Hyperactivity (or, more properly: attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity: ADHD) is at epidemic proportions in today’s children. Quite simply, it is marked by an inability to pay attention to a single task for an appropriate length of time. Moreover, the attention will stray and so will the child, as they fidget, or move to the location of the next focus for their attention.
The consequence is an inability to learn, so the child falls behind at school. Frequently, teachers and counselors will insist upon an appointment with a psychologist or physician for a formal diagnosis and, usually a prescription for Ritalin.
It is viewed in orthodox terms as a developmental problem which the child will grow out of (aided by pharmaceutical prescriptions). Rarely, the condition extends into adulthood, although, of course, the ramifications of poor performance at school will haunt most sufferers. It is regarded as a residual disorder. Another residual problem is frequently reported with abuse of prescription drugs.
The other view (alternative, if you will) is that the children are experiencing an allergic, or sensitivity, reaction to food additives.
Some studies have reported the presence of high levels of lead in blood tests.
Some studies point to the fluorescent lighting, claiming improvement through the use of full spectrum systems with radiation shields.
In some views, the problems begin during infancy with recurrent ear infections, which may be traced to the abuse of antibiotics, or even reaction to vaccination etc.
Another study has also found an abnormal glucose tolerance in hyperactive children.
Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disorder of amino acid metabolism which has the effect of slowing transfer from the left to the right hemisphere of the brain. PKU children show signs of negative task orientation similar to children with ADHD but lack their "negative social behaviour".
Recent research has also found altered fatty acid metabolism. The present study found that 53 subjects with ADHD had significantly lower concentrations of key fatty acids in the plasma polar lipids.
Signs & Symptoms
Diagnosis is usually made after age 3, preferably when the child is in elementary school (6 - 11). By definition, there will be behavioral traits, like lack of attention and hyperactivity, or impulsive behavior. This will be compounded by difficulties at school, with siblings, parents, teachers, friends etc. The population is mostly boys (10:1).
Structure & Function:
Nutrients for Brain Support &
B-complex 100 mg Chromium* Vitamin B6 50-100 mg Brewer's Yeast*
* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
The abuse of Ritalin is so controvertial that there is an organization: “Parents Against Ritalin” which promotes nutritional and herbal approaches to the problem.
The hypothesis of food additives was originally made by Dr. Benjamin Feingold, who presented his case to the American Medical Association in 1973 and also in a best-selling paperback: “Why Your Child is Hyperactive.”
Opposition to this view has been presented by Conners: “Food Additives and Hyperactive Children”.
Obviously, one extreme is to eliminate sugar and food additives from the diet. The opposite view is to rely upon pharmaceuticals to control behavior during childhood.
In between these two extremes, it would seem prudent to try to eliminate certain food groups, then check any sensitivity by their reintroduction.
Research is available to support every contention. Some may be tainted by the funding of interested parties. Even when a study reaches the conclusion that: neither dietary sucrose nor aspartame affects children's behavior or cognitive function; parents can still conduct their own experiment of one.
If heavy metal poison is suspected, detoxification is indicated.
Low fatty acids indicate the need for supplementation.
A poor diet must be countered by nutritional supplements, typically, a multi-mineral, vitamin preparation (although care must be taken not to select a brand with sugar and dyes which have a negative effect! Both children’s vitamins and cereals have been described as: “technicolor”. ).
The conclusion of recent research seems to be: if parents have linked symptoms of hyperactivity to poor diet, doctors should give weight to these accounts and consider a 'few foods' elimination diet. Studies have found these “anecdotal” reports from parents and others to be reproducible using double-blind methodology and objective assessments.
Description Remedy Averse to colored light Artemisia vulgaris Disinterested Baryta carbonica Obstinate, willful Cina artemisia Worms Chenopodium anthelminticum
Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).
This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.
Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.
Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.
Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.
Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.
If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.
Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.
Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.
Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.
Biota (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
One herbalist uses the following formulas:
A combination of:
Flavored with cinnamon, anise and a touch of cloves.
This is prepared as a glycerite extract (approx. 1:3-1:5 concentration). 20 drops 2-3 daily.
He alternates this with Hawthorn berry syrup, 1 tsp 2 x daily.
He also notes that In Germany, Chamomile tea and small doses of valerian root are utilized.
Klich, R. and Gladbach, B. (1975) Childhood behavior disorders and their treatment. Medizinische Welt. 26(25):1251.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Cardamom Essence Chamomile Essence Lavender Essence Patchouli Essence
Related Health ConditionsAbstracts
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