Friday, June 17, 2011

The hidden truth about effective ADHD treatment-part 1

at 8:27 AM
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) involve a collection of symptoms including inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviours. The term ADD has virtually been replaced with ADHD, since it includes two of the most common symptoms of the condition, namely, inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behaviour.

Only children who struggle with inattention and hyperactive or impulsive behaviours ALL THE TIME are deemed to have ADHD. For instance, if these symptoms are displayed at school and not at home, or vice versa, they are considered NOT to have the disorder. Unfortunately, this is where most of the misdiagnosis happens.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of dealing with a child, a teen, or a spouse is not knowing what is causing the disturbing behaviour, and especially not knowing how to help. Unfortunately, most experts are as perplexed as everyone else and this should come as no surprise.

There are, however, many plausible theories:

One theory blames genetic predisposition, and studies are currently underway attempting to link ADHD to specific genes (1). From my perspective, based upon science and research, genetic expression if far and wide more important and valid than genetic predisposition, but we will leave this topic for another article at a later time. Another theory is exposure to environmental toxins. One study conducted in 2006 linked a mother's use of cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs increased the chances for ADHD in her child. They also linked the increased risk of ADHD in lead exposure and smoking during pregnancy (2). This also should come of no absolute surprise.

As is typical of the medical model, nutrition is often disregarded as a contributing element. Being a Kanata Chiropractor may not make me an expert on this particular topic, but it is my opinion that NUTRITION MAY HOLD THE KEY TO TREATING ADHD!!! It doesn't take an expert to tell us that food choices today for both children and adults alike are extremely poor. Is it truly possible to expect abnormal behaviour from a child who is fed, for lack of a better word, CRAP? These abnormal behavioural traits being that of what most medical experts would refer to signs and symptoms of ADHD! There are numerous literatures out there that support the hypothesis that refined grains, sugars, processed food filled with chemicals, juices, and soft drinks create these very behavioural traits. My question is: Whatever happened to pure water as a source of fluids for our children? We must also take into account the decreasing amount of vegetables and omega 3's in most of our children's diets. Vegetables provide the body with the essential vitamins and nutrients that we need for survival and Omega 3's support brain function, blood sugar metabolism, and childhood development to name a few. It is impossible to have a healthy functioning and developing brain without the critical ingredients it requires to do so.

If we look to the highly recognized research of Dr. Lendon Smith, who passed away some time ago, we find that he had been successfully treating and relieving ADHD symptoms with nutrition and dietary interventions for decades. Whatever happened to the continuing of his work after his death is questionable. He realized that drugs like Ritalin were not the answer for ADHD right from the start which I think should still be considered in today's society before it is so radically distributed to children. For years, drug companies have been churning out various medications to try to stem this growing epidemic. It is no great secret that drug companies have been producing mass quantities of medication to treat ADHD, the major players being, Ritalin®, Concerta®, Adderall®, and Strattera® before even considering changing the nutritional components of a child's lifestyle.

Stay tuned! In a later article we will discuss the effects that these very drugs have on the body and the activity level of our children. Until then, I urge you to take a look at your children's diet and make sure that they are getting plenty of the proper nutrients that they need for survival, growth, and maturity.

1) WebMD, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Cause,, (Accessed February 23, 2009))


Dr. Ryan Pope is a Kanata chiropractor at The Wellness Group, a multidisciplinary health facility in Ontario, Canada. He currently practices chiropractic in Kanata full time with a focus on educating and empowering his practice members to harness the innate intelligence of the body to heal itself through the chiropractic lifestyle.

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