Health By Nature…Where Clean Meets Green!

Nutrition & ADHD
January 9, 2008, 7:33 am
Filed under: ADHD, health, kids, nutrition, wellness | Tags: , , , , ,

Last year my oldest daughter was diagnosed ADHD, and with an unspecified learning disorder that deals with processing information. The diagnosis was a long time coming. As a former educator, I was quite familiar with the signs and symptoms and had long suspected she had such difficulties that went beyond normal issues of *just being a kid*. In first grade, the first round of testing (which is very subjective and not at all comprehensive) put her on the *borderline*. I researched my options on my own, and found a lot of links between food additives and nutrition, and the problems my daughter exhibited.

After reading several books, I created an elimination diet to find out if any additives were *trigger* foods for her behavior and concentration. The results were stunning! High fructose corn syrup, food dyes (particularly reds and blues), artificial flavor, and preservatives all had tangible effects.

Towards the end of 3rd grade, I took her to a renowned Institute that uses nutritional therapy in place of drugs to treat disorders like ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, post-partum depression, and other conditions. The work-up included testing of her nutrient levels via blood, hair & urine. When we received the results, she had prominent markers prevalent in children with ADD, ADHD & autism. The dr. devised a nutrient therapy of vitamin supplements for her to take in the a.m. & p.m. and at bedtime.

It was unfortunate the timing of our starting the therapy–it coincided with the beginning of summer, which made it difficult to see any impact or change in learning. However, she did go weekly to her 3rd grade teacher’s home for summer tutoring, and I told Mrs. D. nothing about the changes we made.

About a month into tutoring, Mrs. D. approached me after their session, seemingly incredulous. She said for the first time, my daughter comprehended a reading story they were working on and scored 100% on the selection test (both of which never occurred during school!) Then the first quarter report card of 4th grade arrived. Previous reports? Straight F’s, maybe a C and a couple of D’s. This one? Straight C’s, 1 D.

Taking a whole foods approach is a change that benefited our whole family. Read the labels of some of the foodstuffs in your pantry. You’ll be surprised at what they contain. Life cereal, which I always thought to be a pretty wholesome, healthy cereal, has yellow no. 5. Marshmallows, which are white, have blue dye. Partially hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup is found in tons of food products. Nitrates and nitrites, which have been linked to cancer, are common preservatives in meat products.

There is something to be said for food that is so close to its natural state–unrefined, unprocessed, and pure. My supplements are derived from nature and sourced from pure ingredients, free from pesticides, GMO’s or other types of contamination. As I began to get involved with my Health By Nature company, I consulted with my daughter’s doctors and was able to replace her vitamins with our supplements. The drs. were familiar with the company and knew of their quality and efficacy.  DHA, B-Complex, the children’s multi , calcium magnesium  and the  probiotic are some of the supplements that can have a great effect on ADD & ADHD children. And unlike drugs which mask or stifle symptoms, supplementation gets to the root of the problem and actually corrects an imbalance.

In case anyone wants to read further, some of the books I found invaluable on this topic are “The ADD Nutrition Solution” by Dr. Marcia Zimmerman

“The Feingold Cookbook For Hyperactive Children” by Dr. Ben F. Feingold (which goes far beyond a cookbook–not only does it have a wealth of recipes and meal plans to make an elimination diet easier, it also goes in depth into the role nutrition plays in learning and behavior).

“Helping Your ADD Child” by John F. Taylor, Ph.D.