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.

Meditation Increases Focus & Concentration in Children




You may look at meditation as a form of “mental exercise” that alters the level of consciousness of your by mind bringing your mind inward into your inner self.

Whatever that means…basically, it means shutting down the outside and stay inside, if you understand what I mean.

To me, being in a meditative state is like being in my own “Anna’s in the Wonderland”. You’ll kind of in between being awake and asleep.

It’s abstract…you have to try it to understand.

The practice of meditation has been around for over two thousand years, originating in countries in Southeast Asia. It has always been associated with religious rituals.

It is, in some ways, like prayers or religious chants, except that it has no religious boundaries. Anyone can practice this mental art form regardless of faith or belief.

The goal is to redirect one’s attention toward one’s inner self. It is a very spiritual and personal experience. It is a very unusual and mind-changing experience. Its experience is almost like a paradox – you’re supposed to not focus on anything, but the experience itself increases your awareness of your universe, which all of us are connected to. If you have not meditate before, I highly recommend that you try it.

I remember one time I was meditating after a group yoga lesson. It was only 10 minutes meditation at the end. My father has just passed away a few months early. All of the sudden I felt a very strong feeling that I missed my father, and felt this overwhelming sadness. Tears started pouring from my eyes and I just could not stop crying. It was a very strange feeling. It seemed like the meditating somehow allow my mind to finally relax and let the bottled emotions escaped.

It has many physiological benefits, and increasing focus and concentration is one of them. Thousands of researches and studies have shown the benefit of meditation and its effects on metabolism, blood pressure, brain activation, and other bodily processes. Scientists are interested in exploring its mechanism and benefits. However, after years of scientific studies we still have no knowledge of the exact mechanism of how the practice condones all these physiological benefits.

The most fascinating thing is that meditation can alter brain waves and brain activities. Now that we know our brain is capable of remodeling or rewiring itself throughout life.

It is a very calming and refreshing experience. Many description of meditation involves some kind of mental engagement that requires a lot of focus and concentration. And focus and concentration is what many children with ADHD are lacking. However, it does not mean meditation is impossible.

Start by looking at it as “quiet time”. Even if your child can’t sit with their eyes close for 5 minutes. Have them start by being quiet for 5 minutes, not making any noise or big movements. They can play with their stuffed animals, draw, or whatever they want. You can also play some soothing music in the background.

You can also do the “quiet time” right before bed. Snuggle with your child, read a story and kiss him or her good night. Then turn off the lights. Some children have difficulty falling asleep. Be firm and tell your child he or she has to stay in the dark room and not make noise. OK night light is allowed. Most children will eventually fall asleep.

 

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If your child has difficulty with falling asleep at night, you might want to look into Epsom salt bath and/or melatonin at bedtime. Both of these can help children with ADHD to wind down and be ready for bed.

The Epsom salt bath can help calm the body, and the sulfate in Epsom salt helps to improve the body’s detoxification system. Melatonin is a natural sleeping aid. It is suspected that children with ADHD have a natural tendency to not produce enough melatonin at night, when they need it most to fall asleep.

When we first started trying meditation, my daughter did not like it. Just the thought of sitting down and doing nothing for 5 minutes sounds like torture to her. She was 10 years old, so it is still quite easy to persuade her to do it. She would set her own timer on her watch, which gives her some feeling of control. We try to do it everyday, but of course it’s hit or miss.

After meditating several times, my daughter did acknowledge some benefits, such as feeling calmness, refreshed, and increased alertness which helps to clear her mind for mentally-demanding tasks. Now she does not fight me as much if I ask her to meditate before she tackles her homework. Yet, 5 minutes is still what she is up for.

For starter, aim for five minutes or less, something that you know your child can easily handle. Be sure to make it fun, otherwise, they are not going to do it again. I used to snuggle with my daughter in her bed at bedtime, then I would let her put one of her favorite stuffed animal on her belly while she is lying on her back.

I would ask her to take deep breaths until she sees her stuffed animal rises and falls on her belly. This helps to teach her the breathing part of the practice. The trick is taking long deep breaths that fill up the belly. Slowly you can add the counting from 1-10 to make the breaths longer.




Calm and Relax…Chamomile Tea




We are all familiar with chamomile as a bedtime tea to relax you so you can fall asleep faster. This same property of camomile as a sleeping aid is also beneficial in children and/or adult with ADHD. It not only helps with the sleep problem frequently seen in children with ADHD, but the anxiety as well.

As it turns out camomile has been used thousands of years by many different cultures as medicine. Its use can be dated back to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. It has been used, both orally and topically, to treat many conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, colds, sore throats, abscesses, gum inflammation (gingivitis), psoriasis, acne, eczema, minor burns, stomach ulcers, diaper rash, colic, and chickenpox. However, chamomile today is more well-known for its calming effects.

There are two common types of camomile – German chamomile and Roman (or English) camomile. German camomile is the more commonly used type. Although they belong to different species, they are used to treat the same health problems. They are both used to calm the nerves, soothe gastrointestinal problems, relieve muscle spasms, and soothe skin irritation and mild skin infections.

There are not many studies on camomile whether it works to treat these conditions. Therefore, many of the uses and benefits of camomile were passed down by generations of uses. Animal studies have shown that German camomile reduces inflammation, speeds wound healing, reduces muscle spasms, and serves as a mild sedative to help with sleep.

Camomile contains a flavonoid called chrysin, the same active substance found in passion flower that provides its calming effects. Chrysin has been shown to reduce anxiety and is believed to be a good sleeping aid. There is some evidence that suggests camomile is an effective treatment for anxiety. Chamomile capsules have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety in people with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

HOW TO USE CHAMOMILE

Camomile is a very versatile herbs, that you can use in any form, not just for drinking. The while and yellow flower may be dried and made into teas or capsules or extracts or even topical ointment.

* Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 – 3 heaping Tbs. (2 – 4 g) of dried herb, steep 10 – 15 minutes. Drink 3 – 4 times a day between meals.

* Tincture (1:5, 45% alcohol): 30 – 60 drops of tincture 3 times per day in hot water.

* Capsules: 300 – 400 mg taken 3 times per day.

Children under 5 should not take more than half a cup of tea per day. When using camomile in young children under 18, I suggest using half of the adult dose. To relieve colic: 1 – 2 oz. of tea per day. Your doctor may recommend other preparations.

As some of you maybe thinking – sounds good but my child would not drink the tea. My experience is make lemonade. Kids love lemonade. Make it with honey and fresh squeezed lemon. Have your child help with the lemon squeezing. They’ll love it.

Capsules are good options too. However, I prefer the more natural approach with camomile as it is readily available as a beverage. We need to teach our children the joy of wholesome food and beverage. Not everything should come in a processed form.

CAUTION

German camomile is considered generally safe. However, camomile may make asthma worse, so people with asthma should not take it. If you are allergic to asters, daisies, chrysanthemums, or ragweed, you may also be allergic to camomile.

Pregnant women should avoid chamomile because of the risk of miscarriage. Camomile may have estrogen-like effects in the body, so women with a history of hormone-sensitive cancers, such as breast or uterine cancer, should ask their doctors before taking chamomile.

Too much camomile may cause vomiting. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after taking or drinking chamomile as it may also cause drowsiness.

Stop taking camomile at least 2 weeks before any surgical or dental procedures due to increased risk of bleeding.

OTHER USES

* Add 1/4 lb of dried flowers or add 5 – 10 drops of essential oil to a tub of water for a soothing bath for hemorrhoids, cuts, eczema, or insect bites.

* Add a few drops of essential oil of camomile to hot water (or use tea) and breathe in the steam as breathing treatment to calm a cough. * Gargle with cooled camomile tea as often as desire to sooth sore throat. You may also add 10 – 15 drops of German camomile liquid extract in about 3 ounces of warm water.




Stay Calm and Relax with Passion Flower




 

Passion flower was used traditionally in the Americas and later in Europe as a calming herb for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria. It is still used today to treat anxiety and insomnia.

It is a woody vine with flowers which reminded early pilgrims of the passion or suffering of Christ. The plant produces small fruit called granadilla or water lemon. The aerial parts of the plant are gathered during fruiting season and then dried for future processing.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

It is not known exactly how passionflower works, but it has been suggested that, chrysin, one of the flavonoids in passion flower, calms the nerves and reduce anxiety (one of the co-morbidity of ADHD) by increasing levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

GABA calms your nerves and makes you feel relaxed by suppressing the activities in parts of the brain. It is the main inhibiting neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and controls the excitability throughout the nervous system.

GABA is made the brain, but it does not cross the blood-brain barrier. It is made from glutamate in the metabolic pathway called the GABA shunt. The enzyme involved in this conversion is L-glutamic acid decarboxylase, and pyridoxal phosphate, the active form of vitamin B6 is the cofactor. The GABA shunt converts glutamate, the principal “excitatory” neurotransmitter, into the principal “inhibitory” neurotransmitter (GABA).

DOSAGE

Long-term use of passion flower may potentially cause fatigue and mental fogginess due to depression of central nervous system. Start with a low dose several times a day and increase as you learn how you respond to passionflower.

The following are general guidelines for use by adults. I strongly encourage you to speak to your primary care provider for more specific recommendations:

* Tea: Steep 0.5 – 2 g (about 1 tsp.) of dried herb in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes; strain and cool.

For anxiety, drink 3 – 4 cups per day.

For insomnia, drink one cup an hour before going to bed.

* Extracts (1:1 in 25% alcohol): 10 – 20 drops, 2-3 times a day

* Tincture (1:5 in 45% alcohol): 10 – 45 drops, 2-3 times a day

No studies have examined the effects of passionflower in children, so do not give passionflower to a child without a doctor’s supervision. Adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child’s weight.

CAUTION

Passionflower is generally considered to be safe when used in moderation. However, it should not be used by pregnant women or children under the age of two due to lack of studies/research in these population. Do not take passion flower if you are already taking prescription medication for anxiety or depression, as excessive sleepiness has been reported. Please consult your primary care physician before using passionflower.

Get your passion flower extract here…




Stay Calm and Chill with Zinc




Zinc (chemical symbol Zn) is an important nutrient in the human body because of its role in many different cellular functions. It binds with a wide variety of molecular compound to form complexes, and participates in the metabolism of RNA and DNA, signal transduction, and gene expression. It also regulates cellular self-destruction. It is estimated that about 10% of human proteins are bound to zinc.

It helps with wound healing. It is also a very effective antimicrobial agent even at low concentrations. Zn supplementation has been shown to improve symptoms of gastroenteritis by direct antimicrobial action on the gastrointestinal tract.

The human body has about 2-4 grams of Zn distributed in the brain, muscles, bones, kidneys, liver with majority of it in the prostate and eyes.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF Zn DEFICIENCY

Zinc deficiency may result in poor or loss of appetite, diarrhea, impaired immune function, poor or retardation of growth, delayed sexual maturation, eye or skin lesions, delayed wound healing, taste abnormalities, and mental lethargy. These signs and symptoms are not specific and maybe associated with other health conditions. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice if your child is showing any of the above signs and symptoms.

Copper and Zn compete to be absorbed in the gut. Poor gut function or in the case of leaky gut, more copper is being absorbed, thus, limiting Zn absorption. This resulting Zn deficiency may limit the body’s ability to eliminate toxic metals, as Zn is a part of the metallothionenin detoxifies toxic metals in the body.

HOW DOES Zn WORK AS PART OF ADHD TREATMENT?

In a recent study, children treated with a daily dose of 40mg of Zn as Zn sulfate for 12 weeks showed significant improvement in scores on hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and impaired socialization scales than the children given placebo, while free fatty acids level increased as well.

In the brain, Zn is stored in the synaptic vesicles of the glutamatergic neurons, modulating brain excitability and synaptic plasticity, which means it helps with learning. However, Zn can also act as a neurotoxin. This conflicting role of Zn in the brain suggests zinc homeostasis is important in the function of the brain and central nervous system.

WHEN TO SUPPLEMENT?

It is difficult to assess Zn level in the body as most blood tests are inaccurate. However, if your child has frequent or chronic diarrhea, chances are he and she is losing Zn from the diarrhea. You might try a Zn supplement of up to 20mg per day. I have used Zn lozenges for my daughter, who is super picky and sensitive with taste and texture. The zinc lozenges provide about 20mg of Zn per tablet. This is a great start.

Besides replacing Zn loss during diarrhea, Zn also helps with improving appetite by stimulating the taste buds. This is quite interesting when I started giving my daughter the Zn lozenges. She loves it initially. It is lemon-flavored. But after couple of weeks, she started complaining of a metal flavor of the lozenges. So when the Zn level has improved, it shows by having a metallic flavor. So now we stopped giving her the Zn lozenges, and she appetite is still great.




Feingold Diet for ADHD




Feingold Diet for ADHD

It is interesting that the Feingold Diet is the diet that is specifically targeted toward ADHD symptoms and it’s been around since the 1970’s. However, it is also the most ignored diet for ADHD getting a lot less attention than the fancier Body Ecology diet or Specific Carbohydrate diets.

But the Feingold diet waits patiently to be discovered. Besides, many of the principles of this diet is being incorporated in many more popular elimination diets today.

The diet was introduced by Dr. Benjamin Feingold in 1970’s. Dr. Feingold discovered that by eliminating certain food additives, such as food colorings, preservatives, etc many of his patient’s behaviors also improved. He noticed and improvement in hyperactivity, impulsivity, compulsive actions, attention span, cognitive and perceptual disturbances, skin problems/hives, and sleep problems.

Did I mention that Dr. Feingold is an allergist? He was not a psychiatrist. He made this discovery by accident when he was treating his patients for food sensitivities.

The Feingold diet has 2 phases. During the first phase, chemical additives in food and foods containing salicylates are eliminated. Salicylates occur naturally in many plants as a natural pesticide. Salicylates are also found in man-made chemicals used in artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives and aspartame. In the second phase, that’s when you’ll re-introduce food with salicylates, but not the chemicals.

Phase 1

The Feingold diet elimination list:

Artificial food colorings – Sunset yellow (E110) (FD&C; Yellow #6), Carmoisine (E122) – Red coloring in jellies, Tartrazine (E102) (FD&C; Yellow #5), Ponceau 4R (E124), Quinoline yellow (E104), and Allura red AC (E129) (FD&C; Red #40). These food colorings are banned in parts of Europe 4 years ago. Unfortunately, FDA is the United States still considered these as safe food ingredients.

Artificial flavoring – examples are imitation vanilla flavoring or “vanillin” might originate from the waste product of paper mills.

Artificial preservatives – BHA, BHT, TBHQ, sodium benzoate – made from petroleum.

Artificial sweeteners – only aspartame is eliminated.

Corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and corn sugar – in soft drinks and other sweetened foods

MSG (monosodium glutamate, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate) and HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein, which contains some glutamate)

Sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate (in luncheon or cured meats) – affects brain development in young children.

Calcium propionate (in baked goods)

Salicylate-containing foods: almonds, apples, apricots, berries, cherries, cloves, coffee, cucumbers, currants, grapes, nectarines, wintergreen oil, oranges, peaches, peppers (bell and chili), pickles, plums, prunes, raisins, tangerines, tea and tomatoes.

Phase II

After elimination of most of the items in Phase I for several week, AND with some noticeable improvement, you may embark on Phase II.

In phase two, foods containing salicylates may be added back one at a time. Keep a food journal to help keep track of all food and beverage intake, and any reactions to food. Children who are sensitive to salicylates response well to the elimination period with significant improvements in symptoms.

As with any ADHD treatment, there is an adjustment period. Don’t feel despair if you don’t see improvements right away. In some children, you may even see a period of regression, which means your child is responding to the treatment. So, be patient.

My Suggestion

While doing the Feingold diet, you should also add fish oil or omega-3 fatty acid in form of supplements. Start with 2,000mg and up to 4,000mg a day of fish oil. This should be enough to get in at least 500mg of DHA.

Yes, I know eating fish is a good way of adding omega-3 fatty acid. But the amount is usually not enough. And breaded fish sticks do not cut it.

Fish oil is one of those well-studies and well-researched nutrients. And obviously you’ve seen the explosion of fish oil supplements everywhere.

Recently, I am surprised by seeing many children with ADHD being “prescribed” a pharmaceutical grade fish oil manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline called Lovaza, which is an omega-3-acid ethyl ester. The reason I’m surprised is that Lovaza is approved for use to manage high blood fat level. But these psychiatrists are able to prescribe these for treating ADHD.




Parenting ADHD Children




Kids with ADHD often lose track of their things, have difficulty staying on top of homework and seem generally scattered when attending to chores or assigned tasks.

The impulsivity makes them little defiant devils. They know what to do but they don’t do what they know. They can get easily overstimulated and overreact to frustration or challenges.

Poor parents are completely lose and confused as to whether to be firm or be patient, while trying to strike the delicate balance of believing in your child’s abilities and protecting him from the pitfalls of ADHD.

Kids with ADHD may have “hair-trigger, fight-or-flight reactions to stress,” which can make the already challenging task of parenting even more so. Parent ADHD children is not that much more different than regular parenting, just more patience, persistence and consistency. Fortunately, there are many effective strategies and rewards.

Here are some strategies to answer some of questions you have about parenting ADHD children:

1. Stay calm and set limits on your own behavior.

First of all, it is important that parents stay calm. You can’t put out a fire by keeping pouring fuel in it. We have the tendency to over-react to our children unexplained tantrum or nonsense outburst. Remember, these kids just get frustrated easily. You just need to be patient with them to figure their frustration. It could be some very minute issue that can be easily fixed. So pay attention to yourself if you have a tendency to over-react.

Arguing with your child won’t get you anywhere. Try to understand his/her frustration, and then guide them toward a better solution.
The key is to support and patience, and let them know you’re there for them.

2. Create structure and routine, set limitations, and be patience.

Create structure. Use star charts for young children, calendars and planners for older ones, and set clear rules and routines. Structured routine helps the child to feel safe and he/she would know exactly what to expect, instead of fearing loss of control or the unknown.

Create a schedule for homework and playtime. Help your child understand and follow the schedule. Same for bed time routine – you take a bath, brush your teeth, use the potty the last time before bed, bedtime story, then lights out.

Set your time limit for bedtime story. I have a family where the parents told me they would spend over an hour reading bedtime story to their daughter at night, and they would both ended up falling asleep before their daughter falls asleep.

3. Help your kids to make wise choices and focus on his/her strengths.

Provide many opportunities for your child to respond and make decisions. Give your child two predetermined choices that steer him/her in the right direction. Basically, you already made the choices for them. But to your child, they feel they’re making the choice, and are more likely to go with the result.

For example, “Do you want to do your math or your science assignment next?” or “Before we can go, your room needs to be picked up. Do you want to start with the clothes on the bed or clear the top of your desk?”

Focus on your child’s resourcefulness, creativity and individuality. The same self-determination and stubborness that are driving us nuts today will serve your child right tomorrow. Picture him as a tireless entrepreneur, attorney, or doing any work he feels passionate about.

In my opinion, some children diagnosed with ADHD because they’re different. It’s not really because there’s something wrong with them mentally. Children with ADHD children are very creativity and intelligent children who learns and perceive the world differently, and we should honor and respect that difference.

It’s the parents’ responsibility to provide a nurturing environment to help your children thrive and succeed in his/her strengths and talents.

Think of yourself as a coach. Your job is to coach your child to successful socially, emotionally and academically. My only advice for your to patience, and a lot of love. Don’t get discouraged if you have to repeat yourself over and over again.

Sometimes I feel like pulling my hair out. But, at the same time, I’m glad that she has a strong personality, which will serve her well in the future.

Forget about the competition, and don’t compare your child to other children. ADHD children are sensitive to tension from competition. Encourage them to compete against themselves from yesterday.

4. Use reasonable consequences for rule-breaking. Tackle one issue at a time.

First of all, rules should be clear and understandable. Always write is down and all parties involved should agree to the rule.
I tape my daughter’s house rules and chores list to her bathroom mirror, so she sees it everyday, and if there’s argument later, we can always go back to the list.

Create and consistently enforce positive consequences for positive behaviors and negative consequences for negative behaviors.
Ask your child what should the reward/consequence be. This creates commitment from your child, and if they do break the rules, they’ll more likely abide by THEIR chosen consequences. On the same token, they’ll get exactly what they want if they demonstrated the desired behaviors.

Remember, not everything has to be fixed or perfect. You need to choose the best batter to fight. Some battles are just not worth the energy to deal with when you have other more important issues at hand. Don’t stress the small stuff.

5. Expect rule-breaking, and realize that your child isn’t misbehaving on purpose.

Children are programmed to break rules, with or without ADHD. That’s kids. Maybe it’s meant to be no rules?

When your child misbehave or break a rule, correct him/her right away the same way a police officer gives you a ticket. He doesn’t take it personally or groan or yell, “I can’t believe you did that again! Why do you do this to me?” Like the officer, be respectful, consistent, and matter-of-fact.

Parents in general subconsciously assume their children is misbehaving to get attention or to get the parents upset. In reality, children are very goal-oriented and do what they do with the hope of obtaining an outcome they seek, which may not necessarily be the same outcome that we wanted, such as avoiding homework, chores and bedtime.

Every time your child refuses to do what you asked them to do, ask them for a reason. Honor their independent thinking and consider what part of it you can compromise, but insist that your child respect your rules while respect her independent thinking and logic.

You’ll need more trials and exposure to consistent consequences with children with ADHD in order for them to learn. It’s not that they didn’t learn from the last time, but they’re constantly challenging you and hoping that you’ll give in to their demands. You have to be consistent and persistent with your discipline.

6. Advocate for your child when appropriate and avoid muting a headstrong child.

Certain accommodations might be necessary for your child because of his or her ADHD. However, you still want to encourage kids to cultivate their abilities.

Palladino gives an example of finding this tricky balance: “… stand up for his right for an accommodation like talking books, but encourage and expect him to learn to read fluently, giving him time, attention, a tutor, and most especially, your belief that he can.”

One of the mistakes parents can make is trying to turn a spirited, willful child into one that never questions authority and accepts all that is said ‘just because I said so’ as a parent.

Instead, he suggests that parents accept that some children will protest and talk back, and parents must set a limit that on the one hand realizes that children need at least some way to express their frustration, while still enforcing reasonable standards and rules.

7. Educate yourself about ADHD and attention.

Knowing how ADHD symptoms affect your child is essential. You might think that your child is being stubborn or behaving a certain way on purpose, but these actions may be symptoms of ADHD.

Kapalka suggests parents also educate themselves about ADHD’s causes and child development. (You can refer to books on ADHD or talk to a therapist who specializes in ADHD.)

The other important part is educating yourself about attention and learning when your child is at his or her peak of productivity. Knowing when your child can concentrate best helps you chunk assignments into manageable steps, allow breaks to decrease tension, alternate interesting and boring tasks, and keep his adrenaline-based brain chemicals pumping with a steady stream of just the right amount of stimulation.

8. Help your child adjust to change.

Children with ADHD have difficulty transitioning to a new task, or any new changes, especially if they’re hyper-focused on the present activity or are used to a certain routine.

It’s important for parents to understand this and give your child enough time to mentally process the upcoming changes. Help your child to identify the emotion and let them know it’s okay to feel that way. Kids behave badly when they are upset, sad or afraid.

This is important, unless you don’t mind dealing with a crying and whining child on supposedly fun family vacation, visit from guests or a new babysitter. Even small changes, such as transitioning to a new task or activity, can turn into an ordeal easily.

9. Cut yourself some slack and celebrate being a parent.

Raising a child who is impulsive and defiant is one of the most challenging tasks any person will ever attempt. Accept your child’s uniqueness and live with it. Celebrate that your child is special and talented in his/her own way.

Trust me, every family has there issue. Our’s maybe a difficult child. But do you really want to trade your special child for other people’s nastier issues?
We all love our children, and that’s all it counts. Let your child be him/herself. Make sure they’re well fed, have a safe and nurturing environment to thrive. Spend some time each day with your child with your full attention. Look them in the eyes, touch them lovingly and listen closely to what they have to tell you.

Among all those frustrations of parenting, don’t forget to celebrate being a parent. Many couples out there struggle to have their own child. And we’re all blessed here with our unique bundle of joy.

Every child is special…embrace their individuality.




Carnosine and ADHD




Carnosine is a dipeptide molecule composed of the amino acids, histidine and alanine. It is found in high concentrations in the skeletal muscle, heart muscle, skin, stomach, nerve tissue and brain. It is produced by the body naturally by the enzyme carnosine-synthetase.

How does it work?

As an antioxidant, it protects neurons (nerve cells) from free radical damages, especially ideal for autism, ADHD, seizures and Alzheimer’s disease. It also acts as neurotransmitter, chemical messenger in the nervous system.

Carnosine may be used to mitigate excessive activities and/or stimulation of the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors caused by excitotoxins such as aspartate in artificial sweeteners, and glutamate in monosodium glutamate (MSG) and its derivatives.

It is also a good chelating agent of heavy metals, which potentially cause toxicity resulting in behaviors seen in children with ADHD and/or autism. It is able to chelate copper, zinc and other heavy metals by binding to them, then removing them from the body.

Carnosine is well-known for its anti-aging property and is considered to be a longevity nutrient. It protects body cells against free radical damage as an antioxidant, inhibits glycation and reverses the damages.

Glycation or non-enzymatic glycosylation is the reaction between glucose molecules and protein or fat molecules, resulting in advanced glycating end-products (AGEs). Oxidative stresses, frequently seen in children with special needs, accelerate the production of AGEs.

AGEs interfere with molecular and cellular functions throughout the body, facilitating the aging process, resulting in an array of chronic diseases and conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, peripheral neuropathy, cataract formation and hearing loss.

Carnosine helps protect body cells from radiation damages, such as during cancer treatment and accidental radiation exposures by reversing the oxidative damages.

Athletes have long used carnosine to improve their performance. It enables heart muscles to contract more efficiently through enhanced calcium receptors in heart tissues

Dosage

100-200mg before breakfast and at lunch for children with ADHD.

Caution

Excessive intake may result in irritability, hyperactivity and insomnia.

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 any supplements on your own, especially when your child has other medical conditions and/or taking prescription medication. Even though many supplements are natural in a sense, but when taken in high doses, it has therapeutic effects as medication. Thus, supplements may sometimes interact with medications and some require close monitoring of a pair of experienced eyes.




How Magnesium Calms the ADHD Brain




Magnesium (chemical symbol Mg) is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body. It is essential in the proper functioning of the muscular and nervous system.

Mg is well-known for relaxing the mind through its role in neurotransmitter synthesis, such as serotonin. Serotonin plays significant role is calming the mind and provoking a sense of well-being. Low level of serotonin is associated with depression, mood swings and irritability.

Some signs and symptoms of Mg deficiency includes sensitivity to loud noises, insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, restlessness, panic attacks, salt craving, and both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Magnesium is needed to activate the enzyme, delta-6-desaturase, that converts dietary alpha-linolenic acids (ALA) into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main components of brain cell membranes. It is suggested that children, especially boys, has a deficiency in delta-6-desaturase, which leads to DHA deficiency frequently seen in children with ADHD. Supplementing with Mg may help faciliate conversion from ALA to DHA by increasing activity of delta-6-desaturase.

Magnesium calms the nerves by interfering with the release of acetylcholine (an excitatory neurotransmitter)at the neuromuscular synaptic junctions.

Mg also interferes with the release of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla, thus, calming the nervous system. Psychological reactions and/or environmental stressors, such as excessive noises, intense light, etc may increase blood catecholamine levels. Catecholamines, such as norepinephrine and adrenaline, are neurotransmitters responsible for the fight-or-flight response, by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels, getting the body into an excited state.

Magnesium is needed for the production of myelin sheaths that insulate the nerve cells in the nervous system. The myelin sheaths act in a similar manner as the plastic casing on electrical wires. This protective layer prevents nerve impulses from misfiring, which can result in seizures.

Mg activates glutamine synthetase, which is responsible for the combination of glutamate with ammonia to yield glutamine. Glutamine synthetase is present predominantly in the brain, kidneys, and liver.

In the brain, glutamine synthetase participates in the metabolic regulation of glutamate, the removal of brain ammonia, uptake and release of neurotransmitters. In the brain where glutamate is used as a neurotransmitter, glutamine synthetase is not subject to the same regulatory system as in kidneys and liver. Brain glutamine synthetase is found mainly in astrocytes, which plays important roles in regulating neurotransmitters and synaptic transimissions, and ion concentration in nerve cells, and maintaining maintaining the blood-brain-barrier.

Mg deficiency is associated with the impulsiveness and hyperactivity in ADHD more so than the inattentiveness. Lack of Mg is related to muscle spasms and over-excitability. However, the combination of vitamin B6 and Mg complement each other to tackle both the hyperactivity and inattentiveness of ADHD.

Mg and vitamin B6 has a co-dependent relationship. While treatment with Mg is most effective when combined with vitamin B6, which boosts absorption of magnesium into the cells, Mg is required for the proper functioning of alkaline phosphatase, which facilitates the absorption of vitamin B6 into body tissues.

Vitamin B6 is required in both the synthesis of serotonin from tryptophan and activation of kynurenase that breaks down by-product of tryptophan metabolism. Both vitamin B6 and magnesium are essential for the enzyme kynurenase to breaks down kynurenine, a waste product of tryptophan in the kynurenine pathway. Deficiency in vitamin B6 may result in a suboptimal functioning of kynurinase, resulting in high levels of kynurenine, which are associated with disturbed balance of brain chemicals, such as serotonin, gama-aminobutyric acid (GABA). An imbalance of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters, especially gama-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine, is associated with behaviors seen in ADHD and other cor-morbid conditions.

FOOD SOURCES

Mg is plentiful in green vegetables, cereal, grain, nuts, legumes, and chocolate. Food processing and cooking may deplete magnesium content. Typical western diet composed of mainly processed foods, which obviously is not able to supply the needed Mg. Furthermore, the metabolic stress from the foods further put the body’s detoxification system in overdrive trying to rid the body of the harmful substances in processed foods.

A diet high in fat, phosphate and calcium may reduce Mg absorption.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Oral Mg supplements are available in various salt preparations. Multivitamins and minerals generally contain Mg oxide, which is less bulky and inexpensive to manufacture. However, it is not soluble in water, which means it is poorly absorbed by the body. Mg hydroxide in milk of magnesia is another example of insoluble Mg salt.

Magnesium aspartate, chloride, lactate, citrate and glycinate are more soluble, thus, easily absorbed in the intestines. Magnesium taurinate, glycinate or elemental Mg is the preferred form that is less likely to cause diarrhea.

SUGGESTED DAILY DOSING

The typical dose for children is 200 mg of Mg and 10 to 20 mg of vitamin B6.

Age 3 years and under: 40-80mg

Age 4-6 years: 120mg

Age 7-10 years: 170mg

Adolescent and adult male: 270-400mg

Adolescent and adult female 280-300mg




5 HTP a.k.a. 5-hydroxytryptophan for ADHD




5 HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is a chemical that exists naturally in your body. The body makes 5-HTP naturally from tryptophan, an amino acid, from protein that you ingest. It is then converted into serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter in your body. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation.

How does 5-HTP help in ADHD?

5-HTP is used for treating many co-existing disorders of ADHD, such as sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), along with prescription drugs to treat seizure disorder and Parkinson's disease, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, binge eating associated with obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

How does it work?

5 HTP works by increasing the production of serotonin in the brain and the central nervous system. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Because 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain-barrier, it is the supplement of choice recommended by physicians to increase serotonin levels, as serotonin itself does not cross the blood-brain-barrier.

Related article: Treatment of attention de cit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation

Is 5 HTP Safe?

5-HTP is a natural substance in our body, thus, it is generally safe to use for short-term use for up to 12 weeks.

However, those with existing gastrointestinal problems should be cautious and speak to a physician, as there are reports of gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Avoid taking 5-HTP if you’re already taking antidepressants (such as an SSRI or MAOI) and/or medication that interfere with serotonin level in the body.

5-HTP has been known to increase suicidal ideation. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use 5-HTP.

What Should I Look For?

5-HTP is found in drug stores, health food stores and online. Make sure to look for pure 5-HTP or griffonia simplicifolia extract on the label. Avoid any additives, fillers, or binders. There have been reports of impurities and contaminants in 5-HTP supplements that cause eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS), which can be deadly. It is an acute illness that causes intense muscle soreness. The condition comes from impurities in some L-tryptophan or 5HTP supplements, but not the L-tryptophan or the 5-HTP themselves. Look for reputable brands and manufacturers.

Start with a low dose of 50mg, twice a day, and slowly increase up to 100mg twice a day over several weeks. Take it 20-30 minutes before meals. It may take a few weeks to really feel a difference; you should not take the supplement longer than 12 weeks.

Here is a list of medication that also increases the body’s serotonin level. You should not take 5-HTP if you’re on any of these medications.

Antidepressant drugs interacts with 5-HTP

Some of these medications for depression include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others. Taking 5HTP along with these medications for depression might increase serotonin too much and cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors interacts with 5-HTP

Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others. Taking 5-HTP with these medications used for depression might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Carbidopa (Lodosyn) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with carbidopa can increase the risk of serious side effects including rapid speech, anxiety, aggressiveness, and others.

Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take 5-HTP if you are taking dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others).

Meperidine (Demerol) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with meperidine (Demerol) might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Pentazocine (Talwin) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with pentazocine (Talwin) might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Tramadol (Ultram) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with tramadol (Ultram) might cause serious side effects including confusion, shivering, stiff muscles, and others.

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