Saturday, March 7, 2009

ADD-ADHD Alternatives to Medication 2

Last blog we talked about what ADD-ADHD is, and the symptoms that often accompany it.

It is important for the clinician and the family to be aware and test for conditions that mimic ADD-ADHD:
  • Allergies—many children are affected neurologically by sensitivities. Often misbehavior can be attributed to reactions to things they are eating or are in their environment.
  • Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) –when the blood sugar goes too low a child may have ADD-ADHD symptoms.
  • Anxiety—sometimes when a child or adult is suffering from anxiety they have trouble staying still and focusing. ADHD medication will make this problem worse. A QEEG can often determine if the medication will work or not.
  • Learning disabilities—if a child is having problems learning, they will often exhibit poor behavior. School becomes difficult and they start losing attention. Many children labeled as having ADD-ADHD actually have learning disabilities.
  • Hearing and vision problems—an undiagnosed hearing or vision problem can cause similar problems to learning disabilities.
  • Hyper- or hypothyroid—the thyroid affects the metabolism and an imbalance in the thyroid can mimic ADD-ADHD in a child.
  • Elevated toxins—such as lead. There is still a high amount of lead poisoning in children. Other toxins such as mercury in teeth, environment and immunizations, and chemicals in food and air can have an affect on their brain function.
  • Poor parenting skills—we hesitate to blame parents for behavioral problems, as ADD-ADHD is very difficult for parents to live with and deal with. However, if a parent has not been taught good parenting skills by their own parents, they may be unaware that their way of treating their child may be increasing misbehavior by that child. Most of us can become better parents and help our children by learning better parenting skills.

If you or your child have one or more of these problems, medication will only cover the problem and sometimes not help. Even if you or your child has ADD, these problems will make the ADD worse. It's important to discover if these are part of the problem. Some of them will only be found by a more integrative physician, utilizing both regular Western medicine and alternative/complementary medicine, specialized optometrists (for vision problems), and specialists in learning disorders.

The next blog we'll discuss some of the deficiencies found in people with ADD-ADHD.

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi


emily said...

I love you so much and I can't wait to see you again. Your the best grandma! Love Logan

Dr. Judi said...

I love you too, Logan! That's why I put your picture on my next blog. Your smile will brighten everyone's day:) Love, Grandma Moore