To Drug or Not to Drug? Have you researched the side effects of Adderall & Ritalin?
Take the short quiz/test to determine whether you have ADD/ADHD – (coming soon)
Why not Pop a Pill?
Prescription drugs like Adderall or Ritalin are one seemingly quick answer to this growing plague in the U.S. Estimated prevalence, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is between 5-10% of the population. These children (and adults) suffer from severe emotional and behavioral difficulties; their problems may interfere with their family life, ability to learn and form new friendships. It often leads to life-long disability, including more serious illnesses that are difficult to treat and co-occurring mental illnesses. So, why not take a pill and hope it can somehow either solve the problem or balance your child’s aberrant brain chemistry?
Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse have been Categorized by the FDA as Class II Narcotics!
The problem is that most of the drugs, for instance Adderall or Ritalin, used to treat these complex disorders are categorized by the F.D.A. as class II narcotics. Amphetamine; in street lingo is called “speed.” Feeding “speed” to children under the protection of a legal prescription, is called “treatment”. All these drugs have many possible short-term and long-term side effects; some, are very serious. I encourage all parents to carefully scrutinize all possible side effects first before deciding whether it is an acceptable “tradeoff”.
Click on the Drug below for a list of side effects:
Studies carried out by the National Institute on Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta:
A recent study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Maryland showed that individuals who did poorly on cognitive tasks and assignments actually did worse on Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta! It is known that these drugs can cause anxiety, mood disturbances, arrhythmias and even cardiac arrest; they have also been shown to atrophy certain parts of the brain.
What are the Causes of ADD & ADHD?
Beneath the hyperactivity and the inability to sustain focus and concentration, we often find:
- Heavy metal toxicities (especially lead)
- Vitamin and mineral imbalances, and omega-3 deficiencies.
- Food, chemical and/or environmental allergies/hypersensitivities.
- Candidiasis, chronic dysbiosis, “leaky gut’ syndrome.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Hormonal imbalances, esp. adrenal and thyroid: hypo or hyper-functioning.
- Inappropriate immune response to parts of the brain and/or its biochemistry.
- Reversed bio-magnetic fields in the brain and/or body
- Auditory processing issues.
- Sensory nerve disturbances.
- Human body energy field distortions.
- “Genetic” and/or familial predispositions.
- Eye convergence difficulties.
- Cranial/sutural jamming.
- Cranio-sacral and CSF flow impairment.
- Upper cervical subluxations
- Neurodevelopmental syndromes and structural anomalies.
- Microcirculatory disturbances in the brain.
- Hidden viruses, parasites or other pathogens in or affecting the brain/CNS.
- Chronic inflammation of the brain, and neurotransmitter imbalances.
- Concurrent learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
- Low-level (soft) neurological damage to the brain due to trauma, physical and/or chemical.
- Acid Ph. and low oxygen content in neurological tissues.
- Deep emotional disturbances that become somatized e.g. due to major family disturbances such as death, divorce, disease etc.
- Birth trauma
- Carbohydrate sensitivity with resulting dysinsulinism.
- Post-vaccination syndrome
Which of these factors is corrected by any of the current pharmaceutical stimulants? Is ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) a drug deficiency syndrome? Should underlying causes be ignored?
What Natural treatment for ADD/ADHD is there?
Alternative or holistic medicine, on the other hand, can present very effective therapies for these individuals without any of the worrisome and dangerous side effects. Is it not more rational to first examine what has gone awry in the metabolism and biochemistry, and then correct the underlying weaknesses, deficiencies, toxicities, allergies, mineral ratio imbalances, excesses etc?
What Tests for ADD/ADHD can be done?
What tests should be at least considered before embarking on a treatment program, whether drug oriented or holistic?
I would recommend the following:
- Comprehensive metabolic profile: CBC, CMP, and RBC for magnesium, zinc, and calcium.
- Hair tissue mineral analysis for heavy metals and mineral ration imbalances.
- Fe, Ferritin (Blood chemistry).
- T3, T4, TSH.
- Lipid profile, essential fatty acids.
- Gliaden antibodies
- EEG (if seizures are suspected).
- Neuropsychological evaluation.
- Possible FMRI (Brain scan).
With ADHD, it is also important to rule out:
- sleep disorders
- mood disorders (e.g. bipolar disease)
- seizure disorders and
- primary learning disabilities.
The Holistic Evaluation and Treatment of ADD/ADHD
The natural treatment of ADD/ADHD and evaluation requires a wide-ranging knowledge base in various modalities including:
- Nutritional biochemistry
- Allergy testing
- Chiropractic techniques
- Energy field scanning
It also requires the ability to use and interpret:
- Specialized blood and urine chemistries
- Hair analysis
- Stool samples
- Saliva tests
- Hormone analysis
- Radiology scans
- Neurological tests.
In my 37+ years of practice, I have found how important it is to size up each case individually, and decide what is most likely needed and in what priority. When taking responsibility for a case, it is important to leave no stone unturned.
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