Diet and Vitamin Advice for ADD and ADHD

I am at my wit's end and so ready for school to begin. I have a six year old boy whom I'm thinking has ADD or ADHD just by his behavior. I don't want to put him on drugs. Does anyone know what I could do for him as far as his diet or vitamins goes?

I am so frustrated as to why he thinks it's okay to put toothpaste on the new recliner and nail polish on the new end table (which removed the stain and finish). He sneaks food into the living room and it ends up in my carpet or furniture. My last furniture he peed on.

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If I'm out in public with him, he has to find a bathroom several times. His K teacher wanted us to hold him back in K another year, but I won't do that, since academically he's fine (smart), he just doesn't focus well or follow directions well. Same thing with karate. He may not be promoted to the next belt.

Plus, he's still in Good Nites at night. Help!

Sandy from WI

August 28, 20070 found this helpful

There is several books by Dr. Fiengold, I have read two of his books so far, and it explains what certain foods do, and how the react with certain people. I haven't tried it yet, but I need to my 3 year old son sound's exactly like your 6 year old, and the stress is awful.

I wish you luck

Kim

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

My seven year old has ADHA, I talked with her doctors and they all told me they wanted to put her on drugs. I am not a person or mother that thinks a pill should solve everything. After doing a lot of research and talking to a few more doctors I have figured out what works with my child. At 4 years of age we started her on a low carb., 0 trans fat, highly organic diet. As a result she has calmed down greatly, she has more focus, and is doing amazingly in school. She has became accustom to her diet and will help me do the shopping, she reads labels and if there are more than 3-4 carbs per. serving or any trans fats she will put it away. She has begun to remind friends and family that she can not have fast food and will explain to them that even though they may say they have not trans fats if the oil is heated repeatedly and reused it will turn in to them. It may take some patients and some time but it is doable. Good luck, I hope I gave you some ideas.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

While good nutrition is good for any child, even more so for an ADHD child. But please remember that if a child is truly ADHD there is a biochemical reaction in his brain. You can't fix that with food. I fought drugs for my son for 1 year, I regret it because it was his kinder year, that with an awful teacher made for some really bad memories and lots of trouble. Once I put him on meds, (after finding the right ones) it was like night and day. He even said he appreciates not having to whirl like he was.

Believe me, as I am ADD (no hyperactivity) there is nothing worse than your mind whirling and you can't stop it. I would always say Good Food First, but if that doesn't help, please don't deny your child what can make them better.

My standard answer for people who say "no drugs", "Would you deny a diabetic his insulin? A heart patient his nitro? No, then why deny a child/adult their medicine? It's not THEIR fault, their brain chemically works different, we can't deny them something that could help them!"

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

Sandy -

I have raised two boys, one of whom wore Good Nights until he was 12. Although I still don't know all the answers, I can tell you that I too failed to listen to teachers' advice. When I look back I wish i had. They're professionals and they look at the situation without bias.

Please, heed their advice.

Good luck.

Been there - done that!

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

Sandy -

i have raised two boys, one of whom wore Good Nights until he was 12. Although I still don't know all the answers, I can tell you that I too failed to listen to teachers' advice. When I look back I wish I had. They're professionals and they look at the situation without bias.

Please, heed their advice.

Good luck.

Been there - done that!

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

A suggestion: I would listen to the school about holding him back in Kindergarten. Many children are held back (and this would be the grade that would least psychologically hurt him). Many children are not developed emotionally to go on. It is so much better if a child is one of the older ones in his class. My son was 6 when he started Kindergarten. Because I started school in first grade at age 5, I couldn't understand why he had to be held back. He was scholastically as ready as most of the other children who were only a few months older. He missed the cut-off date back then by 2 weeks. I myself was probably too young as I was one of the youngest in my class all through school.

Please give it further thought.

At the risk of raising someone's ire, I would not be quick to think that he might have ADD or ADHD. Many deportment problems can be solved with correct diet and love and discipline.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

I would follow the school's advice about waiting a year. The transition is stressful enough. What's the rush? Isn't it better that he be ready for first grade?

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

Find out if there is anyone in your area that does neurofeedback. That is biofeedback with the receptors attached to your scalp instead of your finger or arm. They are able to read the brainwaves and presents that to the facilitator which area of the brain is affected. They are able to set up a computer protocol to "train" the brainwaves back to what they should be. An excellent web site to visit is http://www.isnr.org There you can search for practitioners in your state.

I have ADHD along with fibromyalgia and had a series of neurofeedback sessions to clear my mind of "brain fog" and the continual running that someone else mentioned.

I can't even begin to explain how much it helped and what a difference it made in my ability to stay focused....

Don't be lured by some medical professional to give your child "pills". It doesn't solve the problem!

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

Our son is in an Exceptional Needs class and he went on medication for Hyperactivity when he was 5. I wasn't thrilled about it but it was like night & day....for those who really need it and it works, it's wonderful! He was so obnoxious and wild acting....ran around like crazy. This calms him and allows him to learn.

I do know tho that Magnesium is very helpful in calming but ask your Dr about it. I don't pretend to be a health care professional.

I think you can use both medicine and natural approaches and have them work together. There is no shame in a child taking a medicine to help him just as there's no shame for an adult for example to take blood pressure medicine. If he had a heart condition and needed medicine, you'd give it, wouldn't you?

You should have your son be professionally diagnosed tho and don't just go by what a teacher says....altho they can be right. Teachers were not right with our daughter tho and she took meds for ADHD when she wasn't....she has a speech problem and that caused her frustration and acting out. The meds she was on also contributed to bad behavior and made her agressive.

If you are only wanting to do a natural approach, you might want to take your son to an Osteopath.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

I had a friend who was in a similar circumstance. They found out that it was a food allergy.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

My 10 yr old son is Ad/HD ODD and is in what I call a remission. ;p He also had the bathroom issues but his was fecal in nature and never wet.

I tried a high caffeine regime with him and it helped in the beginning. (Mountain Dew Game Zone (citrus,cherry) is the highest of caffeine contents right now.) But it is different with each child. Mine isn't hyper having sugar or caffeine in the system. Caffeine actually acts as a downer for him, where a friend of mine, if her daughter so much as LOOKS at sugar/caffeine she is boucing through the roof!

In Kindergarten they would pull him out of class at noon to have his can of Dew then bring him back in for naptime. This helped for a while but not forever. I did end up medicating him but took him off each summer for a break. He would start the year unmedicated and I would then start him back up if he couldn't handle it without. He is now non medicated 100% after 4 yrs of meds.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

While I can empathize with your frustrations, holding your son back from kindergarten may be the best choice for his overall well-being. My son, now 27, was extremely intelligent at 5 (late June birthday) and was generally well behaved. However, there were just certain things that led me to believe he was not going to do well in school. Things like, often very short attention span, no desire to complete things and sometimes just seeming not to "get it".

I had had a very difficult pregnancy with him and had been on many prescribed drugs in my first trimester, before the doctors figured out I was pregnant. At his birth, I literally counted fingers, toes, looked him over for physical abnormalties and constantly watched his infancy development. I had him tested, more than once before kindergarten started and was laughed at by the testers. He was "fine," "great," "overly smart," and I was a "fool to be so concerned." He went to kindergarten, 2 mos after turning five and did wonderfully in the academics, behavior wise though he struggled. He wasn't naughty just couldn't keep the rules in mind.

By first grade, real problems stared rising and by the end of the year his reading, math and overall learning skills were less than when he finished kindergarten. I requested he be held back and was totally DENIED. The district never held back a 1st grader. It was totally obvious by the end of the first quarter of 2nd grade he was behind the other kids and falling more so every day. Again, I said there was a problem and again was told by the educational and pediatric experts I was a flighty mother who worried way too much. He struggled through grade school and more tests and psychological evaluations. All these were done on a one to one basis never in a group setting.

He struggled through jr. high and fell into a severe depression because he thought he was too stupid to learn in school and therefore worthless. Now, when he learned something, he LEARNED IT!. Completely, thoroughly and often times by his own will and mind set and to the point sometimes beyond college level.

Finally, because of the depression at age 14, we had a counselor that said he could get us in to a highly advanced comprehensive learning testing clinic, because he too believed there was a real problem. After several weeks of testing, it came out that my son did have a form of ADD. The burden that came off his shoulders and mine was amazing.

And one of the things I found out further was that social immaturity can feed the slightest amount of ADD as well as other learning behaviors. Our society puts pressures on parents and children that they must start school when they are so old. Why? If a person feels incapable or uncomfortable with doing other things, even walking as an infant, we let them work up to the point they become successful at it. Why should school be any different?

It has been scientifically proven everyone learns at different levels and that seems to be well accepted by the mainstream, except when it comes to staring kindergarten. My son's son is starting kindergarten next week. He turned 6 2 weeks ago. He has always been extremely intelligent thought suffered from some speech problems due to ear infections (all things similar to his father), but my son, who is now a successful, educated man, wants his son to not have the same trials he had with school, so decided to wait until he was more socially mature before putting him into school life.

My son refused to go on medication because he had seen the results of medication on another family member supposedly with ADHD. But knowing for him was enough to help him make adjustments and modifications to gain control over his life. He didn't asked to be treated differently or allowed exceptions, but he did want to be acknowledged that he was trying his hardest and best and would get the task done, correctly, eventually. His eventuallys time wise, became shorter and shorter as he gained more control.

Many of the behaviors you listed your son exhibiting show immaturity. I am not saying your son has ADD. And I have great respect for your desire not to put him on medication. Food allergies are sometimes tied to ADD and ADHD, but not always. Food allergies are often given more credit that they deserve for various problems in our lives. Do not be too quick to assume your son has ADD, ADHD, or is ready to go to school. But also don't necessarily assume that there is nothing wrong, mentally physically, or emotionally. You may be ready for him to go to school to give you some peace and quite time, but in doing so you may complicate his life and yours too later on. Research his behaviors with doctors, maybe more than one and organizations that cater to types of behaviors and disabilities before to pull up to the school drop off zone.

Best wishes and prayers for you.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

Could the frequent urination be a urinary tract infection? Have this checked by your pediatrician.

Also, before you have him placed on medications-have him tested to see how he metabolizes the drug so he gets the correct dosage

go to www.pgxlab.com They have info for AADD and ADHD drugs.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

You might check out flylady.net There's been testimonials from members that by implementing the routines that their ADD and ADHD children have improved in behavior/focusing. The savingdinner.com book/site also has great meals/programs that might be helpful in making dietary changes.

Neither of these sites are designed for ADD and ADHD, but they've been reported to help others in similar situations.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

Go to a doctor that deals with ADHD. I know a 30-ish man that only started meds a few years ago. People around him say it is the difference of night and day. I asked him how he dealt with ADHA. Said it was the best thing that has happened with his life. Wished his Mother would have taken him for help when he was a child. He was a good kid but I do remember him saying all the kids in preschool was so loud it hurt his head. I hope you work out your problems. My heart goes out to you. Sincerely Judy

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

My husband, daughter, & son Are all ADHD. As well, my son is developmentally delayed, ODD & OCD. Please, get him a psychological evaluation!! It's better that you know whether he has a condition so that he can get a treatment plan. Because of the Americans With Disabilities Act, schools are required to follow his treatment plan! Other disorders "piggyback" on ADHD, such as depression (like my daughter). ODD, or OCD. He needs to be diagnosed, because he may even have a highly functioning case of autism. For his self-esteem, he needs to know whether he has a condition. People with learning challenges are not less intelligent - their brains are just wired differently! They need experts to help them with their learning & social skills in order for them to become happy, productive, well-adjusted adults.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

I have a suggestion, but first want to say:

Having your son evaluated by a qualified doctor will help you know if he is ADHD or dealing with other issues. Medication can be a God-send when there's no other way-if he's upsetting everyone else so much, he can't be very happy himself.

Now, something harmless that may be worth trying is Flax Seed Oil. It has worked near miracles for my son.

He has cognitive learning disabilities & probably ADD(not hyper). When his LD teacher & school specialists started pushing me to medicate him "for his own good" 4-5 yrs ago(Fall conferences), I really didn't want to unless there was no other way.

We dealt with ADD/ADHD & medications,side-effects,etc. with my older 2 kids from the time they were in 1st/2nd grade all the way through High School.It was rough,they kept having to change meds every couple of years & had bad effects from one.Both quit meds at turning 18-you can tell too!

So, I told the teachers I wanted to wait until after Christmas break & then we'd discuss medication. What I DIDN'T tell them is I'd already been reading about Flax Seed Oil, that it is higher in all the good Omega stuff than fish oil & studies were finding it might help ADHD,depression & a variety of other things.

So I got a bottle of 1000mg capsuls & began having him take it at night,told him it was like a vitamin to make him healthy. Since the studies say it takes time to build up in the body,I just waited to see,but didn't really expect much from it.

This was early Oct. By end of Nov.,it dawned on me he wasn't struggling so much with school work, wasn't 'zoning-out' in his own little world as much, was able to have intelligent conversations & had generally began to act like a 'normal' boy.

Wow! We thought maybe it was just wishful thinking! So I waited until right before Christmas break to ask his teachers & councilors if he was still having so much trouble in school & boy did I get an earful! Basically what I heard was how much he had improved all of a sudden in his work, attention, capability,etc. They couldn't figure out what had happened & didn't believe me when I told them.

Since then, he takes it every day. When we forget over summer or breaks, you can tell & teachers can too.

The real validation was when he was 9 & we ran out,he got very upset when I said I'd get it in a few days. I asked him why he was so upset & he told me that he liked to take it because it made his "brain smarter like everyone else"!!! I NEVER told him it would do anything for his brain, he thought it was a vitamin!

He's nearly 13 now & takes 1 capsule at night & 1 in the morning if he wants too. His 9yr old brother takes it too because he is smart but hyper & can't sit still or shut up in class,he has all the signs his older siblings did for ADHD, but the Flax Oil helps him control himself.

One thing though, it can really upset some peoples stomach (lots of fiber). The older son takes it whenever,with no problem.The younger one has to take it with food & we had to start out every other day & work up.I can't take it at all, after a couple of days I feel like someone punched me in the stomach-wish I could,cause it's supposed to be good for arthritis too.

Do an Internet search on it, the research is beginning to show how well this really works!

PS- Flax Seed has to be ground to work & can be used in baking. Flax oil is good on food, but ABSOLUTELY DON"T use it to cook, it becomes toxic !

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August 29, 20070 found this helpful

Dear Sandy, Please do not believe everything you read on the internet. First of all, a correct diagnosis requires a few things (speaking from experience):

1. A thorough physical exam must be done FIRST to rule out any physical conditions and/or allergies.

2. Take your child to a qualified children's psychologist for an evaluation. There is a specific questionnaire that you will have to answer to help them with the diagnosis.

3. There are three types : Attention deficit (cannot focus etc.), Hyperactive type (your son sounds like mine did at that age) or they can have both.

4. Studies have proven that ADD and ADHD are the result of chemical imbalances in the brain and no vitamin or special diet is going to cure it. That's like saying you can cure schizophrenia with a high banana diet. Of course, no child should be fed a steady diet of sugar, etc.

5. Medication can be a sanity saver. As many have stated already, the difference is like night and day. Especially when they are in school. There are enough medications that if you have a side effect from one, you can try another one. My son has tried at least 5 before we found the right one. Even so, the worst side effect was a lack of appetite. He would just make up for it when the pill wore off.

6. Therapy combined with medication is a Godsend. Medication alone is usually not enough. My son sees a counselor every two weeks during the school year and once a month during the summer.

7. If your child does have ADHD- Please do not be ashamed! Your child is still your child and you love him more than anything. You are willing to do anything it takes to help him--and don't let anyone tell you that all he needs is better parenting, a good smack, etc. ADHD kids Do need discipline but you did not cause this and nothing burns me up more than people who don't "believe" that ADHD is real. Let them babysit, I say!

GOOD LUCK! and don't wait! You will all be happier once you know what is going on!

Cindy

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August 29, 20070 found this helpful

I have add. I know from what you are all saying that all my problems in school were related to this. Unfortunately in 1950, no one was treated for this. Even after I had read a lot about this no one wanted to believe me.

Finally one thearpist listened. Meds do help. Somehow listening to your stories makes me feel not so alone. I know there is a reason for my struggle. Just knowing took a load off my shoulders. I wasn't

a total failure.

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August 29, 20070 found this helpful

If its that bad maybe you should reconsider meds. There are lots of different ones now. They are very helpful. You can start on a mild dose and go up. You could be doing an unjustice to your child by keeping him off meds.

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August 29, 20070 found this helpful

Like everyone else has suggested you need to have your son evaluated. Make a list of all the behaviors that you find worrying. Video then if you have a video. Next make an appointment with your GP. Take your info and son along. Ask to be referred to a pediatrian that speciaiize in behavioral and learning disorders. Again take your notes, samples of his writing/drawings, reports from his teacher - ask her if she can do a detailed report on him. The specialist should do testing on your child. Don't just accept a diagnosis from what you tell the doctor. What may appear to be ADHD might be some other learning disorder. Ask for a total life plan eg medication, activities that might help concentration, food coloring and additives that might make things worse. As each child is different, you need to work out what effects your child. This is a time consuming business but it is worthwhile. I speak from experience. My daughter suffers from dyspraxia. It took visits to several specialists to get the right diagnosis. I have learned through trial and error what food make her more agitated and have eliminated them from her diet. We also have a set routine for her and the whole family as she doesn't cope well with sudden change. You will also need to champion your son's cause with his teachers. I have found that while teacher's are willing to help, they still have 30 other students to deal with. I speak to my daughter's teacher each week to see how she is coping and do any follow up work at home. While this is time consuming, it is worth the effort. Don't be scared to do therapy. Just make sure that you don't get overwhelmed and that the therapists are all using the same techniques. Learn everything you can about your sons disorder and be prepared to tell other parents if needed. My daughter hates loud sounds and needs to have instructions given to her in 2 or 3 steps. Also find ways to help your child to focus if they find that they are loosing control eg tapping their foot. The best advice I got was from my grandma, she said that while my daughter has problems she has to learn to be able to function in society, my job was to find out how to make this possible and for her to achieve her maximum potential. It's an interesting road but one worth traveling. Good luck

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August 31, 20070 found this helpful

Hi I am a nurse who has raised 2 boys with ADD and thier Dad was diagnosed with it at age 45. I suspect I have it too,but I have never been formally diagnosed. If I do it is a mild case and I was able to get through school and fortunately picked a job that is great for people with mild ADD.

My comment is regarding meds.i f your son was diabetic,would you refuse to give him insulin? It also is a drug. In the ADD person, the person is low on brain chemical which the meds help balance. If your child needed insulin you would provide it artificially with a shot. The meds for ADD provide the same benefits that giving insulin provides for a diabetic. Perhaps if you looked at in that way it would be easier than I am going to "drug" my child. Hope this helps give a difference. By the way, My hubby takes meds now,and both boys are really glad that we made them take meds also. Karin VW from TX

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September 6, 20070 found this helpful

My child was Adhd and she grew out of it now she is just ADD. I don't like meds but they do have fish oil, and possibly try and look on the internet for ways to train the brain. I wouldn't use meds unless this would be your absolute resort, because of the side effects. You just don't want to cover the issue to make the teachers happy, because they also say there is a deeper issue going on as well. My daughter is now in the 7th grade and is doing a little bit better in school. Just now she needs to listen, so believe me, she has come a long ways. Good Luck

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October 20, 20070 found this helpful

I have a 9 yr. old boy who is ADHD. I have been going through this issue since he was 2! I had the same attitude when it came to the medication. I tried everything from physical therapy to all natural herbs & pills. I was trying to avoid the meds due to all the things that I have heard and seen with my own family members. I also went through the stage of wondering what I had done so wrong for this to happen to me and I didn't want to admit that my son whom I brought into this world had a problem. I then sat back after feeling sorry for myself and realized it wasn't about me at all it was about my boy! I then did lots of research on add/adhd and contacted my pediatrician. We then decided to go with the meds. Don't let the fact of the meds fool you because they don't always work believe me. I went through the zombie stage, depression, suicidal episodes, defiance, animal cruelty you name it I have probably dealt with it in one way or the other. We went through almost every med on the market and there are a lot of them. Finally I have gotten the one that I hope will be the right one. It is called vyvanase! It is once a day and lasts all day. Just when you think that all is going to be better I have to deal with the not sleeping issues, bi-polar (it is usually associated with ADD/ADHD) so he not only is taken vyvanase for the ADHD he takes DEPEKOTE for the Bi-Polar and Benedryl for the not sleeping issue. Mind you we have been through several meds for sleeping problems and believe it or not the benedryl is the only thing that seems to work! Who would have ever thought? I could go on and on about this issue but I will stop here and if anyone cares to contact me about this or just wants to talk Im willing to help out as much as I can. Sassyd_8281 AT hotmail.com

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