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FAQ's for ADD, OCD, and ADHD

What options do I have other than Ritalin?

I am desperate to find some alternative treatment for my 5 1/2 year old daughter! Her kindergarten teacher says she needs to "be tested" and "put on Ritalin." Her teacher also says that she does not disrupt class, she just gets up in the middle of work time and walks around looking at things. She said she has to walk over and physically place my daughter in her chair. She further stated that my daughter can sit for 30 minutes and do 2 activities instead of completing the assignment (which may have 6 activities included in it). However, her teacher has made it clear that she CAN do the work mentally....her energy just takes over and she just can't sit down and do the work.

My daughter has always had a very difficult time of sleeping (i.e. falling asleep AND remaining asleep). She usually can function on 6 hours of sleep, if not less. She was born in the driveway in the front seat of our car and has not stopped since then! Her energy levels are incredible.

My husband and I are both opposed to any meds. We have been raising our children with homeopathic medicine and chiropractics for the last 5 years. Our doctor (a D.O.) suggested dimethylglycine and/or Kava. Any suggestions? Your help would be MUCH appreciated!

—A Frustrated Mom; March 2000

Our Answer

Cindy has a son that has suffered with the same problem. When he was five he got a strep infection in his kidney's. It's an illness called nefritis; and a side result of this nefritis is a condition called OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She researched it nutritionally and discovered nutritional links. And since that time her committment to nutrition supplementation for her children has been stronger. She can see a distinct improvement. He is a different boy when he's on his supplements.

First grade was real challenging and she had great fears that he would be labeled as a problem child: behind in school and unsociable. He had a hard time dealing with the other children and his teachers. The teacher had to personally physically touch him to get his attention and focus back to the class. It was a huge worry and a big problem. The principal talked with Cindy and strongly suggested that she put him on Ritalin, which Cindy did NOT want to do. It was in first grade that they started him on nutritional supplements. They saw up and down improvements for the first year and the second grade has been a thrilling victory compared to the outlook in the first grade. He has been on them for 3 years now and is considered a very stable boy. No problems what so ever.

She is so glad that she understands nutrition and focuses on that for her children. Academically they have the nutrients for strong brain development, socially because they are chemically balanced, and then athletically, nutrition is an obvious factor for athletic success as well.

I personally have a friend who has a boy who is struggling with ADD and OCD. She has him on many drugs, one being Ritalin. The doctors have told her that they can't give him any more and they don't know what to do. Her son hates the way he feels on the drugs and wants to be off of them, but the teacher's don't want him off the drugs because of the problem he is in school. She's now asking questions about nutrition and what she can do--the doctor's don't offer any more suggestions or help. I know nutrition is the only answer. There is a way to help your child nutritionally. Obviously the nutrition route takes a little longer, but you can see results, depending on the individual body, within weeks up to 3 months.

We do have a booklet on drug free answers to correcting learning disabilities. We'd be happy to send it to you if you'll send us your address. Cindy followed this for her son. She gives him 1 TBSP. Ultra Toddy, 1 EFA capsule, 1 500mg Vit. C, 1 Sugar-Eze capsule and 1 capsule of D-Stress. You can look up on the web-site to see what's in all of these specific capsules and the Toddy. Or for our kit containing these products at a $5 savingsclick here.

I'm looking for more info on dealing with A.D.D. using natural foods and herbs instead of taking Ritalin. Is there anything out there on this subject?

—October 2000

Our Answer

We do have a lot of information about ADD. (Click here for what's posted on our website.) We also have a cassette tape about it and some written material. I'd be happy to send it to you if you'd like. I'll just need your mailing address. I know 3 people personally who have tried nutritional methods and have had success.

Here's what Dr. Whiting (an orthomolecular nutritionist) says about it and what he suggests:

The theory is that it [ADD] is caused by a combination of genetic mutation from the parents and exposure to toxic chemicals in the children. Research done at the Institute of Nutritional Science, has proven that radical treatment with powerful drugs are not only unnecessary for this condition but may cause more harm than good in the long run. Nutrient deficiency is most assuredly at the heart of these problems. There are also several adjunct factors, which if present, can contribute to the overall problem.

Guidelines for nutritional help:

  • Full Spectrum nutrition (1 tsp. per 20 lbs. of bodyweight); or for children age 10 and older (1 ounce per 100 lbs.)

  • Essential Fatty Acids (2-3 caps. per day)

  • Calcium Citrate/Malate; age 2-5 (200 mg per day); ages 6+ (500-1000 mg per day)

Stress-Related nutrients:

Children under 45 lbs.

  • Niacin (as Niacinamide), (25 mg up to 100 mg max per day)

  • Vitamin C, (50 mg up to bowel tolerance)

Children over 45 lbs.

  • Niacin (as Niacinamide), (50-200 mg)

  • Vitamin C, (to bowel tolerance)

  • Pyridoxine, (50-400 mg)

  • Riboflavin, (50-200 mg)

  • Calcium Pantothenate, (100-800 mg)

  • Magnesium, (50-200 mg)

  • Zinc, (5-30 mg)

If excessive hyperactivity is a factor, test for heavy metal poisoning such as mercury, lead or cadmium and add 100 mg per day of caffeine.

If the child craves sweets, suspect carbohydrate intolerance, and add 100 mcg of Chromium, 500 mcg of Vanadium, 300 mg of Aspartic Acid, and 20 mg of Bilberry Extract.

If short-term memory is affected consider adding the following: 100-200 mg per day of phosphatidylserine and 100-200 mg per day of phosphatidylcholine.

Finally, many individuals displaying attention deficit symptoms suffer from multiple allergies. I suggest you take the RAST test (a blood test) which will determine all airborne and food allergies. If food allergies are detected, it will be necessary to either eliminate those foods or rotate them, eating them no more often than once every five days.

There is also a booklet entitled, Drug-Free Answers to Correcting Learning Disabilities available for purchase.

Here's some of the supplements that we highly recommend. Ultra Body Toddy, Multi-EFA, D-Stress, Sugar-Eze, and our ADD-Kit (you can save $5 by buying the kit.)

I know this is a lot of information, I hope it's what you're looking for. If you have any more questions, or would like a copy of the free tape, don't hesitate to ask.

How do we get her [a daughter with ADD] to eat the more nutritional foods when she doesn't even like to eat at all? And any type of vitamins would be hard as she doesn't like to take anything that resembles meds. It's a force-feeding session. Any tips?

Both of my daughters are ADD. My one daughter is now 13 and we just took her off Dexedrine. She's doing better with her studies, but it still takes her extra time to do it. Normal for anyone w/ a learning disability. But, now, we have learned that our youngest, age 5, is also ADD. We haven't taken her into a doctor as of yet, but school psychologists and her teacher (who has an ADD child of her own) recognize the symptoms (as do I). But my 5-year-old is unique in that she rarely eats anything besides chicken, P&B sandwiches and noodles. She does, however, have a problem with soft drinks. We try to limit the amount she gets to only 2-6oz cups a day.

Question: How do we get her to eat the more nutritional foods when she doesn't even like to eat at all? And any type of vitamins would be hard as she doesn't like to take anything that resembles meds. It's a force-feeding session. Any tips?

—January 2001

Our Answer

I know how tough it can be to try and get your children to take vitamins and medicines. I think all parents struggle with this. But did you know that there are vitamins that are liquid? I give my children the "Toddy" products and hardly ever have a difficult time giving them their vitamins. My problem is remembering to give it to them, my kids usually remind me to give it to them. They actually like the taste!

I would try the "Toddy" products for both of your girls. I know personally 3 children who use the Toddy products and don't need to use the medications anymore. It's worth a try. One of my friends has an 11 year old boy that has been on all the medications for ADD, and he wasn't getting any better. He hated the way he felt on the meds and wanted off. The doctors also told her that there wasn't any thing else they could give him, they had given him as high a dose of meds as the boy could handle and he wasn't getting any better! That was scary for her and so they decided to try nutrition and other natural ways. She took him to a naturopathic doctor who tested him for allergies and depletion of vitamins and minerals. He takes the Ultra Body Toddy and stays away from all allergens that he can and he also takes some homeopathic drops. He's doing extremely well. No meds and is getting better every week. He feels so much better not being on the meds and his parents feel better too.

You might find that once your five-year-old is on a Full Spectrum Vitamin supplement, that she won't have cravings for the soda pop any more. You might also check into having her tested for allergies. The body will crave things if it isn't getting all the nutrients it needs.

The Toddy products are Money-back guaranteed and they're all natural, so there is absolutely no harm in trying! Because they're liquid you can put it in grape juice and she'll never taste it or know it's in there. I've tried it in a few different juices and grape juice disguises the taste the best. Also, with the liquid vitamin, it assimilates easier and so is absorbed more readily and completely.

It's usually recommended for children under 12 to take the Kid's Toddy. But all the children that have ADD/HD are recommended to take the Ultra because of the higher B vitamins and the grape seed extract.

The only thing the Ultra doesn't have is Essential Fatty Acids. It's not in there because it can oxidize and cause free-radicals, so it has to be encapsulized. These are so important for ADD kids. I'm not sure how you would get that down her. Maybe open them up and put it in some kind of food? I let my two year old chew on the capsules. He likes the capsules, but not the oil that's inside, so he spits it out....but I know he's getting some!

I have recently taken my son off of Ritalin. Could you please tell me the best vitamins and minerals to give him?

—January 2001

Our Answer

The best thing to give your son is a product called Ultra Body Toddy. It has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids plus extras. It's liquid so it's more bio-available to the body. I love this product! He also needs EFA (essential fatty acids), it's not in the Ultra because it oxygenates rapidly and so it needs to be stabilized in capsules. We do recommend a kit for ADD/HD.

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