ADHD

ADHD

Michael SmithThere has been quite a bit of concern and controversy around the disease ADHD, which is often diagnosed in young children with the subsequent prescription of powerful, mind altering drugs. Circulating the Internet, you’ll find articles claiming that one of the pioneers of ADHD research claimed it to be a “…Fictitious disease,” just before he died.

While the translation from the original German doesn’t quite translate to what Dr. Eisenberg is quoted as saying, other doctors and health professionals have gone as record as slightly skeptical, especially in terms of the volume of diagnoses. Retired Harvard psychologist, Dr. Jerome Kagan was quoted as saying, “Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician… The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.”

ADHD is so prevalent now that more than 1 in every 10 children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed as of 2011, according to the CDC’s website. 11% of our young people – more than 6.4 million individuals – have been given the diagnosis of ADHD. This is up from 7.8% in 2003; in fact, diagnoses of ADHD have risen an average of 3% since 1996. The average age of diagnosis was 7 years old.

What causes ADHD? Let’s go back to that number of kids diagnosed in 2011 – 6.4 million. Subsequently, roughly 80-83% of those kids that were diagnosed were receiving treatment for ADHD in 2011. So, let us do some math; 80% of 6.4 million individuals is roughly 5.1 million prescriptions being filled on a regular basis. This equates to quite a chunk of change for those companies that stand to benefit from drug sales. Knowing this, it would seem that isolating the cause of ADHD wouldn’t be quite as lucrative as continuing to treat it.

So, our question remains: What causes ADHD? The first line of a search on WebMD, the NIH, and the Mayo Clinic all state this, in some way: The exact cause of ADHD isn’t known. Many variables are thought to influence ADHD, including genetics, lifestyle and environment. Pesticides, food coloring, fetal exposure to smoking/alcohol and lead exposure have all been implicated by research. Exposure to other chemical compounds may play a role, as well.  Most researchers deny a heavy link between food additives, sugar and diet.

There is no concise, objective test for ADHD. Because of this, many people – including the aforementioned doctors – cite the fact that it could possibly over diagnosed.

Could fungus play a role? Research suggests that environmental toxins are thought to play a role. Doug’s research has implicated mycotoxins as a commonly overlooked environmental pollutant. Furthermore, an internal yeast problem may contribute to behavioral changes. Some ways to find out if fungus is contributing to your child’s ADHD diagnosis would be these: Test your home for mold or fungal exposure, and do your best to eliminate any sources of mold spores or mycotoxins. Change your child’s diet to one that might eliminate any fungal overgrowth – Doug’s Phase 1 Diet is perfectly suited for this. Add in some natural anti-fungals to your child’s regimen, such as oregano oil, olive leaf extract or grapefruit seed extract. Add in some supplements, such as fish oil and probiotics. Make sure they have as much time to be outside and active as possible. If after a month of such strategies, your child’s ADHD seems to have subsided, you may have your answer.

Always work with your doctor when it comes to changes in your child’s lifestyle. However, if these strategies work, you will have avoided subjecting your child to powerful, mind altering chemicals.

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