Friday, August 12, 2005


ADD / ADHD may have Underlying Health Problems
August 11th 2005


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is estimated to affect 3 – 7 percent of children in the US according to the American Psychiatric Association. Some other studies think that rates for ADHD are much higher. ADHD affects boys three times more often than girls.

Other potential health conditions could be causing the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) / ADHD and should be addressed first. Vision or hearing problems, Hyperthyroid or Hypothyroid, Food Intolerances or Allergies, Calcium and/or Magnesium deficiencies, High Copper and low Sulfur - with or without elevated Aluminum, Iron deficiency, lower levels of Tyrosine amino acid, Recreational Activities such as violent movies and video games and lack of parental discipline are all potential contributors to the ADD / ADHD disorder. Changing a child’s diet to improve nutrition and changing environment like the type of TV shows they watch or the games they play may help.

Blood test should be considered to rule out any imbalance in blood chemistry. Make sure the pediatrician does a complete evaluation of the child instead of quickly writing a prescription for Ritalin.

Causes of ADHD might be linked with a sleep disorder of sleep apnea. Children are also susceptible to sleep apnea. Obstructive breathing problems treated with CPAP machines and surgery may be the solution. An ENT doctor would be helpful in determining if a sleep study or surgery is necessary. If you child has trouble sleeping at night, they snore, have enlarged tonsils or adenoids, they breath through their mouth, and show a failure to thrive (weight loss or poor weight gain), they are hyperactive or irritable during the day, or restlessness during sleep, they may have sleep apnea symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help to address issues with ADD / ADHD on a day to day basis. The child learns how to organize, prioritize, and follow-through on tasks. The ADD / ADHD child may have problems with making friends. Therapy can help to deal with the issues that may arise in social situations. There are special camps which specialize in behavioral therapy teach the child to interact appropriately with a reward system for doing the correct behavior.

Currently Ritalin (methylphenidate) is being prescribed for the treatment method for ADHD children. There are currently 10 million prescriptions filled each year for this drug. Ritalin drugs stimulate the section of the brain that uses self control and works to increase the child’s concentration. One side effect of taking Ritalin is growth retardation. Two studies showed that children who have nausea and vomiting as a side effect where a full 2.6 inches shorter as an adult.

Other drugs that are used to treat ADHD are Tofranil, Catapres, Aurorix, and Petrofan. The list of less serious side effects to Ritalin are insomnia (difficulty sleeping), nervousness, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, tics (repetitive movements), abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting, decreased appetite or weight loss, or slower weight gain and/ or growth. The serious side effects are an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives), an irregular or fast heartbeat, chest pains or very high blood pressure (blurred vision, severe headache, flushing), unusual behavior or confusion, or liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue).

Taking Ritalin is a medication and should not be taken without careful consideration as it has side effects. "For the first time, we are seeing that Ritalin given at doses commonly used to treat children with ADHD significantly increases levels of dopamine in the brain," said psychiatrist Nora Volkow at Brookhaven Lab. "This combination - the ability to increase motivation and also directly activate circuits of attention - is likely to be key to the beneficial effects of Ritalin."

ADD / ADHD are a list of symptoms that are very possibly be created from something else in the body or environment that is not working correctly. It would be worth looking further into potential hidden health and environment issues that might be creating the problem in addition to take Ritalin medication with behavioral therapy.




It’s not an easy task to choose the person of the week???

Well after thinking about it? I finally found that person.

It’s a mysterious individual. This is twice this happens in this blog for the person of the week!


My person of week is Number#21!!!


Who might this individual be you ask?

I first came face to face with 21 during my protest.


As many other people in the Capital, she was a panhandler.

But this needy person was different from the others.

At first, I knew there was something wrong because she was very skinny! Her arms had little muscles and she was wearing a black one piece skirt.

I told her that I had no money and she quietly move on to the next person. She wasn't like other panhandlers.

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She wasn’t rude. She was very polite. I might add that number 21 never sold her body for drugs!


What really caught my attention was her eyes!

It was the eyes of innocent. She had beautiful eyes but you immediately could tell that she was hurting.

Close to one year afterwards, Alan White a radio reporter for CBC made a story on Number 21!


She was living in a tent in the North side.

Alan told the audience that she was on Dilaudid.

The veteran reporter said that number 21 is on the Methadone waiting list.

This is where she got her nickname number 21.

She was the 21st person on the waiting list!

Afterwards, I would always asked her how she was making out?

I really felt bad for her and this summer I didn’t see number 21 around the City. I always wondered if something happen to her?

Around one month ago while volunteering at the Fredericton Soup Kitchen, I noticed number 21 sitting down at a table eating.

When you’re on Dilaudid? You don’t eat much.


I quickly left my duties and approached her. I asked how she was making out?

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She told me that she has been on methadone for the last week! I congratulated her and I was very proud of her.

This week while I was at the addiction centre to get some info about the methadone clinics.

I bumped into number 21 and she was still on Methadone.

She told me that she’s looking forward to go back to work and get her life back!

After a little chat, she left the building.

So? This is an addicted person who might get her life back and she’s working very hard on it!

This is the reason that number 21 is my person of the week!!!!!

She should be congratulated for a job very well done!

With God willing? She’ll be ok!


Good luck number 21!!!!