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  #16  
Old 08-09-07, 02:23 PM
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The original research performed on the Fiengold studies was done in the late 70s and early 80s. It is true that most of those studies concluded that there was no improvement or only improvement on a few percent of the children. However, there were a lot of problems with the data. On some studies the researchers discounted the parents conclusion of improvement on relied on the researchers conclusion of no improvement in behavior. (even though the studies were double blind). In addition, some of the placebo pills used in the studies contained dies. This too was discounted because it was only a "small amount" of dye.

There have been some recent studies retesting the Fiengold diet that have shown significant behavior improvement;

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...RVAbstractPlus

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...RVAbstractPlus

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...RVAbstractPlus

Here is the Cochrane review for the GFCF (gluten free, casein free diet). It shows that there is innadequate research to conclude anything.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...RVAbstractPlus

Here is another review stating that there is innadequate research on GFCF diets to conclude anything.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...RVAbstractPlus

So looking at the research on diet, it is clear that there is not a good body of research out there to conclude anything. In addition, the research is more complicated by the belief by some practitioners that reaction to gluten or casein, or dyes is some sort of reaction that varies between each person. In addition, the reaction can complicate the digestive system, causing "leaky gut syndrome" which is only recently being studied. (you can look up those studies on pubmed too).

I have spent a lot of time searching for information on various diets as a treatment for Autism and ADHD. I have also looked for information on "delayed onset allergies (IgG)". There just is not a lot of research out there on the subject. However, there are a lot of MD's and PHD's promoting the treatments. Unlike herbal treatments that are only promoted by fringe health practitioners.

It would be very costly to perform studies on all of these various diets. I doubt there will be any resolution soon. It may not be appropriate to grasp at alternative diets as a cure, but don't let a Dr. tell you that they don't work, because they do not know.

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Old 11-06-07, 09:17 PM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Here is a link to a page about controversial treatments for ADHD published by CHADD

It expands on the original post on controversial treatments and is worth reading.

http://web.archive.org/web/199902082....org/fact7.htm


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Old 01-26-08, 08:20 PM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

I agree about all the good things you think a person with ADD/ADHD should eat. But I would add removing artificial perservatives and colors.
There are lots of studies on this subject, they just don't have the financial backing of the pharmacudical industry.

Many of you have know about the recent Lancet study in Britain. They tested several artificial ingredients on kids with and without ADHD and found them to cause hyperactivity. Many supermarkets and big companies like cadbury are voluntarily removing these ingredients from their products. The government has not yet made any ruling.

I personally do not need a study to prove anything to me. I'm not waiting around like the 30 years it took scientists to say folic acid decreases birth defects. What good did that do the next 30 years after it was reccomended for those babies. All I need is the evidence that it has not lightly, but dramaticly improved our life at home now. A year ago I had an appointment to medicate myself (stress, depression from dealing) and I thought I would put my son on meds sometime this year. We are both med free and doing great! (fyi some do the diet and take a lower dose of meds)

I don't think there is an exact fit for everyone. For some it's meds, herbal remedies etc. I give parents credit for finding something that helps their child be happy and loved. You might have to kiss a few frogs before your kid turns into a prince.

I didn't think this diet would work. I did it because I was going through the motions of being a good mom. Boy was I surprized!

Last edited by Andrew; 01-26-08 at 08:46 PM.. Reason: Removed url.
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Old 01-28-08, 12:06 AM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

I haven't done any scientific research as others have, but I'll just share a little of my personal experience. I was on the Feingold diet from the age of 4-17. My mother saw the Phil Donahue show discussing AD/HD and the Feingold diet when I was a toddler, decided that was what was wrong with me and put me on the diet. Of course, I have no idea what life would have been like had I not been on it, but I will say that I was still severely hyperactive and had major attentional and behavior problems. My brother and sister were also on this diet. I managed to do well in school despite my difficulties. My brother and sister did not do as well in school and were both on Ritalin when in junior high. I continued to suffer from severe emotional problems and struggled with anorexia. Not once did my parents ever take me to a psychologist or psychiatrist for any type of help or official diagnosis-- they just kept me on the Feingold diet and somehow thought that I would be ok.
Even as an adult, I was very against medication and never even considered doing anything about my ADHD until this past spring-- I wanted to return to school and finish my degree but also knew that I would flip out and drop out. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist, underwent neuropsychological testing and found out that not only was I ADHD but bipolar as well. I now realize that much of what I suffered through as a child/adolescent can be attributed to childhood onset bipolar disorder.
I still get tons of exercise (I walk dogs for a living), eat a very healthy diet (because I have no taste for artificial food), and struggle to get through the day without meds. I am now medicated with adderall and seroquel and feel my life is vastly improved, although it still has a ways to go. I've tried all kinds of supplements, etc., and none of them have aided me in any way. Rather, they delayed me getting the help I needed.
Sorry if I sound a bit vehement about this matter, it's just that I've suffered for years as a result of these controversial treatments.
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  #20  
Old 01-28-08, 12:16 AM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

I am so sorry to hear that you were on that diet for so long, especially without the results you and your parents were hoping for. It's a very brutal diet in all sorts of ways. I would think if they thought it was not helping they would have stopped it and moved on to other options. Shame you were never formally diagnosed, BUT, you are on a great road now, and you do sound very positive about your future. Thanks for sharing your experience on Feingold. It does seem to work for some, that I hear, for those whose symptoms are diet related, but not for most. It's hard to stick to as well!
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Old 01-28-08, 01:07 AM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

Quote:
Originally Posted by adhdogwalker View Post
I haven't done any scientific research as others have, but I'll just share a little of my personal experience. I was on the Feingold diet from the age of 4-17. My mother saw the Phil Donahue show discussing AD/HD and the Feingold diet when I was a toddler, decided that was what was wrong with me and put me on the diet. Of course, I have no idea what life would have been like had I not been on it, but I will say that I was still severely hyperactive and had major attentional and behavior problems. My brother and sister were also on this diet. I managed to do well in school despite my difficulties. My brother and sister did not do as well in school and were both on Ritalin when in junior high. I continued to suffer from severe emotional problems and struggled with anorexia. Not once did my parents ever take me to a psychologist or psychiatrist for any type of help or official diagnosis-- they just kept me on the Feingold diet and somehow thought that I would be ok.
I am a "Feingold mom", but I would NEVER suggest not taking a child to a professional for help! My son was diagnosed by a professional as ADHD and ODD, and we are on the Feingold diet with the approval of his pediatrician. He does take Adderall XR, but no longer needs additional medication in order to sleep at night. Again, all this with approval of his pediatrician.

I think that it should be noted that most "Feingold" followers would agree it does not help everyone, and the Feingold Association specifically declares that it is not against medication, per se. "Every person is unique and is entitled to the right to be provided with complete, accurate information concerning all treatment options available. We believe dietary therapy should be the first treatment to be tried. Medication should be a last resort." [Feingold Program Handbook, page 8.] This same page also says: "If you choose to discontinue or reduce medication, consult your doctor."

I have met people who are very "anti-medication". They aren't found just amongst those who follow Feingold. Actually, many people who use Feingold still use medication - they simply get it from a compounding pharmacy minus artificial colors or flavors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adhdogwalker View Post
Even as an adult, I was very against medication and never even considered doing anything about my ADHD until this past spring-- I wanted to return to school and finish my degree but also knew that I would flip out and drop out. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist, underwent neuropsychological testing and found out that not only was I ADHD but bipolar as well. I now realize that much of what I suffered through as a child/adolescent can be attributed to childhood onset bipolar disorder.
<snip>
Sorry if I sound a bit vehement about this matter, it's just that I've suffered for years as a result of these controversial treatments.
And I am sorry that you did. But in my mind, part of your suffering was your mother's unwillingness to consider ALL the options. In some kids, the diet doesn't help, or it needs to be done in concert with medication. Sensible parents will not hang their child's well-being on their own diagnosis with consulting a professional.

I feel very strongly that Feingold IS helping my son. He does tell me it is easier for him to focus in school. His grades have gone up. And while I would consider some of the treatments some people try in conjunction with Feingold questionable, I cannot see how eliminating artificial colors and flavors and sweeteners, and three preservatives can be harmful. Even limiting or eliminating some salicylatic foods isn't harmful if you pay attention to overall nutrition and make sure that a child / family is still eating a well-balanced diet. [For example, before we reintroduced oranges, I made sure my children had plenty of (homemade) lemonade to drink, and plenty of kiwis to eat, to provide the vitamin C.]

In the section about going beyond Feingold into Gluten-free or Salicylate-free diets, the handbook again cautions readers "This is not a substitute for medical advice. Please work with a nutritionally-oriented licensed, health care professional."

Feingold, I feel, should not be considered as controversial as it is, but nothing is a panacea, and it should not be considered a "miracle cure" either. From your description, that is exactly what your mother wanted it to be, and no treatment ought to be used like that. Medications aren't miracle cures, and neither is diet. But that doesn't mean it ought not be considered.

I, too, feel strongly. My son is happier and his self esteem has improved immensely in the 6 months we've been following the Feingold diet.

Rebecca
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Old 01-28-08, 01:14 AM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

Oops there is a typo and it won't let me edit my post. Please note that the following sentence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leofwynn View Post
Sensible parents will not hang their child's well-being on their own diagnosis with consulting a professional.
..should read:

Sensible parents will not hang their child's well-being on their own diagnosis WITHOUT consulting a professional.

That should make more sense.

Sorry about that.

Rebecca
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Old 01-28-08, 03:37 PM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

ADHDDogWalker, I hope I got that right.
I'm sorry you had such a difficult time during your childhood.
No treatment should be the be all end all enless you are happy with the results.
My son who I treat with the diet is 6. I'm not saying he is perfect now, but he's not far from it. He is in control of his behavior, and he is learning.

I will keep our entire family on the Feingold diet forever, because it is a very healthy way to eat and it is helping (alot). If at any time my sons self esteem, mood, or learning suffer I'll have to add to our treatment.

If I needed to give my child medication, I would. It just turns out that at least for now, I don't need to.

You should not have suffered so much. I'm glad you have found relief.
Good luck!
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Old 02-01-08, 09:57 AM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

Here is an interesting article from web MD regarding the lancet studies in England.
http://fooddemocracy.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/study-shows-food-additives-may-make-kids-hyper/
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Old 03-31-08, 03:25 PM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuro View Post
Love quack watch. Tons of great articles.
http://www.quackwatch.org/

Dr. Peter Breggin is one anti-adhd motha. Check him out.
http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/breggin.html

Just a comment - I was at a meeting of the Quackwatch people as a visitor about 10 years ago. They are a very scary bunch; they are out to "get" anybody who is the least bit outside their own definition of "mainstream" and their interest in reality, truth, and science is pretty shaky. Barrett himself is a psychiatrist who has never practiced medicine of any sort, as far as I can find out, but is touted as the expert on everything. By the way, they were rather suspicious of my being there, even though their meeting had been advertised in the paper (required I suppose). A local officer asked me if I were a spy.

So - not that I like Dr. Breggin myself at all - you may want to balance the Quackwatch view by seeing what the guy himself says, at breggin.com
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Old 03-31-08, 04:24 PM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

Quote:
Originally Posted by MGDAD View Post
It may not be appropriate to grasp at alternative diets as a cure, but don't let a Dr. tell you that they don't work, because they do not know.

Caveat Emptor
This is a pretty good conclusion - they do not know. You are right, too, about a lot of the research being bad.

First, a lot of researchers and reporters totally confuse the Feingold diet with a sugar-free diet (it's not). Then no studies on sugar have used high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup -- which is the "sugar" most kids are getting the most of anyhow, and that's the sugar that gets into the blood fastest and has been actually shown to lower the seizure threshold of rats .... so all the "sugar" studies on kids are pretty useless too.

Then we have studies done by researchers funded by the additive companies with reports such as the Harley study (1978) in which he concluded there is no support for the "Feingold hypothesis" in spite of all 10 of his 10 subjects getting better on the blinded Feingold diet. How did he do that? Well, see, he used preschoolers .... and then concluded that parents don't know anything and there were no teacher reports (cuz they were PREschoolers - hello?) so he voided his own results, but he published them anyhow, saying there is no proof. Man, you know he didn't wanna make his cash cow mad.

Most studies on the use of diet for ADHD tested only a small part of the diet ... such as using a little bit of a single color. You can't test a whole diet that way.

A more convincing study was done over a period of 4 years on over a million kids - the NY City school system - analyzed by Schoenthaler. As they reduced additives and sugar in their diet, the kids' score averages on standardized tests improved dramatically. This is not a small study. Schoenthaler went on to study juvenile detention centers that removed additives (and sugar) with similar results. You can see some info about other schools that improved their lunch menu and what happened at http://www.school-lunch.org

A really interesting study, however, (not done on people) done by Lau in 2006 showed that if you combine certain additives and test them for neurotoxicity, the combination is far far worse than expected by adding their results when testing each alone. Results were measured as amount of development of neurons, and how much these additives suppress such development.

It's kinda scary - especially when you realize that all the thousands of additives in our food supply have NEVER been tested for neurotoxicity - not alone or in any combinations. There are thousands of artificial flavorings, for example, and almost NONE of them have even been tested for safety .... and the few that have been don't look so good, since they suppress liver enzymes and do other nasty stuff. That problem was solved by deciding that the rest of them should NOT be tested. It's called the "de minimus principle" -- a little bit can't hurt.

As for the certified (numbered) colorings ... did you know that they all contain "certified" amounts of lead, mercury and arsenic? Also benzidine and p-cresidine, 2 potent carcinogens. Do you really want to give this stuff to your kids? And did you know that the FDA is paid per pound certified ... that means per pound PASSED, not per pound EXAMINED. This information comes from the FDA website (they are proud of it). However, a researcher who analyzed how much benzidine was actually in Yellow 5 a few years ago found over 200% more than the allowed amount. So much for our careful certification ....

So, if you ask me, I will prefer not to eat this stuff, on the theory that neither my brain nor my body needs it, and it's only purpose for being in the food in the first place is to make more money for the manufacturers so that they can use cheaper ingredients. If I spend my money on a cheese snack, I think there really aught to be CHEESE in it, and not some sort of imitation cheese flavor stuff and yellow coloring. I would think this even if the diet had never helped my kids, but as a plus, it did.

So, while the research may be lacking ... although there is certainly progress in more recent years ... you may not want to wait a few generations until it gets better if it is your kid who is suffering. You can see how 26,000 parents rate their success with various treatments for autism, both medical, supplements, and diets, at http://www.autism.com/treatable/form34qr.htm - you can see the percent who got worse, stayed the same, or improved, for each treatment. This may help you decide between available treatments.

No matter what other treatments you are using for your children, it doesn't hurt to clean up their diet as well. And for autism, there actually is a test now to let you know if you have a gluten/casein problem. I know that the Great Plains Lab provides this test and some others of possible interest. They have a website at http://www.greatplainslaboratory.com

If anybody needs any sources for anything I said above, I'm happy to oblige, but I didn't want to clutter up this email which is long enough.
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Old 05-18-08, 10:56 AM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

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Barrett himself is a psychiatrist who has never practiced medicine of any sort, as far as I can find out, but is touted as the expert on everything.
From: http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=4&gl=ca

graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his psychiatry residency in 1961. In 1967 and 1968 he followed part of a correspondence course in American Law and Procedure at La Salle Extension University (Chicago).[1] He was a licensed physician until retiring from active practice in 1993, and his medical license is currently listed as "Active-Retired" in good standing.[2] Longtime resident of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Barrett now resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.[3]
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Old 06-10-08, 09:13 AM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

I'm just adding in this thread where we had a big debate on feingold for those who are interested in a few different view points.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50145
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Old 06-17-08, 08:59 AM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

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Originally Posted by FrazzleDazzle View Post
It's a very brutal diet in all sorts of ways.
How so?
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Old 09-23-09, 04:39 PM
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Re: Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disord

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Originally Posted by Stacy Long View Post
I am new to this board. I have a son who is ll years old and was diagnosed with ADD in second grade. He was put on Adderall and at first it was great. He started making all A's..from C's, D's, and F's. I thought it was a miracle drug. By fourth grade, he had lost a lot of weight and was considered a very sad child...I took him off of meds in December and started doing my own research on alternatives that were natural. Long story short....we changed his diet..no artificial colors, flavors, no preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup. It was a major eating change for all of us. We put him on a high dosage of supplemental vitamins and flaxseed oil daily. We put him through cranial therapy, also. He improved within two weeks...mind you... we spent 4 months trying everything else that didn't work at all. A month or so after that, we put him on 500 mg of DMAE and THAT is where we feel the real miracle lies. He was making l00's across the board in school. I don't read much about this supplement...I just wanted you to know what worked for us. I will never believe, again, that the only treatment for ADD are stimulants. He has absolutely NO side effects from this, either. He is our happy, outgoing little boy again. I just wish more people were open minded to the alternatives out there. We tried so many different things all at once it was hard to tell what was really working...bottom line, it was the diet and DMAE that we feel was the most instrumental in helping him. He was doing good in school before the DMAE, but that was the last thing we tried and the difference was amazing. I had never heard of it before. I just was searching the web for natural alternatives and that came up, therefore, I did my own research and decided it was worth a try.

What an inspirational story. When will people realise that there is never one cure all for this condition that affects everyone differently. Any treatment should address the individual presenting symptoms not the condition defining symptoms. Any support system wirth its salt needs to be integrated, holistic and clinet focused with a method to evaluate self improvement. I am so thrilled to hear your of son's progress through your enlightened appraoch.
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