
07-31-09, 12:48 PM
Not for profit is an oft missunderstood term. The people that work for Nonprofits still get paid, and there is no limit what they can be paid. It just means that the company as a whole does not make a profit as all income is used for services, supplies, salaries etc. Gross income equals money spent.

*KJ*
07-31-09, 03:11 PM
I understand peoples panties getting into a wad with suggestions of cures, and even more so when being preyed upon, but let's remember the OP said things are mild, and certainly if there can be minor improvements with these good suggestions, then they very well coul dbe the answer in this case...I agree with DizFriz here...

The only reason I felt it important to add to DizFriz's comments, is because there have been studies that have shown that vitamin D is a common deficiency with ASD & ADHD kids, and further that deficiencies in it can be directly attributed to concentration & other problems. I won't google as I'm sure you've seen these...

Responsible sunshine, without sunblock can be very helpful.

I absolutley see this with my son as well. Spring/Summer his hyperactivity & impulsiveness is much less severe than during the Fall/winter months. I read these reports and really didnt' put much stock into them...until I've seen this pattern repeat each year.

Lots of little things can add up to one big thing...

qanda
07-31-09, 10:03 PM
Some of the suggestions I've read are based on research. I read a study that said kids who took a walk in a "nature" setting were able to better focus after their walk, but just a simple walk around the school halls doesn't seem to do the trick. Also, I read a study that showed that kids who were on a diet with artificial color, flavor, and a preservative were more active than kids that did not have these additives. I am not saying that these changes are a cure all, but hey, every little bit helps! I just started to TRY to avoid additives in foods that may increase hyperactivity. It's really hard. Had to say no to my daughter to soda at grandmas, gum at the checkout line, etc. It seems EVERYTHING has artificial color, flavor, or sodium benzote preservative (probably spelled that wrong). I'm thankful for the natural food section at our supermarket for cereal kids like and some sweet treats. If it helps, as time will tell, then it's all worth it.

Dizfriz
08-01-09, 04:22 AM
Also, I read a study that showed that kids who were on a diet with artificial color, flavor, and a preservative were more active than kids that did not have these additives. I am not saying that these changes are a cure all, but hey, every little bit helps! I just started to TRY to avoid additives in foods that may increase hyperactivity. It's really hard. Had to say no to my daughter to soda at grandmas, gum at the checkout line, etc. It seems EVERYTHING has artificial color, flavor, or sodium benzote preservative (probably spelled that wrong). I'm thankful for the natural food section at our supermarket for cereal kids like and some sweet treats. If it helps, as time will tell, then it's all worth it.

It is known that some ADHD children are reactive to certain artificial colors and dyes. My son was reactive to yellow number 5. It did not make him ADHD but it did make the symptoms *much* worse. Red has often been mentioned as a culprit. Barkley told me that it effects about 5% of ADHD kids and tends to go away in later childhood.

That it is relatively rare is of no importance if your child is one of the 5%.

To have my son able to have something to drink in social situations, I did some calling and was told by an understanding gentleman at Coke that their drinks were all natural. The color was caramel...burnt sugar. This helped him a lot as no young person wants to seen as be different. Now this was over 30 years ago so this information has to be taken with this in mind. It is something to think about though-what can your child eat or drink at parties and at their friends house without seeming to be different?

Dizfriz

TriciaJ
08-01-09, 08:25 AM
I am really enjoying the responses in this thread. I have found it difficult to pinpoint whether certain dyes and/or additives directly affect my son's behavior or ability to concentrate. When my husband asked our son's neurologist about diet modification and less tv, etc to help our son (instead of medication) she replied that all of us should watch less tv, exercise more, eat more healthfully. That we'd all be better for it. But...it would not help his symptoms enough to really make any sort of impact. Ironically, our son consumes relatively little dyes and additives anyway. He does not care for gum, soda, candy in general, frostings, etc.


~Tricia

qanda
08-01-09, 08:54 AM
In our family, my husbands a great cook, but still he will often make a boxed something as a side dish, like boxed au gratin potatoes. They have yellow dye. In the summer, I often make lunch, and am not much of a cook, so things like boxed mac and cheese were a staple. Many of these type products have artificial color or flavor in them. My daughter was also a big cereal breakfast and snack eater, and those products can also have these additives. They study added sodium benzoate to the artificial color and flavor juice mix, so I also look out for that. It's in drinks like 7up and I'm not sure what else, and assumed coke, but I am going to check. That will make life much easier if coke is allowed. I've also read people think high fructose corn syrup has negative effects, which I think sodas have. So far so good with my daughter, but in the past she has had many good days strung together and then it falls apart. I often wonder why this is so. Maybe it's just the amount of additives she has eaten, but I never realized it. For her, she often overreacts to small disappointments, and that is our biggest problem at home. At school, she overreacts and has attention/focusing problems. I give her fish oil, and had started attentive child, but then decided to just continue fish oil and try the additive free diet, since this diet can't have any side effects, so why not try it (but I can't lie, its hard to stick to).

Imnapl
08-01-09, 11:22 AM
That will make life much easier if coke is allowed.Soda leeches calcium from the bones - osteoporosis doesn't happen overnight. Growing brains need good nutrition. Please contact your local health unit or hospital and book an appointment with a qualified dietician who can teach you about proper nutrition.

Imnapl
08-01-09, 11:31 AM
I should add that it is the phosphorous in the soda that is hazardous to our bones. Fruit juice and water should be offered at any social gathering.

Hoshi
08-01-09, 03:34 PM
If you take winmentalhealth's advice, I've got some snake oil I'd like to sell you.

Instead of the bother of refuting each point outright, I'm just going to say that you can safely discard all that useless pseudo-scientific garbage :D

Don't feed the trolls.
Lol, I'm pretty much going to have to agree with you. If cutting out sugar and getting exercise cures your ADHD, then you did not have ADHD. Poor diet and such can sometimes exacerbate existing ADHD, but not cause it.

As far as "natural" options...well, they are limited. Everything has pretty much been mentioned on that.

Though I did want to mention something. You say your son has mild ADHD, yet you are desperate for something to help him - which means the symptoms are causing him enough problems to seek treatment. Which makes me question the mildness. Symptoms often become more apparent as more demands are placed on the child - school work, chores, increased expectations of performance that would be normal for a child his age.

With me, we never knew I had ADHD until I started struggling so much at Uni. I mean, my family and I knew SOMETHING wasn't right, but we would not have guessed ADHD until the more "obviously ADHD" symptoms reared their head when I finally needed to study and pay attention in lectures. I had seen several psychologists, and even a psychiatrist or two, during my childhood... and heck...even been in an in-patient mental health facility as a teen. And all my symptoms - being unable to concentrate - bad memory - feeling like I was "crazy" - and not being able to keep everything together... and NONE of those medical professionals even mentioned ADHD.

My point is, it might be prudent to have him re-tested. If all else failed, it's time to go to your doctor and be frank about it. Tell him that your son is struggling and that you've tried all these things to help him, but he simply cannot focus. Tell the doc about how it's impairing your son's life and effecting him at school, home, etc. If it is impacting your son enough that he is struggling that much, and complaining of these problems, it's time to do something. If he says no to the meds, just ask him what he would suggest if it were his child. Show him that you aren't just seeking medication because it's the easy way - since that may be why he's so reserved - and explain to him all the things you've tried and steps you've taken to try to help with the ADHD. When he's shown/told all the things you've tried, it shows that the symptoms are bad enough that you and your son have desperately searched high and low for things that could ease the problems cause by his ADHD. Maybe mention that you're afraid of the long-term consequences of untreated ADHD on your son's future... lower grades, not being able to get a good job and be successful, having to struggle so hard for even some semblance of normalcy.

Sometimes doc's deny med treatment because they don't realize the far-reaching impact ADHD can have on a person's life.

I wish you and your son the best of luck.

Imnapl
08-01-09, 10:08 PM
Sometimes doc's deny med treatment because they don't realize the far-reaching impact ADHD can have on a person's life.This should definitely be a sticky. :cool:

mctavish23
08-02-09, 05:17 PM
I'd thank you both twice if I could.

That was a profound statement and an equally profound idea.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Dizfriz
08-03-09, 10:18 AM
Stated by by Hoshi
"Sometimes doc's deny med treatment because they don't realize the far-reaching impact ADHD can have on a person's life."


From Imnapl "This should definitely be a sticky"

From mctavish23

"I'd thank you both twice if I could.

That was a profound statement and an equally profound idea."


I completely agree. Sometimes someone hits the nail on the head dead on, a simple sentence that encapsulates so much.

I respectfully stand in awe.

Dizfriz

MGDAD
08-03-09, 11:44 AM
I recently had an indicator that red dye might affect my daughter. She has thrown up three times within the past six months. Each time it was bright red. She had eaten or drank something with a large amount of red dye then threw up. She was fine after, but was a bit agitated prior to the experience. Once it was after eating these odd bright red cupcakes, another time it was after drinking some red fruit punch at the movies. I forgot what the third food item was, but we both agreed that maybe she should stay away from artificially colored red foods.

Elainehix
08-26-09, 10:07 PM
There are many reputable companies which are stamped with seals from the USP as to the purity of their ingredients. I actually find it ignorant to assume that any item whether it be doctor prescribed or natural will be "fine" just because a doctor or anyone else prescribed it. Consider THALIDOMIDE and the atrocious birth defects caused by this drug. It was FDA approved, prescribedd by MD's.
Furthermore the drug companies cannot patent a naturally occurring drug, which is why they devote so much research to new compounds, which will make them money, rather than researching older easily available natural substances such as fish oil. It is a business move. Europe uses natural cures in their medical system, it is just in America that we are too narrow minded to consider all of our options and must sneak around and take herbs and supplements as though we are doing something unproven and ignorant. Thanks!!!

mctavish23
08-26-09, 10:13 PM
Thalidomide has no bearing on anything related to ADHD, anymore than pet rodents

today have in common with the Black Plague.

I see what you're trying to say, but it's way too over the top.

Here's what does currently work to treat ADHD.

Currently, there are only 3 Evidence Based ( research supported) treatments for ADHD :

1) Medication

2) Behavior Management

3) A combination of the two

If that should change, then I'd be glad to update it.

As of today, that's it.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Elainehix
08-26-09, 10:16 PM
Catherine,
Please go to PUBMED and google all of the research on OMEGA's you can. It appears to be a maladaptive ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 that is the issue. There have been MANY studues recently that have shown significant improvements when EPA/DHA are supplemented, but in very large doses, think 10-16 grams. So if you really want to try this, and I recommend it, he needs to be willing to take like 16 pills per day! My son is off his concerta 54mg per day (7 year old) and he is now on 15 g of fish oil (7 grams of EPA in this) and he is doing as well on this as he was on his concerta, and he eats. No drug is perfect, the concerta wasn't either. There is really some exciting research in the field of supplements lately. Check it out!!
:)

zerby1470
08-27-09, 01:34 AM
I question this data. I have a dd that is 6. Received a diet almost solely based on breastmilk until she was three. Food was offered, but breastmilk was the primary source of calories. An abundant source of DHA/ARA...that is absorbable by humans. She is ADD - inattentive, but clonidine and concerta manage this to an extent. DD is willing to take pills, she can finally follow along during story time at school. But to expect miracles based on Omegas goes against her life as she has experienced it. I have researched PubMed, Work with surgeons, neurologists, that dismiss these studies.


She is a beautiful little girl, and brilliant in her own way. I just feel that offering what is a somewhat ideosynchratic result is misleading here.

MGDAD
08-31-09, 02:52 PM
Elaine,

If your son really is doing better, that is great. However, your son is just one data point. You also dont know if he is better because of the fish oil, or something else.

I do agree with your statement that there should be more research done on natural ingredients, but there is no one to fund it. Unfortunately, due to the lack of research, no one really knows what works and what doesnt. Also, just because something is natural does not mean that it wont have its own side affects.

Having said that, nothing wrong with taking Omega 3 oils.

Imnapl
08-31-09, 03:43 PM
My son is off his concerta 54mg per day (7 year old) and he is now on 15 g of fish oil (7 grams of EPA in this) and he is doing as well on this as he was on his concertaDid his school notice any improvement in his performance while on Concerta?

winmentalhealth
10-05-11, 11:20 PM
Agree in that you will get a label (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20664151), what then? If you have issues with focus, Scattered Minds, as one writer put it, deal with that particular problems, what can you do to improve focus? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20664151 - Many writers on ADHD point to developing lifestyle changes, developing coping skills, and exercising the mind, getting support, as a solution rather than meds. Meds aren't nec. the answer.

cathy2
10-13-11, 11:50 PM
I can't speak for others but I am sure I am not alone, As a young child my son was always getting into things he shouldn't, always doing things he shouldn't, blew up 2 microwaves, continually being disciplined, time out, toys taken away, smacks, reward charts etc (not all at the same time ofcourse) nothing ever worked, I tried elimination diets, parenting classes, cutting out colours, additives and preservatives, suppliments etc.

Now finally at 10 he was diagnosed as having DAMP (adhd with dyspraxia "Motor Issues") None of these things (natrual remidies, discipline stratigies, cutting out additives and preservatives) that we tried made any difference to his behaviour, I was very frustrated with his inability to learn from his mistakes, But since his diagnosis I am beginning to understand him further and the way his brain works, don't get me wrong I still get frustrated with his behaviour but I am learning to handle things differently.

I imagine that many parents here have tried these things too with there children, and yes some children do respond well to these changes.

Food intollerance, discipline or lack of, or reactions to colours, additives and preservatives, can mimic adhd behaviours in some children or make there adhd symptoms appear worse. So ruling these things out is helpful and some people may find that these things may help there child who has ADHD, and that is wonderful.

In my son's case in order for him to learn and stay safe he is being medicated, this was a decision we didn't under take lightly, it is also one of the best decisions I have made as it has changed his life for the better.

I am not pro med's, but when your son makes impulsive choices that endanger his life, like stepping onto the road and then looking for cars, he knows he is ment to look, but has already stepped out before he thinks to look, I am glad we changed paths.

Sorry to ramble on and on.

cathy2
10-14-11, 12:01 AM
I am not pro med's, but when your son makes impulsive choices that endanger his life, like stepping onto the road and then looking for cars, he knows he is ment to look, but has already stepped out before he thinks to look, I am glad we changed paths.

To those that think this is something that can be taught, we have spent the last 10 years trying to teach it and have been lucky enough to have been within arms reach on many close calls, its sad when your more worried about your 11 year old walking home from school safely than your 8 year old, There is only one road to cross and I will walk up there and meet them. Since being medicated he is making more appropriate chioces in all aspects in life.

happytexas
10-14-11, 08:45 AM
Many writers on ADHD point to developing lifestyle changes, developing coping skills, and exercising the mind, getting support, as a solution rather than meds. Meds aren't nec. the answer.

I think I'm going to make this my new signature "Meds are not magic beans:rolleyes:".

Meds aren't used instead of those things, but with those things--increasing ones ability to effectively apply them.