May 10th 2010
Natural alternative ADHD medication is the answer in most cases. As with the hard drug Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder medication, this is a trial and error exercise. The advantage is that the medication is natural and puts no chemical stress on the body.
ADHD drugs are not mild medications, but highly stressful to the system. Chemical stress is often ignored, but has a profound effect on the system. There is uncertainty as to the safety of these drugs. Side effects of ADHD medication include heightened suicide risk, liver failure, heart failure, angina, abnormal heart rhythm, fast pulse, high blood pressure, chronic sleeping difficulty, loss of appetite and hence weight loss, heightened nervousness, hallucinations, mood changes, nausea, decreased white blood cells, anaemia, strokeand life-long dependence.
Drugs like Ritalin do not cure ADD/ADHD. They dope the child into being calmer. ADD/ADHD is not a disease. ADHD is a condition where there is a wide variation of behaviour. There is no one size fits all scenario with ADD/ADHD. The spectrum of ADD and ADHD behaviours varies from inability to pay attention, through fidgeting constantly, BUT still paying attention, to the out of control hyperactive child.
ADHD is not a disease, but is defined by a contrived diagnosis, which makes it appear to be one. The disease free children, diagnosed as having ADHD and given ADHD drugs, are not being treated, but poisoned to give the pharmaceutical companies a profit.
In medicine, a diagnosis must be complete before scientific treatment can be planned, and informed consent can be given. First of all, a diagnosis requires an answer to the question: Is there an objective abnormality. Yes or no? If the answer is “yes” further examinations and tests must be performed to determine which disease is present.
If there is a macroscopic, microscopic or chemical abnormality, evident in the patient, or at autopsy, a disease is present. Without such an objective abnormality there is no such thing as a disorder, a disease or a chemical imbalance. No distinct physiological cause for ADHD has been verifiably shown. Any doctor who states that is ignorant or lying.
There is no physiological basis for diagnosing attention deficit disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The DSM-IV manual (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - fourth Edition) states that very clearly:
“There are no laboratory tests, neurological assessments, or attentional assessments that have been established as diagnostic in the clinical assessment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.”
(DSM-IV-TR, page 88)
What is needed is a cause-oriented approach, instead of masking the symptom. So called ‘diseases’ due to a perceived ‘chemical imbalances’ in the brain are not diseases at all, but are inventions and contrived diagnoses.
ADHD symptoms have many and varied causes. The cause needs to be found for that particular individual. It can be the person needs more vitamins than the average, a dietary change, or a lifestyle change. Maybe the parents should move to another environment, or an ADHD adult might need to make a career change, finding a niche where their ADHD is an asset.
Medication can be the correct treatment, but then that must be a last resort. Which parent would happily put their children on a daily dose of ecstasy or cocaine? Ritalin is in the same category.
What is a chemical balance or chemical imbalance? The chemical balances in our bodies are changing constantly. When we are angry, or sad, or excited, the chemicals coursing through our bodies are different. Stress can inhibit a certain biochemical pathway. Rest and avoiding the stressful environment or lifestyle, can enable the body to repair and function normally again.
An ideal “chemical balance” in one occupation or environment, can be a “chemical imbalance” in another. What the scientists are saying is that the individual's system is stuck in a certain mode” and medication will get that person into a “normal mode.” The problem with that reasoning is that ADHD medication does not cure, merely suppresses symptoms.
Example: depression and 5-HTP
As an example, depression is said to be due to a deficiency in serotonin. The antidepressant reuptake inhibitors keep the little serotonin bouncing back and forth in the synapses of the brain cells. This does not help the next step in the chemical pathways. Serotonin is absorbed and continues by being transformed into a new substance (melatonin), which the body needs. The antidepressant drug helped one area, but is doing nothing, zilch, nada about the next phase.
Also to keep in mind is that only 5% of the serotonin in our bodies is in the brain. The medication affects the other 95% as well. Serotonin is involved in aggression, body temperature, blood vessel tone, mood, sleep, sexuality, appetite and metabolism. About 90% of serotonin is in the abdomen (appetite and metabolism).
To illustrate the simplistic idyllic picture we get from the doctors who believe in drug as a cure-all. The antidepressants keep our serotonin bouncing happily in our synapses, but why then do so many patients get impotent? Surely that is a sign that the patient is not “normal”, but other dysfunctions takes the place of the original problem. Problems with vision, impotence, sleep difficulty, nightmares, anxiety, fast heartbeat, weight loss or weight gain all indicate that the medication is not really a cure, but a symptom treatment.
It helps one chemical imbalance by masking the symptom while ignoring the secondary effects of further chemical imbalance. For those we can take other drugs like sleeping pills and Viagra to mask that step.
An alternative is to identify the cause, and treat the cause. Depression is supposed to be “caused” by a lack of serotonin. The serotonin systems in our bodies are complex and interrelated with other biochemical systems. To blandly state that depression is due to a lack of serotonin is to simplify the question ad absurdum. We get serotonin by eating tryptophan rich food such as cheese, sesame or sunflower seeds. The tryptophan is converted through biosynthesis in the body until it finally is serotonin. If through stress one of the biosynthesis steps does not function 100%, maybe only 20%, then there is a serotonin deficiency in our brain. In the step before the biosynthesis of serotonin the body produces 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP) which is the precursor for serotonin.
Many patients, who are depressed in spite of eating well-balanced meals, recover when they are given 5-HTP. This indicates that the hydroxylase enzyme step in the biosynthesis is not functioning, as it should.
Serotonin cannot be given orally, as the chemical would not survive the stomach, but the 5-HTP does survive. Since 5-HTP is a normal chemical in the body, there is no chemical stress to the system.
There is pressure from the pharmaceutical giants to classify 5-HTP as a prescription drug. This has succeeded in Sweden.
A note to the sceptics: Not all depressed people are cured by taking 5-HTP, simply because, as with ADHD, there are many causes for depression, and not everybody has the same symptoms, or have the same physiological reactions. For those who do respond to 5-HTP, it is a natural medicine.
As the depression example above shows, alternatives to harmful and toxic drugs do exist. One such alternative in the case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity is L-Theanine which is found in green tea or can be purchased in tablet form. Not all ADHD people will find this as an alternative, but it is healthier to experiment if green tea is an ADHD medication than to try Ritalin or Concerta.
Coffee is a mild stimulant and some adults in careers where they wish to hide the fact that they are hyperactive have found coffee to help. It works on the same principle as Ritalin, but is obviously far less harmful.
Most of our psychopharma drugs were originally discovered through serendipity and not by planning or intent. After that variants of the original were produced and tried. If we dig deep into the research past the pseudoscientific waffle we find science really does not know how they work. The literature is full of words such as might, maybe, possibly, we believe, likely, probably, appears to.
The brain has an amazing ability to adapt and modify different areas to compensate when a certain part does not function properly. The pharmaceutical drugs used for ADHD and ADD are hard and harmful drugs which prevent a natural healing process to take place, while alternative treatments such as treating the cause of ADHD, coaching through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming aid the body to heal itself.
Alternative Attention Deficit/Hyperactive medication such as L-Theanine, drinking green tea or coffee are all worth a try. Natural ADHD treatments are available based on teaching coping skills and social skills. These are based on standard accepted practices in psychology, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.