Epigenetics: A Doctors’ Perspective

We have the power
            When an aging parent develops dementia, or a child struggles with ADHD, we feel powerless. It seems like some people are just unlucky, and we chalk it up to “bad genes.” For years, scientists have debated nature vs. nurture, pitting genetics against experience. Now we know that the two are not mutually exclusive, and actually work in tandem. According to Dr. Perlmutter, Board-certified neurologist, 70% of the genes that code for health and longevity are under our control. So if Mom or Dad starts forgetting where they put the keys, we can help them find the right tools to boost their brain functioning. Epigenetics, the belief in the dance between nature and nurture, puts the keys in our hands, so that with the right tools we can drive ourselves along a course towards vitality and long life. To learn more about Dr. Perlmutter and epigenetics, clickhere.
 
Dr. Perlmutter’s advice: 3 Reasons why epigenetics is important
            Once we have heart disease, how much Lipitor should we take? Once we have high blood sugar, how often do we use metformin? Modern medicine provides band-aid solutions to illnesses that are easily preventable.
 
1.      In the US, we spend more on chronic disease than any other health challenge. Of total health care costs in the United States, more than 75% is due to chronic illness.
2.      The U.S. spends more on healthcare than national defense. In fact, the U.S. spent 16.2% of its GDP on healthcare in 2008, which exceeds the combined federal expenditures for national defense, homeland security, education and welfare.
3.      Chronic disease will become the chief financial burden of the world. By 2020 it is predicted that non-communicable (i.e. chronic) disease will account for 80% of the global burden of disease.
 
Instead of reacting to disease, we have the power to prevent it. Understanding epigenetics can help us to find a better way. As Dr. Perlmutter says, “the foods we eat and the lifestyle behaviors we choose are literally instructing our genome.”
 
4 ways to beef up Brain health   
1.      Exercise. A recent study of elderly individuals who exercised for 20 minutes, 3 times a week for 1 year, showed an increase in the hippocampus. The hippocampus, part of the limbic system and located in the brain, plays a huge role in the formation of short-term memory. This study is noteworthy because usually our hippocampus shrinks as we age, so the fact that these participants experienced a growth is astounding and proves that degeneration can be reversed.
2.      De-stress. Stress plays a powerful role in our ability to form memories. Persistent exposure to cortisol, released by our bodies when we are stressed, atrophies the hippocampus. However, we can rebuild hippocampus function, just as the elderly individuals proved.
3.      Cut sugar intake.  Glucose increases stress and disables the hippocampus. In one study, researchers measured participants blood sugar levels for 4 years and found those with the highest blood sugar levels had a greater degree of hippocampal atrophy. It is important to note here that in this study no one had diabetes, they all had normal blood sugar levels. Even with these normal levels, they were adversely affected by glucose.
4.      Eat fat, less carbs. According to Dr. Perlmutter, 70% of our calories should come from fat. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, proposes that low-carb, Mediterranean diets beat out high-carb, low-fat diets any day.
 
Digestive Health Ann Arbor: How we can help
The study of epigenetics has revolutionized how medical practitioners approach medicine. We can now help our bodies to recover from seemingly insurmountable ailments, all through the power of food and supplements. Hippocrates once said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we can help you to uncover food allergies or intolerances that may be causing health issues, and develop an action plan to begin healing.

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.

References:

[1] Centers for Disease Control. Accessed March 30, 2013, at http://www.cdc.gov/chronic disease/resources/publications/AAG/chronic.htm

[2] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. NHE Fact Sheet. Downloaded fromHttp://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalhealthExpendData/25 NHE Fact Sheet.asp on March 31, 2013

[3] Boutayeb A, Boutayeb S. The burden of non communicable diseases in developing countries. Int J Equity Health. 2005; 4(2). Online access at http://www.equityhealthj.com/content/pdf/1475-9276-4-2.pdf

[4] Cherbuin N, et al, “Higher normal fasting plasma glucose is associated with hippocampal atrophy,” the PATH study, Neurology September 4, 2012 vol. 79 no 10 1019-1026. http://www.neurology.org/content/79/10/1019.abstract

[5] Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, et al. Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or lo-fat diet. N Engl J Med 2008; 359:229-241.

 

The ADHD/ADD Epidemic: What Every Parent Must Know

Diagnoses for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have rapidly increased in the past 30 years, especially in the United States. The U.S. has 5 times more cases of ADHD than any other country in the world. However, controversial diagnostic methods and treatment procedures have prompted many parents, teachers and medical practitioners to question their validity. Though the diagnosis may provide initial relief, the social stigma, medical costs and drug side effects can be detrimental.

It is now common for preschool age children to be placed on highly potent medications such as Ritalin. Ritalin is a Schedule II central nervous system stimulant, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), a label reserved for the most dangerous and addictive drugs which can be prescribed legally. Ritalin's ® side effects range from insomnia to seizures, or even death. Matthew Smith was diagnosed with ADHD as a 7 year old. He was 14 on March 21, 2000 when he collapsed while skateboarding outside with his cousins and soon died. An autopsy by Dr. Dragovich, then the chief pathologist in the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office, revealed heart complications due to over-use of methylphenidate, the scientific name for Ritalin. There are no blood tests or brain scans which proved Matthew had ADHD. Such tests do not exist. ADHD is diagnosed through second-hand reports from teachers and school administrators. Matthew's fidgety behavior was enough to convince medical practitioners that a drug with frightening similarities to cocaine would help him be a better student. After thousands of dollars spent on Ritalin and years of child psychologists, Matthew's behavior never improved and his heart conditioned worsened.

Cases such as Matthew's are very rare, and it would have been near impossible for the Royal Oak medical community to predict such a terrible outcome. Doctors and teachers thought they were helping Matthew, but the truth is they were masking the symptoms of another problem which was never discovered. Take the case of Brandon, a little boy from Australia who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4. By 2004, at the age of 12, he was on Dexamphetamine for ADHD and tranquilizers to stabilize his mood. Frustrated with their inability to help their son, Brandon's parents took him off the medications. After a series of doctor and psychologist visits they discovered that Brandon had learning and hearing difficulties. Brandon's disruptive behavior was a message to his parents that he needed help, not that he had an attention deficit disorder.

As Martin Whitely, ADHD policy expert and member of the Legislative Assembly in the Parliament of Western Australia, writes, children with ADHD symptoms “can be difficult to control in a classroom and in many cases are more compliant” when on Ritalin, but “there is absolutely no scientifically valid evidence” that these children learn faster or that the root of the problem is ever addressed.

We need to change the conversation from how can we subdue unruly and disruptive children in the classroom to how can we effectively help our children learn and grow. Fortunately, there are many simple lifestyle changes we can make, and many health professionals who can advise us along this path. A resolution is more easily found by removing dietary or environmental factors, than adding more chemicals and complication to the mix.

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.

10 Easy Ways to Prevent ADHD

1. Eat organic produce, especially if you are pregnant or considering having children. Organic produce complies with strict pesticide regulations and it doesn't have the synthetic compounds found in genetically modified crops.

2. Wash, wash, wash conventional produce. Though it doesn't remove all the residue, it at least will help.

3. Eat food that is in season. Food that is shipped or trucked in from far away is often treated with chemicals or preservatives.

4. Buy natural cleaning products. Petroleum is the main component in most dish-washing liquids and detergents. Some even contain suspected hormone disruptors. Use healthful cleaning products, such as Ecover, or a home-made solution of vinegar, water and lemon juice.

5. Avoid plastic. Bisphenol A (present in infant feeding bottles) and phthalates (present in children's toys) are serious hormone disrupters. They can deform sex organs among other things.

6. Avoid air fresheners. Aerosol propellants contain tiny particles which burrow in human lungs, as well as flammable and nerve-damaging ingredients. Instead of spraying Febreeze, open a window, dust or sweep.

7. Avoid Petroleum-based fragrances. Natural fragrances made with actual flower, fruit and plant-based extracts are available.

8. Clean household supplies. Use water-based varnishes and glues, paints, stain removers, sealants and adhesives. Avoid rooms that have been recently painted.

9. Avoid preservatives and food dyes. Preservatives such as BHA, BHT, TBHQ are especially detrimental. Consumption of food dyes has increased almost threefold since the 1980s, rising from 6.4 million pounds in 1985 to more than 17.9 million pounds in 2005. European Parliament passed legislation requiring labels on foods containing dyes to warn that they “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” The American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledged in its journal, AAP Grand Rounds that “a trial of preservative-free, food coloring-free diet is a reasonable intervention” for hyperactive children.

10. Get a food allergy test. A simple and cost-effect food allergy test can quickly determine which offending foods may be causing behavioral, mental and physical issues in your child.

7 Potential Causes of ADHD and ADD

1. Pesticides in fruits and vegetables. Three studies published in 2011 found that women who ate fruits and vegetables which had been treated with pesticides had contaminated urine and umbilical blood. Prenatal development is a critical time when organs, vessels, membranes and systems are woven together. The umbilical cord carries not only the building blocks of life, but also whatever other exposures the mother has suffered. Industrial chemicals, pollutants, and pesticides are transferred as readily as cigarettes and alcohol. This contamination could trigger the onset of ADHD/ADD in children. These three studies were conducted by the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, the University of Berkeley's School of Public Health and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, published in Prenatal Pesticide Exposure Linked to Diminished IQ: Some Popular Fruits and Vegetables Contain Highest Levels.

2. Cleaning products. Products such as the Comet Disinfectant Powder Cleanser ® contains Formaldehyde (1,4,9), Acetaldehyde (1,2,3), Benzene (3,4,5), and Chloroform (1,2,8), a potent mix of proven carcinogens and neurotoxins. Other cleaning agents such as bleach and dishwasher detergents release dangerous chemicals that often react with other chemicals to form more potent compounds. The truth is that mild soap and hot water are the best methods for preventing disease. Anti-bacterial disinfectants are based on a misunderstanding of “germs”. Take a look at Digestive Health Ann Arbor's January newsletter on the importance of probiotics and bacteria.

3. Cosmetics. Scientists from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York released a report in January 2011 that identified a common ingredient found in numerous cosmetics and fragrances as a possible cause of ADHD/ADD. The ingredient is known as low molecular weight (LMW) phthalate metabolites. This chemical can be absorbed through the mother's skin and transmitted to her unborn fetus.

4. Household products such as carpets and furniture. Children that were exposed to flame-retardants such as polychlorinated biphenyl were 76% more likely to suffer ADHD compared with those who had the lowest exposure, in a study conducted by Sagiv S.K. and colleagues from Harvard School of Public Health. Polychlorinated biphenyl was banned, but its remnants persist in the environment. The newest flame retardant used in carpets and furniture, polybrominated biphenyl, may have the same affects as its predecessor.

5. Artificial food additives and genetically modified organisms (GMO's). Artificial food additives (such as colors and preservatives) and hyperactivity were first linked by Ben Feingold, MD, Chief of Allergy at San Francisco Kaiser Permanent Medical Center. Author of books such as Why Your Child is Hyperactive (1975) and Feingold Cookbook for Hyperactive Children (1979), Dr. Feingold championed dietary changes and achieved high success rates among children diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. He was often quoted as saying: "Any compound, natural or synthetic, can induce an adverse reaction if the individual has the appropriate genetic profile, i.e., disposition." By removing potential aggravates such as synthetic additives and produce that has been genetically modified, we can help our children's brain biochemistry return to normal.

6. Undetected food allergies. Dr. Rapp was a pediatric allergist who noticed a drastic physical and behavioral change among children exposed to certain foods. The children were labeled violent, aggressive, distracted and hyper, often burdened with an alphabet soup of prescriptive medications. Removing certain foods, specific to each child, resulted in behavioral, mental and physical improvements. Dr. Rapp quickly realized that undetected food allergies may be causing the ADHD/ADD symptoms in many of the children in her practice.

7. Sugar. Though sugar may not be a direct cause of ADHD/ADD, it still robs a child's body of vitamins, minerals and enzymes and increases blood sugar levels. If your child suffers from ADHD/ADD, removing or restricting sugar intake is a good place to start. Unfortunately, much of the foods marketed for children contain an unbelievable amount of sugar. Paul Pestano, MS, and research analyst at the Environmental Working Group, stated that in a recent study on cereals marketed towards children, “three cereals have more sugar than a Twinkie” and “forty-four others have more sugar in one cup than three Chips Ahoy cookies.” The three Twinkie-trouncing cereals are Kellogg's Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisps, and General Mills Wheaties FUEL.

Symptoms of ADHD/ADD: Behavior, Learning, Health

The first step in helping our children is awareness. Once we understand the possible signs and symptoms of ADHD/ADD we can take appropriate measures to protect our families.

Behavioral Issues

  1. Marked hyperactivity (Constant motion, inability to sit still, inappropriate wiggling)
  2. Impulsivity (unpredictable or disruptive behavior, unresponsive to discipline, abusive or destructive, throws or breaks things, little or no recognition of danger to self, inappropriate noises, excessive or loud talking, interrupts often).
  3. Compulsivity (Aggressive, repeats actions, touches things or people excessively, chews on clothes or other objects, scratching, biting or picking at skin, workaholic habits).
  4. Emotional Concerns (low frustration tolerance, demands immediate attention, irritability, overreaction to touch, pain, sound and light, nervous, panics easily, mood swings, low self-esteem, depression, frequent crying, suicidal thoughts).

Learning Issues

  1. Short attention span (impatience, distraction, failure to complete projects, inability to listen to whole story, inability to follow directions).
  2. Neuro-muscular involvement (accident prone, poor muscle coordination, difficulty writing/drawing, dyslexia/reading problems, speech difficulties/delays, difficulty with playground activities/sports, eye muscle disorder such as nystagmus or strabismus, tics, seizures).
  3. Cognitive and perceptual disturbances (difficulty remembering what is heard or seen, difficulty in comprehension and short term memory, disturbance in spatial orientation, difficulties in reasoning with simple math problems or the meaning in words).

Health Issues

  1. Frequent physical complaints (ear infections, asthma, bedwetting, daytime wetting, stomachaches, headaches, migraines, hives, rashes, eczema, leg aches, constipation, diarrhea, congestion, seizures).
  2. Sleep problems (resistance to going to bed, difficulty falling asleep, restless/erratic sleep, nightmares, bad dreams).

*symptoms excerpted from the Feingold Association of the United States

8 Shocking Facts about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

1. Cases of ADHD have increased 30-fold since 1970. The diagnoses have skyrocketed from 150,000 (in 1970) - 4.5 million (by 2003).

2. Nearly 1 in every 10 American children is diagnosed with ADHD. In a recent study based on results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a collaboration between the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Center for Health Statistics, 8.6% of American children and adolescents have been diagnosed with ADHD.

3. Other developmental disabilities on the rise. Now 1 in 6 children in America has a developmental disability such as autism, ADHD/ADD, or cerebral palsy according to a study conducted by Philippe Grandjean, of the Harvard School of Public Health and co-author Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

4. Undetected food allergies implicated in onset of ADHD. Often a food which our body perceives as a foreign invader (an allergen) can trigger a variety of systemic reactions, including neurological malfunction and abnormal behavior.

5. Industrial and agricultural chemicals implicated in onset of ADHD. Though many chemicals are now banned, they continue to exist in our bodies and natural environments. As Grandjean puts in an article on the Environmental Working Group website, these chemicals are “like a debt from the past.”

6. It takes 20-50 years to determine the long-term consequences of exposure to a man-made chemical. More than 2,000 new synthetic chemicals are registered annually for use in everyday products. We do not know how these chemicals will affect us in the long-run.

7. There are over 200 chemicals in everyday use for which there is evidence of neurotoxicity. The list was compiled by Grandjean and Landrigan.

8. There are currently more than 75,000 chemicals licensed for commercial use. There may be other chemicals which also have detrimental affects - it's difficult for a single study to test them all.

Digestive Health Ann Arbor - A call to action

Biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute alerts us that “children are the most likely to be adversely affected by toxins and other dietary problems.” The lack of clinical human trials for almost all synthetic chemicals means our nation's children are in fact “experimental animals.” We can help our children by removing environmental toxin exposures and taking a food allergy test to eliminate potential allergens. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we use an Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay panel (ELISA) blood test to examine 96 of the most common food allergens such as dairy and grains. Discovering and eliminating trigger foods, avoiding industrial chemicals, and healing with appropriate vitamins and supplements will lead to amazing results. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of ADHD/ADD, make an appointment with one of the experts at Digestive Health Ann Arbor. Call (734) 222-8210 today.

ADHD/ADD Epidemic: What Every Parent Must Know

Diagnoses for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have rapidly increased in the past 30 years, especially in the United States. The U.S. has 5 times more cases of ADHD than any other country in the world. However, controversial diagnostic methods and treatment procedures have prompted many parents, teachers and medical practitioners to question their validity. Though the diagnosis may provide initial relief, the social stigma, medical costs and drug side effects can be detrimental.

It is now common for preschool age children to be placed on highly potent medications such as Ritalin. Ritalin is a Schedule II central nervous system stimulant, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), a label reserved for the most dangerous and addictive drugs which can be prescribed legally. Ritalin's ® side effects range from insomnia to seizures, or even death. Matthew Smith was diagnosed with ADHD as a 7 year old. He was 14 on March 21, 2000 when he collapsed while skateboarding outside with his cousins and soon died. An autopsy by Dr. Dragovich, then the chief pathologist in the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office, revealed heart complications due to over-use of methylphenidate, the scientific name for Ritalin. There are no blood tests or brain scans which proved Matthew had ADHD. Such tests do not exist. ADHD is diagnosed through second-hand reports from teachers and school administrators. Matthew's fidgety behavior was enough to convince medical practitioners that a drug with frightening similarities to cocaine would help him be a better student. After thousands of dollars spent on Ritalin and years of child psychologists, Matthew's behavior never improved and his heart conditioned worsened.

Cases such as Matthew's are very rare, and it would have been near impossible for the Royal Oak medical community to predict such a terrible outcome. Doctors and teachers thought they were helping Matthew, but the truth is they were masking the symptoms of another problem which was never discovered. Take the case of Brandon, a little boy from Australia who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4. By 2004, at the age of 12, he was on Dexamphetamine for ADHD and tranquilizers to stabilize his mood. Frustrated with their inability to help their son, Brandon's parents took him off the medications. After a series of doctor and psychologist visits they discovered that Brandon had learning and hearing difficulties. Brandon's disruptive behavior was a message to his parents that he needed help, not that he had an attention deficit disorder.

As Martin Whitely, ADHD policy expert and member of the Legislative Assembly in the Parliament of Western Australia, writes, children with ADHD symptoms “can be difficult to control in a classroom and in many cases are more compliant” when on Ritalin, but “there is absolutely no scientifically valid evidence” that these children learn faster or that the root of the problem is ever addressed.

We need to change the conversation from how can we subdue unruly and disruptive children in the classroom to how can we effectively help our children learn and grow. Fortunately, there are many simple lifestyle changes we can make, and many health professionals who can advise us along this path. A resolution is more easily found by removing dietary or environmental factors, than adding more chemicals and complication to the mix.

Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall: Dangerous, Expensive and Ineffective

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) was founded in 1987 by Ciba-Ceigy (now Novartis), the original maker of Ritalin. Not surprisingly, drugs like Ritalin have been pushed by supposedly unbiased health organizations, such as CHADD, as the only viable method to ameliorate the symptoms of ADHD. However, these drugs are dangerous, expensive, and often ineffective.

How effective are common treatment methods like Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall?

Currently, the amphetamines Ritalin and Concerta or an amphetamines “cocktail” (Adderall) is used to treat ADHD. Though Dr. Braly, author of The Essential Guide to Uncovering Food Allergies: And Achieving Permanent Relief  (2008), confirms that the “short-term effectiveness of these medications in reducing hyperactivity and improving concentration and learning is about 60 to 70 percent,” (57) these medications have very common and detrimental side effects.

Common Side Effects of Ritalin

  • Addiction
  • Nervousness including agitation, anxiety and irritability
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations

Other Serious Side Effects of Ritalin Include

  • Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children
  • Seizures, mainly in patients with a history of seizures
  • Eyesight changes or blurred vision
Less Common Side Effects of Ritalin
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse rate (and other heart problems)
  • Tolerance (constant need to raise the dose)
  • Feelings of suspicion and paranoia
  • Visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)
  • Depression  
  • Dermatoses (infected or diseased skin)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Infection or viral infection
  • Elevated ALT enzyme levels in the blood (signaling liver damage)

Overdose Side Effects of Ritalin

Since methylphenidate drugs are highly addictive, overdose side effects may result. Here are some of the more common symptoms of an overdose:

  • Restlessness
  • Tremor
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic states
  • Hyperreflexia (overactive reflexes, which can include twitching or spasms)
  • Personality changes
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Seizures or abnormal EEGs
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Swelling of hands/feet/ankles (for example, numbing of the fingertips)
  • Delusions
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Rhabdomyolysis and kidney damage

Chronic abuse can manifest itself as psychosis, often indistinguishable from schizophrenia 

A Call to Action

If you or a loved one suffers from ADD or ADHD, take your health into your own hands. Visit an appropriate health practitioner who will talk about the most simple and least invasive methods of healing. Throwing dangerous drugs at the problem is clearly not the solution.

ADHD and Big Business: What the Drug Companies Don't Want You to Know

In 1985, A Respected Doctor Discovers Food Can Cause ADHD

Dr. Joseph Egger, head of the Pediatric University Hospital in Munich, Germany, could not believe his results. Of 76 children with severe ADHD put on the strict hypoallergenic diet for a month, 82% got better. These were children with severe epilepsy, antisocial behavior, who were sometimes even prone to violence. Yet, in little over a month's time, it was as if they were entirely new people.

Dr. Egger's 1985 study created an uproar. Scientists scrambled to conduct their own research to see if these staggering results were true. Over the years, peer review corroborated Dr. Egger's findings repeatedly - removing artificial food colors, preservatives, and common food allergens such as gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts and eggs, lead to drastic improvements in some of the worst cases of ADHD in both children and adults.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

Despite mounting evidence that food allergies correlate directly with the onset of ADHD, organizations such as CHADD do not even mention food allergies and diet as a potential cause for Attention Deficit Disorders. Why would they disregard these studies, which could lead to complete improvements for many patients?

CHADD: Brought to You By the Makers of Ritalin

CHADD was founded in 1987 by Ciba-Ceigy (now Novartis), the original maker of Ritalin, the popular ADD drug. A 1995 PBS Merrow Report found that CHADD consistently distributed misleading information to hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers which exaggerated the benefits of ADD drugs, such as Ritalin. In response to this report, the Drug Enforcement Administration put a stop to CHADD's efforts to relax controls on Ritalin, and the US Department of Education withdrew videos which were created by CHADD as educational tools for teachers and parents.

Take Your Health Out of Corporate Hands

It's time to start listening to scientists that are not backed by a multi-million dollar drug company agenda. Disorders such as ADHD are big business for pharmaceutical companies feeding off the distress of uninformed parents. You have the power to educate yourself and take your family's health into your own hands. Talk to an appropriate health practitioner today.

The ADHD Epidemic: Food Allergies and Children

Children Suffer Most for Changes in American Diet

James Braly, M.D., graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1970 and pushed for a deeper understanding of food as an integral element of optimal performance for Olympians and as a mechanism for illness, particularly among children. In his book The Essential Guide to Uncovering Food Allergies: And Achieving Permanent Relief  (2008) Braly writes that “of all people, children show most clearly that our twenty-first-century diets and lifestyles are resulting in more and more food allergies and sensitivities. And along with those allergies go a wide range of childhood illnesses and other conditions...” (56) One of which is ADHD.

3 Surprising statistics about ADHD

  • 1990: around 750,000 American children were diagnosed with ADHD.
  • 2008: an estimated 3 million children were diagnosed with ADHD.
  • 1/3 or more ADHD children will grow up to be ADHD adults

*statistics from “The Essential Guide to Uncovering Food Allergies: And Achieving Permanent Relief” by Dr. James Braly, 2008

13 Symptoms Watch

1. inattention, easily distracted

2. antisocial behavior and emotional problems (depression, anxiety, irritability etc.)

3. hyperactivity

4. chronic insomnia

5. headaches

6. seizures/fits

7. abdominal pain or discomfort

8. chronic rhinitis (nonseasonal)

9. frequent sinus and middle ear infections

10. leg aches (“growing pains”), joint pain

11. skin rashes

12. mouth ulcers

13. dark circles under eyes

How is ADHD most commonly diagnosed?

Dr. Braly points out in his book that “There is no laboratory or clinical test available yet that definitively diagnoses the condition; a diagnosis is based on observations of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity so serious they impair a child's ability to function.” (56) For all the talk of the importance of biochemical testing in determining diagnosis, it seems surprising that a mere observation is information enough to throw additional chemicals (Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall) at the problem. Of course, diagnosing ADHD and prescribing medications means more money in the doctors pocket, and an ADHD epidemic means dollar signs for pharmaceutical companies. For plenty of reasons, the role of food allergies and chemical-food-additive sensitivities in children with ADHD remains, in Dr. Braly's words, “largely ignored.” (57)

Food Allergy testing and ADHD: A Simple, Cost-Effective, and Scientific Solution

The most comprehensive food allergy diagnostic tool is the ELISA blood test, which examines the bodies reaction to 96 different potential food allergens, including gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and peanuts. This simple test also allows health professionals to efficiently check for the severity of allergies, ranging from IgE (most severe), IgA (moderate) and IgG (least severe). This test can quickly and precisely point to exactly which foods may be causing such a severe reaction in a child.

A Call to Action

If your child has ADHD, speak to the appropriate health practitioner about a food allergy test. ADHD medications are potentially harmful, and usually only effective in the short-term. Don't be another tally in the pharmaceutical companies profit margin. Take control of your health today.

Two Zero-Cost Tips: Potential Food Allergies Revealed

Dr. Doris Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and Mother of Environmental Medicine, mentions some simple ways to check for potential food allergies at home. The first question we must ask ourselves is: “My child was fine until they ate, touched or smelled what?” The sooner we think critically about our environments, the sooner we can help our children.

Food Allergy Test #1: Infants

• Food allergies tend to appear in infants when they switch to solid foods.

• If you notice food allergy symptoms, remove any common food allergens from the infant’s diet.

• Then add each food separately in a 4-day interval.

• Note any changes in your child's behavior.

• Infants that arch their bodies and toss their heads back are often displaying signs of an allergic reaction.

 

Food Allergy Test #2: Children

• Have your child write or draw before they eat.

• If your child suffers from asthma, have them blow into a peak flow meter.

• Wait twenty minutes after food is eaten.

• Have your child write, draw or blow into the peak flow meter again.

• Notice any changes.

• Observe their behavior.

• Repeat test with different foods and locations.

• If significant behavioral or physical changes are noted, your child should have an official food allergy test.

Shocking Symptoms: What Every Parent Should Know

This month’s blogs will center around an eye-opening and informative interview of pediatric allergist Dr. Doris Rapp on the Phil Donahue show. The 45-minute long show can be viewed at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRDpcWZUEiU

Dr. Doris Rapp is considered the Mother of Environmental Medicine. She has received numerous awards for her work on the affects of environmental toxins and food allergies on the human body. More about her work can be found at her website.

A Word from Dr. Doris Rapp, Pediatric Allergist:

“We have managed to pollute our air, our water, our foods, our clothing, our homes, our schools and our work areas and the youngsters you are seeing today. Many of them can't go to school anymore because of all the chemicals. They can't go shopping. They can't go to a movie. There are many things they can't do. Everyone knows about allergies affecting the nose, and the eyes, and the lungs, but allergies and environmental factors can affect the way we think.”

 

Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and the Mother of Environmental Medicine hasmany tips if you suspect your infant has food allergies. Here is a comprehensive list:
Symptoms of Food Allergies in Infants
1. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, bloody stools
2. Hives, eczema, asthma
3. Prolonged colic, crying, inability to sleep at night
4. Poor growth, failure to thrive, inability to properly absorb nutrients
5. Acid reflux
6. Congestion of nose or chest, excessive spitting
7. Head banging, crib rocking
• Symptoms of Food Allergies in Children 
1. Red earlobes, cheeks
2. Dark eye circles
3. Bags or wrinkles under the eyes
4. “Spaced out” look
5. Wiggly, restless legs
6. Dislike of being touched or cuddled
7. Bedwetting after the age of five
8. Asthma, hay fever
9. Diagnosed with ADHD, inability to focus
10. Headaches
11. Depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings
12. Violent behavior, temper tantrums, aggression
13. “Allergic Salute”- particular way of wiping nose as shown at 17:15 in Phil Donahue interview from 1989: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRDpcWZUEiU.

 

Surprising Truth about ADHD

This may sound like a strange analogy, but Dr. Doris Rapp, environmental medicine and allergy specialist, often compares children who suffer from food allergies to barrels.

Barrel

Child

Specific fluid capacity

Specific food allergy capacity

Spills when overfull

Spills (with symptoms) when overfull

Capacity does not change day-by-day

Capacity can change day-by-day depending on exposure level, type and general physical/emotional health


8 ADHD Symptoms: Once the barrel is overfull, these symptoms may appear.

1. red ear lobes

2. dark circles under their eyes

3. glazed eyes

4. behavioral swings

5. inattention, restlessness, distractibility

6. aggression

7. withdrawn, disinterested behavior 

8. difficulties learning language, diagnosis of dyslexia

In a nutritional disorder study review conducted by Bobner et. al, they state “Millions of dollars are spent annually on special education programs for children whose behavior prevent them from participating in the regular school setting despite average or above average intellectual capacity. A growing body of research indicates that some of these behavioral disorders are related to nutritional problems.”

Why don't healthcare professionals take a closer look at nutrition? Delayed reaction allergies to nuts, dairy, eggs, soy and processed foods are taking a huge toll on our public education system and family dynamics. If your child suffers from ADHD or ADD, take a second look at their diet.