Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Hyperactivity
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity are diagnosed in over 4 million children in America today. The standard medical treatment is the drug Ritalin, or an equivalent. Very little attention is given to nutritional and biochemical aspects of the disorder. However, in our experience, much can be done to help these children through scientifically designed nutrition programs.
Fast Oxidation And Hyperactivity
Most children with ADD and/or hyperactivity are fast oxidizers. Their hair analyses reveal low calcium and magnesium levels, in relation to the sodium and potassium levels. Many have sodium and potassium levels that are off the chart. Sodium is called the volatility element
and this is good description of many of these children.
According to our research, fast oxidation indicates over-activity of the adrenal and thyroid glands. It is a fight-flight response of the autonomic nervous system that these children have difficulty turning off
. The result is the child has difficulty sitting still and concentrating and is often irritable. They may also be aggressive and even violent, especially when tired or feeling threatened. Often these children have difficulty going to sleep. They often wear out their parents to the point that the parents give up trying to discipline the child. This only makes the problem worse. It is no wonder that parents and teachers look for quick solutions.
Low Copper And Unavailable Copper
Many fast oxidizers have a low copper level. Giving copper may be necessary to enhance calcium levels in fast oxidizers. However, many ADD and hyperactive children have a more complex situation. Their hair copper level may be elevated. In a fast oxidizer this can indicate an inability to utilize copper properly, or even a loss through the hair.
Do not be surprised if some copper is recommended for these children, even if copper is elevated. The biologically available copper in the tablet is needed for a while to retain calcium and help correct the fast oxidation pattern. As the metabolism comes into balance, the body is better able to utilize and remove excess copper.
Other Toxic Metals
Very commonly ADD children have elevated cadmium, elevated aluminum and at times high lead, iron and mercury levels. All these toxic metals can contribute to fast oxidation, to emotional instability and to other neurological dysfunctions. The nutrition program will slowly help remove these metals from the body.
Low Sodium/potassium Ratio And Add
Many ADD children have a low sodium/potassium ratio, also called an inversion. This low ratio indicates chronic stress, chronic fatigue and often, a hidden copper imbalance. This low ratio is often associated with feelings of frustration, resentment and hostility. Improvement in this ratio is important for an improvement in ADD and hyperactivity.
Deficiency Of The Sedative Minerals
Another common finding in these children is a low hair level of calcium, magnesium and zinc. These are called the sedative minerals because they have a calming and relaxing effect upon the nervous system. Calcium and magnesium act as psychological buffers
to help a person handle stress. When they are low, the person is more reactive to stress and has difficulty remaining calm under stress. Some ADD children, for example, do fine at home, but have trouble in school when they are around others.
When assessing these minerals, it is necessary to assess them in relation to other minerals. Calcium and magnesium are not always below the optimal level, but they are usually low in relation to sodium and potassium levels. Zinc may not appear very low, but may be low in relation to copper or cadmium. Copper and cadmium are zinc antagonists. (A mineral antagonist will decrease the availability of another mineral.)
Supplementing with the sedative minerals is often an important part of the nutritional correction of ADD and hyperactivity disorders. These minerals help slow the adrenal and thyroid glands and reduce the fight-flight reaction. The exact dosage varies with the age of the child and other mineral levels and ratios. However, many young children can take extra amounts of calcium and magnesium if they remain irritable and hyperactive on the recommended program.
Some children seem to need an adult dosage of these minerals. Fortunately, these minerals are safe. The only effects of excessive calcium and magnesium appear to be sleepiness and occasionally loose stools due to the magnesium.
Inositol, Choline And Add
Other helpful nutrients for hyperactive and ADD children are inositol, choline, methionine and niacinamide. These are methyl donors which alter the adrenal hormones. The choline also stimulates acetylcholine, a calming neurotransmitter.
Diet And Add
According to the research of Dr. George Watson and Dr. Paul Eck, fast oxidizers require more fat and oil in their diet. They feel worse on carbohydrates, particularly simple carbohydrates such as fruit, fruit juices and all sweets. Many ADD and hyperactive children are eating precisely the wrong diet for their body type. Parents are afraid of cholesterol, or of their children gaining weight. They discourage or avoid giving the child butter, meat, cheese, eggs and other fatty foods. Instead the children fill up on cereal, bread, fruit and often sweets. This only aggravates the symptoms, as it further enhances the oxidation rate. Correcting the diet alone can do much to alleviate the symptoms of ADD and hyperactivity in some children.
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