Treatment for ADHD | Amoils.comtweet
Doctors in many countries including the USA are quick to prescribe drugs as treatment for ADHD without delving deeper to find out what might have caused the condition in the first place.
Some background info on ADHD
- ADHD (or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is diagnosed more often in boys than in girls, with boys more prone to have the combined type of ADHD while girls are more likely to have the predominantly inattentive type.
- ADHD tends to run in families. A child who has a parent or sibling with ADHD has an increased risk of also developing ADHD.
- Some research suggests that maternal alcohol use, drug abuse and cigarette smoking during pregnancy may lead to the development of ADHD in the child.
- Low birth weight has been possibly linked to ADHD.
- Environmental lead exposure before age 6 may also raise the risk for ADHD.
Drugs and ADHD
The sad fact about ADHD in the United States is that some 9% of all school going children have been diagnosed with the condition and they have been prescribed drugs to deal with it.
The problem has reached epidemic proportions
But why is this and should there be other ways of dealing with the problem other than simply drugging children into acceptable behavior?
France has been especially successful in finding other ways of dealing with the condition
According to Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D., child psychiatrists in the US consider ADHD to be a biological disorder with biological causes, with the preferred treatment also being biological – namely psycho stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall.
But that in France, child psychiatrists view ADHD as a medical condition that has psycho-social and situational causes.
She explains that instead of treating children’s focusing and behavioral problems with drugs, French doctors prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress – and then not in the child’s brain but in the child’s social context. She goes on to say how the doctors in France then choose to treat the underlying social context problem with psychotherapy or family counseling.
As Dr Wedge points out, this is a very different way of seeing things from the American tendency to attribute all symptoms to a biological dysfunction such as a chemical imbalance in the child’s brain.
Discipline in the home
She adds that contrary to American parents, who can be more indulgent with their children, French parents have a different philopsophy of discipline. She says: “Consistently enforced limits, in the French view, make children feel safe and secure. Clear limits, they believe, actually make a child feel happier and safer.”
And particularly important (if applied to the United States situation and the standard American diet or SAD) is that French testing of children also looks for nutritional causes for any ADHD symptoms.
Top of the list can be artificial colors, preservatives and other allergens. Several dietary factors have been researched in association with ADHD, including sensitivities to certain food chemicals, deficiencies in fatty acids and zinc plus sensitivity to sugar.
A Dutch study in 2011 may have found a different link between food allergies and ADHD.
“There is a longstanding, somewhat inconsistent story about diet and ADHD” said Jan Buitelaar, the lead author of the Dutch study and a psychiatrist at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. “On the one hand, people think it’s sugar that’s the trigger, others think that food coloring could be causing ADHD. Our approach was quite different. We went with the idea that food may give some kind of allergic or hyperactivity reaction to the brain.”
In the study of 41 children, 32 experienced decreased symptoms but when certain foods (thought to be “triggers” for each child) were reintroduced, most of the children relapsed. Among the 50 children given a standard, healthy diet for children, no significant changes were noted. The researchers recommended that the elimination diet become part of standard of care for children with ADHD.
Changes in their diet can mean a successful treatment for some children
Unfortunately, some parents and pediatricians may find it too much of a burden to get to the root of what is causing the ADHD and so giving the child drugs may be the easier route to follow. The strict focus on pharmaceutical treatment of ADHD further encourages medical practitioners to ignore the influence of dietary factors on children’s behavior.
A link with vaccines?
Also in 2011, Barbara Loe Fisher (Co-Founder & President of the National Vaccine Information Center) wrote about the possible, or even probable link, between ADHD (and other conditions) and vaccines. She explained how half of all US children are chronically ill, pointing out that health officials have no explanation for the fact that an estimated 43% to 54% of all American children today suffer with at least one chronic illness (requiring health insurance reimbursement) including a staggering 26% of children under age six years at high risk for developmental, social or behavioral delays.
She says: “Government officials now admit that, in the past decade, developmental disabilities among American children has increased by a whopping 17% and is led by a rise in autism and ADHD.”
American children used to be healthier
“This is not the way it used to be in America when I was growing up in the 1950s and early 1960s. Back then, women were not getting vaccinated during pregnancy and there were only a few vaccines given to babies and there were few children suffering with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, asthma and severe allergies,diabetes, bi-polar disorders and taking a cocktail of prescription medications.”
It would seem very obvious that a drastic overhaul is necessary both in getting to the bottom of what is causing ADHD in the first place and the treatment of the condition.
Do we really want a growing population of children spending their childhood and youth drugged up?