attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder

UNDERSTANDING AD(H)D

AD(H)D is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder that typically presents itself during childhood and is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control, and distractibility. About 60% of children diagnosed with AD(H)D retain the condition as adults. Many cases may be caused by trauma, toxic exposure, chronic yeast overgrowth, hidden infections, food allergies or intolerances, or nutritional deficiencies.  Without treatment, AD(H)D can lead to profound distress at school, work, or home, resulting in academic or professional failures, poor social skills, low-self-esteem, depression, anti-social behaviors, or substance abuse.  AD(H)D is considered to be a persistent and chronic condition for which biomedical intervention can be helpful. Once the biological causes of AD(H)D are addressed, it may be possible to reduce or eliminate drug therapy.



CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE

ORGANIC ACIDS TEST

Organic Acids testing provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria metabolites. Abnormally high levels of yeast (Candida) or bacteria can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, fatigue, and immune function. Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids.

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METALS HAIR TEST

Lead, a common toxic metal that is high in children with AD(H)D, can cause cognitive impairment, decreased IQ scores, and impaired attention. A study on the relationship between hair lead levels of children and their attention-deficit behaviors in the classroom revealed negative ratings on the abbreviated Boston Teacher's Rating Scale from children with high lead. There was no apparent 'safe' threshold for lead.[1]

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COPPER / ZINC

Copper Imbalance

Copper imbalance is often found in children with AD(H)D. Copper interferes with zinc metabolism, affects thyroid activity, and enhances neurotransmitters that stimulate brain activity. Copper is also an important substance to control yeast overgrowth within the body. Effects of excess copper include: mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, hyperactivity, anti-social behavior, and depression.

Zinc Deficiency

One of zinc's many functions is mood stabilizing. Children with AD(H)D have significantly lower zinc levels than those without. Low zinc values may result in depressed production of melatonin and serotonin in the brain, resulting in some of the symptoms of AD(H)D.[2]

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IGG FOOD ALLERGY + CANDIDA

Individuals with neurological, gastrointestinal, and behavioral disorders often suffer from IgG food sensitivities (unlike the traditional rash and swelling symptoms of IgE allergies). IgG reactions to foods subtly alter brain chemistry and behavior. IgG symptoms may occur hours or days after the offending food has been eaten.

Two-thirds of children diagnosed with AD(H)D have un-recognized food allergies that generate most, if not all, of their symptoms.[3] The 93 foods tested in the IgG Food Allergy Test w/Candida can identify problem foods so they can be eliminated from the patient's diet.

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ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required elements of every membrane in the body, including those in the brain. They serve as critical components in the biosynthesis of eicosanoids, chemicals that affect the working of every cell in the body. Some signs of an EFA deficiency include excessive thirst, allergic responses to common foods, and skin conditions such as eczema, clinical signs that tend to be common in AD(H)D children.

Children with lower omega-3 fatty acid levels are more likely to have learning problems and lower overall academic skills and math skills than children with higher fatty acid values.[4]

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resources

FURTHER READING

  • AD(H)D & Ear Infections, Allergies & Nutritional Concerns - Find out the facts about the relationship between AD(H)D and these other conditions
  • One Family's Experience - Excerpted from The Yeast Connection Handbook, Dr. William Crook describes one family's experience with ADD and the outcome
  • Breaking the Cycle - Find out what you can do about ADD/ADHD
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Laboratory Testing - Learn about testing and how to use the information you get
  • Click here to view the Recommendations By Disorder Chart (PDF)

references

  1. Tuthill R. Hair lead levels related to children's classroom attention-deficit behavior. Archives of Environmental Health 51: 214-225, 1996.
  2. Toren P. et. al. Zinc deficiency in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Biological Psychiatry 40: 1308-1310, 1996.
  3. Stevens, LJ and Burgess J. Omega-3 fatty acids in boys with behavior, learning, and health problems. Physiology Behavior 1996; 59: 915-920.
  4. Kidd, P. M. (2000). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd) in children: Rationale for its integrative management. Alternative Medicine Review, 5(5), 402-428. Retrieved from http://www.feingold.org/Research/PDFstudies/Kidd00.pdf
  5. Carter CM, Urbanowicz M, Hemsley R, et al. Effects of a few food diet in attention deficit disorder. Arch Dis Child 1993;69:564-568 and 61.
  6. Crook WG. Sugar, yeast and ADHD: fact or fiction? In: Bellanti JA, Crook WG, Layton RE, eds. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Causes and Possible Solutions (Proceedings of a Conference). Jackson, TN: International Health Foundation; 1999.
  7. Coleman M. et. al. A preliminary study of the effect of pyridoxine administration in a subgroup of hyperkinetic children: a double blind crossover comparison with methylphenidate. Biological Psychiatry 14: 741-751, 1979.
  8. Starobrat-Hermelin B, Kozielec T. The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Positive response to magnesium oral loading test. Magnes Res. 1997 Jun;10(2):149-56.