Attention: I was recently told by several parents that they are giving their children a “homeopathic” preparation called ATTEND. Click on the link to get more info. I told all of them after viewing this page and seeing the ingredients, that the stuff is poison as far as I was concerned, and I would not handle one of those pills without gloves on. This is a combination of high potency homeopathic remedies, which is always a bad idea. Taking this stuff for any length of time is likely to cause all sorts of provings going on at the same time. Then try to unravel this case with a good single remedy. Good luck! Stay away from this.
Lately, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of patients coming in who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Before we discuss some possible ways of dealing with this problem, I’d like to discuss what we mean by these diagnoses. The first and foremost thing we need to remember is that these diagnoses don’t correspond to any recognized pathology.
For example, if we say somebody has appendicitis, we can look at the removed appendix under the microscope and see some specific changes like a lot of a certain type of cells that create an inflammatory response. Somebody with asthma will have certain easily identifiable changes in their lungs, etc. A person with ADD/ADHD does not have any such changes as far as we know. All they have is a certain group of symptoms, like difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, behavior issues, etc. We don’t really know the cause of the symptoms, so the diagnosis becomes what we call a diagnosis of exclusion. That is, we make sure the person does not have some other identifiable condition, such as depression or some learning disabilities or a physical problem causing the symptoms, and if they don’t, and have a certain number of symptoms from a predefined list, we label them with ADD/ADHD and give a drug that tends to make them a bit more manageable. That is indeed all that Ritalin does, it cures nothing.
I am not saying one must never use Ritalin. When one has a headache Tylenol is often quite helpful, but most people realize that it is not a cure and if their headache becomes chronic they look for more definitive ways of diagnosing and treating it. In rare cases, when we can’t find the cause of the headaches and a better treatment, we resort to taking Tylenol all the time. However, I’m sure nobody would be so stupid as to think that that is the optimal situation. Why then, do we use this approach with ADD/ADHD-labeled children? In my opinion, Ritalin and related drugs must be the choice of last resort.
What I want to share, is some thoughts of how the “disorder” might possibly be avoided.
One of the first things to look at when dealing with a child who demonstrates a short attention span and/or hyperactivity, is the television. It is my opinion that this is one of the most dangerous pieces of furniture in the house. While there are some very valuable shows being offered on public TV, it seems that most of my patients are spending their viewing time watching commercial programs. I think such programming conditions children to have short attention span. It seems that almost all of it is just a series of never-ending bright colors, loud noises and camera gyrations.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a few minutes out of your schedule and watch TV. Be sure you stay in the room for the commercials, so you can see how incredibly “stimulating” they have become. It’s little wonder that children with ADD will frequently be capable of watching hours of TV, even though they can’t sit still for a whole meal.
The next area of problems is with video games. Look at the abilities these games tend to stimulate in the child. To play them you often need quick reaction and ability to respond to constantly and rapidly changing stimuli. Deep logical thinking is not necessary for most of them, and in fact can be detrimental to the success in playing the game. A child playing a lot of these games will be conditioned to the need of quickly changing stimuli, and no school will be able to satisfy this need. Hence, they will exhibit the typical ADD/ADHD symptoms of inability to sit in one place, inability to focus on the teacher, etc… It is just too slow for them now! I believe the only reasonable way to deal with the child so affected is to unplug them from the source of the problem, the video games. It will not be easy at first, but with appropriate support they will slow down and get plugged into the real world again.
Another source of “problems” is IQ that is too high for the kind of classroom setting the child finds themselves in. When there is not enough stimulation for a very intelligent child they may get bored and tune out. I’ve known a person who was labeled with ADD and even a question of “slowness” was raised. The parents knew better and found an advanced science program for their son. He did much better in that setting, and later “dropped out” of high school and “dropped in” to college at age 15, got his bachelor of science degree by 19, masters by 20 and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from CalTech at 25. He still does not have a high school diploma. Of course, this took some incredibly dedicated parents to guide him through all these “difficulties”. I tell you, it’s not easy to be smart in this world where many want you to be average. Ritalin would’ve definitely been a “great help” to everybody involved in his care and education .
Of course, there’s always the issue of diet too. Some kids are particularly sensitive to refined sugar, additives, preservatives, etc. In these children such products can cause a great variety of symptoms, including those normally attributable to ADD, as well as other problems, like headaches, allergies, skin eruptions, etc. I don’t know what percentage of ADD labeled kids could be “cured” by removing these dietary causes, but it is significant.
There are specialists who work with detoxifying programs and they claim a lot of success.
Then there are nutritional supplementation programs. I do work with one of them, one I feel to be particularly effective. It was developed by Dr. Hinz of Duluth, MN. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Hinz’s article:
A truly effective method of treating ADHD in adults and children without drugs is desired by many parents and patients. Prior to the NeuroResearch Clinics work none was found. In this web page article is documented the results of medical studies using the NeuroResearch Clinics ADHD treatment approach. In the NeuroWellness pilot study it was reported that 100% of children treated with the NeuroResearch Clinics approach, who were compliant with care, achieved relief of ADHD symptoms without drugs. Please read through this ADHD article to find out what NeuroResearch Clinics has discovered.
ADHD By: Ross Stewart, PhD Clinical Psychologist
Subject: G B, Age 4
Diagnosis: ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Summary: When Dr. Ross Stewart first met Grant, it was clear that this child was out of control. His severe emotional outbursts were affecting everyone around him, both in school and at home. He was dismissed from three different preschools for violence towards himself and others – uncontrollable screaming, classroom disturbances, non-stop talking and uncontrollable movement. He became physically violent when he did not get his way. He was unable to follow simple directions and to calm himself. He was openly defiant, regardless of the techniques used. He would yell, “NO” directly in his teachers’ and mother’s faces. He would head-butt his pregnant mother, who was depressed, exhausted, and fearful for her son and her new baby.
Natural Treatments: Dr. Stewart administered the following program over five weeks, finally resolving all major symptoms:
- Level 1 dosing: No behavior change.
- Level 2: Small behavior change, serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine urinary neurotransmitter testing #1 obtained
- Step Three after the serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine urinary neurotransmitter testing returned, level 3 dosing: Remission of all Major Symptoms.
Results & Follow-up: After the initial treatment period and supporting serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine urinary neurotransmitter testing, Grant’s symptoms were relieved. He became happy, calm, focused and cooperative. He can follow his teachers’ and parents’ instructions, plays well with other children, and is no longer exhibiting violent behavior.
In spite of the clear success, Grant’s father opposed the supplements and removed Grant from the program. Grant’s symptoms returned in three days. With this strong evidence, his father returned Grant to the program and has been a strong supporter since. Grant’s behavior has continued to improve. He is now behaving within normal parameters for his age. Read more here.
I use Dr. Hinz’s approach (NeuroResearch method) in my practice extensively and usually see very good results.
And then there is homeopathy. As a homeopath, I treat ADD as a part of the overall chronic condition. I take a complete case, paying equal attention to all issues in the child’s case, including any physical and psychological symptoms present. I don’ care if the diagnosis is ADD or ABC or LMNOP. All I care about is understanding the symptoms present in the particular case and finding the best remedy that would cover all those symptoms according to the method outlined in my booklet. The remedy must cover all symptoms in the case, and therefore I expect it to cure all of them as well, to a reasonable extent.
In my practice this approach has proven to be very effective in numerous cases. It’s not an instant fix, but the results tend to be worth the wait. The improvement tends to be on psychological as well as physical level, so, if a child has some other condition besides ADD/ADHD, such as asthma, headaches, belly aches or anything else, it tends to improve at the same time, or I change the remedy. Of course, some of the obstacles to cure, like too much TV, video games, refined sugar in some cases, lack of intellectual stimulation, etc, may need to be removed for good results.
Homeopaths, like fishermen, like to brag. And where else can one brag if not on their very own web page? So, I’ll brag a little. I had this family I treated, with three kids. Two of them were diagnosed with ADHD and placed in a special education class. I gave them both homeopathic remedies and they improved. A few months later we had a visitor. Their special ed. teacher came to check out what kind of magic I am up to. Apparently, neither of the kids needed to be in the special program anymore, so she was intrigued. This is why I practice this weird medicine: doing magic is great fun!
Let’s discuss the pros and cons for using the NeuroResearch method and homeopathy.
NeuroResearch amino acid supplementation
- Fast: good improvement is usually seen within 4-6 weeks of starting the therapy.
- Very simple to use: the same protocol is used for everybody and the only adjustment is in the dose of the supplements.
- Predictable: most people respond well.
- Non-curative: you are better only as long as you continue to take the supplements.
- Many pills to take.
- Supplements are more expensive in the long run than successful homeopathic treatment.
- Curative: you take the remedy only as long as necessary, with the goal of permanent alleviation of symptoms and eventually stopping the remedy.
- Treats all symptoms at the same time, not just those related to the neurotransmitter imbalance.
- No large numbers of pills to take.
- Less expensive in the long run: the remedy is included at no charge, you pay only for the doctor’s time.
- Much more difficult in practice. The visits take a lot more time and effort on the part of the doctor, because the treatment is highly individualized. That is why the first visit for homeopathic treatment is much more expensive than the one for NeuroResearch treatment. Also, insurance coverage for the homeopathic visits is usually not as good as for the NR visits.
- The effect is often quite slow. Sometimes it takes more than one try for the doctor to find the effective remedy. Until one is found, there is no effect. Once the correct remedy is found, the effect is usually slow.
Make sure to read this to gain a better understanding of the expectations for homeopathic treatment.
Some patients choose to start with the NeuroResearch approach in order get better fast, then proceed with homeopathic treatment leisurely and reduce the supplement doses if and when possible.