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Kids are not medicated enough!

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Kids are not medicated enough!

Posted by Interested? on October 02, 2003 at 11:22:41:

Thought y'all might be interested in this article:

Behavior Mod Squad

Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

October 2, 2003


Dear Reader,

The phrase "Not enough children are getting drugs," should
not be used by radio reporters while I'm driving a car. It
could be hazardous to other drivers.

Last week I was listening to Morning Edition on National
Public Radio (NPR) while driving to work. And when I heard
the beginning of a report on the use of medication to treat
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I should
have pulled over to the shoulder of the road and turned off
the car so that I could talk back (shout back!) to the radio
without endangering my fellow motorists.

I'm happy to say that I got to work without plowing my car
into anyone else. That's the good news. The bad news: Even
though hundreds of thousands of children are being given
pharmaceuticals to treat ADHD, there are "experts" out there
who are convinced that our kids are under-medicated.

Now aren't you glad you weren't driving a car when you read
that last sentence?

Dreaming up diseases

The NPR report was part of a series on mental illness in
children. But does ADHD really qualify as a mental illness?
In the most extreme cases, possibly. But I wholeheartedly
agree with a Brandeis University medical sociologist named
Peter Conrad who told NPR that the American medical
establishment has come to regard normal human differences as
medical problems - such as judging a child to have a disease
because he doesn't pay as close attention as the kid in the
next desk.

And you know what we do with a disease in this country: We
medicate it.

In direct counterpoint to Mr. Conrad's clear thinking, the
NPR piece also featured Columbia University psychiatrist
Peter Jensen who believes that only half the kids with ADHD
are being properly medicated. So if Mr. Jensen had his way,
the number of U.S. kids taking an ADHD medication would
roughly equal the entire population of Ireland. That's well
over 3 million.

Mr. Jensen is particularly pleased with a National Institutes
of Mental Health (NIMH) study that compared the effectiveness
of behavior modification to medication in treating ADHD. The
behavior modification proved to be useful, but medication was
found to be more effective. Case closed, says Mr. Jensen.
Time to medicate those 1.5+ million stragglers.

But psychologist William Pelham says, not so fast. Both
Pelham and Jensen participated in the NIMH study, and Mr.
Pelham points out that other studies (ones that didn't simply
compare a behavior modification group to a medication group)
have found that more than half of ADHD subjects may be
successfully treated with behavior modification alone.

No doubt, the concept of trying behavior modification before
resorting to drugs is going to be a hard sell to the medical
establishment. But there's still a critical element missing
from both of these treatment options.

Oh behave!

The behavior modification techniques described in the NPR
report don't include diet modification. And that's a huge

In the e-Alert "How to Dismantle an '89 Ford" (6/3/02), HSI
Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., told us how he had successfully
treated hyperactive children with a two-step process: 1) by
discovering and removing food allergies, and 2) by enhancing
nutrition. The drawback to this process is that it's more
difficult to strictly modify a child's diet than it is to
have a prescription filled. And dietary changes take time. A
pill is a quick fix. But that quick fix comes with possible
side effects as well as long-range problems.

In the June 2002 e-Alert, Dr. Spreen wrote: "It's amazing how
many hyperactive children are chemically sensitive. The trick
is finding out what the sensitivity is. Food allergies are
chemical sensitivities, and they must be ruled out first.
This starts by cutting out the historic offenders - milk (or
other dairy), wheat, corn, soy, peanut, and adding to the
list anything (ANYTHING) that the child craves (or just
insists on eating everyday).

"Bear in mind also that sugar is a chemical. It's purified
and concentrated to a point w-a-a-a-y beyond what our bodies
were genetically designed to comfortably handle, and blood
sugar swings resulting from its use can absolutely have an
impact on behavior. Improvement can be absolutely amazing,
and then maddening to discover that so much control was
available from within the refrigerator."

Add nutrients

Once a child's diet is purged of aggravating factors, there
are important nutrients that can help calm hyperactivity. Dr.
Spreen recommends vitamin C in high doses (a "great
detoxifier") as well as alpha lipoic acid; used in
conjunction with a good basic multi-vitamin/mineral regimen.

Dr. Spreen adds, "Most ADHD kids have deficient diets, and
essential fatty acids (important for proper nerve formation
and conduction) are often undersupplied. Fish oil
supplements, along with extra vitamin E to assist in its
metabolism, can be very helpful. Sometimes, magnesium (in
doses not high enough to loosen stools) can be a big calmer
in the mineral department, and certain amino acid-type
supplements like GABA and L-tryptophan can be amazingly
effective. However, get educated by starting at the
beginning and don't quit until you have the answer."

Option one

The NPR report quotes a Johns Hopkins psychiatrist named
Daniel Safer who notes that over many years of treating
children with ADHD he's seen the attitude of parents change.
Where parents were once cautious about medicating their
children, many are now quite willing to request a
prescription for Ritalin. Several factors have contributed to
this change in attitude. In 1991, for instance, the U.S.
Office of Education officially identified ADHD as a condition
qualifying a child for special education. And there's no
doubt that the direct advertising of prescription drugs has
made our culture much more comfortable with the idea of
solving problems with pharmaceuticals.

And now there's a new drug that's making the decision to
medicate just that much easier. Strattera is a non-stimulant
ADHD medication introduced by Eli Lilly less than a year ago.
And it's selling like gangbusters. One million prescriptions
for Strattera were written between November 2002 and June
2003. The fact that Lilly can back up a new product with a
formidable international marketing effort has a lot to do
with these huge sales. But an ADHD drug that doesn't mimic
amphetamines (as Ritalin does) is probably very attractive to

But is it safer? That's hard to answer. Like Ritalin, the
long-range effects of Strattera are still a question mark.
And Strattera's most common side effects (mood swings,
dizziness, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and
tiredness) read like the symptoms of a disease. Does that
sound like the best way to help kids get focused?

Dr. Spreen sums up the ADHD situation with this
comment: "Never assume that drugs are the only answer."

And I would add to that: As effective as it may be in
treating ADHD, behavior modification isn't complete without
modification of the diet as well.


Are you sick of eating turkey burgers and sprouts... sick of forcing gallons of water down your throat... sick of
exercising until you can hardly breathe?

Before you give up everything just because "everyone" says
it's healthy... Find out why vegetarians actually die
younger, why there is no benefit to drinking gallons of
water, why you should keep your cholesterol level above 200,
and many more myth-busting facts that will lead you on the
road to real health.

Stop depriving yourself and find out how you can enjoy the
food you love while improving your health at the same time!
(if you can't open here use the HTML links listed below)

To start receiving your own copy of the HSI e-Alert, visit:
Or forward this e-mail to a friend so they can sign-up to receive their own copy of the HSI e-Alert.


.. and another thing

You don't really need another reason to increase your vitamin
C intake, but here's one anyway.

Researchers at the University of Manchester and the Institute
of Public Health at Cambridge University examined data from
an 8-year population survey of almost 25,000 subjects to
analyze the association between rheumatoid arthritis and
vitamin C intake through fruit and vegetable consumption.

Only 73 subjects developed rheumatoid arthritis, and their
diets had one common denominator: low intake of fresh fruits
and vegetables. Exactly how these foods protect the body from
this debilitating, inflammatory disease will require further

Without question, a daily orange, apple, carrot, and banana
will do most of us quite a bit of good. And munching them may
just let us cross rheumatoid arthritis off our list of things
to worry about.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute


Everyone has occasional trouble sleeping - and sleep problems
generally increase as we age. But even occasional sleep
problems can damage your health and make you old before your
time. Here's some good news, though. New research shows that
it's possible to:

* Easily enter a state of deep, restful sleep whenever you
* Regain the natural ability to sleep soundly.
* Regain the ability to produce vital life enhancing
substances at the same (or even higher) levels as you did
when you were much younger.

To find out how you can retrain your brain and start sleeping
like a baby, visit:
(if you can't open here use the HTML links listed below)


"Analysis: Increasing Diagnosis and Drug Treatment of
Children with ADHD Ignites Controversy Among Professionals"
Snigdha Prakash, Morning Edition, National Public Radio,
"Side Effects - Children and Adolescents"
"Low Vitamin C Linked to Greater Arthritis Risk" Karen
Birchard, The Medical Post, V. 39, Issue 24, 6/17/03,

Copyright (c)1997-2003 by, L.L.C.
The e-Alert may not be posted on commercial sites without written permission.

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Re: Kids are not medicated enough! (Archive in brain chemistry.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on October 03, 2003 at 07:30:31:

In Reply to: Kids are not medicated enough! posted by Interested? on October 02, 2003 at 11:22:41:

Thanks, Interested.

Everyone in this article needs to read either the chapter in my book about "Mood, Mind, Memory and Behavior" OR better yet read the entire 100 page monograph by Dr Alexander Schauss: "Diet, Crime & Delinquency" published by Parker House in 1980 and revised in 1981. In my opinion, the only reason this has been known so long and is still not the "standard of treatment" is the inexcusable and diabolical professional partnership of money and power!



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