August 21, 2018 at 10:55 pm #91926
One of the things I like to read here is the ADHD forum and it breaks my heart to see people struggling. My son, now an adult, 21 yrs, has ADHD,LD, autism but is undiagnosed. When he was in elem./ Junior high , I had him evaluated in two different institutions (Children’s center, etc. – we live in Japan), but his tests were normal. At that time, I really didn’t know so much about ADhd, ASD. Anyway, I just gave up on testing/diagnosis.(And I saw my son struggle).
Now, looking back, I felt it a blessing in disguise that he wasn’t diagnosed with adhd. Otherwise, he would have been medicated for life. With due respect to those who are taking adhd meds and find them helpful, I wanted to get to the root cause of Adhs/ASD and didn’t want simply relief from symptoms which are still there when you stop your meds.
Anyway, long story short, recently I started my son on probiotics and some other supplements like cod liver oil, calcium ascorbate vit.c and try to avoid processed foods, gmos, etc. those general health guidelines you can always read online. Popular online health practitioners chriskresser and others says adhd and ASD have the same causes and one of the causes is, am sure we already have heard, is the imbalance in gut bacteria.
ADHD, LD, ect are neurological issues so the brain should be supported as much as possible. They also talk about other causes which you can google and may have already known by now but they’re worth re-visiting.
EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique (or often I do something similar) I use for his emotional and even non-emotional issues as not all issues can be resolved by diet or other interventions. Very helpful. ADDitude ran an article on this although it focused on the older tapping technique, but there’s a newer update which again, you can search online.
Anxiety, depression or other mood issues can be caused by other diseases like thyroid, adrenal, yeast issues so taking care of other health issues will help greatly reduce mood disorders. We’ve re-started my son’s probiotics but probably he felt die-off but now he won’t take them so am waiting. wanting to restart starting on very low dose. Of course, I do diet modifications too. Am sure he has yeast issues too so I use coco oil, garlic in cooking, etc.
My elder son, who has reading problems (probably dyslexia) and klinefelter, benefited from these supplements and I’ve seen he has improved his reading ability. I wanted to do just food-based intervention but right now, I’ll just keep things as is cause he can be picky too. Although this experience is anecdotal, as a parent, when we see improvement, that’s good enough for a starter/lead.
Just want to reiterate, of course, it still depends on you, I think we should try to solve the root cause of ADHD. Notsaying you should stop your meds if you want that (and don’t stop meds without your doc’s knowledge/approval!). But for those who’d rather not, there are alternative to adhd prescription drugs. It’s a trial and error esp if you’re not working with a natural health practitioner, but in the long run, it’s worth it.
Am sure you know these stuff but it’s good to be reminded.
Am on the process too.
August 22, 2018 at 12:41 pm #91967JBoomParticipant
There is no scientifically concluded cause of ADHD. Such things take time to pan out.
That said, we do know that it is always related to either genetic predisposition or early brain trauma (like pre-mature birth, or head injury). There’s no scientific work that pins gut bacteria to ADHD, and the probiotic fad is actually making people sick (because unless you have an actual deficiency, taking probiotics spreads bacterial colonies where they shouldn’t go, like the lower intestines). ADHD appears to be a mechanically different brain that lacks some important neural connections between different parts that exist in neurotypical brains. This is confirmed with brain scans.
Alternative treatments are not science based and can be quite dangerous when trust is placed in them over proven treatments. They are based on science-denial and pseudoscience. The scientifically proven first-line treatment for ADHD is stimulant medication. It is proven by generations of study and practice to be the most effective and safest treatment available. And it is very very safe. There are second-line treatments as well, which include medications that aren’t stimulant based, neurofeedback has shown some promise, and cognitive therapy can be useful (but rarely by itself).
Poor diet can cause symptoms that are similar to ADHD, but that doesn’t mean it is ADHD or that poor diet causes ADHD. No ADHD link to diet has ever been found in real science.
August 24, 2018 at 5:46 pm #92167
Excuse me, I don’t know where you’re coming from (but of course I know) but I disagree with your statement that ‘the scientifically proven first -line treatment for adhd is..medication.” Perhaps for the treatment of symptoms but it’s not a real cure. You call it scientific, am wondering why.
From my readings the first recommendation for treating adhd is proper nutrition. Adhd meds is last alternative.
Those lack of neural connections in the adhd brain in comparison to the neurotypical is precisely because the brain isn’t functioning the way it should, thus it is manifested physically in deficient neural connections. The brain grows according to how it’s used.
Chris Kresser, one of the most popular functional meds practitioner who often writes based on research, says that adhd has many causes and certainly one of them is microbiome depletion:
Of course, it looks like you’re working to promote adhd drugs.
I know not all adhders need probiotics but certainly that’s one option, depending on the cause and one’s own present health status.
The purpose of Medicine as a science is to heal sickness, I mean really heal. Drugs, even herbal meds are meant to be temporary. If there are many people on drugs for the rest of their lives because of certain health issues, then Medicine has failed its mission.
Luckily the tide is shifting with the advent of functional meds/holistic and other similar integrative medicine. And they treat adhd differently than conventional doctors, focusing instead on the root cause of the adhd, which is good.
Am not in anyway connected with any of those practitioners, am just concerned because when I read this forum, I see a lot of people are dependent on drugs to cure their adhd. For me, the solution is already there, we’ve just got to seek.
August 24, 2018 at 6:19 pm #92242Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Studies scientifically show that ADHD medication is most effective for ADHD for the majority of people (80%), so that’s why it is recommended as the first line treatment in Western Medicine (American Academy of Pediatrics for one).
Functional medication looks at treating an individual in a different way. They look at the body and how it’s functioning as a whole to see if there is something there that can be corrected to alleviate symptoms of whatever is troubling the patient. That usually starts with nutrition and supplements. I know many functional meds docs who do prescribe medications for ADHD when necessary. They just don’t look there first.
Unfortunately, there aren’t enough studies showing solid results for alternative treatments for ADHD yet, except neurofeedback.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
August 27, 2018 at 5:32 am #92305pinewallaParticipant
I would like to give the balanced view if I may.
I too can feel frustrated with those who talk about meds as the ONLY panacea, and are on large prescribed doses.
I was diagnosed late in life with both ADHD and autism. I managed my symptoms for 3 decades using exercise, meditation, and behavioural strategies (without realising I was treating myself). These have made me really resilient generally in life now and I’m grateful for that.
However I have really struggled, and have many missed opportunities in life I could tell you about.
And I do quietly wish my parents had got me diagnosed as a child, because I may not have experienced so much struggle, and feeling a failure…
I have now finally accepted a tiny dose of medication, I was very reluctant and anti meds. I told myself I was failing if I went on them! Well, I’m glad I did! The alternative strategies above (including no caffeine and a good diet) are much easier to consistently apply now and I feel calmer and much more focused in daily life. I am grateful for my tiny dose of meds despite my reluctance! I now believe the theory about brain differences in ADHD and autism.
Just to note, for those with autism too we can be highly sensitive to normal doses of any medication including ADHD meds. so I am on a less then paediatric dose of stimulant and it’s having a great effect!
Keep an open mind to all options I would say, it has helped me to keep my job and to feel I have an ok future ahead in mid life.
August 27, 2018 at 9:37 pm #92375rgoodrichParticipant
Im a big proponent of alternative healing practices. If I had a nickel for every probiotic or other supplement I’ve taken I’d be rich.
But I totally disagree when it comes to withholding medication from a child for a medical condition. Would you withhold medication if your son were diagnosed with diabetes because you didn’t want to treat the “symptoms?” Of course not. So why withhold proven treatments for a neurological condition? I wish fervently that I’d been prescribed ADHD medication as a child. My life would have been very, very different. Ask yourself if your son will thank you later on for denying him all of the benefits and success that come from treating the many symptoms of ADHD.
August 28, 2018 at 11:09 pm #92457
Thanks for the feedback, but I think the reason why there is ‘science’ behind adhd drugs is because there are fundings (by the company who manufacture them or whoever) to support clinical studies testing the drug’s efficacy (to relieve symptoms at least) but clinical studies involving other alternative treatments probably don’t receive as much funding, if there is any.
That’s why I think there are only mostly testimonials or anecdotes supporting the effectiveness of alternative treatment. Doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. It just means there aren’t enough clinical studies evaluating alternative treatments (and studies aren’t error-free either).
I’m not really anti-meds . Just that I think adhd can be resolved without adhd meds , in most cases. The only reason I stalled in our treatment of my son is he’s not cooperating with me at this time, just when I thought we’re on the verge of significant progress. So I have to be patient.
And am not against those who want to take meds for their adhd. But for me, I want a better way to solve adhd, focusing instead on trying to solve the root cause of the problem and using a number of approach, including spiritual one.
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