There is so much information available and new stories surfacing these days, that it's making it increasingly harder for people to find good, factual
data that is supported by studies and clinical trials or medical journals. There is too much anecdotal evidence today to deny that ADHD exists, or to
deny that it isn't somehow linked to what we put into our bodies.
You are what you eat, period.
But does the story really end there? NO... it does not.
You see, a lot of people don't understand how the human body works and how it processes the things you put into it. Some things pass right through you
while your body uses what it needs, others "stick" for longer than your body needs or wants. Not knowing the difference is a great deal of the problem
plaguing people today and not recognizing the symptoms associated to the foods that we eat.
Not EVERY ADHD case is the same
, and in fact there are many cases where there are additional influences or factors involved, such as
depression, anxiety disorders, bi-polar disorder, etc. These "other" conditions create a very blurry grey area for us to understand the problem, let
alone doctors who are looking from the outside and are given benefits for writing prescriptions from their newest pharma representative.
I am going to present you now with a majority of the information that I have spent years sorting through and working with doctors of all types to
arrive to. I've been told from other people that I've helped that I'm a "saint", a "godsend" and that it's a "miracle", but again, this does not work
for everyone because it depends on what the cause is, which for the case I'm going to explain, is the cause the majority of the time for almost all
disorders in this spectrum. I don't seek to be any of these things to anyone, just looking to help others with this and maybe shine the light on this
subject a bit more so others can further reveal things that I haven't.
This is my story....................
One of my children was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6. It started with him not being focused at school and constantly being disruptive to others and not
following basic instructions. He had no lack of intelligence however, because his test scores were constantly off the chart. I fought with his school,
who would not allow him to return without a doctor saying in writing that he didn't need medication.... this infuriated me, but I couldn't find one at
the time, so he ended up on Adderall. Sure it helped him focus at school... but it also caused extreme mood swings, depression, anger, nervous tics
and severe anxiety. The side effects don't appear right away, but it's a stimulant and does more damage to the brain than is alluded to by doctors.
Even after later taking him off of the Adderall, he has a permanent tic that may never go away and it deeply pains me every time I see him do it
because I know it was the result of an ill-informed decision. We took him off the meds and changed schools, but the problems persisted and we were
quickly running out of solutions. We tried just about every "gimmick" thing that was offered at the time because there wasn't much serious research on
ADHD/ADD and nobody wanted to really help, they just wanted their cut of money to spin us a little more and send us in another direction. It was
maddening, and being fairly intelligent and resourceful myself, I can only imagine how other less fortunate people felt. That was when I realized how
deep this problem went.
At the same time in my own life, I had been dealing with eczema/dermatitis and IBS that most people would not wish on their worst enemy. It was a
battle in my life that I'm happy to say, I've won with the information I'll be passing along here. Between my child and I, we had seen roughly 17
doctors (mostly for me), and not ONE had the same answers or prescribed even remotely similar treatments. For example, the allergist said I was
allergic to "something, here put this cream on your skin"... the immunologist said my "body was responding to something foreign, here take this
anti-inflammatory"... the dermatologist said "go see an allergist to find out what you are allergic to and take these steroids in the mean time"...
NONE of which worked and only made things worse. Meanwhile, I was also searching for alternatives for my child because the new school was breathing
down my neck to do whatever I could.
With the kinds of problems I was having, they were contributing to depression and starting to have a negative impact on my life and everyone around
me. I had to do something, and I obsessed with finding the cause since at one point, I was healthy and normal (or at least it seemed that way). The
more I researched, the more I found that there were TONS of studies done, but none of the people studying one part were aware of anyone else's
studies... otherwise, how could they miss such glaring correlations in the studies? When I would Google "eczema" or "ADHD" by themselves, most of the
information was redundant and nothing really new. It was when I came across a medical journal on page 38 of Google's results (yes, I did go that far)
that a little known detail was mentioned and let me down a different path.
Did you know that most ADHD sufferers usually also or did also suffer from asthma, eczema or depression? Hmmm... I thought this was a pretty
interesting correlation. So interesting in fact, that there were studies done to try to find where the link is between them. It turns out that there
is a common gene in the human body that is responsible for producing the anti-inflammatory response which is DEFICIENT in people, most specifically
those with ADHD/ADD and/or eczema. Now, when I started Googling "eczema essential fatty acids" and "ADHD essential fatty acids", a lot more
information started to show up. Most importantly, was the repeated mention of the FAD2 gene and the delta-6 desaturase enzyme. I started Googling
these and was blown away at what I found. (this is over the course of many months, if not years)
This gene, the FAD2
gene, is responsible for a very critical function in the body. It is responsible for the function of the delta-6
. The enzyme is what we really care about because the gene can be carried by anyone and we just don't know how to identify why
yet. This enzyme is responsible for how essential fatty acids are processed. Essential fatty acids are your OMEGA's in the chain, such as Omega-3,
Omega-6 and Omega-9. You can NOT get these anywhere else except from foods that you eat or supplements, your body does not product them
You brain is mostly composed of essential fats and fatty acids and without this in a child's diet, their brain will not develop
properly, and this is one of the most noted symptoms of ADHD and ADD. The skin also requires these essential fatty acids to function properly, as well
as the digestive system. Here is an explanation for the acids in this chain:
- AA (arachidonic acid): vitally important as a building block for eicosanoids, also responsible for inflammation
- DGLA (dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid): vitally important as a building block for eicosanoids
- GLA (gamma-linoleic acid)
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): Vitally important as a building block for eicosanoids, sleep mediators and interferons; also a major factor in the
creation of prostaglandins, which are essential for the body's proper hormone function and anti-inflammatory response
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): important in maintaining the correct structure of cell membranes
It is extremely important to understand what these are, how they function and how they become dysfunctional. My doctor explained to me that it is much
like two construction workers that need to use the same tool, in this case the tool being the delta-6 enzyme. Delta-6 desaturase is used to break
down ALL of the omegas!
Please read that again.... it basically means that if you have too much omega-6 or omega-9 in your diet, your body will
not process the omega-3, and vice versa. Your body requires omega-3 FAR more than the other omegas because it is responsible for inflammation, which
decimates the body from within if it is not controlled, so having more omega-3 is preferred to omega-6 or 9. When you have too much omega-6, or not
enough omega-3 that gets processed, the product is arachidonic acid, which is required for your body's natural inflammatory response, but too much
will inflame EVERYTHING and make it seem like your body is attacking itself. This inflammatory response is what causes IBS, asthma, eczema/dermatitis
and several other diseases. The inability to produce the anti-inflammatory acids, and the blocking in the enzyme chain of delta-6 desaturase also
stops the body from regenerating the acids for brain development and maintenance. This is why the fish oil has such a profound effect at higher doses
in people who suffer from these issues.
This doesn't happen in everyone. In some people, they are born with a deficiency in the gene and enzyme, and others develop the deficiency over time
by weakening the enzymes. If you have ever noticed that a lot of Asian people can not drink milk, it is because they lack the gene responsible that
produces the enzymes needed for breaking down the fat in the milk. Well, some people have the gene that doesn't break down certain fats, and this is
usually the case with people that have ADD/ADHD, eczema, asthma, depression and a host of other problems and diseases. This is why the high ratio of
EPA in the fish oil works so well. If you have these problems, you should NOT take a fish oil that is less than a 4:1 ratio of EPA to DHA because of
the conversion in the body. The DHA will interfere and block the chain for the EPA, which is what is critical for the ADHD/ADD sufferer.
Equally important, are the supporting co-factors for the fish oil. The fish oil alone will not work by itself. The fish oil is merely one part of the
puzzle, but it is a major part. The biggest problem with ADHD and ADD is the lack of (or too much) production in the brain of seretonin, melatonin and
dopamine. The essential fatty acids are what are responsible for this in the brain. Drugs like Ritalin or Adderall just stop the effect, the "misfire"
in the synapses in the brain, but do nothing to help the cause. (as with most drugs)
To really help the problem, you have to start with the essential fatty acids. This alone is not the answer because besides replacing the lack of
eicosanoids (EPA) in the body, you also have to rebuild the weakened support systems around them. Most of the sufferers of these ailments are also
highly deficient in co-factor vitamins and mineral such as calcium and magnesium. Research shows that roughly 50% of ADHD sufferers have a major lack
of calcium. You can't take calcium without magnesium because they work together, and zinc is also supported by, and supportive, of both. The B
vitamins are equally important because of their supportive uptake in the brain and cardiovascular system.
Exercise has been a major contributor as well.... having a place each day, or a planned activity that allows you to release the cortisone in the body
that has built up in the body, and allowing the endorphines to flow supports adrenal function and assists in the body's expulsion of the inflammatory
compounds. It also allows the release of hormones that AFTER you exercise, contributes to better mental focus. Meditation is also very effective and
has been proven to have positive, measurable effects on the brain and body. For us, martial arts and daily workouts with meditation has not only
brought us closer, but helped immensely on our feeling of "balance". For ADHD and ADD sufferers, it is best to exercise in the morning before school
Equally, if not more important, is a change in diet. I can't express how important this is. Even when I thought were eating "good" because we ate lots
of fruits and veggies, they were all canned, packaged, frozen, and otherwise had no nutritional value whatsoever. This was one of the main things we
changed. Excess sugar, preservatives, alcohol and a few other things DRAMATICALLY effect the delta-6 desaturase enzyme and slow it down or block it
from working the EPA chain conversion. Drink WATER. If you drink a soda, expect your concentration to degrade and to start seeing side effects of what
you suffer from. This is the same for an ADHD sufferer, someone with IBS or someone with eczema. Stay away from chocolate and candy, packaged foods of
ALL kinds. Don't drink alcohol, because it makes things even worse than the foods and causes major dysfunction of the enzymes. We have almost
completely eliminated all of these things, most especially high fructose corn syrup, and the results have been tremendous.
Contrary to popular belief, organic food is NOT more expensive to buy, it just seems that way because you don't know how to use different foods for
cooking efficiently. My family spends less money on all organic foods than we did for all of the packaged garbage. There are some things we enjoy that
just can't be made ourselves or obtained in a non-processed form, but we treat them as a "treat" and are very moderate about how much we consume. Be
careful of the words "natural" because that doesn't mean organic or no additives. Cyanide is naturally occurring, but you wouldn't eat or drink it if
you could avoid it. The closer your food source is to it's original state of being (on the tree, bush, ground, etc), the healthier it is and the more
you will benefit. The enzymes that your body needs to process the food ARE ALREADY IN IT, and this helps your body digest and process the food
The further down the line you process it, the more of what your body actually needs is removed from the food.
A majority of these "diseases" that sprung up just this last century should be obvious that your body is clearly telling you that it requires
"cleaner" food. It is completely unnatural to squeeze sugar from 100 ears of corn into a metal can with acid that would burn through you if it were
any stronger, and call it a drink. It is not natural to squeeze the oil from a hard nut into a bottle, cook your food with it and eat it. The human
body was not designed for this, we were hunter-gatherers for thousands of years. We ate raw nuts (which contain omega-3), we fished (which contain
omega-3), we drank water from mountain streams and rivers (calcium and magnesium and zinc), we picked fruits and berries right from the trees (your
b-vitamins and others)... this is what the body has evolved over thousands of years for, not insanely saturated fats, trans-fats (which your body
can't process at all, it doesn't know how), concentrated forms of sugar and foods that have been genetically modified. This is what happens when you
try to go against nature, and we are inextricably connected to nature, not above it. I digress...
After doing some research, I found that there were some natural alternatives (which at that time were NOT being talked about like they are today and
in some cases, still aren't) and started us out with a diet that was free of dyes and processed ingredients and a few different supplements that a
naturopathic doctor recommended. It wasn't until we started on a very strong EPA fish oil with a 4:1 ratio of EPA to DHA and a good multi-vitamin with
well-balanced exercise throughout the day and breathing techniques that the DIAGNOSIS for ADHD was gone, and a few weeks later, so was my IBS and
eczema. When I took him to the same doctor, all of the factors that classify as ADD or ADHD were completely gone. There have not been any return
symptoms as long as we continue on our routine and avoid the things I mentioned before that weaken our ability to process fatty acids.
So there is at least 2 diagnoses that I can personally confirm as "cured", one for his previously diagnosed ADHD and my previously diagnosed IBS and
Here is the complete list of what we currently use, and I would recommend that anyone who has or believes they have ADHD take a look at this
information as well: (NOTE: this is in no way endorsing or advertising for these products, I'm just giving you the list and why I personally chose
them, you should make your own decisions)
- Omegabrite Fish Oil
- created after a study by Harvard confirmed the benefits of high EPA to DHA fish oil. The
effective dose is around 2g total a day. I buy the children's kind and the adult kind (for my own conditions) and both have been incredible.
- Multi-Vitamin with Essential Minerals
- this is a decent one,
but you're welcome to find your own. It isn't great tasting, but works well. The important thing is the co-factor. They are very important for helping
the fish oil to work. The fish oil alone did not produce the same results as when combined with the multi-vitamin. Another very important decision I
chose the above one is because it contains calcium and magnesium, which are critical minerals that we do NOT get enough of in our regular diets.
- this is a natural amino acid that is found in
green tea that helps focus and relaxation. It doesn't cause drowsiness but relaxes you and allows you to focus. A lot like Valerian root with similar
effects. Great for test-taking, studying and overall focus.
- Protein and Amino Acids
- I get this at almost half of what it
costs elsewhere, and I use half the serving size to make a chocolate breakfast shake for us. The protein and amino acids are an excellent addition and
help provide the building blocks for the proteins that are used with the essential fatty acids to build and maintain brain mass. With added exercise,
drinking one after a good workout will keep your muscles from getting stiff.
I hope that this thread helps at least one person... if that's all that is accomplished from this, than I have gained.
And of course, here are all of my sources: (warning - some content is extremely technical)
edit on 4-4-2011 by SonOfTheLawOfOne because: (no reason given)
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edit on 4-4-2011 by SonOfTheLawOfOne because: damn typos