Medications Category

Do You Really Want to Put Your Child on Drugs for ADHD?

May 28th, 2017

ADHD HelpThe diagnosis of ADD and ADHD has risen by close to 50% over the last decade or two and this is in part due to the fact that more drugs are being pushed so more physicians are diagnosing the condition. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or developement.  ADHD represents one of the most common disorders of childhood. The condition often persists through adolescence and can continue to adulthood.

It is normal to have some inattention, unfocused motor activity and impulsivity, but for people with ADHD, these behaviors:  are more severe, occur more often and interfere with or reduce the quality of how they functions socially, at school, or in a job.  Other conditions, such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, depression, and substance abuse, are common in people with ADHD.   Some people may have only one of these behaviors, for example inattention without being hyperactive.  Children however often have both.

Anybody who follows my research, articles or radio broadcasts knows that except for life-threatening emergencies, I am generally against taking drugs before implementing lifestyle modifications and exploring the possible use of nutritional supplements that have been proven to be safe and possibly effective.  Patients and physicians are often misled to believe that drugs are generally safe and effective and the passage of time often proves this to be incorrect.

It is my opinion that we are “drug crazy” in the United States and when it comes to kids with ADHD, parents are often pressured or at least not offered options other than treating their child’s symptoms of ADHD with medication.  For example, in the UK it is recommended that physicians NOT put children with mild to moderate ADHD on medications, yet in the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatric guidelines are the opposite, with drugs being recommended as first line therapy.

I read an analysis done by MedPage about a study done on children diagnosed with ADHD who were put on medications to treat the condition. When you read just how kids with ADHD who were given drugs fared, you will wonder who besides the drug companies are benefitting from these drugs recommended as a first-line therapy?

Before discussing the results found in this most recent study, it is crucial to know that a previous study  funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and published  in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found that ADHD treatments are not working for most young children and that symptoms continued over a six year period despite being on medication.  90 percent of the children continued to experience symptoms.  Symptoms were just as severe for kids on the drugs as those who were not taking any drugs. Of participants, 62 percent of the children taking anti-ADHD drugs had significant hyperactivity and impulsivity, compared with 58 percent of children not taking medication. Moreover, 65 percent of children on medication also had serious inattention, compared with 62 percent of children not taking drugs to treat ADHD.

The information reported in a new study, is just as alarming and upsetting.  Recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Pediatric, this study was conducted by researchers/scientists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.  It was not surprising to learn that children diagnosed with ADHD performed worse in school, and were more likely to be hospitalized for any reason including injuries than children without ADHD.

The authors followed children who were not only diagnosed with ADHD but were specifically put on medications to treat the condition.  Almost 800,000 children from ages 4-19 were followed for a four-year period and the following results were reported…

These medicated children:

1- Were 5-6 times more likely to be excluded from school

2- Were significantly more likely to have special needs (mental health, learning disability, autism)

3- Were 42% more likely to be unemployed and 3X more likely to experience lower academic achievement.

4- Were more likely to have poorer health outcomes.

Clearly parents should consider non-pharmaceutical options.

So what should  a parent of a child diagnosed with ADD or ADHD do before considering placing a child on these questionable drugs?

Get your child off of processed foods (sugary cereals, processed meats, fast foods, sugary drinks like soda and significantly reduce sugar intake in general and no artificial sweeteners.  It is best to eat unprocessed, whole foods.  Additives including artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colorings may be especially problematic for those with ADD or ADHD.  Have him or her do the following:

  • Eat a couple of eggs for breakfast, more salads and vegetables, fish and free range chicken breast
  • Eat a fish oil product that provides a total of 1500 mg/day of EPA and DHA
  • Take a daily B complex vitamin (50 mg) and zinc (15 mg/day).  B Vitamins help maintain a healthy nervous system.
  • Take at least 250 mg/day of magnesium
  • Take a daily probiotic from a well-known company or eat some greek yogurt (low sugar) or even a spoonful of sauerkraut a day if they like the taste.

I think you and your child will see considerable improvement in his/her symptoms and you may be able to avoid the risks associated with prescription drugs.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

 

Statin Drugs for Healthy People?

April 9th, 2017

Healthy People

So you’re pretty healthy and your doctor wants you to take a statin drug to lower your cholesterol… Should you take it?

If you are healthy, meaning you do not have uncontrolled high blood pressure,  type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and you have not been diagnosed with heart disease or have a family history of parents or siblings dying at relatively young ages of heart attacks, you should probably say NO to taking statin drugs.  This applies even if you are overweight as studies show that at least half of obese people are medically healthy.

Even in people with moderate levels of coronary artery calcium (hardening of the arteries), only 1 heart attack in 94 would be prevented by taking statins.  93 would have received no benefit but run the increased risks of developing liver damage, diabetes, dementia, peripheral neuropathy etc. In fact a study published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology found that statin drugs may increase the risk of developing hardening of the arteries (coronary calcium) and the lead author stated –“I cannot find any good evidence to support people taking statin drugs!” One of the co-authors stated – “I don’t think statin drugs should have ever been approved.”

There is absolutely no quality evidence demonstrating that healthy people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol live longer, and in fact a fairly recent study in the BMJ (British Medical Journal)  stated that people over the age of 60 with high cholesterol live longer than people of the same age with lower cholesterol levels. The study reviewed the results of 19 published studies covering close to 70,000 patients.  (Gee, I wonder why that study was never mentioned by my local news channel? Anything to do with the billions of dollars of lost revenue if people stopped taking statins?)

Let me sum things up by quoting Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco and director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services who stated in a published article – “ For most healthy people the data shows that statins do not prevent heart disease nor extend life or quality of life and they come with considerable side-effects. That’s why I don’t recommend giving statins to healthy people, even those with higher cholesterol… I can’t in good conscience recommend them.”

If you are healthy, do not worry about your cholesterol.  Instead focus on keeping your weight under control, eating vegetables daily, avoiding sugar and getting plenty of exercise.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

RELATED ARTICLE:  Do Not Take Another Statin Drug for Lowering Cholesterol Until You Read This!

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