Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects at least as many as 30 million Americans, that’s roughly 10% or more of the population. Approximately 5-9% of children ages 9 to 17 are affected and as many as 2–4% of adults are affected. Most studies show that boys are affected approximately five times more frequently than girls. ADHD is primarily considered a childhood condition; however, new research indicates that it is a lifelong condition for more than half of those troubled with its hallmark symptoms of inattention, distractibility, impulsivity and emotional instability.
What Causes ADHD?
Given the wide range of symptoms seen in ADHD, it is not surprising that the cause is multifactorial with both environmental and genetic influences. Clinical research indicates that the principal causes of ADHD include an imbalance of key neurotransmitters found in the brain, hypersensitivity to certain foods, and possibly toxic minerals including mercury, lead, arsenic or aluminum.
Principal Causes of ADHD
- Neurotransmitter imbalance
- Food Hypersensitivities (Food Allergies)
- Toxic Minerals
In clinical studies, individuals with ADHD who were found to be low or high in neurotransmitters, improved dramatically when these imbalances were corrected by supplementation with the nutritional building blocks of the required neurotransmitters. In other studies, as many as 82% of the participants with ADHD were found to improve when their food allergies were controlled.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
In the United States, ADHD is diagnosed according to criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition (DSM-IV). ADHD symptoms are divided into two groups: symptoms of inattention and symptoms of hyperactivity/ impulsivity. Many children and adults have overlapping symptoms from both groups.
Because everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, the diagnosis requires that such behavior be demonstrated to a degree that is inappropriate for the person’s age. The diagnostic guidelines also contain specific requirements for determining when the symptoms indicate ADHD.
The behaviors must appear early in life, before age 7, and continue for at least 6 months. Above all, the behaviors must create a real handicap in at least two areas of a person’s life such as in the schoolroom, on the playground, at home, in the community, or in social settings. So someone who shows some symptoms but whose schoolwork or friendships are not impaired by these behaviors would not be diagnosed with ADHD. Nor would a child who seems overly active on the playground but functions well elsewhere receive an ADHD diagnosis.
What Lab Tests can be used for ADHD?
For years psychiatrists have based their diagnosis of ADHD merely on subjective questionnaires filled out by teachers and parents and then prescribed psychiatric drugs that act like emotional straight jackets. With the recent advances in our understanding about the brain’s neurohormones, this is beginning to change.
At the Hansen Clinic of Natural Medicine, I test suspected ADHD patients for food allergies as well as neurotransmitter imbalances. With one tube of blood I can test 95 different foods for allergic hypersensitivities. Additionally, we use a simple urine tests to measure the brain’s key neurotransmitters (Serotonin, GABA, Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Epinephrine). These lab tests are beginning to reveal a consistent pattern in children and adults with ADHD. It is a new frontier in diagnostic testing that will revolutionize mental health care.
For information about Food Allergy Testing, click here.
For information about Neurohormone Testing, click here.
Most Psychiatrists have not yet accepted this new science, while some even say that ADHD is not real. I know the science is real and ADHD is real, and the good news is that there are effective, all natural treatments can restore the optimal neurohormonal balance without side effects.
What are the Side effects of ADHD Drug?
Most children treated for ADHD are prescribed stimulant drugs, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Metadate, Methylin ER) or dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall, Dextrostat, Desoxyn). These have been the mainstay of ADHD pharmacology for 50 years. Unfortunately, these drugs are effective in only 30-40% of patients treated and can cause a number of significant side effects.
In February of 2006, an FDA advisory panel recommended the most serious warning label for stimulant ADHD drugs, due to an increased risk for severe cardiovascular problems in adults and children. Studies have shown an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension), and abnormal heart beat (arrhythmia).
Other side effects include insomnia, irritability and nervousness, as well as dry mouth, constipation, decreased appetite, weight loss and slowed growth.
Natural Alternatives to ADHD Drugs
Instead of the stimulant drugs Adderal, Dexedrine, Ritalin, or Cylert, I recommend non-drug therapy that includes specific nutritional amino acids, such as 5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan (5HTP) and L-Tyrosine, that are the building blocks that the body uses to make its own supply of neurohormones, including Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine.
Dr. Hansen’s Rx for ADHD
Over the course of twenty-four years of medical practice, I have seen enough children with ADHD to know that the treatment with amphetamines and other psychoactive drugs is not the answer.
Fourteen years ago I formulated an herbal ADHD formula known as Acuity™. It is the most effective natural product on the market for the symptoms of ADHD. Acuity™ contains Hawthorn, Grape Seed Extract and Kava kava. These ingredients have been shown to help calm the senses, stabilize the mood, improve focus and enhance memory and mental alertness. For teenagers or adults, I recommend a higher potency combination, including Tranquil Clarity™ and GSE Ultra 110. ™
Here’s what Mom’s are saying about Dr. Hansen’s ADHD formula
My 9year-old son is extremely hyperactive and out of control during the day and terribly restless at night. He tends to be impatient, short-tempered and throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. Because he is so impulsive and his episodes are so sudden, it is impossible for our family to go out to dinner or to public places without having to endure angry looks and remarks from others.
As a R.N., I am familiar with the side effects of the typically prescribed medications for this type of behavior and, instead, opted for a natural approach. I decided to try Acuity, during summer break. Within the first week, my friends were commenting on how calm my son was and what a pleasure he was to be around.
By the time he started the new school year, it was like night and day. His attention span had increased; he was more patient and no longer out of control. He was also sleeping through the night. He had the same teacher as the year before and she was so impressed with his changed behavior that she began taking Acuity herself. She told me that as a child, she had been diagnosed with ADHD. One Happy Mom
To read more patient stories, click here.
The good news is that there are effective natural alternatives to use instead of the conventional drugs for the treatment of ADHD for both children and adults. There are effective tests that can be performed to identify the underlying cause of the symptoms. If you or your child suffer from poor concentration, poor focus, inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity or impulsivity you need to get tested so that the imbalances can be corrected as soon as possible.
For more information about Dr. Hansen’s natural ADHD formula Acuity™ and Testimonials from parents who have given Acuity™ to their children, please click here.
For more information about Acuity, please click here.
For more information about Tranquil Clarity, please click here.
For more information about 5HTP, please click here.
For more information about L-Tyrosine, please click here.
For more information about REPLENISH™, please click here.