The 4 Keys to Defeating ADHD
By: Katherine Layman, ND
Do you know what most of the kids that I treat who have been medicated for ADHD have in common? Their parents have been told that they need to take this medication (Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Strattera, etc) for the rest of their academic career, and possibly beyond. And, unfortunately, if you continue on the conventional path this is true. Your child will likely remain on at least one stimulant medication. Of course, there are many more steps we take our patients through that completely change that game. Our patients know they don’t have to continue on that path. In fact, they experience phenomenal change.
There is wide agreement that treatment of ADHD should be multifactorial and should not be limited to the use of medications alone. Other aspects of treatment should address creating a structured classroom environment, parent education and improving parenting skills, tutoring, and behavioral therapy. But what do you do when all of these treatments have been initiated and still you child is struggling? What do you do when your child suffers weight loss and stops growing because their medication has completely shut off their appetite? What do you do when your child has tried all of the medications listed above and still they struggle socially and in school?
Many parents express their desire to fix their children’s problems, rather than putting their kids on medications that can have significant side effects. These medications are a bandage to deal with the symptoms. In order to understand what we need to do to address the underlying factors contributing to ADHD, let’s first examine the three biggest myths about ADHD.
ADHD Myth #1: ADHD is just a behavioral issue or the result of poor parenting.
It is true that ADHD manifests in observable behavior, but there are real underlying neurological imbalances that are contributing to this behavior. In fact, I commonly see children with ADHD who also have other neurological signs such as bed wetting, anxiety, or poor handwriting, to name a few.
ADHD Myth #2: ADHD is not that big of a deal, especially if kids are medicated.
Not that big of a deal? Only someone who has never had a loved-one with ADHD would say this. Many parents have watched their child with ADHD struggle with self-esteem due to struggles in school or suffer through isolation from their peers due to their unregulated and difficult behavior, or otherwise feel the consequences of being “different.” As far as medication, above I listed just a few of the sides effects of stimulant medications in children. The list continues below:
- Appetite suppression
- Weight loss
- Growth retardation
- Irritability and rage
- Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
- Increased blood pressure
ADHD Myth #3: ADHD is a lifelong condition with which you learn to cope.
This may be true in the conventional model. However, I have seen how a proven system of medicine can reverse the sensitivities and symptoms of ADHD. In our program we commonly see kids recover from ADHD and avoid the need for medication; or reduce or even eliminate their medication.
So, if ADHD is a physical, neurological condition that significantly impacts our children, how is it that we can heal them? First, I must make one thing clear. It is you that must be in control of your child’s health. You are the hero of your child’s story. Our bodies are capable of self-healing, but only when given the right conditions. If your child is not old enough to make fully informed, logical decisions for him or herself (i.e. well into their teens) then you must be making these decisions. Because creating the right environment for healing will involve some lifestyle changes.
Overall, we have found through clinical experience and research that there are 4 keys to treating ADHD.
Detoxification: The type of detoxification that I advocate for children is a very gentle form of enhancing digestive and liver function. This is not chelation or other harsh methods of elimination. Detox is something that our bodies do all of the time. I help my patients to design a lifestyle that provides all of the things our bodies need to eliminate toxins, while reducing exposure to the things that interfere.
Nutrition: I know what you’re thinking. I’ve done this before. We’ve tried going gluten free, casein free. It didn’t make enough of a difference. Like many of my patients before you, I ask you to suspend judgement for a moment. I have often asked parents to please complete a diet diary for their child and find that the results can still use improvement. Gluten-free pizza, gluten-free French fries, and gluten-free cupcakes cannot provide the antioxidants and nutrition necessary for a healthy and functioning brain. I know what you’re thinking now: “But you don’t know my child, the world’s pickiest eater.” That’s why we have put together a proven system for you to change your child’s diet in a non-confrontational way. I have seen children who previously only ate three foods expand their diet to include berries, carrots, broccoli, chickpeas and beans, when their parents were motivated and followed the system.
Fitness: Movement and time outside in nature are critical to the developing brain. It actually regulates and rebalances brain activity! Children who get plenty of physical activity after school have been demonstrated to have higher IQs than children who play video games after school.
Homeopathy: Homeopathy is the secret sauce of medicine. A specific system of using natural medicines to stimulate the body to heal, homeopathy can profoundly reduce a child’s sensitivities. There are several scientific studies on the use of homeopathy to treat ADHD, including an outcomes study where individualized homeopathic treatment compared favorably to Ritalin. And, homeopathic remedies are relatively inexpensive compared with traditional medicines.
Do not continue to worry for your child with ADHD another day. By addressing the above Keys to ADHD you can change the trajectory of your child’s health.
You really do have options for your child’s health, outside of the typical regimen of pharmaceutical drugs and endless doctor visits. Dr. Layman has experience treating many ADHD kids using natural remedies to help them focus, behave better, excel at school, and be healthier children overall.