ADHD Treatment Blog

Cool Off the Burning Brain with Anti-Inflammatory Diet




What is the anti-inflammatory diet? It sounds more like a diet for grandma’s old arthritic hip. How does it help ADHD?

You are absolutely correct. It does help grandma’s arthritic hip by reducing inflammation. It also helps with other inflammatory illness such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, etc.

The anti-inflammatory diet as its name implies helps to reduce and fight against inflammation. It accomplishes the anti-inflammatory property by excluding foods that induce inflammations, while encourage intake of food that is neutral or support the body’s immune system to fight inflammation.

With inflammatory, we usually think of red, swollen and painful joint, which is the body’s immune system’s response to injury. So, in another word, inflammatory is good because our body is either fighting off an infection or trying to heal an injury.

However, the inflammation we’re talking about here is CHRONIC, which means the body’s immune system is constantly being activated for no reason.

This is not good for the body. You might think it’s a good idea because your body is being protected.

It is this overactive immune system that increases your risk of allergies because it is attacking anything that comes its way. It also weakens the immune response when the next big insult comes around. When the immune system is constantly doing things it’s not supposed to do, this takes resources away from its main tasks, such as detoxification, fighting infection, tissue healing, getting rid of cancer cells, etc.

SO, HOW DOES THE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET HELP ADHD?

It is thought that ADHD is the result of chronic systemic inflammation of the body. This systemic inflammation affects the whole body including the brain resulting in functioning and communication error.

You might think how the brain is involved in all this. Think the last time you’re in pain. Were you able to focus? Remember the headaches you have, stomachache, someone stepped on your toe. Our whole body is connected, when one part is not well, our brain is not well too. But we can control or minimize the insult to the brain by following the principle of an anti-inflammatory diet.

WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY?

1. Toxic metals in the environment

2. Pesticides, preservatives and toxic chemicals

3. Hidden food allergies, such as gluten (wheat), casein (milk), eggs, soy, corn and nuts. But wheat and milk are the biggest culprit.

4. Excess sugar and animal fats intake

5. Chronic stress.

FOODS TO INCLUDE:

  1. Fresh whole natural foods, preferably organic. Buy fresh fruits/vegetables from local farmer’s market. Because these produce does not have to travel long distance, last chemicals are used. Choose cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, onions, cabbage, and garlic. These are excellent sources of sulfur, which help boost the sulfation process in the body’s detoxification.

2. Choose low-fat lean protein as well as seafood, which are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acid, which has great anti-inflammatory property. Choose organic chicken, grass-fed beef, veal, lamb, buffalo, bison and other game meat because of their lack of antibiotics and hormones. Nuts, seeds and beans are also very good sources of protein. Include a variety of them as snacks or complement to salads and entrees.

3. Choose natural sugar, such as those that comes naturally with fruits or vegetables, honey, agave nectar, stevia, etc.

4. Use fresh spices and herbs to flavor your foods. Garlic, ginger and curcumin are excellent anti-inflammatory herbs to use.

5. Filtered water. Drink water only from BPA-free water bottles.

FOODS TO AVOID:

  1. Added sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup. These sugars are stripped of all nutrients during processing. It is basically empty calories. High fructose corn syrup is thought to be the culprit of the current obesity epidemic. It supposedly causes an addictive effect on its consumers, causing them to want to eat more of the food it is in.

2. Processed foods – anything that comes in a can or box and can last for years. These food are stripped bare of all nutrients, which are replaced with artificial flavorings, food coloring, preservatives, monosodium glutamate (MSG), etc. Frozen fruits and vegetables are fine as long as they are free of preservatives and processing.

3. Trans fats – found in many processed foods and margarine. These fats increased bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the blood. As a result, plague start building up in the artery creating a source of inflammation.

4. Grains and dairy products are the greatest culprit of hidden food allergies.

5. Fish with high mercury content, such as shark, mackerel and swordfish. Limit tuna to one 6-ounce can a week. Even better yet, choose canned wild-caught Alaskan salmon, which is high in omega-3 fatty acid instead for your “tuna” sandwich.

6. Artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, aspartame, Saccharin and acesulfame potassium. These are man-made sugar from the labs. The studies that show these artificial sweeteners are safe are done on adult subjects and sponsored by the manufacturers of these “sugars”. There are no “long-term” studies on both adults and children. Therefore, the long-term effects on children’s growth are “unknown”.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET AND LIFESTYLE

The anti-inflammatory diet is not just about foods. It is a lifestyle. You can’t completely treat the inflammation in your body just with foods, and induce the inflammation back with your lifestyle choices, such as chronic stress, lack of exercise, exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals.

1. Daily physical activities. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, ideally 60 minutes. Physical activities not only help with weight, it helps to clear your thoughts (especially negative ones), facilitate the circulation of the lymphatic system, the super highway of your immune system, and increase neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (your feel-good chemical).

Read: SPARK

2. Use environmentally friendly products. Avoid using Styrofoam, which released estrogen-like chemicals when in contact with heat or being heated. Avoid canned foods or juices or beverages, as the inner lining of the cans are lined with BPA to avoid corrosion of metal from contact with acidic contents.

3. Volunteer and give back to your community. The sense of giving and community boost dopamine levels in the brain. Remember, dopamine is the brain chemical that is found to be low in children with ADHD.

4. Learn relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, prayers, breathing exercise, etc. Focus on positive thoughts everyday. If need to, turn off the news channel.

Namaste…




Vitamin C as Medicine




I recently discovered the power of vitamin C. I’ve always dissed the importance of vitamin C in our diet.

Yes…our body cannot make vitamin C, that’s why we need it from food. But the recommended amount is so small. And because of this I’ve always just ignore this super powerful nutrient.

The wimpy 60mg that the USDA recommends is the “minimum” needed to prevent scurvy. That’s the whole purpose of the 60mg.

However, vitamin C hides a  super powerful secret that no one knows.

At low dose, couple thousand milligrams, vitamin C acts as a very powerful antioxidant. At megadose level, 40,000mg (yes, 40 thousand) up to 250,000mg, it kills cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells alone.

Isn’t this the perfect cancer drugs we’ve been waiting for?

 

 

RELATED ARTICLE: Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet & Juicing for Detox

In this post, I want to share my experience with vitamin C with you.

After watching this video here. I started experimenting with high dose of vitamin C. I started taking 4,000mg x2-3 times a day.

Here’s my finding after a few days on this regimen:

  1. I noticed that I can breathe freely in the morning. I used to wake up every morning with chest tightness and shortness of breath for my asthma. These asthma symptoms has been resolved, and I stopped using my albuterol inhaler.
  2. I have more energy. I used to have low energy in the afternoon and needing to taking naps every evening after dinner. Seriously, I was that tired. That stopped, and now I stay alert and have more time and energy to focus on other activities.

All these years, I’ve been brain-washed to believe that high dose of vitamin C will cause diarrhea. And I, as a registered dietitian, has been advising people to not to exceed 2,000mg of vitamin C per day to avoid diarrhea.

From my personal experience, I have no change in GI status since taking over 10,000mg of vitamin C a day.

With the success I see in my own experience, of course, I expand my influence to own child, who is, of course, skeptical of anything mommy gives her.

But she is now a believer as she also noticed the extra energy. She said she is not as tired. And you know how I know it really works for her? My daughter takes the 5,000mg vitamin C (5 huge pills) twice a day without a fight.

I’m just amazed at the results with this mundane nutrients that you can buy for a very low cost compared to other fancier nutrients.

If you’re experienced benefit with high dose of vitamin C and thinks that the rest of the world deserves to know about this miracle nutrient, please share this post.




How to Mess Up Your Child’s Life

There are several people in life you don’t want to hear say, “Oops!” Your barber, your mechanic, and your surgeon are three that come to mind. So do your parents and spouse. And yet, few of us put much thought into how we can create happier homes. Now, Christian parenting experts Kurt and Olivia Bruner have created a tongue-in-cheek but invaluable guide that helps parents move past “oops” to intentional, fun, and faith-filled parenting. In a way that keeps parents engaged amid the nonstop grind of jobs and household chores, the Bruners walk parents through the steps in creating a plan for infusing faith dynamics into the home.

I wish I have this book when I have my daughter. She’s just turned 17 this year and going to college next year. Whatever damages have been done. Oh well…I just have to hope for the best.

But for those of you with young children, don’t give up. Here’s your solution or at least a source of entertainment to laugh out parenting.

Get the book here –> How to Mess Up Your Child’s Life. Isn’t that a lovely title?

Amazingly great reviews from all readers…

The Science of Fasting…Must See!!!

New idea to our chronic problems…

Young biologists from the University of Southern California have overturned conventional wisdom and used molecular biology to demonstrate the powerful effects of fasting. This research suggests a wide-ranging potential, which could include treatments for the disease of the century, cancer. If these scientists are right, maybe our approach to disease and treatment will need a rethink.

This documentary shows the benefits of fasting and clears the taboo about fasting. It shows that fasting is safe and this fact has been proven, but not yet accepted by the conventional medical community and general population. We live in such abundant society today that any prolonged fasting seem incriminating, such as not letting your obese child to have a snack after a big meal.

Be educated and watch the full documentary here –>The Science of Fasting

Food Allergies & ADHD

Food allergy is common in infant and young children. It can be frustrating for parents – colicky infants, vomiting and not tolerating formula or sometimes even breast milk. And for the child, the impact is even more so – failure to thrive is common, which may lead to developmental delay as poor nutrient intake or tolerance impairs achievement of developmental milestones. Thus, it is important for parents and pediatrician to diagnose food allergy in a timely manner to avoid long-term detrimental outcomes.

The good news is most of these allergies in young children will resolve by 4-5 years of age. However, before that happens, the child has to stay clear of the offending allergic foods as each accidental exposure to the offending will strengthen the immune reaction. Thus, the more a child is exposure to the offending before his outgrowing of the allergy, the immune response becomes stronger and stronger, which means it will take longer for the child to outgrow the allergy.

Children with ADHD frequently have hidden food allergy or intolerance. The reason why I use the word “hidden” is because these allergies or intolerances are difficult to identify. Most of the time we don’t even know they exist because when we think of food allergy we are thinking of the very obvious ones, like some who is allergy to seafood, and ate something with shrimp, and within minutes reacted with full body hives, facial swelling, itching mouth and throat, etc.

However, these are not what we’re seeing in children with ADHD or even autism. Their reactions are a lot more subtle and slow. In fact, the food reactions we frequently suspect in children with ADHD or autism are Food Intolerance. Food intolerance and food allergy shares many similar signs and symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, runny nose, nasal congestions, hives, rash, etc. However, they are very different physiologically.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOOD ALLERGY AND FOOD INTOLERANCE?

We frequently refer to any food reaction as food allergy. However, most of these reactions are food intolerances instead of allergies. Food reactions are common, but most are caused by a food intolerance rather than a food allergy. Food allergy and food intolerance share very similar signs and symptoms, which is why many people are confused between the two.

Food allergy triggers an immediate immune response, usually involving the immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE-mediated response activates a cascade of systemic reactions, involving multiple organ systems. That is why this is the more severe form food intolerance. Fatal peanut allergy usually falls into this category. Even a tiny amount of the offending food can cause an immediate, severe reaction or anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.

An anaphylaxis is characterized by systemic responses, such as difficulty breathing due to swelling of airway, hives along with itching, flushed or pale skin, weak and rapid pulse, dangerously low blood pressure, nausea/vomiting or diarrhea, dizziness or fainting.

An anaphylactic event requires emergent medical treatment, and delay of treatment may result in death. People with severe food allergies are usually prescribed and “epi” epinephrine pen that they carry around in case they consume or come in contact with their allergen by accident.

With a true allergy, the offending food needs to be avoided completely, especially in young children. Food allergies are common in the first years of life. With every repeated exposure to the offending food, the immune system becomes better in attacking that allergen, which means the response will become more and more intense each time the body is expose to the allergen. Children usually outgrow their allergies by 4 or 5 years of age. However, repeat exposure may prevent or delay the time to outgrow the allergy.

Food intolerance, on the other hand, usually does not involve the immune system, and reaction also comes on a lot slower – usually after two hours of ingestion of food, and up to 48 hours – and more subtle presentation. The individual usually is able to tolerate a small amount of the offending foods without much adverse effect.

Symptoms of food intolerance are generally less serious, less obvious and appear very subtly and slowly. That’s why that trouble food is seldom identified. Some common signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, asthma, eczema (atopic dermatitis), etc. Food intolerances may also result in behavioral symptoms frequently seen in ADHD and autism.

Causes of Food Intolerance

There are many causes of food intolerance or food allergy. There may be a lack of enzymes to fully and efficiently digest a nutrient, as in lactose intolerance, where the body does not produce enough lactase (enzyme that breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose). People frequent thought they are allergy to milk. If you are allergy to milk, you cannot have any diary product at all – milk, cheese, yogurt, and anything made with or contains dairy ingredient. If you are lactose intolerant, on the other hand, you can tolerate small amount of milk with your morning cereal or coffee, enjoy yogurt, cheese, or ice cream without problem. But you cannot tolerate drinking a lot of milk by itself.

Your child may be sensitive to food additives, such as preservatives, food coloring, etc, which is basis of the Feingold diet, introduced by Dr. Benjamin Feingold in 1975 to treat children with ADHD. Autoimmune conditions, such as Celiac disease, may trigger adverse reaction to foods.

Milk protein allergy, common in infants and young children, may cause projectile vomiting, constipation, blood in stool and failure to thrive in young children.

FOOD ALLERGY VS FOOD INTOLERANCE

Food Allergy (IgE) – Immediate Response

1. Usually only allergic to one to two offending foods.

2. Only trace amounts of offending food is enough to trigger an immediate intense allergic reaction.

3. Allergic reactions usually appear within minutes up to two hours of ingesting offending foods.

4. Primarily affects multiple systems, such as the skin (hives, rashes, and eczema), respiratory (asthma, throat swelling, and runny nose) and digestive tract (vomiting, diarrhea or constipation).

5. More common in children, rare in adults. But we’re seeing more adults developing new allergies as they age.

6. Children tend to avoid these foods on their own. Addictive cravings and withdrawal symptoms are rare.

7. Offending food is self-diagnosed due to the immediate appearance of allergic reactions.

8. A few food allergy may not be outgrown, especially peanut allergy, which is the more fatal allergy.

Food Intolerance (IgG) – Delayed Response

1. More food may be involved.

2. Accumulation of the offending foods over a period of time to trigger a reaction.

3. Reaction usually appears at least two hours after ingesting offending food, and up to 24-48 hours

4. The tissue organ affected depends on the cause of food intolerance.

5. Very common in both young children and adults.

6. Addictive craving and withdrawal symptoms are common.

7. The offending food is difficult to identify due to involvement of multiple foods and delayed onset of symptoms.

8. Allergic foods are frequently favorite eaten foods in larger amounts, such as milk and wheat.

9. The food intolerance may be resolved after three to six months of complete elimination.

FOOD ALLERGY AND CHILDREN WITH ADHD

So now we know your child most likely have food intolerance and not food allergy. This explains why the food allergy test usually comes back clean. The allergy tests that your pediatrician use – RadioAllergoSorbent Testing (RAST) and skin prick – only identify allergic reaction caused by the immunoglobulin E (IgE). Remember, the reactions we see in food intolerance do not involve the immune system, thus, RAST and skin prick will pick up nothing.

The focus of food allergy has always been on the physical manifestations. We frequently forget about that fact that the intestine is our biggest immune organ, blocking all kinds of foreign substances from entering our body. However, when our body is reacting to certain foods or chemicals in the foods we eat, and is showing associated GI symptoms, that means the GI tract is being attack. Chronic exposures to these insults may weaken the gut barrier that is supposed to be selective. Over time, this lead to leaky gut, where the intestine being so permeable and porous that it is allowed more foreign substances and semi-digested protein to enter the blood steam.

This feeds into a vicious cycle of offending food irritating the intestinal wall, the intestinal become porous and allowing undigested food particles (from poor digestion) into the blood stream, triggering allergic reaction. Along with all these, the undigested food, especially carbohydrates, creates an ideal environment for the yeast and bad bacterial to thrive, making the intestinal more susceptible to insults.

The best we have is observation and keeping a food and behavior log. Sometimes you maybe able to pinpoint a few food that your child reacts to. Some parents would swear that every time their child eats or drinks anything with red coloring, will act up after. You’ll probably notice when your child’s eczema worsens with eating dairy products. Or your child starts acting silly and not able to focus after eating a lot of wheat product.

There is another interesting point to make – many children with ADHD or autism, crave foods that they are intolerant to, such as dairy and gluten. They are the ones who are usually big milk drinker and eats mainly bread and crackers, and love mac n’ cheese.

Get this home food sensitivity test kit and test your reaction to 96 common food allergens

SPARK




The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.

In SPARK, John Ratey, MD embarks upon a fascinating journey through the mind-body connection, illustrating that exercise is truly our best defense against everything from depression to ADHD to addiction to menopause to Alzheimer’s.

Filled with amazing case studies (such as the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, Illinois, that has put the local school district of 19,000 kids first in the world of science test scores), SPARK is the first book to explore comprehensively the connection between exercise and the brain. It will change forever the way you think about your morning run.

Get started with SPARK now…





Alpha Lipoic Acid and ADHD

Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant found naturally in both animals and plants. Unlike other antioxidants, ie vitamin C (water-soluble) and vitamin E (fat-soluble), it is able to function in both aqueous (water) and fat environment.

Another interesting fact is that it has the potential to reactivate other antioxidants, such as vitamin C or vitamin E, after they have scavenged free radicals, and render themselves inactive.

Alpha lipoic acid plays an important role in the detoxification system. It is the precursor to L-cysteine and recycler of glutathione, which is another detoxification antioxidant that eliminated toxins from the body. It also has the ability to increase glutathione levels into the body.

How does it help with ADHD symptoms?

Symptoms of ADHD and other developmental disorders are thought to be the result of high levels of heavy metal acquired through either exposure to heavy metals or an inefficient detoxification system. The most common suspects of heavy metals are mercury and lead. Both are notorious for their detrimental neurotoxicity on young developing brains.

Small amount of mercury occurs naturally in the environment. However, with industrialization, factories are dumping of massive amounts of mercury-containing waste products in nearby lakes and rivers, and into our water supply and food chain. Mercury is also found in many processed food in the form of additives and preservatives.

Lead is found mostly in old buildings constructed with lead paint and lead pipes. As a result, children living in such buildings are inevitably exposed to it. Lead may also be found in toys made in foreign countries that do not have stringent safety regulations as the United States.

Alpha lipoic acid relieves ADHD symptoms through mitigation and chelation of heavy metal toxicity. Because it can work in both aqueous and fat medium, it can eliminate toxins from any body tissues. Many developmental disorders, such as ADHD, autism, apraxia, etc are suspected to be result of heavy metal toxicity, especially those found commonly in the mercury-containing immunization shots.

Food sources

  • Beets
  • Broccoli

• Brussel sprouts

  • Organ meats
  • Red meat

• Peas

• Spinach

• Tomatoes

Dosage for supplementation

Because alpha lipoic acid is not considered a vitamin, there is no recommended dose from the US Food and Drug Administration. No adverse effect has been reported on high doses of up to 600mg per day for adult. Dose of 50-100mg is good place to start.

As always, check with your child’s registered dietitian for proper dosage.

Possible side effects

• Nausea and vomiting, and headache with high doses or when given intravenously.

• May decrease effectiveness of chemotherapy as an antioxidant.

• May increase effectiveness of medication to control blood glucose.

As always consult a registered dietitian and/or physician who are familiar with dietary or nutritional supplements and working with children with developmental disorders. Avoid implementing trials of these supplements on your own. Some of these supplements may interact with your medication and some require closing monitoring of a pair of experienced eyes.

CHILDREN NUTRITION – BODY BUILDING ARCHITECT




Think of your child’s body like a building and you or your child is the architect. Your goal is to build a strong and tall building. To accomplish that goal you will need excellent building materials. In your case, that means GOOD NUTRITION. When we talk about good nutrition, it is not just any foods. We need good NUTRITIOUS foods.

Why? Because nutritious food has many vitamins and minerals that your child’s growing body needs. Think of these vitamins and minerals as workers at the construction site. Without these workers, the building materials would just sit there.

Vitamins and minerals along with adequate calories and protein are an integral part of children nutrition. Vitamins and minerals play very important roles in the thousands of chemical reactions in our body. Without these vitamins and minerals, many of the chemical reactions would not take place, and that many body functions would be affected. Some of the vitamin and mineral deficiencies results in malfunctions that contribute to some of the ADHD behaviors.

Children nutrition is different from adult in that we have to account for additional calories to promote growth and development. In a fully grown adult, we need just enough calories to sustain basic body functions, such as breathing, heart pumping, blood circulation, and our daily physical demands.

In children nutrition, we have to account for all of the above, and at the end of the day, we need to be sure there is left over to promote growth. To put this idea into perspective: an average healthy adult needs between 20-30 calories per kg of body weight daily. On the other hand, a newborn baby needs 100 calories per kg of body weight per day to sustain and grow. You see the different between adult and children nutrition?

WHAT ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS? CAN I JUST TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN?

The answer is “yes” and “no”.

Certainly you can just take a multivitamin to make up for what you’re missing from your diet. However, you might still be missing out on many awesome antioxidants that scientists have yet to discover. The multivitamin pill only has the vitamins and minerals that scientists know of NOW. Bottom line is there are more benefits in eating the fruits and vegetables than to get those vitamins and minerals.

A diet consists mainly of processed foods not only robs you of the precious vitamins and minerals your body craves, it also fills you body with toxic chemicals, pesticides, hormones, preservatives – things that your body has to work hard to get rid of. In doing so, your body most likely will have used up most of the good stuff you get from your vitamin pill. So you’ll still end up behind.

There will always be room for supplementation since you’re looking for an alternative ADHD treatment. Many studies have shown that children with ADHD have a few nutrient deficiencies, such as iron, zinc, magnesium, etc. This is even more so in children who are on ADHD medications, which are notorious for suppressing appetite and causing stunt growth.

Children with ADHD tend to be somewhat underweight because many of them cannot even focus enough to finish a decent meal. And some are just so hyposensitive that the hunger sense does not even bother them. When you add the ADHD medication to these, you will have a child who is at risk for malnutrition.

CHILDREN NUTRITION – IS MY CHILD MALNOURISHED?

I’m pretty sure most parents are familiar with how the growth chart looks like. To determine your child nutrition status, you need to look at your child’s growth over a period of time. In normal growth, both height and weight, should follow or parallel one of the percentile lines. A child is considered “failure to thrive” when the weight drops more than 2 percentile lines, such as going from above 50th percentile to less than 10th percentile. Stunt growth is when a child stops growing in height.

In the early stage of malnutrition, we will see the weight to drop first. As the condition worsens, height is the next parameter being compromised. If the malnutrition is not corrected, eventually the head circumference will be affected too. And at this point development will be delayed since brain growth and development is being delayed due to lack of nutrition.

Growth charts are frequently used in children nutrition to determine growth rate. Use this interactive growth chart to determine your child’s growth percentile.

WHAT DO I DO WITH THE PERCENTILES NOW?

Frequently children with ADHD have a much higher percentile for height than weight. It basically means that the child is a bit too skinny for their height. The 50th percentile line is the median. Of course, we know every child is different.

HOW MUCH SHOULD MY CHILD WEIGHT THEN?

To answer this question, you need to know your child’s current height. You need to get to the correct growth chart for your child’s gender and age group. Find your child’s height on the chart. Then move along the line horizontally until you reach the 50th percentile line. From here you can determine your child’s “height age” by going up vertically up to the age legend.

For instance, your child’s height is 80cm. We’ll be using the Girls Birth to 36 months chart. Look for 80cm on the left hand side, then move horizontally across until you hit the darker 50th percentile line. So at 80cm, your child’s height age is 18 months. This means your child’s height is that of a 18 month old. If you look at the median weight at 18 months on the chart, you will find the weight that your child should be, which, in this case, 11kg.

Related article: How Much Calories Does My Child Need?

INCREASE CHILDREN NUTRITION INTAKE

If your children need to gain weight because he or she is too skinny, there are different ways to accomplish this. By forcing your child to eat more is not one of them. The simplest and easiest thing to do is just adding oil, butter, margarine and anything fattening to everything that your child eats.

If your child is on a dairy-free diet, you can use oil (any vegetable oil) and coconut cream to add extra calories. Don’t worry about the extra fat your child is getting. If he or she is underweight, you know your child hasn’t been getting enough calories. Plus the fat will be used by the body for energy, saving the protein in the body for more important task, such as growth.

The oil that I recommend the most is flaxseed oil. It is a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a major component of the brain tissue.

There are many children nutritional beverages available that you can add to your child’s diet as a supplemental source of calories and protein. Some common ones are Pediasure and Carnation Instant Breakfast. They both contain milk, but Pediasure is lactose-free and also gluten-free. For children on dairy-free diet, you may create your own fruit smoothies with a plant-based protein powder, such as soy or sprout protein powder.

If your child is on a gluten-/casein-free diet, you may try Vega Smoothie, which is dairy- and soy-free. One nice thing about Vega Smoothie is that it’s not just a simple protein smoothie, it also contains a blend of antioxidants and probiotics. Another product you can try is EO28 Splash and Neocate Jr from Nutricia, and Elecare Jr from Abbott Ross. These are all amino-acid based formula, which means the protein are broken down to their tiniest unrecognizable form. These formula are made specifically for children with multiple food allergies and severe gastrointestinal problems. They are the hypoallergenic version of Pediasure.

With improved nutritional status, you may see some improvement in your child’s ADHD behaviors. Just think of the many times that your brain feels foggy because you did not have breakfast in the morning. Our brain cannot function well on empty stomach, just as a car cannot operate with an empty gas tank. Make sure your child has a good breakfast daily to start the day.

Here is one of my recipe analysis tool that allows you to determine the nutrient content of your favorite homemade recipes.

RELATED ARTICLE: Kids Eat Right & Thrive

 

 




ADHD Supplements

Dietary or nutritional supplements are gaining popularity as alternative ADHD treatment, especially nowadays when parents are more aware of the unpleasant side effects of ADHD medications. Furthermore dietary supplements are a lot more natural and cause minimal side effects. Many ADHD supplements are substances that our body already produces and/or obtain from food in the general food supply.

“Supplements”, as the word implies,”supplement” what is inadequate.

Children with ADHD tend to have many nutrient deficiencies, or higher nutrient needs than children without ADHD. Thus, the goal of using ADHD supplements is to support your child’s body with nutrients that are inadequate.

There are many reasons why a child needs dietary supplementation. Your child may not be consuming adequate amount of nutrients from their diet, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Your child may have difficulty digesting and absorbing nutrients. Your child’s body can have a higher demand for the nutrients, such as sulfate for detoxification. Or there may be sluggish metabolic pathways in the body that needs an extra boost of certain nutrients to get these pathways up to speed.

Probiotics and fish oil are the most frequently used alternative ADHD treatments. Many children with ADHD have intestinal issues, such frequent abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and even food allergies. These symptoms are the result of yeast or candida overgrowth due to antibiotic treatment, formula feeding as infant, etc. Probiotics help to repopulate the intestines with beneficial bacteria, improving gut integrity and nutrient absorption.

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are essential structural components of the developing brain. It is found that children with ADHD have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids, likely due to poor dietary choices.

L-carnitine not to be confused with CARNOSINE is another substance that tends to run low in children with ADHD. It helps with transporting long-chain fatty acids into mitochondrial for energy production, and may play a role in the production of acetylcholine and possibly dopamine. Both are important brain chemicals.

Then we also have other ADHD supplements that are detoxification superstars, such as alpha lipoic acid, carnosine, glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, selenium, trimethylglycine (TMG) and vitamin C.

Alpha lipoic acid helps with chelation of toxic heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, etc. Carnosine is also a chelating agent for toxic heavy metals, and it also prevents overstimulation of the NMDA-receptor by aspartate (in artificial sweeteners) and glutamate (in MSG). Carnosine, as a strong antioxidant, also helps with reducing the oxidative stress frequently seen in children with ADHD or autism. Glutathione is another detox superstar for detoxifying many environmental toxins and heavy metals. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is another heavy metal chelating agent. Its function is similar to glutathione as NAC is eventually converted to glutathione in the body.

Children with ADHD are found to have mineral deficiencies. This is another area where ADHD supplements may be helpful. Common mineral deficiencies noted in children with ADHD are calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium.

If your child’s diet consists of mostly processed foods, such as chicken nugget, pizza, hot dogs, chances are your child has a few nutrient deficiencies. Many nutrients, such as precious minerals and vitamins are stripped off from the food during processing. As if the processing is not enough to kill the food, food manufacturers add preservatives, artificial flavorings, food colorings. All of these additives to make the food more appealing, but more nutritious. Not to mention that these additives also add to the already hectic workload of the body’s detoxification system.

Vitamins and minerals that are needed in almost all biochemical reactions in the body for generating energy and building materials. Unfortunately, our body has to rely on outside sources for these nutrients. The word “vitamin” means “for life”. Our body cannot make many of these vitamins. And minerals are hard to come by. Minerals are found everywhere on earth, especially in dirt where plants grow. Thus, the best food sources of minerals are fruits and vegetables, except for iron. The heme form of iron is animal products is the easier to absorb, and thus the best source. In order for our mind and body to function well, we need all body systems to be performing their jobs.

For the most part, we know how most of these supplements work and which pathways and chemical reactions they are involved in. However, individual reactions vary widely. This is why it is important to consult a registered dietitian who is experienced and knowledgeable in ADHD supplements.

Just a reminder. Even though many of the supplements discussed here are substances made naturally in our body and/or plants, it is still wise to seek medical advice before embarking on some of these supplements for your child. When using these supplements to treat a condition, the doses used are generally a lot higher than what is usually consumed through food alone. At very high doses, supplements condone therapeutic properties just like medication, and should be regard with same caution as any medication, especially if you are taking prescription medication as well.

Dietary and nutritional supplements are always a taboo in the medical field because there were hardly any supportive researches and studies. Of course, there are none because pharmaceutical companies do not make money promoting something they cannot patent.

However, more and more families are looking for alternative treatments that are safer and carry a lot less devastating side effects. You may be lucky to find a healthcare provider who is interested in alternative treatment to accompany you to embark on the exciting journey to improve your child’s behaviors.

I found this supplement on Amazon, which has a pretty variety of herbal supplements and vitamins proven to help with ADHD symptoms, and the review from people who’ve tried it seems promising…


Pycnogenol for ADHD Brain

Pycnogenol and Proanthocyanidins

Most people probably have not heard of pycnogenol. But I’m sure you have heard of the heart health benefit of red wine. “Ahhh”. But, wait a minute. It’s not that simple.

Let me back up a little.

Pycnogenol is not the substance or chemical in red wine that is linked to lower cardiac disease risk. In fact, it is a US registered trademark of the maritime pine tree bark extract from France.

So, how are pycnogenol and red wine related?

Simple. The active ingredient in pycnogenol is proanthocyanidins, also known as OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins). The same flavonoids found in red wine. It is proanthocyanidins in red wine that helps to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and varicose veins.

Proanthocyanidins are also found in many other plants beside maritime pine bark. It can be found in apples, cinnamon, aronia fruit, cocoa beans, grape seed, grape skin and red wines. However, bilberry, cranberry, black currant, green tea, black tea, and other plants also contain these flavonoids. Cocoa beans contain the highest concentrations.

RELATED ARTICLE: Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Proanthocyanidins’ antioxidant effects are 20 times more potent than Vitamin C and 50 times more potent than Vitamin E.

Proanthocyanidins found in French maritime pine bark (or pycnogenol) and grape seed extract work directly to strengthen the blood vessel walls to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to the tissues.

In children with ADHD, this mean better blood flow and oxygen supply to the ADHD brain, which is thought to have a poor blood flow.

See also: Gingko biloba and Ginseng

It can potentially stimulate the immune system to help with detoxification, which is an area that children with ADHD needed assistance with. As an antioxidant, pycnogenol reduces oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals from the environment. These free radicals damage cells and can contribute to many diseases.

OTHER USES

Pycnogenol is also used for treating circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, painful menstrual periods, erectile dysfunction (ED), and retinopathy.

Get high quality Pycnogenol here…