Many people with ADD or ADHD are very intelligent, always thinking of new possibilities and ways to make things better. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Winston Churchill are classic examples, and there are dozens of others. In special schools for children with ADD/ADHD this point is stressed as a method of increasing self-esteem as the child struggles to cope with the problem. However, this is only a partial answer, at best. What must eventually be addressed are the underlying causes of ADD/ADHD. These causes are biological in origin.
The inability to get along in school is not necessarily the sign of a failure for life. Some people simply march to the beat of a different drum. Thomas Edison, for example, was said to be uneducable. He attended less than six months of formal schooling, but by doing things his own way, Edison became a great inventor. Unfortunately this is not the case with everyone who has ADD/ADHD. In many instances, the person with ADD/ADHD is unable to use his or her unique gifts or talents because the symptoms of ADD or ADHD get in the way.
Anyone can succeed, but there is no way to predict who that will be. Our prisons are full of people whose attempts at doing things differently were not so well received. Most prisoners say they had trouble getting along in school. It has been suggested that many of them may have suffered from undiagnosed cases of ADD or ADHD as children. The diagnosis may never have been made because of a lack of knowledge about the condition. ADD, ADHD, LD, school failure, drop out, newer and bigger prisons, escalating violence and crime rate amongst children -- what is the connection to health? Why do so many more people have ADD/ADHD now than ever before? Why are many people sick, tired, moody, irritable, and depressed?
To a great degree, the contributing and/or causative factors lie in our lifestyles -- our dietary and environmental exposures. Most of us know we could be eating better. We know that air and water quality cannot be taken for granted any longer. We know that these factors are affecting our health. And we know that we can change our ways if we want to. It is up to the grownups to make the necessary changes that will ensure clean air, nutritious food, and pure water for all the generations to follow. The children would do it if they could, but they can't -- not without our complete and immediate cooperation.
The following factors present a number of causes of ADD/ADHD and begin to point us in a positive direction concerning treatment.
1. Poor Nutrition
* intake of fresh foods is down
* soil is depleted of essential nutrients, therefore, fresh foods that we do eat, may have less nutritional value than we may think
* intake of highly processed foods containing additives, preservatives, and artificial chemical colorings and flavorings is up -- way up
* vitamin, mineral, enzyme, amino acid, neurotransmitter, and essential fatty acid deficiencies growing worse with each generation
2. Environmental contaminants
* insecticide and pesticide residues in our food and water
* heavy metal contamination
* chemical cleaners
* chemical building and decorating products
* poor quality drinking water
* indoor air pollution at home, at school, and at the office
3. Nervous system allergies to food and/or environmental factors
* some can begin in utero
* may go undetected for years
The true nature of the condition is often seriously misdiagnosed, often in psychological or psychiatric terms. Once this happens, the condition is from then on inappropriately managed (until appropriate intervention takes place). Symptoms are treated, covered, and suppressed with drugs, but the causes are not identified or corrected, or eliminated.
4. Increased and repeated use of antibiotics in babies and young children
* kills beneficial intestinal bacteria
* promotes overgrowth of harmful yeast organisms (candida) causing many physical and mental symptoms, some of which, are ADD/ADHD
5. Spinal column misalignments and/or craniosacral system obstructions
* The first cervical vertebra of the spine is often found to be out of alignment in those suffering from ADD/ADHD. In some cases this misalignment occurs at birth.
* The craniosacral system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, the bones of the skull and spinal cord, and the protective sheathe that envelops and bathes the brain and spinal cord in a special fluid. An obstruction in this system may complicate or cause ADD/ADHD.
In addition, our TV/Technology culture may enable the behavior of ADD/ADHD due to:
* mesmerizing, rapid sequence entertainment -- does not require a person to focus
* violent programming
* electromagnetic stress -- due to harmful radiation from the high voltage in the TV tube, especially color sets
With all of these possible contributing factors and others not listed or unknown, it is easy to see why the problem can be so frustrating. It may be even more so for those who are unaware of the multiple causes of ADD/ADHD.
This article is excerpted from the book:
The A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. Diet!, ©1997,
by Rachel Bell and Dr. Howard Peiper.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Safe Goods. www.safegoodspub.com
About the Authors
Dr. Peiper is a nationally recognized expert in the holistic counseling field. His credentials extend over thirty years and include those of naturopath, optometrist, author, lecturer, magazine consultant, radio personality and host of a television show, Partners in Healing. He is the co-author of numerous books including A.D.D., The Natural Approach, Over 50 Looking 30!, The All Natural Anti-Aging Diet, All Natural Anti-Aging Skin Care and Super Nutrition for Animals.
Rachel Bell has worked with children and adolescents in and out of school settings for fifteen years. She has been employed in an instructional and supervisory capacity with adolescents clinically diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity. She collaborated with Dr. Peiper and Nina Anderson on the well-known booklet, A.D.D., The Natural Approach.