Thursday, December 22, 2011

Improve Your Health By Giving

Tradition has us giving at Christmas time.  Sometimes we give out of love, and sometimes by a feeling of obligation.  Sometimes we give beyond our means and sometimes feel badly because we can't give enough.  But recent studies show that giving to others, especially from a space of love and compassion, is good for your mental and physical health.

Giving comes in many forms.  Sometimes it is money, sometimes objects, sometimes homemade, sometimes store bought, sometimes a gift of time, sometimes a gift of listening, or even a simple gift of a loving smile.  Each one of these can make the difference in someone's life, and in your own mental and physical health.

I was given a challenge this week that I would like to pass on to you.  If you choose to accept this challenge, don't make it hard.  Just follow your heart.  As I just said, a simple loving smile can be a gift.  Or if you choose, dehoard your closet and give a gift of clothes to charity.  Or, you may choose to give something that "hurts," something precious to your heart that you know will be appreciated and used by someone else.  This is the challenge:


"Love is a gift from our Divine Creator.  It is the power of creation.  All that is asked in return is that we share this love that has been given us with as many people as possible.

Make a special effort to share something very valuable or special with five people.  This could be food, money, one-on-one time with someone you love, service, a job, or any other gift that is valuable to you.

And most of all, along with your gift, give them a copy of this note so that they also have the opportunity to give their love as you have given yours.

For this ripple effect of love to cover the globe by Christmas, complete your five gifts within 12 hours from the time you read this."

I would like to add, giving can be a year-round occupation.  If you read this and Christmas has already passed, give the gifts anyway.  Improve your health, improve your relationships, and improve the world by giving with love and compassion!

I give my love and light and blessings of health, peace and happiness to all of you!

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Healing Hearts--Now is the Time

This blog is not about healing our physical hearts, but healing our emotional and spiritual hearts, which also will improve the physical heart.

This weekend I was able to spend some much needed time in nature.  When I was at Cascade Springs, as I watched the water flow down in beautiful cascades, I felt purified.  I was inspired to write down some feelings that I knew I needed to share with you.

Now is the time, the time to allow the flow of life to cleanse us, balance us, purify us and bring us into alignment with who we really are.

Now is the time to let go of anger, resentment, fear and coveting (wanting what we don't have). Coveting is the greatest source of pain.  Coveting keeps us from knowing love.  Coveting keeps us in anger, hate, jealousy, judgment and criticism.  It causes war in the world, in our community, in our families and in our own hearts.  It is time to let go of the attachment and need we have for those things which we don't have.

How do we do this?  By loving what is.  Ah, I have a big belly.  I choose to love that belly and all parts of my body, no matter how it looks, no matter how it works.  I love how my body has served me and blessed me and what it is teaching me. 

I have no money?  I choose to love all that I possess and feel gratitude for what I do have, and express appreciation for those things that I don't have, because all is in divine order and I am learning to trust that God provides that which is important for me to possess.

I am not appreciated for all that I do?  I choose to love those that seem not to notice my hard work, and love myself for what I can do.  I choose to serve in the way my heart tells me to, without expectation of anything in return.  I know that this is how God loves.

I have a judgment about someone?  I love the aspect that I am judging along with all of the good in that person.  Then I look at myself and love that aspect of myself that I am judging, and see all of the good in ME!

Am I out of balance?  I get into balance by loving what is.  Do I love my neighbor and yell at my child?  Then I choose to love myself and my child, even in our weakness.  Do I forgive a friend but hold a grudge against my mother?  Then I choose to love my mother and myself, even in our weakness.  Do I profess to love peace but dislike or look down on a group of people?  Then I choose to love them and me, even in our weakness, and bring peace into my heart.  I choose to love others and myself the way we are, by loving what is.

Now is the time to stop worrying about everyone else and heal our own hearts.  According to some scientists our DNA holds a hologram of the universe.  All that is outside of us is also within us.  As we take the war, the anger, the resentment, the abuse, the coveting, the coldness and blocks to feeling out of our own hearts, the entire universe shifts.

Now is the time to allow ourselves to feel.  How many medicines we take and addictions we have to keep ourselves from feeling.  We desire peace and joy and freedom, but when we chain ourselves up to keep from feeling the dark, it also keeps us from feeling the light.  There is no need to fear our feelings.  They are a necessary part of our earth existance.  Now is the time to unchain ourselves and allow the pain to flow through like water, feeling the ice cold, feeling the searing heat, feeling the fearful rapids, and let it move on until we are cleansed and can feel the gentle, loving, life-giving waters of the spring, the love from our Source.  It is the only way.

Now is the time to take a stand.  As we come to know that we are perfectly learning through our weakness, as we become loving and tender to ourselves, then we are ready to take a stand against war and abuse and hate and prejudice and judgment.

The days of frantically seeking knowledge are over.  Now is the time to BE, to LOVE what is, to call forth POWER with WISDOM, to BE the LIGHT on the hill, to BE at PEACE with our hearts, our homes, our work and our lives, knowing that all is PERFECT, no matter how it looks.

Rather than seeking to change things, just by BE-ing me, by loving what is, by BE-ing my LIGHT, by BE-ing at PEACE, the world changes.

So many are on the verge of giving up.  Don't give up!! You may be just one, but the power of one can change the world.  Don't give up on yourself.  Love yourself exactly the way you are, no matter what the weakness, even if you feel no one else loves you.  The power of your own love for yourself is magnified to infinity by those unseen who truly love you.  The power of your own love for yourself will change you, guaranteed!  Love what is, love yourself the way you are in this very moment, be tender and kind and patient with yourself, and you are changed!

By loving what is, I am open to an abundance of love, which is all that everyone in the world truly desires.  They seek for that love in many ways, often finding false substitutes.  When I love what is, I am prepared for what may come.  Whatever is necessary in living, serving, giving, teaching, and healing comes to me at the perfect moment, to bless the world and glorify God.

And so it is.

Click here: YOU ARE LOVED!

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gluten and the Brain: Dementia and Mental Illness

In the October 2006 issue of Archives of Neurology, the Mayo Clinic presented multiple case studies of cognitive decline and dementia within two years of having celiac disease. If caught soon enough before permanent damage is done, the dementia can completely reverse.

I had a man come into my office who had just dicovered, after several years of suffering, that he had celiac disease. He had chronic pain, high blood pressure, severe rashes, edema, depression, and could not concentrate, focus, or remember enough to do his work as an engineer any longer. He was in the process of applying for disability because he couldn't think well enough to do his work.

This man discovered he had a gluten sensitivity, or celiac, not from any doctor testing him. He had been to multiple doctors and none had considered the possiblity of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. He discovered it through his own experimentation of striving to become gluten free, and how that began to improve his symptoms. His family practice doctor was not supportive of his efforts, and he came to me to assist him in his journey towards health. He was extremely sensitive, even to the point where xantham gum in a product would set off severe edema. But now he is completely gluten free, he is back at work, lost weight, normalized blood pressure, no depression, rashes are gone, and his pain is gone except in an area of injury, which is much improved. But most of all, his brain is functioning again. He says that the loss of brain function was so subtle that he didn't realize how bad it was until it returned again.

Studies have shown increased levels of celiac disease in those with schizophrenia, and increased levels of IgG antibodies (which is gluten sensitivity without celiac disease) in those with bipolar disease, than compared to a population without mental illness. Gluten free diets have been shown to improve symptoms of these disorders in people with gluten sensitivities. Gluten sensitivities can also increase levels of depression.

Another Mayo Clinic study in the July 2009 issue of Gastroenterology shows that Celiac disease is four times more common today than it was in the 1950s. And this doesn't count the people who are gluten sensitive without celiac disease. It is a growing epidemic. It also showed that those with undiagnosed celiac disease were four times more likely to die than those that were gluten free during the 45 years of the study. This is a much more serious problem than even most physicians realize.

There are blood tests that show gluten sensitivity and possible signs of celiac disease, but the gold standard has always been an intestinal biopsy that shows destruction of the intestinal villi. However, another study out of Mayo Clinic has shown that those with the blood markers but no villi destruction still show metabolic changes of gluten sensitivity and should go on a gluten free diet to reduce their risk of further damage.

Celiac disease used to be considered a children's disease. It is now shown that the elderly are much more likely to have problems caused by gluten sensitivities than children. Celiac disease can start at any age. But any child or adult with "brain problems" should be tested for anti-gliadin IgG and IgA antibodies, and for endomysial antibodies. Or better yet, make the supreme effort to go gluten free for a month, then spend one day eating a lot of gluten, and see what happens. It may save your brain, your sanity and your life.

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

Saturday, July 16, 2011

ADHD and Gluten Sensitivities

What could be better for you than a delicious slice of freshly ground, freshly baked whole wheat bread? "Wheat was made for man," right?

That may have been truer 150 years ago than it is now. When I was in medical school the disease I learned about called "celiac sprue" was considered fairly rare, about 1 in 2500 people, mostly found in children. However, now the estimate is 1 in 133 people. The reason it is estimated is that the experts believe that 97% of those with celiac disease are undiagnosed. They have had bowel problems their entire lives, but no one has tested for celiac disease. As they grow older they are at increased risk for chronic fatigue, neurological disorders, arthritis, heart disease, skin rashes, nutritional deficiencies, anemia, acid reflux, nausea, emotional illness, and more. Those doctors and hospitals that are testing are finding much larger numbers of celiac than suspected.

However, most doctors are not testing for wheat allergy that is not celiac disease. Celiac disease is when the villi in the intestinal tract are destroyed by antibodies made to gluten, which causes gastrointestinal symptoms and can cause major health problems. There are many people with allergies to gluten that don't have celiac disease. When my patients come in with chronic problems they tell me they have been tested for celiac and are negative. With the right testing, I am able to show them that indeed they are gluten sensitive, but no, they don't have celiac disease.

In the testing in my office (of course these are people with chronic diseases, so it can't be extrapolated to the general population), 3 out of 5 people show antibodies to gluten in their blood, including me.

So what does this mean for ADHD? Most children with developmental disorders (ADHD, Asperger's, autism and others) have gastrointestinal problems. More than half of those with celiac disease have neurological disorders. I cannot find studies on gluten allergies that are not related to celiac, however, my own experience with patients is that gluten often increases brain fog, difficulty focusing, stomach aches, acid reflux, depression, increased sugar cravings and difficulty sleeping, among other things.

There are no major long term studies that show the effect of gluten on ADHD, as there is no financial incentive to do one. However, there are smaller studies that have shown benefit in both autism and ADHD on a gluten free diet. One study showed that children with celiac disease have twice the amount of ADHD (20.7%) as their control group without celiac disease (10.5%).

Why are there so many more people with gluten sensitivities? Evidence is pointing to newer, genetically altered strains of wheat. There is even a difference of wheat in America with wheat in Europe. American wheat has a lot more gluten that most of the European wheat. Our bodies are not adjusting to the rapid changes in genetically modified grains, and our cells don't recognize the new wheat as good for us. Our immune system treats the food as enemies, making antibodies which affect our health.

I recommend if you have a child with ADHD, autism or another developmental disorder that he/she be tested for gluten allergy. If you ask your doctor to test, he'll most likely just test for celiac disease. Ask your doctor to test for both the IgG anti-gliadin antibody, and the IgA anti-gliadin antibody. The IgA antibody is related to celiac disease, so if that shows up there should be further testing. However, most doctors are not aware of the ability to test for the IgG antibody, which is what most of my patients show up with.

If you can't find a doctor that will do the test, do the following elimination trial: have your child (or even better, you and your entire family) go 30 days completely gluten free. That means no wheat, oats, rye or barley. Be careful with processed foods--most of them have wheat derivatives. If you must use processed foods, they should have the label "gluten-free." With celiac disease, even a small amount can increase antibodies, so no cheating allowed!

After one month, everyone gets to eat their favorite gluten foods all day. Then watch over the next 24 hours what symptoms arise. Watch for increased congestion, increased ADHD symptoms, increased gastrointestinal symptoms, increased joint or muscle pain, increased moodiness, increased weight, etc. It can affect all of these things. If there are no changes in symptoms, your child is probably free to eat gluten. If there are, then you will know if the symptoms are worth the increased work of the diet.

This may seem overwhelmingly hard, and with children who are picky eaters, it can be. But if your child (or you) is gluten sensitive, I believe you and they will come to see that the effort is truly worth it. I know that I feel much better on a gluten-free diet, which I have been following for two years since I discovered that I was sensitive. Besides helping the ADHD symptoms, it increases long-term health and reduces risk of serious illness, both physical and emotional.

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

Friday, July 1, 2011

ADHD and Angry Outbursts

One of the most difficult things to deal with in any child, and especially in an ADHD child, are the angry, uncontrollable outbursts. Not all children have them, but the ones that do can become very scary, and often violent.

These children are usually normally very pleasant, and can be fun to be around. However, it seems like in one minute they can turn from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. The explosion seems to come out of nowhere. Often it is related to things they can't do, or making them do things they don't want to do. They may run to their room and slam the door, but it is harder when they yell, scream, break things, hit their siblings, and even hit their parents.

This is one of the most common causes parents put children on medication. The anger and violence can become scary and sometimes siblings are at risk. If the parents can find no other recourse, this may be the best thing to do for the moment.

When it comes to medication in this problem, often a combination of a stimulant and an anti-seizure drug, like Neurontin, may help the best. The Neurontin calms the excessive firing of the brain neurons with a sudden outburst, and often the children are calmer. If the child is bordering on bipolar psychosis, an anti-psychotic drug may be necessary.

But there are other possibilites that may work. Using supplements similar to the ADD Focus Boost AM and ADD Calm Time PM will often assist the child in calming. Sometimes, though not always, Neurontin or another anti-seizure medication may continue to be needed, but rarely are two medications needed when using the supplements. Also cut out as much as possible sugar and chemicals in food, especially artificial sweeteners and food colorings. Check for food allergies and low blood sugar, which can increase the anxiety and irritability in a child.

There are also some behavioral techniques, which, if repeated consistantly and practiced by parent and child alike, will assist the child in learning to control his own emotions better over time.

1. Of course, Be the example.
If you lose your temper easily, that is what the child learns. If you get angry, rather than explode, take a minute to go to your room and calm down. When you are calm and the anger has left, then you may choose to talk to the child about their behavior from a more peaceful and loving way. You can even tell your child, "Mommy was mad for a minute, but rather than yell at you I went to my room to calm down. Now I am calm let's discuss what happened. If you get angry while we talk, you may want to go to your room for a minute to calm down as well."

2. Acknowledge their feelings and don't make them bad for having them.
The feelings come out of nowhere for the child. They truly come so quickly that they immediately react. They usually don't like their anger any more than you do. Teach the child that it is ok to be angry about something, but not ok to hurt things or other people because of that anger. For example, you may say "I understand why you are angry. You want to watch this TV show and I won't let you. Of course you are angry when you don't get what you want. That's normal. You believe the TV show won't hurt you, but there are things in this TV show that I have seen increase the times you become angry and hit others. I don't think either one of us what that. You may get angry but it doesn't work for anyone when you yell at and hit your brothers. Let's find something else to do that may be fun. I know you would rather watch the TV show, but since you can't, let's go outside and play ball for a moment." They may still rather pout than play ball, but often acknowledging that you recognize that his anger is normal often softens the blow and they calm down to a degree.

3. Assist them in finding a positive outlet when they are angry.
At times when they are not angry, discuss with them ways that they can get their anger out rather than yelling, hitting and destroying. There is a powerful release of adrenaline with sudden anger, and it is important for them to move in order to get it out. Make sure they know that anger is normal but it doesn't work to hurt others by yelling, hurting or destroying from the anger. Help them make a list of things to do when they are angry until they find one that really works for them. The list may include: punching on a punching bag, a punching clown or on a pillow; running around the outside of the house three times; jumping on the trampoline or on the bed; going in the closet and yelling all of the things they want to yell at you or someone else; slamming a garage door that is outside the house over and over. I knew one family that got cheap dishes at yard sales, and they had a spot next to the fence in the back yard where their kids could throw dishes (you may want to find something safer than glass, and use plastic dishes to throw). That way they can be "safely destructive."

4. Find the underlying cause of the anger.
The child who is always angry usually has underlying fears and/or anger about things other than what she is angry about. Most children are not very self-aware, and may not be able to express fears and deep-seated anger. They just feel, and when the feelings get strong it comes out as an angry explosion or as withdrawal. There are several causes: a traumatic event such as death, divorce or abuse, anger in the family such as a frequently angry parent or parents frequently arguing (the children not only learn angry responses from parents, they are sensitive and feel the anger and take it on as their own), or their sense of security is threatened. Take a hard look at the influences on your child's life. What builds her up? What tears her down? What needs aren't being met? What may the inner fears and anxieties be? The anger is a protective shell that keeps the real fears tucked away. Sometimes counseling is necessary.

5. Find the good child under the misbehavior.
Sometimes a child's behavior is so much more "bad" than "good" that it is hard to find something to praise the child for. But when a child is constantly told or shown how bad they are, it becomes a truth in their subconscious mind, and then they give into negative behaviors because they believe they really are "bad." It is devastating to a child to believe he is a "bad" kid. He feels that he has no choice, and no matter how hard he tries he will never be "good." Keep telling your child things such as, "You're not bad, you are just young and made a mistake. We all make mistakes but as we grow up we learn to make less and less. You are still learning. Daddy and Mommy are going to help you learn from those mistakes so that you can grow up into the nice person you really are." It is important for YOU to recognize the real child, the loving and caring child, deep within the misbehavior, and not consider him a bad child.

6. Praise more than you may believe the child deserves.
Most of the time these children don't learn from punishment, except how to lie and cover up their "bad" behaviors, or run away to avoid punishment. These children learn much more from praise and being inspired into good behavior. I believe by being "attention deficit," these children have a "deficit" of "attention." They need a lot of attention, more than other children, and when they don't get the attention their brains desire they will do anything to get it, even to get negative attention. This is most likely due to their lack of dopamine, and positive attention increases their dopamine levels.

Find anything you can to praise them (but don't forget to praise your other, non-ADHD children as well!). If they got up on time but left their clothes all over the floor, praise them for getting up on time. Praise them for paying positive attention to their younger siblings. Praise them for sitting still for 5 minutes, even though in 6 minutes they were up running around. These children learn much better from praise and rewards than from punishment.

7. Use "and" instead of "but."
These kids generally don't like to work. That is one of the big issues they get angry about. It seems to be a personal affront that you are forcing them to do something they don't want to do. Force doesn't work for these kids, but then how do we get them to learn to do their chores, homework, and help out? This is hard, but it is important to find ways to inspire them to do what is best for them to do. One of the ways is to use the word "and" instead of "but." Using the word "but," to a child, means they are in trouble and they don't want to hear it.

When your child got up on time but left their clothes all over the floor, you may say "I'm so pleased that you got up on time! Way to go, Susie! And I'll bet you can pick up your clothes quickly, too! I'll set the timer, and see if you can get them all picked up before the timer rings." That works much better for the child than "It's good you got up on time but you forgot to pick up your clothes. You'd better get that done before breakfast!"

Or, if your child completed a chore but was grouchy about it and got angry at his sister, you might say, "You did it! Great job, Billy! And now let's talk about how we can deal with your sister in a different way. Any ideas?"

Or if your child completed the chore but did a very poor job, you can say "Wonderful, sweetheart, you finished it! The sink is nice and clean. And now let's just make the toilet a little cleaner by scrubbing right here." You may choose to work together with your child until you know they know how to do it well, praising every step. The next time they will be more likely to the job better on their own, and be sure to praise the parts that were done well.

8. Find something to laugh about.
Even though the child just threw a destructive tantrum and broke a window, laughter diffuses the situation and keeps the child from feeling "bad." "Well, now you have air conditioning in your room!" There are still consequenses to their behavior, but give the consequences in love and laughter rather than anger and yelling, and they will learn better from them. When the parents are angry giving a consequence, the child becomes defensive and feels justified. When the parents are loving and laughing when giving a consequence, the child is not thinking how mean the parents are, but more about what they did.

9. Role play.
When you talk to your child at a time she isn't angry and she seems to feel sorry for her behavior, she may be ready to learn new ways to respond to things that normally would make her angry. Role play certain situations that she often gets angry about until she can come up with a way to diffuse the anger. One way is with laughter. When she is not allowed to do something she wants to do and she begins to get angry, she can think of doing that thing on a pogo stick, and see herself bouncing around doing what she wanted to do but on a pogo stick. It is silly. Another way is to use made up name calling to the person she is angry at, using non-negative words. "Brownie face!" "Oh, yeah? Snickerdoodle noodle!" etc. This usually ends up in laughter. Then practice doing it several times until it is easier for her to come up with the diffusing behavior than following through with the angry behavior.

10. Pick your battles.
Angry ADHD children seem to have an innate knowledge of how to push your personal buttons and get you riled up. They will sometimes do every behavior they can to get you angry. Take time to yourself and with your spouse to decide which behaviors to ignore and which are really important. You may choose to spend energy dealing with the shoplifting so many of these kids do but not spend a lot of attention on their habit of constantly leaving their plate on the table, or not having their shirt tucked in and their hair combed. That can come later. Family life doesn't work well when you are battling every little thing with your child. You may choose to pick 5 things that are most important and focus on them until they are learned. Then you can go on to other things.

11. Let go of your own guilt.
Yes, you are going to lose it sometimes. We all do. We are simply human, after all, and kids know how to push our buttons. Let go of guilt and just consider how you might chose to do it differently next time. The most important thing is to love your child (remember, fear and worry are the opposite of love). When your child really knows you love him in spite of his weaknesses and your weaknesses, he can work through your mistakes as you can work through his. Remember to express your love sincerely and frequently. You can apologize when you know you made a mistake, but don't apologize for disciplining their angry behavior. "Charity [love] covereth a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8.

Please comment and let us know anything you may be doing that has worked, or what your struggles are that aren't working. We can all come together to serve each other.

You can get ADD Focus Boost AM, ADD Calm Time PM and SuperMulti Plus (children should take 1/2 to 1 capsule) at

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Brain Games for ADHD Children

I spoke recently at the Health Symposium at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on ADHD. To hear the lecture and see the slides go to the following website and scroll to the bottom:

Often we tell our ADHD children to "sit still," "be quiet," "stop wiggling," "stop running around." These are common commands from parents of ADHD children. However, these children don't know how to follow our commands. They may desire to please us, but they are unable to keep themselves still or quiet for an extended time, and fail at fulfilling our requests. When they don't know how to sit still, be quiet, or stop running around, then they can't do it.

The truth is, these kids focus better when they are moving. When they are moving their brain speeds up into beta waves and they can concentrate better. Sometimes I believe we should take these kids outside and teach them while they are climbing trees :-)

However, constant motion does not help them learn to live in our society. There are times when it is inappropriate. It is up to us to teach these children how to calm down, since they don't know how to do it naturally. We can do it through games.

The reason I recommend games is because it is hard for ADHD children to focus, so unless it is fun, they won't want to do it. When something is fun or engaging, it becomes easier to focus because their brain speeds up. When it is boring or they don't like an activity, the brain goes back into it's slower wave forms and it becomes more difficult to pay attention and they can't do it.

The following two games are used with a stop watch. Children inherently love stop watches so it makes the game even more exciting for them.

1. Mirror Mirror How Still Can I Be?
Have your child sit in front of a mirror with a book on her head. As soon as she has the book stable she starts the clock. The goal is to sit very still without the book falling off. When the book falls, the clock is stopped. Do it again with the goal of increasing the time. This gives the child a desire and the experience of being still. It is teaching their brain how to be still.

2. Stop and Go
Have a place where your child can run around. Let them run for a short time and then yell "Stop!" The child stops and holds his pose, while the clock is started. The child is to hold very still. As soon as the child moves, the clock is stopped and the time noted. Then yell "Go!" and let the child run again. Yell "Stop!" and repeat the process. This teaches the brain how to stop in mid-action, and again teaches how to be still.

Remember to give lots of praise for every second of success. These children don't respond well to criticism or punishment, but they bask in praise and more praise. Find any little thing to praise them about. You will both be happier.

You can use the memory of both of these games to assist in calming your child at other times. "Pretend you are in front of the mirror and see how still you can be!"

"Can you 'Stop!' running just like in the game? Right now it is time for stopping. When it is appropriate to run again I'll tell you 'Go!' "

Then praise them for every little time that they can actually be still. Let go of the need to punish them when they can't be as still as you would like. They are still in training!

You can make up your own games. Consider something that your child is having difficulty with. "Practice" the best way to behave through a game. For example, if your child is having a hard time hearing and following through with directions, come up with a game that starts with one direction (of course doing something fun), goes up to two, then three, etc. and see how many he can remember to do. You can make a game out of anything to assist your child in helping their brain learn how to do what is hard for it to do.

If you come up with a good game, please comment here so we can all benefit!

Remember the new ADHD supplements through SpringTree Health. Take two of the ADD Focus Boost AM in the morning, and if necessary again in the afternoon. Take one to two Calm Time PM before bed. Please let us know the results...good or bad. You can order them from:

Watch for future tips for improving your life with ADHD children. Please recommend this blog to your friends so that we can all benefit from each other! Any tricks that work for you and your children please share! Thank you!

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ADHD: Diet and Supplements

ADHD has become epidemic in the United States. About 1 in 7 boys and one in 19 girls between the ages of 3 and 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD in 2009. No one really knows the cause--there is much speculation, but that is the topic for another blog.

Today we are going to be talking about Diet and Supplements that can help ADHD.

ADHD has been shown in many cases to be a relative deficiency of dopaminergic reward in the brain. Increasing dopamine and balancing neurotransmitters is necessary for changes in behavior to take place.

Diet-wise, a lower simple carbohydrate and higher protein diet than most kids eat actually can increase dopamine in the brain and stabilize blood sugar levels (low blood sugar makes these kids crazy). That is why sugar can make ADHD symptoms worse--it doesn't improve dopamine and it causes a blood sugar yo-yo.

It is important to have healthy snacks available, as these children probably need to eat more often. Avoid simple carbohydrates, including white bread, white rice, white potatoes, sugar, corn syrup, honey and candy. Instead choose complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole grains, beans and fruit. Also consider protein snacks such as nuts and seeds, cheese sticks, unprocessed lunch meats (or leftover chicken, etc.), peanut and almond butter, etc.

Most children eat only carbohydrates for breakfast. This is one of the most important times to feed protein to keep their blood sugar stable through the morning.

Many of these children are sensitive to chemicals that have been shown to affect the brain, such as food colorings and artificial sweeteners. You may want to do an elimination trial, keeping them off chemicals and eating whole, natural foods for a week, and then give them the treats they've been demanding for a day, and see how that affects their behavior and physical symptoms. They will also notice their own behavior changes, and it can be quite effective for them to witness their own lack of control when they eat this way. It will often assist them in being more determined to stay away from those foods.

Some children have other sensitivities, such as dairy and gluten. You can ask your doctor to test gluten using the IgG and IgA anti-gliadin test, and for dairy using the IgG anti-casein test. If you don't want to subject your child to a blood draw, you can do an elimination, keeping off for two weeks, then having a day eating a lot of gluten, and another day eating a lot of dairy, and watching behaviors and physical symptoms. Allergies CAN affect the brain.

These changes can seem overwhelming, as ADHD children are often picky eaters. However, there are many ideas and creative recipes online to assist parents in learning the best way to feed their children, and how to get them to eat what you want them to.

There are supplements that have also been shown to improve ADHD symptoms. A good multi-vitamin is important to provide minerals, trace minerals, B-vitamins and anti-oxidants these children need to process their neurotransmitters.

L-tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, and can improve dopamine levels. 5-HTP and St. John's Wart improve serotonin levels. GABA and inositol have calming affects on the brain.

DMAE improves acetylcholine transmission. Octacosanol, N-Acetyl-L Carnitine, Phosphatidylserine and Gingko Biloba improve brain function. Lithium helps calm aggression.

Grape Seed Extract, Pine Bark Extract and a good multivitamin provide antioxidants and have been shown in studies to help.

I have created two new supplements, ADD Focus Boost AM, and ADD Calm Time PM which includes all of these and more. They are formulated to balance neurotransmitters, improve focus and calm at bedtime. They are finally available at "Like" SpringTree Health on facebook and you can use the coupon code for a 10% discount.

These supplements are designed to be used with our Children's Vitamin, which is not available yet. I currently recommend these be used with 1/2 to 1 capsule of SuperMulti Plus (adult dose is 4 capsules).

These supplements are in capsule form. If the child cannot yet swallow a pill the capsule can be opened and put in juice or applesauce or some other food (preferably not a protein, and the protein will compete with the amino acids in the supplements). The dosages are the minimum. You can go higher if necessary without harm.

Please give us feedback as to how these supplements work for your children!

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More practical advice for radiation exposure

In the years between 1981 and 2000, 50 people from around the world died from radiation exposure through local accidents of various causes, most of them not from nuclear reactors. Some were workers and some were from the public. In these accidents, hundreds of others were often exposed and became sick. In Spain, 11 people died from a linear accelorator accident. In Brazil, 4 died and hundreds were exposed from an abandoned medical test machine. I haven't been able to find records to see if these exposures caused further deaths from cancers, etc.

So in preparing for disasters, besides earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., it is good to be prepared for a radiation exposure. We have talked about possible supplements to take in previous blogs. Listed here are some practical things to do if exposed acutely to radiation.

1. Account for family members and loved ones. Remember that often even when cell phone networks may not be working, texting will.

2. Take shelter. Find a place where windows and doors were not open during the exposure.

3. Remove clothing. After reaching a non-contaminated place immediately remove your clothes and put them in a plastic bag and place them outside. This will remove 90% of the contamination. You can later have authorities dispose of the bag safely.

4. Take a shower. Gently wash rather than scrub so there is not danger of breaking skin and gettting contamination inside. Use plenty of soap and water. Gently blow your nose and wipe your eyes with a gentle cloth. Pay special attention to feet, especially if there was any contact with radioactive water. Put anything used for cleaning in a plastic bag for disposal.

5. Seal out contaminants. Use plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal windows and doors, or if that is not possible, to create a sealed room of plastic walls. Close vents and flues, and anything else with the possibility of bringing outside air inside. If you have one, use a HEPA air filter to remove contaminants inside. This is a good product to have for your home anyway.

6. Consider respirator face masks. Regular face masks are not effective as they are not tight enough and some smaller particles can get through. However, respirator masks are quite protective. For more information go to

7. Take potassium iodide and other supplements. See previous blogs for more information on these.

8. Consider taking Prussian Blue. In severe, acute exposure, there is a prescription medication called Prussian Blue that reduces the half life of Cesium and Thallium, allowing them to leave the body more quickly and thus reducing exposure damage. It must be prescribed by a doctor, so be sure and have access to your physician and a pharmacy. For more information on Prussian Blue go to

9. Have other emergency supplies on hand. Things you would need in any emergency, such as a battery powered or hand crank radio, flashlight, etc., food, clean water, etc.

10. Be psychologically ready for disasters. The most difficult tole taken in disasters is psychological. Lives are disrupted and there is much fear about what is going to happen in the next days, months and years. Chronic fear and anxiety are often more harmful to the body than the things the body may be exposed to. Preparation reduces the fear, but if there is undue anxiety over the future and possible disasters, work through these with a trusted counselor.

Of course, none of us want to face the possibilities of going through what the Japanese are currently going through. But simple preparations and knowledge of what to do in any disaster reduces fear and risk.

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baking Soda for Radiation?

I have had connections with some excellent physicians, and learned of another simple remedy for radiation exposure that the army recommends: baking soda. Oral baking soda diminishes the severity of the changes that uranium creates in the kidneys. Bathing in baking soda (1-3 pounds per bath, depending on severity of exposure) and in magnesium salts (magnesium chloride or epsom salts) binds to uranium on the skin and some soaks into the body. Sodium bicarbinate has been used to clean soil contaminated with uranium. You can also boil baking soda in water and breathe the steam (carefully!) as a nebulizer to bind with any uranium breathed into the lungs. So keeping 10 or more pounds of baking soda on hand is an inexpensive preparation.
Other home remedies that have been shown to help:
High dose vitamin C
Chlorella and spirulina
Miso soup and seaweed
Internal consumption of edible clay and clay baths
Sulphur-rich foods like broccoli, cabbage and mustard greens
Chlorophyll and chlorophyll-rich foods such as wheat and barley grass
Pine bark extract, green tea extract, grape seed extract, dandelion root extract
Gingko biloba
Aloe vera and curcumin (tumeric) for skin damage
Some of these things may be good to use after CT scans and other diagnostic and treatment radiation exposure as well.
Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How much potassium iodide should I take?

This is written as a post-script to the previous blog. Again, there is little likelihood that we will get this kind of radiaton exposure at this time, so this is written for information for future reference, something to keep in our emergency supply of food.

The following is the FDA recommendations for dosages of potassium iodide if there is radiation exposure:

Exposures greater than 5 cGy:

Birth through 1 mo. - 16 mg.

1 mo. through 3 yrs. - 32 mg.

3 yrs. through 18 yrs. - 65 mg. (adolescents > 150 lbs. use adult dose)

Exposures greater than 10 cGy:

18 yrs. through 40 yrs. - 130 mg.

Exposures greater than 500 cGy:

Adults over 40 yrs. - 130 mg.

Potassium iodide protects for approximately 24 hours, and should be dosed daily until the risk no longer exists. First dose priority should be given to pregnant females and neonates, but a repeat dose should be given only if there is not proper evacuation and sheltering for them.

Persons with known iodine sensitivity should avoid potassium iodide, as should individuals with dermtitis herpetiformis, hypocomplementemic vaculitis, extremely rare conditions associated with an increased risk of ioding hypersensitivity. Individuals with multinodular goiter, Graves' disease, and autoimmune thyroiditis should be treated with caution -- especially if dosing extends beyond a few days.

Do not take ACE inhibitor blood pressure medication such as captropril, enalapril or lisinapril, or potassium sparing diuretics with the potassium iodide or the levels of potassium may go too high causing heart arrhythmias.

DO NOT take this amount of potassium iodide as a preventative measure. It will not serve the body and may harm it without the radiation to replace. If you want to use iodine and/or potassium iodide to reduce the affects of future exposure, take 500 mcg to 1 mg a day (MUCH less than the recommended dose for exposure) for at least 2 weeks to make sure the body has adequate iodine for all of its needs. You can continue to take 250 - 500 mcg. after the first two weeks to keep you level stable.

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

Friday, March 18, 2011

What to do for radiation exposure

With all of the fears of the Japanese nuclear reactor meltdown, potassium iodide is becoming hard to find. I personally don't believe that here in Utah we will have a large exposure, but there may be higher levels of radiation to deal with than normal.

Potassium iodide is going to be helpful, but for larger exposures it is not enough. First of all, the potassium iodide will help protect the thyroid, which is very susceptible to radiation, which can cause thyroid cancer. However, if you have low iodine levels in your body as many Americans do (in testing levels in my own patients up to 75% have low levels), just starting potassium iodide will not give you enough iodine to protect you. It takes several weeks on iodine supplements for the levels to rise to adequate levels to protect your thyroid. Iodine is also important for your breasts and other organs. So you may want to ask your doctor to check your blood iodine levels. If exposure is imminent and you don't have time to check your levels, a week or two of exta iodine will not hurt you.

Iodine and iodide work differently in different organs in the body. A better supplement would be one that uses both iodide and iodine, such as Iodoral or Lugol's solution.

The potassium in potassium iodide is also supposed to protect the body from cesium. However, you would have to overload on potassium iodide to get enough potassium, and that wouldn't be healthy for your thyroid. So it would be important to take extra potassium as well as the potassium iodide. Most supplements only contain 99 mg of potassium, so during radiation exposure you should take at least 5 a day (500 mg). If your kidneys are normal your body will handle that much well. If you have kidney failure your body already stores potassium.

Multiple trace minerals also have very important functions in the body. Taking adequate amounts of trace minerals will reduce the amount of radioactive minerals taking hold in the body.

Potassium and potassium iodide/iodine are not enough to protect from the heavier metals such as uranium and strontium90. Strontium90 and other heavy metals can be removed by EDTA chelation (IV if acute exposure), but the uranium molecule is too large for EDTA. By taking a humic/fulvic acid supplement, the uranium molecule is reduced and more easily removed from the body.

A good detox formula to assist the glutathione pathway used by the cells to remove toxins includes:
Alpha Lipoic Acid 100-300 mg.
N-acetyl cysteine 500 mg three times a day
Selenium 200 mcg
Vitamin C 4,000-6,000 mg.
Vitamin E (preferably mixed toxopherols) 800-1200 IU
Anti-oxidants to reduce the damage caused by toxins

Taking 12-15 capsules of chorella a day will also help remove heavy metals.

I would love to say that I have all of these supplements available on my website, but alas, as yet I do not. But they are all available on the internet and many in health food stores. Our SuperMulti Plus does have adequate amounts of trace minerals and selenium, along with good levels of vitamin E (tocotrienols) and anti-oxidants. If you are taking or needing the Glucose Balance, it also contains Alpha Lipoic Acid.

We all pray that there will be no need for radiation exposure treatment. But there are already many toxins and even radiation in the environment, and utlizing some of this may be important for many of us, whether the Japanese reactor has a meltdown or not.

My heart, like all of us, goes out to the Japanese people in this time of tragedy and suffering. I do pray that angels are surrounding and assisting in the cooling down, and pray for the men and women working on it to save and protect the Japanese and the world.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi