20 Tips about ADD/ADHD


 In our most recent newsletter, March 2013, we shared 6 of our favorite tips from the posting below. Rather than make everyone email us for the posting, we’ve decided to post the entirety of the success secrets here on our blog for easy access! 

If you, your child, or someone you know suffers from ADD/ADHD, the below tips are an excellent resource! They speak to how holistic health and thorough testing can help your child achieve maximum health. 

Treatment Success Secret #1
Lab Testing Is VERY Important BUT Lab Ranges Are EXTREMELY Broad!
Blood tests are VERY important when treating ADD/ADHD because they can give critical insight as to what is EXACTLY happening with your child–BUT they can be extremelybroad.
Why do patients continue to suffer when the MD has told them that all of their lab tests are “fine.”  The answer is because the MD’s lab tests are extremely broad.  The ranges vary WIDELY!
Let me give you one example.  Let’s say you suffer from a thyroid problem. Because the thyroid controls your body’s metabolism, your MD orders a test, which usually is the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone).  From your MD’s perspective, if your TSH level is within the very wide lab range of .35 to 5.0– you’re normal, there’s nothing wrong with you!  BUT—and this is a HUGE“BUT”—the OPTIMAL LEVEL or “functional level” for TSH is 1.8 to 3.0.  So you could still be “normal” in the medical doctor’s eyes but abnormal in the functional or optimal range.
The same holds true for all of your child’s lab tests, every single one of them.  There are “lab” ranges, which are very broad and “optimal” or “functional” ranges which are much narrower. 
Your child’s lab tests could be “normal”!  There is NOTHING wrong with the tests themselves–the problem is that you need a doctor who is going to examine your child’s lab tests from a “functional/optimal” range perspective and NOT from a “lab” range perspective.
Treatment Success Secret #2
ADD/ADHD Can Be Caused By An Autoimmune Condition.
 An autoimmune condition is where the immune system is attacking a part of your child’s body, and in your case, it could be attacking multiple systems in your child’s body including the thyroid gland, adrenal gland, nerves, joints and muscles.  This could be your child is suffering, and no other doctor or therapist can tell you WHY?!?!
So, the problem isn’t just the thyroid if your child is fatigued; the adrenal glands if your child isn’t sleeping; joints, nerves and muscles if your child is in pain or suffering with numbness, tingling and burning: it is their immune system.  They have an immune system problem, and what is needed is to heal their immune system.  The problem is that medicine has no clue on how to heal the immune system, either in your child or in you!
Vaccines can cause an autoimmune condition by OVER-stimulating the immune system. There are two parts to the immune system, TH1 and TH2, and they should be in balance, kind of like a teeter-totter effect.  Vaccines can throw the balance out of whack!  TH1 and TH2 should be equal: one should not be higher than the other.  If the immune system goes out of balance because of stress (physical emotional or chemical {vaccines, toxins}), one system (TH1 or TH2) will become dominant. This will cause the immune system to attack the body.
There are specific blood tests that can be run to determine if you are autoimmune and if one part of the immune system is dominant.  Your child needs to have these tests done to get to the bottom of the problem.  My guess is that no other doctor or therapist has made this recommendation to you which is why you continue to run around in circles looking for answers!
The problem with an autoimmune condition is that it doesn’t attack just one area of the body–it can attack multiple areas.  It can attack the thyroid, causing extreme fatigue; the pancreas, causing diabetes; the nerves causing numbness, pain, tingling or burning.  It can attack the gut – the stomach lining, (causing IBS), or it can attack the joints (rheumatoid arthritis).  It can attack the entire body! You need to be tested to see if you are having an autoimmune condition, and if that is what is causing your child’s ADD/ADHD.  You need to get to the TRUE CAUSE of what is going on in your child’s brain and body.  The only way to know is to run the tests!
Treatment Success Secret #3 
GET YOUR CHILD’S
THYROID TESTED …NOW!
 I have treated thousands of ADD/ADHD patients over the years and I have yet to see an ADD/ADHD patient in which the thyroid wasn’t involved at some level!  Think about it: your thyroid controls your metabolism– it HAS TO BE INVOLVED! Patients suffering from ADD/ADHD can have a condition in which their thyroid is being attacked by their immune system.  This condition is known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Most likely, your MD has only ordered only one thyroid test, which is TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone).  If you are lucky, maybe he has ordered a couple more.  From your MD’s perspective, if your TSH level is within that very wide lab range of .35 to 5.0, you’re normal– there’s nothing wrong with you!  BUT—and this is a HUGE “BUT”—the OPTIMAL LEVEL or “functional level” for TSH is 1.8 to 3.0.  So you could still be “normal” in the medical doctor’s eyes but abnormal in the functional or optimal range. 
It’s only when that range is above 5.0 that the medical doctor will put you on a thyroid hormone such as Synthroid or the generic, levothyroxine. 
BUT, as I mentioned, in a medical doctor’s eyes, if your thyroid TSH is within .35 to 5.0, YOU ARE NORMAL!  There is NOTHING wrong with you.  “It’s ALL in your head!”  “You don’t need medication, because you don’t have a thyroid problem!”  Even though you still may have all the thyroid symptoms: extreme fatigue, hair falling out, etc., you’re NORMAL!  Well…you and I both know that you are not “normal”. If you were, you would not be suffering from symptoms!  You could be within the “normal” TSH range of .35 to 5.0 but still be outside the optimal range of 1.8 to 3.0.  Your TSH level could be at 4.2, and that’s why you’re having the problem; it’s outside the “optimal” or “functional” range.  The same is true for any other of the thyroid blood tests such as Total Thyroxine (TT4), Free Thyroxine Index (FTI), Free Thyroxine (FT4), Free Triodothyroxine (FT3) and the three or four other tests that need to be run on your thyroid to get to the EXACT cause of your child’s problems.  
In ADD/ADHD Treatment Success Secret #2, we talked about the fact that the number-one cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune thyroid, and there has to be a reason why your body could be attacking the thyroid. That’s what we’re going to address in this Treatment Success Secret.  There are certain tests that need to be run on the thyroid–not just a TSH or a free T3 or a free T4– there are specific antibodies called TPO and TGB antibodies.  If these antibody tests are positive, you have an autoimmune thyroid.  My guess is that your child’s doctor has not run these two tests.
Now, there are many other tests that need to be run for the thyroid, but these are the two big ones to determine if your child has an autoimmune thyroid.  And if they’re autoimmune, you have to find out why they are autoimmune.  Remember, I said there are two parts to your immune system, TH1 and TH2.  They need to work in balance.  If one is dominant or working harder than the other, it’s usually because there’s something called an active antigen.  And what is an active antigen?  It can be a parasite.  It can be a virus, bacteria, mold or fungi.  It can be a food protein, such as gluten (the protein in wheat, barley and rye) or casein (milk protein). 
Your child’s immune system could become imbalanced because of dysregulation due to hormonal surges and/or extreme stress.  Blood sugar problems and/or chronic inflammation and/or high cortisol levels can all cause your child’s immune system to run amuck which can lead to ADD/ADHD.

Treatment Success Secret #4
How To Know If Your Child
Is Autoimmune!
How do you know if your child is autoimmune?  How do you know if their immune system is attacking their body?  Well…we just talked about the fact that we can run tests on the thyroid, specifically TPO and TGB antibodies, to see if their immune system is attacking it, as well as running the immune panels. The reality is…most people already know that they’re autoimmune just from the fact that they already suffer from a current autoimmune disorder such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, and/or lupus.
Another way that people will know if they’re autoimmune is that their symptoms may wax and wane.  Symptoms that wax and wane are a sure sign that you are likely suffering from an autoimmune condition.
The third way to know if a patient’s autoimmune is that they will come in with a basket of supplements–I mean a truck-load.  I’ve had people bring in so many bottles of supplements it wasn’t funny.  In many cases, the supplements that they were taking were actually making them worse! 
A fourth reason…their life fell apart after they got sick.  That’s how they know they’re autoimmune.  They’ve been to 12 or 15 or 20 different doctors and they have a sky-high stack of medical records …all because it’s an undiagnosed autoimmune condition. 
Another reason is if mom developed an autoimmune condition following a pregnancy.  Usually, women are TH2 dominant in the third trimester and TH1 dominant postpartum.  It could have happened, and the ONLY way to know is to test for it!
And finally, there’s positive testing via specific immune panels.  You see, the immune system is designed to protect you.  When your immune system runs amuck, it starts attacking different parts of your body. It’s important to know that once you realize that your child may have an autoimmune condition, you need to get them checked, and you need to manage that autoimmune condition.
Treatment Success Secret #5
Know the Autoimmune Triggers!
One of the most common questions I get is…”How did my child develop this autoimmune condition?”  Well…it’s pretty much genetics and the environment.  It’s a matter of what came first, the chicken or the egg?  We all know that genetically, you may be at risk for developing certain problems and/or conditions. 

Then there are environmental factors, one of them being chemicals such as cigarette smoke.  There are over 519 chemicals in cigarettes.  Here are just a few of them… Now, you don’t hear too often anymore that a mother smoked cigarettes while she was pregnant, but it does happen from time to time and this could have triggered your child’s autoimmune condition.  Even ONE cigarette could have triggered it.  SECOND-HAND SMOKE can have the same effect!  So you didn’t even need to have smoked a cigarette; second-hand smoke could have been the culprit.
TSNAs:  Tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNAs) are known to be some of the most potent carcinogens present in smokeless tobacco, snuff and tobacco smoke.
Benzene: Benzene can be found in pesticides and gasoline. It is present in high levels in cigarette smoke and accounts for half of all human exposure to this hazardous chemical.
Pesticides: Pesticides are used on our lawns and gardens, and inhaled into our lungs via cigarette smoke.
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a chemical used to preserve dead bodies and is responsible for some of the nose, throat and eye irritation smokers experience when breathing in cigarette smoke.
Lead is the second biggest culprit and it just isn’t lower income children being exposed to it.  If your house was built prior to 1970, there is a good chance that there is lead-based paint in it.  Paint dust containing lead is the number one source, so you need to be aware of this fact!  Also, lead exposure from plumbing.
There’s a new study that shows that a very common insect repellent, DEET, affects the brain and the nervous system the same way as nerve gas.  DEET, which is in a lot of common spray and liquid insect repellents, affects the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in your brain. 

Chemicals such as pesticides can trigger an autoimmune response as can toxins in household products or heavy metals in vaccines.   

Chemicals in general can trigger an autoimmune response, like the latest chemical that’s hit the news…BPA.  This is a very nasty chemical called bisphenol A.  It’s used in a lot of plastics, and BPA is extremely bad for thyroid health; it can trigger Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroid. 
Rocket fuel is another!  You heard that correctly, I said rocket fuel!  You may ask…”How am I exposed to rocket fuel?”  Studies have shown that 30 to 40 percent of women in America have remnants of rocket fuel in their body.  It gets into the ground water and it stays there for a very long time.
Treatment Success Secret #6
HORMONES!

The regulation of hormones plays an important role in your health especially when you were pregnant with your child.  For example, Prolactin is a hormone that’s made by your pituitary gland.  High levels of prolactin suppress TSH or Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone.  Prolactin is balanced by progesterone and dopamine, so when people have a dopamine deficiency, or progesterone deficiency, their prolactin will increase, and that will decrease the function of the pituitary’s production of thyroid-stimulating hormone.  Remember when I stated the thyroid controls ALL of your body’s metabolism?

The imbalance will show up on your lab,–if you’re lucky–as the TSH is low, but not quite out of the reference range.  This is why it’s important to know that there are “optimal” or “functional” levels.
Prolactin also suppresses luteinizing hormone (LH) in women.  Excess prolactin can cause infertility.  In men, excess prolactin depresses testosterone so they have low libido.  High prolactin can cause tumors that are called prolactinomas.
Another common female hormone disorder is PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  It affects 5-10 percent of menstruating women, and it is one of the most common causes of infertility.  PCOS symptoms include the inability to lose weight, hair loss, fatigue after meals, hormone imbalances, and sugar cravings. 
Using blood chemistry tests, PCOS can be identified by insulin resistance.  Again, insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) is a blood glucose level from 100-126.  This is a fasting blood glucose level.  PCOS is also indicated by elevated triglycerides and cholesterol, especially IF THE TRIGLYCERIDES ARE HIGHER THAN THE CHOLESTROL LEVELS.
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells become resistant to insulin due to a high-carbohydrate diet, which leads to excess testosterone production, and this leads to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  As testosterone levels rise, the cells become further resistant to insulin, and it’s a slow downward spiral.  Cell resistance to insulin in turn promotes testosterone elevation, which continues that downward spiral.
Insulin resistance also promotes inflammation and immune system problems, which can lead to an autoimmune disease.  In children suffering with ADD/ADHD, can you see why it’s important to address Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in the pregnant mother?
The bottom line is that excess levels of any hormone could have caused your child’s ADD/ADHD.

Treatment Success Secret #7
Anemias
 I’ve mentioned that ADD/ADHD can be caused by an autoimmune condition in which the body is attacked by the immune system.  What if the patient isn’t autoimmune? Since there are a small percentage of patients that are not autoimmune, what else could be causing the problem?
Anemia is the answer!  Anemia in and of itself is a deal-breaker for nutritional support of any kind, including support for ADD/ADHD, since anemia literally starves your body of oxygen.
Oxygen is very important in healing your body.  The brain and nervous system need two things to survive:  fuel and activation.  Fuel comes in the form of oxygen and glucose.  We’ll talk about glucose in a future “secret, “ but when you deprive your body of oxygen, you deprive your red blood cells (RBCs) of oxygen.  The basic function of the RBCs is to maintain, regenerate, and heal the body. With no RBCs, the body simply cannot operate adequately!
It is vitalthat the clinician address the anemic patient.  Anemia can be due to a variety of reasons and factors, including B12 anemia or pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disease.  Some forms of anemia don’t seem to respond to iron supplements because the red blood cells break down.
So when this happens, supplementing won’t increase iron levels and can, in fact, make the problem much worse.  Too much iron in the body is much more toxic than mercury, lead or other heavy metals.  As I’ve said and will continue to say, if the patient does not have an autoimmune condition but suffers from a chronic condition such as ADD/ADHD, you want to look at the Four Priorities, which are: #1, anemia; #2, blood sugar or glucose;#3, gut function/liver, and , last but not least; #4, fatty acid metabolism.  ALL of these systems need to be checked. 
Again, an autoimmune condition trumps all of these, but if it’s not present, we need to address the possibility of anemia causing your child’s problems.

Treatment Success Secret #8
Blood Sugar/Blood Glucose
 From a medical standpoint, normal blood glucose levels have a broad range of 70 to 105, while functional or optimal blood glucose level ranges are 85 to 99.  According to the American Diabetic Association, a blood sugar level reading of 106 to 126 is termed “insulin resistance” or “pre-diabetes,” and anything above a reading of 127 is diabetes.
Granted, those are fasting blood glucose levels and it is important to note that because many times I will see patients who have been tested and I’ll ask them if they’ve fasted before their test and they will tell me, “No.” You need at least a 12-hour fast, which means absolutely no food, no drinking orange juice or coffee or anything!  All that you should have for 12 hours before your test is water, so you can get an accurate reading of your blood glucose levels.
Supporting ADD/ADHD is futile
if your child’s blood sugar level is too high or too low.
A reading below 85 would be termed hypoglycemiaand a reading above 99 would be termed hyperglycemia.  This is called dysglycemia and this is a stepping-stone to diabetes.  Diabetes is becoming so prevalent in the United States that authorities are predicting that it may bankrupt the healthcare system.
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the blood sugar level repeatedly drops too low in response to high-carbohydrate foods.  Refined sugar is a good example of a high-carbohydrate food. Hypoglycemia can also be a result of going too long without eating: and too many Americans are skipping breakfast.
If your blood sugar is below 85, it’s extremely important that you eat every two to three hours.  You should have a breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner and a light snack before bedtime.  The snack can be vegetables, fruit, nuts, and/or seeds but it truly SHOULD be something healthy. 
Insulin resistance is high blood sugar that hasn’t yet reached the point of diabetes.  It’s called “pre-diabetes” and is a result of the cells becoming resistant to insulin, so that no glucose can enter the cells to make energy.
You need glucose in your cells to make energy.  It’s a vital, important part of life.  Your brain and nervous system need two things to survive:  fuel and activation.  Fuel is oxygen and glucose.  You see, unabsorbed glucose travels in the bloodstream until it’s turned into triglycerides for fat storage.
This is why it’s important to monitor triglycerides as well as glucose.  The process of turning glucose into triglycerides demands an increased amount of energy causing you to feel tired after eating.  So when you eat a high- carbohydrate diet filled with white bread, pasta, and refined sugar, you cannot keep your blood sugar level stable.
If your child feels sleepy or craves sugar after eating a carbo-loaded meal, you know that they just ate way too many carbohydrates.  If they feel sleepy after a low- or no-carbohydrate meal, they are most likely insulin resistant.
It is literally impossible to support hypoglycemia or insulin resistance unless your child eats a healthy breakfast with ample high-quality protein.  They need to eat protein in the morning, not carbohydrates.  They need to eat eggs–they need to eat lean meat such as turkey or chicken sausage.  They need to eat protein in order to support their blood sugar levels.
Even if they feel nauseous first thing in the morning upon waking, eating breakfast is criticaland eating a breakfast of high protein will most likely relieve their nausea.  Finally, if they suffer from hypoglycemia they should NEVER go without eating a meal. It will make matters much worse due to altered blood sugar levels!
Treatment Success Secret #9
Brain Function
As I have mentioned in previous secrets, brain function is extremely important in treating ADD/ADHD! Our brain needs two things to survive:  fuel and activation.
Fuel is glucose and oxygen, which is why we use Exercise With Oxygen Therapy (EWOT) in our office.  We have addressed the glucose end of the equation: now let’s address the importance of oxygen. 
As you age, your ability to utilize oxygen decreases by one percent per year after the age of 25.  If you are 50 years old, you’ve lost 25 percent of your ability to utilize oxygen in your body.  This is called oxidative phosphorylation, which is a big fancy three-dollar term meaning you’re not using oxygen as well as you did when you were younger.  Again, this is why we utilize Exercise With Oxygen Therapy or EWOT in our office.  (Please note, if your child is under the age of 16, we will most likely NOT use oxygen.)
Secondly, the neurotransmitter serotonin plays a major role in brain function.  There’s a place in the brain called the hypothalamus and there’s something called the periventricular nucleus.  I know these are big fancy three-dollar words, but it’s critical that you know this if your child is suffering with ADD/ADHD.  Serotonin acts on the hypothalamic periventricular nucleus in the central nervous system.  If your child’s central nervous system is not functioning at optimal levels, he or she can suffer with chronic migraines, insomnia and symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
The biggest influence on serotonin is blood sugar.  That’s why we addressed glucose in ADD/ADHD Success #8.  If your child is hypoglycemic, insulin-resistant, or diabetic, it is vitally important that they maintain their blood sugar levels within an optimal range.
This is why it’s important that they eat healthy food.  Don’t skip meals.  Quit eating junk food!  Every time they eat junk food they are literally eating away at their body and they are making their ADD/ADHD worse.
By allowing your child to consume a poor, junk-food-filled diet, you will increase and worsen your child’s symptoms. 
 
Treatment Success Secret #10
The Evils of GLUTEN!

Gluten is one of the biggest culprits in causing an autoimmune condition that I see in my office.  Remember in ADD/ADHD Treatment Success #2 that I said that ADD/ADHD can be caused by an autoimmune condition?  That’s why it is EXTREMELY important to be tested properly for gluten sensitivity.  In our office, we run a food sensitivity test from a lab called Enterolab.  It is a lab test for sensitivity to gluten, milk, soy, egg and yeast.  If your child is sensitive to ANY of these foods, consuming them could cause inflammation, which could increase the ADD/ADHD symptoms.

Gluten is the protein in wheat, barley, rye and oats.  The reason that so many people across the country are gluten-sensitive is that we’ve been eating genetically-engineered wheat since the late 1940’s.  Our bodies were not made to eat genetically-engineered wheat.  Our bodies were not made to eat chemicals and that’s exactly what we are consuming!   
In order for your children to be healthy, one of the best things that they can do is to avoid gluten.  If they are sensitive to gluten, it will cause their immune system to attack their body, whether it’s their thyroid, their joints, their pancreas, whatever.  Remember we talked about an active antigen a while back, and an active antigen can be something that causes their immune system to run amuck or attack.
The T-cells are attacking the body and the cause for the T-cell attack can be a parasite, fungi, yeast, mold, virus, bacteria, and it can also be gluten.  It could also be dairy, yeast, soy and/or egg. This is not a guessing game–your child needs to be tested and the tests should include a DNA swab, where you’re taking a swab of their left cheek and a swab of their right cheek.
Usually, gluten testing with a medical office for gluten sensitivity is not done with a DNA component–you really don’t know if they are gluten-sensitive or not.  There has yet to be an autoimmune patient walk in my office who is not gluten-sensitive, and they could very well be sensitive to dairy, egg, soy and yeast too!

Treatment Success Secret #11
Vitamin D
  
You always seem hear in the news that there’s some new vitamin  or a new deficiency to consider, but when it comes to ADD/ADHD or any autoimmune condition – it’s very important that patients are taking Vitamin D to help their immune system.
Low levels of Vitamin D in the mother leads to really low levels of Vitamin D for the developing child.  This can cause abnormal brain development.  Vitamin D is what we call a “neurosteroid.”  It has hundreds of different functions, but it is directly related to brain development. If an expectant mother wants to prevent or reduce the risk of ADD/ADHD, she needs to make sure she has adequate levels of Vitamin D. 
Modern diets are lacking in Vitamin D-rich foods.  What are Vitamin D-rich foods?  Liver (to be honest with you, I can’t stand liver), organ meats, lard, many forms of seafood, butter and egg yolks (remember what I said about eating eggs for breakfast and how important it is in your blood glucose level?).
Sunlight is another important factor and source of Vitamin D.  BUT, you should NEVER take Vitamin D without having your Vitamin D levels tested, specifically, 25 OHD and 1,25 OHD.  Most MDs will only test 25 OHD but it is very important to have both levels tested.  This way, you are eliminating the guess work.  You could be low in Vitamin D or on the low side of normal; either finding would constitute a different recommended dosage.
Why is Vitamin D so important?  Vitamin D deficiency is associated with many, many autoimmune conditions.  Frankly, autoimmune rates have been skyrocketing in the past 20 years, which correlates with decreased levels of Vitamin D in the general population.
Adequate Vitamin D levels help to keep the immune system in balance so it doesn’t swing out of control into an autoimmune disease.  When it comes to migraines, the problems with Vitamin D deficiency are made worse by genetics. 
Many people, especially people suffering from ADD/ADHD, need higher amounts of Vitamin D to maintain health, even if blood tests show sufficient Vitamin D. 
Do not give your child Vitamin D without having your child’s blood levels tested.  They need both 25-HD and 1,25-OHD tested. 25 is the storage form and 1,25 D is the active form.  They need both levels checked! 

In many cases, patients will come in to my office with only one level checked and their Vitamin D levels will be on the low side of normal.  Their MD has told them, “You’re fine, there’s nothing wrong with you,” when actually if they’re on the low side of normal, they need to be supplementing with Vitamin D.  I recommend that all patients with ADD/ADHD or any autoimmune condition take extra Vitamin D, after checking levels of both forms.
Finally, here is another reason to have your child’s Vitamin D levels checked…
A new research study from Sweden found that low levels of 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D was almost 100% linked to an Autistic Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.

Treatment Success Secret #12
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Healthy hormone production depends on Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s).  You’ve probably heard about these nutrients; fish oil, flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil.
In our diets, EFA’s can be found in cold-water fish and in many raw, unprocessed nuts and seeds.  EFA’s not only contribute nutrients for hormones but also for proper cellular communication, brain function and much more.
The ideal ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats in EFA’s is estimated to be from 3 to 1 up to 5 to 1.  In the average American diet or S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), the ratio is more like 25 to 1, thanks to junk food diets that are loaded with vegetable oil.  You child needs to take a well-rounded, fish-oil-based, high potency EFA supplement if they intend to be healthy.
If they’re insulin-resistant, it causes a condition in which the body cannot properly metabolize the EFA’s in flax, evening primrose or black currant seed oils.  This is why fish oil is the predominant recommendation.  Essential fatty acid deficiencies are so common in the United States it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the U.S. population failed to get enough essential fatty acids each day thanks to our Standard American Diet (SAD).
It’s because our diet is so filled with junk: high fat, high salt, high sugar or high refined sugar.  I had a patient come in one time, and she was drinking 12 cans of diet Mountain Dew a day!!I told her if she wanted to become my patient she would need to stop drinking the diet Mountain Dew immediately.  She did and went through withdrawal symptoms for a week.
If you’re serious about getting your child healthy, if you’re serious about correcting your child’s ADD/ADHD, you need to change your child’s diet!  You need to get them to eat healthy foods; you need to eliminate junk food; you need to be giving them essential fatty acids, especially fish-oil-based essential fatty acids, and especially high-quality fish-oil-based essential fatty acids.
How do you know if you have high quality essential fatty acids?  Well, consider more than price: if you cut one of your fish oil capsules and you put it in the freezer and it freezes – that’s not good.  Oil should not freeze.
Treatment Success Secret #13
The Adrenal Glands!
 Your adrenal glands make a hormone called “cortisol”.  They sit atop your kidneys and they are your “stress glands.”  They make a lot of hormones for your body in addition to cortisol, such as aldosterone and androgens.  Your adrenal glands are vital for optimal health.  When your adrenal glands are not working, this causes high levels of cortisol in your system, and this could be why your child still has symptoms, even when their other lab tests may be normal.  Cortisol is one of the main factors that regulate blood sugar levels, not insulin.  Everybody thinks that it’s insulin, but it’s actually cortisol.  When cortisol is released by your adrenal glands, it’s accompanied by cytokines.
Your adrenal glands make cortisol in response to a stress, whether it’s physical, chemical, or emotional stress.  And cortisol also promotes inflammation, which makes your adrenal glands pump out more cortisol.  As cortisol is released, the cytokines come out along with it and suppress your pituitary.  There are common causes of elevated cortisol, some of them being chronic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, or hidden gut infections, such as parasites.  You’d be surprised how many people have parasitic infections.  Other causes of elevated levels of cortisol include blood sugar dysregulation, high or low blood sugar, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
You need to make sure that your child’s blood sugar levels are stable.  And you need to understand that, when your child has these problems; when their blood sugar level is going up or down, their cortisol levels are going up and down, which means their cytokines are going up and down, which means there is inflammation throughout their body.
And remember, there are several types of blood sugar problems–not just diabetes, but also hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and insulin resistance.  Hypoglycemia is a blood sugar level of 85 or lower.  Insulin resistance is a fasting blood sugar of 100-126.  Diabetes is a fasting blood sugar level of 127 or higher. 
Be aware, if your stress levels are high, your adrenal glands are going to pump hard, and cortisol levels are going to increase.  Cytokine levels are going to increase, and it will cause massive inflammation.  High cortisol will sabotage your attempt to combat you’re your child’s ADD/ADHD problems.
If your child is suffering with adrenal fatigue, they need to avoid refined sugar, alcohol (hey, I have seen 15 to 20 year-olds drinking alcohol!), and caffeine (not just in coffee but in colas) because these are high stressors to their immune system.  And don’t think they can get away with eating aspartame or MSG because these are the worst things you could do for your adrenal glands!
Treatment Success Secret #14
Cytokines!
Cytokines are the messengers that your immune system uses as part of the inflammatory process, and…inflammation = decreased brain function!!!  When a patient has an inflammatory condition like arthritis, IBS, asthmaor an autoimmune condition like Lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, they have usually high levels of cytokines.
Remember, I said there are two parts to your immune system, TH-1 and TH-2.  If your child has high interleukin2, or TNF-alpha, then he’s probably TH-1 dominant.  If he has high interleukin-4, or interleukin-10, he’s probably TH-2 dominant.  If he’s dominant with those cytokines, he’s probably creating more problems for ADD/ADHD condition.
The key is to get your child tested for that cytokine function to make sure everything is within the optimal or functional range. 

Treatment Success Secret #15
Intestinal Fortitude…LITERALLY!
Gut function is extremely important because of the gut-brain connection.  What happens in the gut, also happens in the brain.  If there is inflammation in the gut, there is inflammation in the brain. 
Have you ever heard of something called “Leaky Gut Syndrome” (LGS)?  Leaky Gut Syndrome is where the lining of your intestines have become more permeable, so it allows things like food particles and large molecules to permeate your system and create havoc with your immune system.  It’s also important in gut function to be tested for parasites.  Many people suffer from parasites and don’t know it.
Some people who suffer with ADD/ADHD also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  They have problems with constipation or diarrhea, or both.  Repairing your gut begins at the plate.  Chronic inflammation is caused by  poor diet.  When you have increased intestinal permeability (another name for LGS), you will also have chronic inflammation, because a healthy GI tract is a tightly woven mesh of tissue that does not allow the absorption of bacteria, harmful foods, or undigested particles in the bloodstream.  When you’re suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome, this is exactly what’s happening. 
Once in the bloodstream, these particles are recognized as foreign invaders or antigens, which the immune system attacks.  And, unfortunately for many people, especially those with insulin resistance, this response happens almost every time they eat, resulting in chronic inflammation or irritable bowel syndrome.  This sets the stage for development of an autoimmune disease.
So the first step in repairing the gut is to remove the foods that are creating a chronic immune response: gluten, soy, milk, egg, yeast.  And then it’s important to heal your body.  You can heal your body with a 4R colon program, which means removing or eliminating problems – gluten, milk, soy, yeast, or parasites – inoculating, and using a probiotic.  On a 4R colon program you replace specific enzymes to repair your gut and utilize specific neurological compounds.  This is why it’s important to have healthy gut function in regards to treating your child’s ADD/ADHD.
Finally, there has recently been a new study released entitled, “Gut Bacteria and Brain Development Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” by R. D. Heijtz, S. Wang, F. Anuar, Y. Qian, B. Bjorkholm, A. Samuelsson, M. L. Hibberd, H. Forssberg, S. Pettersson.  This study further proves the gut-brain-immune system connection.
Treatment Success Secret #16
Don’t fall into the false belief that… “Everything has been done!”
Believing that all of the lab test results are normal is WRONG!  I can’t tell you how many times a patient walks in my office and tells me that their medical doctor told them that all their labs are ‘normal.’  Yes, they may be normal in regards to lab values, but not in regards to optimal or functional values.  Remember that I said the lab value for TSH is .35 to 5.0?  And the optimal level or functional level is 1.8-3.0?  This is a huge trap that many patients fall into and they have to avoid.  They believe that all of the correct tests have been done, and that all those tests are normal, just like their medical doctor said they were. 
The truth is that functional testing has not been done.  Your child needs specific lab tests.  Your child needs a complete metabolic panel.  Your child needs a lipid panel.  Your child needs a complete thyroid panel that includes seven or eight thyroid tests.  And they need a CBC with auto-differential.  They need sensitivity testing done.  Sensitivity testing will determine if they’re sensitive to gluten, milk, soy, egg, or yeast.  They need the immune panels done.  Remember, I said there are two parts to the immune system, TH-1 and TH-2.  You want to find out which one is working.  So you’re testing those cytokines that we talked about, interleukin-2, TNF-alpha, interleukin-4 and interleukin-10.  You’re testing the CD-4-CD-8 ratio.  I know that sounds like a big term, but the CD-4-CD-8 ratio is normally between 1.2 – 2.4.  If it’s 2.4 – 2.5 or above, they have an active antigen.  There’s something that’s causing their immune system to run amuck.  There’s something that’s causing their T-cells to attack their body.
If it’s below 1.2, they have a problem with dysregulation, an anemic condition, a blood sugar problem, a gut function problem, or a liver function problem.  So it’s important that all the tests are run. 
Don’t get into the false belief that everything possible has been done—if you do, then you’ve missed the point and you will stop searching for answers and information that will help your child.
Treatment Success Secret #17
Do Not Allow Your Child’s Health Condition to be Labeled and Placed into a Nice, Neat Box!
Do not accept “ADD/ADHD” as a label for all of your child’s symptoms.  There’s no simple explanation for why your child has this problem.  That’s why ALL of the testing needs to be done.  When your child was first diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, you might have been happy to finally have somebody or some doctor call it, or name it, or put it in a box. 
It’s scary to have symptoms that nobody can explain—it leads your mind to worry.  But don’t accept the label for all your child’s symptoms.  Remember, ALL of the tests need to be done.  If your child has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, realize that there are things that can be done to help your child!  There are answers out there. 
The key is—your child needs to be tested thoroughly.  They need to be tested, correctly treated and retested. THAT is the only way they will achieve health!
Treatment Success Secret #18
Don’t Use Medications as a Crutch!
Are you relying solely on medication to treat your child’s symptoms?  Google the side effects of some of the medications that you are currently giving to your child.  Ask yourself if you really think all the medications that you’re giving your child are actually making their brain and body functional or healthy.  Is it really fixing their ADD/ADHD?  Think about this: If you gave the medication that you’re giving your child to a healthy person, would that person remain healthy or become sick?  They would become sick!  ALL medications have side effects
All you’re doing with medications is covering up symptoms.  You’re also creating unwanted side effects, which may in the long run make your child worse.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen in their eighties that started off with one or two medications in their thirties, ended up with four or five medications in their fifties, and now in their eighties, they’re taking thirteen to fifteen medications.
Don’t think that you need a medication to be healthy.  And don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying to stop giving your child medications this minute.  But…as we test them and we’re treating them and we’re retesting them, they’re bound to improve, and, eventually, you can go back to your medical doctor, and you can ask him to take your child off of these medications or decrease the dosage. 
We want to work at getting to the cause of your child’s problem.  We want to reverse their symptoms.  We want to get the root cause and get the problem taken care of at the very beginning.
Treatment Success Secret #19
Control Your Child’s Health Destiny!
 No one else is responsible for your child’s health!  YOU are responsible for your child’s health!  Take your child’s health care into your own hands!  We’re trained to believe that medical doctors know best, and what the doctor says is the best thing for me.  It’s true, medical doctors are doctors; they treat people, they want to help people, but the reality is that just writing a script and throwing a medication at a person isn’t actually treating the patient and it isn’t in the best interest of the patient.  Proper testing must be done. 
With something as complex as ADD/ADHD, you have to literally grab the bull by the horns and take charge.  It’s your child’s life!   What kind of life your child has for the next 70 to 80 years is in your hands TODAY!  Are you going to accept the status quo and continue to push from MD to MD only to find out that they have no answer for your child?  It’s up to you.  Nobody is going to care about your child more than you.  You need to take action.  You need to get the testing done on your child.  You need a thorough work-up on your child.  Nothing else is going to help you eliminate your child’s ADD/ADHD more than the proper testing and treatment.

Treatment Success Secret #20
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Take action!   Do not think that your child is going to get better on their own.  Many people think that once their child is taking medication, their problem isn’t going to get any worse or there’s nothing to worry about.  And this isn’t true.  The reality is your child is either getting better or getting worse – they’re not staying the same. 
So if you sit and wait around for it to just go away on its own or you sit and think that you can’t do anything and that they will be just fine, you’re falling into a deep, dark well.  Avoid this type of thinking at all costs.  Remember to get your child tested, treated, and retested functionally or optimally.  Remember that MDs use lab values that are extremely broad and wide.  And you want lab values that are much narrower, those optimal or functional levels.  Once you get your child properly tested and treated, then, and only then, will their symptoms go away.
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