Pediatric Study: ‘Healthy’ Diet Best for ADHD Kids

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Fast foods, sodas, and ice cream may be American kids' favorite menu items, but they're also probably the worst for those with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new literature review suggests. According to two researchers from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, a relatively simple diet low in fats and high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is one of the best alternatives to drug therapy for ADHD. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements have also been shown to help in some controlled studies, they noted. This state-of-the-art review suggests dietary interventions for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if: medications are ineffective, parents or children wish to try dietary approaches, or mineral deficiencies were present. Diets to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD include sugar-restricted, additive/preservative-free, oligoantigenic/elimination, and fatty acid supplements. The…
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Elimination diet may benefit some young children with ADHD

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
In my book, Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster (currently on sale for $1.99 here), I discuss the possibility that certain diet changes may help SOME kids with ADHD. At the time, I took some grief for making this statement, which was based upon 25 years experience caring for these special kids (and NOT on a ton of data). However, now a new study is backing my contention. (more…)
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Most ADHD Kids Have Multiple Conditions, Study Says

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
In my book, Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster (currently on sale for $1.99 here), I encourage parents to be very careful in choosing who evaluates their child for ADHD. In fact, I normally recommend the evaluation be done by a multi-displinary team, even if it means traveling to do so. Why? Because up to two-thirds of kids with ADHD face other struggles, such as learning disabilities, anxiety, and speech problems. Now another study is backing my contention. (more…)
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Untreated teens with ADHD at risk behind the wheel

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
Teenaged boys are more likely than any other drivers to have car accidents, and a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases their risk even further, a new study finds. Looking at more than 3,000 teenaged boys who had been in car accidents, a group of Canadian researchers found those who had been diagnosed with various forms of ADHD were more than a third likelier to be involved in a car accident than teenaged boys without ADHD. In my book, Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster, I discuss how teens with ADHD who are not treated are far more likely to be involved in risky behavior than teens without ADHD. Signed copies of the book are on clearance sale now and are available in softcover and hardcover versions. Here are the details on…
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9 Food Additives That May Affect ADHD

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
In my book on ADHD, Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster ... On sale now in both softcover and hardcover ... I say this about the association between food additives and ADHD: Dr. Ben Feingold first popularized the idea in his 1985 book, Why Your Child Is Hyperactive, that food additives caused ADHD. However, multiple medical studies since then indicate that the likelihood of these substances playing a role in ADHD is very, very low. Although food dyes or preservatives may affect some children, it is at most a very small percentage and a very small effect. Nevertheless, I also wrote this: While it is highly unlikely that ADHD is either caused or worsened by junk foods, there are plenty of other health reasons to restrict these foods at least on normal days. And, I…
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Celebrities With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
Writing the book Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster brought me much joy. In the book I emphasize that people with ADHD are usually quite gifted, but as kids need to be parented in a special way. Kids with ADHD are very valuable but fragile gifts that must be unwrapped and cared for with special skills. (BTW, the book is now on clearance sale here for the softcover [$1.99] and here for the hardcover [$3.99]). I've found as I care for kids with ADHD, it's helpful for them to learn of celebrities who have ADHD. Here is a nice article of celebrities with ADHD from Health.com: Up to 10 million American adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—also commonly referred to as ADD—so it's no surprise that some of America's most…
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ADHD drugs have no long-term growth effects: study

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
When I wrote the medical sections for the book, Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster, I discussed the fact that there had been concerns, in some circles, that ADHD medications may effect a child's growth -- although the risk of this effect (if real) was far less than the risks, for most children, particularly teens, of not utilizing the medications. Now, it will be easier for me to reassure my patients and their parents as a new study is reporting that neither attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) nor the medications used to treat it have a long-term impact on a child's growth. (By the way, my ADHD book, in both the soft cover and hard cover is currently on sale at my online bookstore.) Here are the details from a report in…
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Should Kids take Fish Oil Supplements?

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
All the talk about the benefits of omega-3s has parents asking whether CHILDREN should take fish oil supplements. Omega-3s are important for neurodevelopment ... and they're now showing up in many prenatal vitamins, infant formulas, and foods. Fish oil supplements for kids are often promoted as improving visual acuity, brain function, or intelligence. But, according to the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, "there's no proof that omega-3 supplements make kids 'smarter'...or have any cognitive benefit in most kids." In fact, according to the NMCD, "... many of these claims will be removed ... due to pressure from the feds." The NCMD recommends this to physicians and healthcare professionals who care for kids: Tell parents that most kids don't need fish oil supplements. Instead, suggest that kids eat about 4 oz/week…
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USA Today calls for educating parents, teachers on benefits and risks of ADHD treatments.

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
USA Today editorializes, "Look around a school lunchroom these days and odds are that one out of every 20 boys (and one in 43 girls) will have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder," and "more than half of those boys will be on Ritalin (Methylphenidate), Concerta (methylphenidate) or Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)."  More Information: (more…)
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St. John’s Wort No Help in ADHD

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Health Headlines, Mental Health, Parenting
ABC News reports a new study suggesting that St. John's wort is not a useful treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Although the researchers only studied 54 children between 6 and 17 years old who have ADHD for eight weeks, the study design was the gold standard randomized controlled trial. And, they found that St. John's wort was no better than placebo when it came to improving the children's attentiveness or hyperactivity. (more…)
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