Many parents around the world are having to deal with something they call “ADHD”. This behavioral disorder is socially unacceptable, thus creating embarrassment to the family on top of the challenges of handling a hyperactive child. From my experience, many ADHD parents believe this problem is genetic or otherwise unchangeable. Well, I am here to tell you there are many causes for ADHD and they are all things parents can control.
Food and ADHD
The most widely agreed reason for ADHD is food. Most specialists agree that some food items cause aggressive behavior similar to that caused by addictions: sugar, chocolate, food colors, artificial flavors and preservatives.
Others believe that the body is missing some chemicals it needs to digest certain kinds of food and thus develops an allergic response to food it cannot process. This is when you need to check food allergies like: wheat, milk, egg, chocolate, corn, soybean and also food containing Salicylates.
The key to a solution here is finding the foods causing the problem and getting them out of your ADHD child’s diet, possibly introducing them back later on.
Breastfeeding and ADHD
Research shows that, out of 100 kids with ADHD, fewer are breastfed than the number in the general population. It also shows that when kids with ADHD are breastfed, it is for a shorter period of time.
Further research has found that breast milk contains some fatty acids that are necessary for proper development of babies. By breastfeeding long enough, mothers provide the right amount of these fatty acids to their babies and reduce the risk of having ADHD (and Dyslexia).
Subsequent research has used fatty acid supplements from a combination of Evening Primrose and Fish Oil. Kids suffering from Dyslexia, ADD or ADHD were given supplements for over 4 months. The kids improved so much that 64% stopped having concentration problems, 73% were no longer hyperactive and 75% stopped breaking the rules. The kids’ reading also improved and they showed reduced anxiety and shyness, better memory and increased coordination.
The key to a solution is breastfeeding your babies as long as possible, but no less than 4 months. For older kids already showing symptoms of ADHD, use the above supplements. In both matters, please consult a specialist.
Environment and ADHD
Together with food, it has been found that kids’ environment can also contribute to ADHD. Kids who were exposed to cleaning products in their classes performed lower in their school work. Air pollution can also contribute to symptoms of ADHD.
Although it is a bit harder to stop breathing, it is quite easy to avoid very hard chemicals or at least ensure good ventilation after using them.
Antibiotics and ADHD
Studies have found that prolonged use of antibiotics weakens the good bacteria in the body, interfere with normal function of the body and can contribute to ADHD.
The best thing for us to do as parents is to avoid use of antibiotics as much as possible. If it is really necessary, we should make sure to eat lots of food containing good bacteria like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso and kefir. If this is hard too, you can always buy some acidophilus and lactobacillus capsules from the health shop for lots of good bacteria (the refrigerated versions are better).
Another way to help in this area is to avoid food with lots of sugar, because is the food of the bacteria you want to eliminate from your kid’s body.
Learned behavior and ADHD
Some of the ADHD problems could be learned at home from a parent who is confused, impulsive, not coping well with authority or lacking self esteem. Some kids do not know any other way to behave and fall into a cycle of behavior that is hard to get out of. The good news is that the chance of both parents having that problem is small. The bad news is that if a parent has this problem, it will be hard for him or her to help their kids.
Spotting the symptoms in yourself or your partner can greatly help. I have heard so many parents saying, “My husband is exactly the same” or “My wife is exactly like this”. You can work on your life skills, improve your self esteem and learns ways to manage your feelings and behaviors.
Kids are like mirrors, or little monkeys (“monkey see, monkey do”). If they see you happy and content, they will be happy to. And this is a wonderful cycle!