The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently surveyed 73,000 children and found one in 10 has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is a 22% increase since 2003. Research has shown that toxic and deficient lifestyle patterns are the chief contributing factor for this disorder. Natural lifestyle solutions can prevent and reverse ADHD.
Many researchers consider chronic ADHD symptoms a sign of mild-moderate brain damage. When regions of the brain are chronically inflamed it signals the primitive regions of the brain to be on overdrive. This inhibits frontal lobe function which is the region responsible for concentration and emotional stability. The primitive regions on overdrive include the reticular activating system and limbic system. When this primitive brain is imbalanced it leads to poor concentration and emotional outbursts.
ADHD is commonly caused by an inflammatory based diet and toxic food additives. These food additive chemicals are mild-moderately neurotoxic. They also have a strong synergistic affect when combined with sugars such as fructose. A recent Lancet study concluded that food dyes along with the preservative sodium benzoate (found in many soft drinks, fruit juices, & salad dressings) cause many children to become significantly more hyperactive and distractible. This study also found that food additives and dyes can do as much damage to children’s brains as lead in gasoline.
Digestive problems can also dramatically affect brain function and development. A common factor with ADHD is a weak intestinal system and food allergies. Often times a Candida infection is present and producing brain damaging toxic metabolites. It is wise to address the gut and allow it to heal by avoiding allergens and supplementing with high quality Probiotics.
The most common food allergens to avoid include all pasteurized dairy products and gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, kamut, & spelt. Soy products, some nuts, eggs, and heavy proteins are often not tolerated well. Other allergens include those of the nightshade family such as eggplant, tomatoes, & potatoes.
An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle are critical for full recovery from this condition. Anti-inflammatory foods help to modulate the immune system and give it a more accurate pair of eyes so as to not over-inflame when stimulated. To effectively de-inflame it is key to completely avoiding man-made foods, sugars, and food allergens as listed above. The long chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are critical for brain function.
Healthy movement patterns produce proprioception (movement information) which is a critical essential for healthy brain enhancing and neurodevelopmental patterns. Boosting proprioceptive input through good posture and spinal function is critical for healthy brain development. Regular chiropractic care along with spinal hygiene exercises are essential lifestyle factors for healthy neurological function.
Children, teenagers, and adults with ADHD symptoms do very well with a regular exercise program that incorporates core stability and functional balance training.Many hyperactive kids are naturally drawn to activities such as rebounding and jumping on a trampoline as well as balance sports such as skating, surfing and snowboarding. All of these dynamic balance based activities powerfully enhance proprioceptive input into the brain.
Other critical nutrients that are key for brain function include Vitamin D, Folic acid, Pyridoxine (B6), Vitamin B12, Zinc, CoQ10, and trace minerals. Vitamin D levels should be between 60-100 ng/ml. Boost Vitamin D naturally with 20-60 minutes of healthy sunlight everyday or 5,000-50,000 IU of emulsified vitamin D3 daily to get the levels where they should be. A raw, whole-food multi-vitamin that supplies ample amounts of folic acid (400 mcg), B6 (4mg), B12(100 mcg), Zinc (15 mg), trace minerals, & CoQ10 (500 mcg) should be consumed daily.