The ADHD/ODD Child
There is an epidemic of diagnosis concerning behavior in our young children today. With ADHD specifically, in the 1970s, there were only 150,000. In 2016, the numbers are 6.1 Billion. Considering Oppositional Defiant Behavior (ODD), it is said to affect 10-15% of our youth.
With these diagnoses, it is said that over 60% will have another emotional disorder. Over 50% of those with ADHD have a conduct disorder. 1 of 3 have anxiety. Other conditions can be depression, autism, and Tourette’s.
Being a parent of a child diagnosed with ADD (before the change in labeling), I began researching several years ago about natural means to control the symptoms. As I began learning about the effect of food and behavior, I learned there are physiological reasons behind the behavior.
From research done in the 1970s, a trace metal imbalance was found in those prone to violent behavior. Consistent abnormal levels were found of copper, zinc, lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, lithium, and cobalt in clients with behavior disorders. Low Copper/Zinc ratios led to defiant behavior, cruelty to animals, and combativeness. High Copper/Zinc ratios was seen in those who experienced more intermittent explosive behaviors. Methylation issues are also connected with ODD/ADHD. Even food sensitivities can cause rage symptoms and inability to concentrate.
Think about this for a moment. What if little Johnny’s behavior isn’t because he is a ‘bad’ boy, or you are not a bad parent, but because something in his body is keeping him from processing the needed nutrients? Would it not be better to find the underlying cause rather than medicate the child with a medicine that is not supposed to be taken more than six months?
When beginning to tackle these behavior labels, the first place to start is to make sure the child is eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Limit artificial sugars. Make sure to limit screen time. (Dr Amen recommends no more than 30 minutes a day.) Assess for food sensitivities.
From this step, consult with the medical provider to find test for heavy metals, whole blood histamine, plasma zinc, serum copper, and urine pyrroles. It may be useful to have a hair mineral analysis test done. Other suggested testing: serum ceruloplasmin, thyroid panel (complete), and liver enzymes.
After this, the parent will be able to address the specific issue by supplementing the needed nutrients. In some cases, behavior changes are improved in as little as two weeks. In other cases, it may take several months for significant changes are seen. Remember that detoxing is an important component of addressing behavior issues.
To share a bit of my own experiences, I will tell you I saw great improvement in removing certain foods like dairy and gluten. I also saw improvement in using a probiotic to help heal the gut. Healing the gut is a very important aspect of improving brain health.
Please do not hesitate to consult with a professional to walk you through the changes in finding the underlying causes of your child’s brain challenges. For more information on additional training on brain health or to get help in making these changes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.