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3 Facts About ADHD & Why It’s a “Fictitious” Disorder

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Image Credit: mzteachuh.blogspot.com

Years ago, if a kid was bored and didn’t listen well in class, he was considered lazy, a daydreamer or perhaps a bit rambunctious. These days, he’s labeled with a mental disorder.

In fact, the CDC says 6.4 million kids ages 4-17 have been “diagnosed with ADHD” since 2011. And that stat doesn’t even include the 198,000 kids under age five who are taking ADHD drugs. Besides that, I guarantee you, these numbers are a lot higher today – because every year the rates continue to skyrocket.

In a DER SPIEGEL interview with retired Harvard psychologist, Dr. Jerome Kagan, he explains why he is critical of “fuzzy diagnostic practices” and the “over-prescription of drugs such as Ritalin for behavioral problems in children.” When SPIEGEL asked Dr. Kagan if he actually thought ADHD was just an invention, he said –

“That’s correct; it is an invention. Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and the pediatrician says: “It’s ADHD; here’s Ritalin.” In fact, 90 percent of these kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.”

Child psychiatry researcher, Leon Eisenberg, one of the first to advocate major research studies on children’s developmental problems, like ADHD and autism, was one of the most famous neurologists in the world. He was a prominent figure in child psychiatry in the 50s and 60s. Some even identify him as the “inventor” or “founding father” of ADHD/ADD.

Dr. Leon Eisenberg

In Dr. Eisenberg’s last interview with SPIEGEL in 2009, just seven months before he died at age 87, he was quoted saying – 

“ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.” 

You can find this quoted in articles all over the web. In one must read article from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR)another doctor was quoted on the topic. Dr. Edward C. Hamlyn, founding member of the Royal College of General Practitioners stated in 1998 that –

“ADHD is fraud – intended to justify starting children on a life of drug addiction.”

ADHD-like behaviors are real. But – kids with the “ADHD label” are likely suffering from toxic overload, poor gut health, food and environmental allergies or nutrient deficiencies – among other things. All of these issues mimic the signs and symptoms of ADHD and other psychiatric disorders. Yet the symptoms are all lumped together and labeled as one big fake disorder helping the pharmaceutical company earn billions while sacrificing the health of our kids.

In addition to ADHD being a “fake disorder,” here are three more facts you should know before giving your kids ADHD medication.

1. ADHD Cannot Be Proven

First off, there’s no lab test that proves a person has ADHD. There’s nothing that proves it’s even a disorder having anything to do with the brain. I don’t even believe it is a disorder.

The “ADHD diagnosis” is based on a list of signs and symptoms related to inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Things like, “is easily distracted,” “doesn’t like to sit still, blurts out answers, and talks alot. But all of these “ADHD signs and symptoms” are basic everyday child behaviors. Plus, there’s no objective way to measure a child’s behavior. But that doesn’t stop anyone, and Big Pharma sits back laughing devilishly at the billions of dollars being made on such an incredibly stupid system for diagnosing a “disorder” that doesn’t even exist! O.M.G.

2. Drug Companies Agressively Push & Sell ADHD

Big Pharma is an enormous and very powerful, money hungry drug industry actively pushing to sell medications.

It’s a business!

The people behind it don’t care about you or your kids. But they are very good at making it seem like they do with all their strategic “helpful” organizations and educational websites they create and sponsor behind the scenes.

And it’s so very obvious.

In the same article from the CCHRAmerican psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and others revealed some interesting facts about how 100% of members on the panels of ‘Mood Disorders’ and ‘Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders,’ had financial ties to drug companies.

In their study, they found that panel members were getting some major benefits from this “fictitious disorder.” Here’s two facts taken from that article –

  • The assistant director of the Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School received “$1 million in earnings from drug companies between 2000 and 2007.”
  • The U.S. pharmaceutical industry spent 24.4% of sales dollar on promotion, versus 13.4% for research and development in 2004. Almost twice as much money on pushing their drugs than research to make sure it is safe.

According to IMS Health, profits for the ADHD drug industry continue to soar. Sales of stimulant medication in 2012 were nearly $9 billion. That’s five times more than it was 10 years before.

The drug industry is a massive conglomerate with enough money to pay doctors, schools, athletes celebrities huge amounts of money to promote their products.

It doesn’t stop there…

All sorts of organizations, online resources and well known public authorities are being paid mega bucks by Big Pharma to recommend, advertise and claim the meds are safe. The American Psychiatric Association (APA), for example, and many similar organizations, get special financing from drug companies to sell their products. Who do you think funds the CDC, the FDA, etc. etc.

The APA even recently added “makes careless mistakes” and “has a hard time waiting his or her turn” to the list of signs and symptoms to diagnose ADHD. They may as well add “asks to use the bathroom in class” or “looks a little tired today” to the list. Geesh!

Big Pharma spends billions marketing to doctors and teachers. They go as far as sponsoring online quizzes and educational videos designed to help persuade people to use ADHD drugs.

And guess what?

You’d never know these profit ridden marketing geniuses are behind the resources unless you researched who sponsored it. And why would you do that, right? We simply trust what we read – especially if it’s a helpful resource made especially for you by government organizations. It’s all a matter of what we perceive.

This is not a crazy conspiracy theory. These are simply the facts.

Do some research. Find trusted, reputable sources and you’ll see. There are plenty of lies, fraud and criminal acts that go on behind the scenes of this industry. Google it.

Here’s another very interesting fact I found as I started digging…

The “patient’s rights group” called CHADD, or Children and Adults with ADHD, has had a very sweet and very private financial relationship with Ciba Geigy – the manufacturer of Ritalin – since 1987. CHADD, which is also funded by Shire Pharmaceuticals – the maker of Adderall and Vyvanse, is the same group that helped get schools set up with federal funding for each kid who is “diagnosed” with ADHD.

Get this…

“In 1991 CHADD lobbied for the Individuals and Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to amend eligibility rules for federal special education programs and federal education grants, providing schools with $400 for each child diagnosed with ADHD. (source)

PLOS Medicine published an article saying CHADD tries to make teachers “sickness brokers for ADHD.”

The article goes on stating,

“Pharmaceutical companies have been able to exploit the Internet to access teachers and to influence their brokerage role. The approach to teachers tends to mirror strategies used to familiarise doctors with pharmaceuticals.”

Dozens of educational resources for teachers appear to be helpful, but are only designed to sell the ADHD drugs.

Here’s a good example from that same PLOS Medicine article of how one of these resources works –

“Shire also funds “ADHDSupport.com Teacher Discussion Guide,” copyrighted by Shire (2009), which has parents fill out their child’s name on a form and directs them to ask questions to elicit teacher collaboration to label the child, such as: “Could the school counselor/psychologist provide support in addition to what you’re doing in the classroom?” and “Would you be willing to fill out symptom checklists, to help monitor progress, on a weekly basis?”

The Guide is promoted on what looks like a consumer education website called “ADHD Support,” described as an ADHD Resource Center. However, it is just another marketing online site set up by Pharma—Shire Pharmaceuticals. It includes “checklists” for determining ADHD in children and adults and provides a Discussion Guide and refers readers to the CHADD website and its conferences.

Sadly, even schools become part of the system. And these days, millions of kids are forced to take ADHD drugs before they can even go to school.

3. ADHD Medications Are Dangerous

Click for source, # of cases & 49 documented side effects

Stimulant or non-stimulant, FDA-approved or not, ADHD medications are darn right dangerous!

They aim to boost levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which most often is not even the root of the cause. Meanwhile, these drugs are causing addiction, nervousness, insomnia, low levels of motivation, brain damage, liver failure, depression, stunted growth and development, worsened hyperactivity, irritability, eating disorders, heart pain, high blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, trouble moving the body, abdominal pain, compulsive disorders, mood disorders, a gateway to illicit drug use, a lower threshold for seizures, death and the list goes on.

They are aware of all these side effects, but they haven’t even studied long-term affects!

If my kid was on these meds I’d be terrified out of my mind to think of what else they are capable of in the long run.

An article from CCHR International reports –

“Even Roger Griggs, the pharmaceutical executive who introduced Adderall in 1994, said he strongly opposes marketing stimulants to the general public because of their dangers. He calls them ‘nuclear bombs,’ warranted only under extreme circumstances and when carefully overseen by a physician. 

So much for “extreme circumstances” or “carefully overseen.” It’s pretty much the exact opposite.

When we hear about school shootings, stabbings and bomb threats – we scratch our heads and say “Gee, how could young kids do something like that?”

Well, here’s an idea – they’re on or withdrawing from ADHD and other psychiatric drugs.

The CCHR posted an article with some facts on school shootings –

Fact: At least 31 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 162 wounded and 72 killed. In other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs. The most important fact about this list, is that these are only cases where the information about their psychiatric drug use was made public.”

All that, for a little boost of dopamine, which is highly reported ineffective? Great idea, Big Pharma.

Let’s exchange our children’s hyper behaviors for suicide, depression or death. Much better!

Oh, and if that’s not enough, when our kids finally do get off the drug, these side effects can persist for months and even years after stopping them. (source)

No thank you Big Pharma – I’m on to you.

How Our Standard American Diet Causes “ADHD” Symptoms

I’ve got some great news for parents with kids who often behave in ways listed on the ADHD list. There’s a much safer and more promising way to help your kids!

Get as far away from the Standard American Diet (SAD) as you can. I could go on an on about the SAD – which I blame Big Food, Big Ag and Monsanto for – the sisters of Big Pharma. Thanks to our highly processed and addictive dead food choices, we’ve got people feeding their poor bodies loads of harmful, toxic junk. We eat things we are sensitive or allergic too. We accumulate a build up of GMOs, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, etc.), food dyes, preservatives, nitrates, hormones, antibiotics, MSG – and so on.

Toxicity leads to inflammation in the gut. Inflammation in the gut leads to a dysfunctional immune system. A dysfunctional immune system leads to sickness and disease. 

Real food is our fuel. It’s what keeps our bodies working the way they should. The health of our guts is responsible for almost our entire immune systems, which are our army against sickness and disease. But most people’s guts are toxic. We’re loaded with bad bacteria and inflammation causing all sorts of health issues like constipation, eczema, asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, autism, ADHD, heart disease, cancer and death.

If people and even doctors were more informed about proper nutrition, we’d all be a lot better off. But our health industry is too focused on prescription drugs, disease treatments, health insurance and big profits.

An article from Foodforthebrain.org, explains just how our diet factors into ADHD.

“In any case, when a child is regularly snacking on refined carbohydrates, sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, juices and little or no fibre to slow the glucose absorption, the levels of glucose in their blood will seesaw continually and trigger wild fluctuations in their levels of activity, concentration, focus and behaviour. These, of course, are also the symptoms of ADHD.

Crap in – crap out.

It’s just that simple.

There’s a huge food on mood connection that so many people aren’t aware of. Most of the time, we shouldn’t even call what we’re eating food!

An apple is food. A Twinkie is poison.

Broccoli is food. Hot dogs are poison.

Nuts and seeds are food. Mc Donalds is poison.

See the pattern there? When it comes from a tree, a plant or the ground – it’s real food!

  • If you want to learn how to eat to prevent sickness and disease, check out this natural health and nutrition pyramid. If you actually eat that way, I know some of your kid’s ADHD-like symptoms would disappear.

Sugar and white breads deplete our bodies of important nutrients.

Processed foods and sweetened beverages deplete our bodies of essential nutrients.

In addition to this, we’re not eating the right foods, or enough of the right foods, to give our bodies the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients they need. Nutrients from foods that come from the Earth are what keep us alive and healthy.

Eat a healthy diet. Ditch the sugar. Ditch the processed junk. If you can grow it – eat it. If you can’t – don’t.

And be aware that there are many nutrient deficiencies that mimic the signs and symptoms of ADHD. Stay tuned for our article on 5 major nutrient deficiencies commonly found in kids with ADHD – coming soon!

Check out a few more facts in this video on The Drugging of Our Children 0-5 Years Old, via CCHR International.

And more great stats from 12 Keys Rehab

Keep reading…

Natural Ways to Treat ADD & ADHD

Natural Supplements that May Help With ADHD/ADD.

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70 Responses to 3 Facts About ADHD & Why It’s a “Fictitious” Disorder

  1. Kelly May 31, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    R u fing serious?? Come live in my house for a 24 hour time spand. Talk to my son about how he feels, felt, and then we can talk. It is proven in testing by the right person. Also many tests going on at NIH. YOU NARROW MINDED PEOPLE PISS ME OFF. There is also a spectrum from mild to severe.

    • Ashley Steinbrinck May 31, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      Okay, Kelly. We’re just trying to help. Have you tried getting your son tested for food allergies, toxicity levels or nutrient deficiencies? Have you already tried a functional medicine approach? What if it could help your son? There are actually no valid tests for ADHD. You can Google that and find out for yourself. The symptoms are very real, but the symptoms are all put together under one label. Most of the time, there’s underlying issues that need to be addressed. No need to be pissed off. Everyone has a right to their opinion. But I encourage you to keep an open mind to the functional medicine approach, too. Here’s another article about 5 common nutrient deficiencies in kids labeled with ADHD. http://blog.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/2014/05/27/adhd-nutrient-deficiencies/ Thanks for your comment!

      • A June 1, 2014 at 3:25 am #

        My son has been tested for food allergies, he does not have inflamed gut as he has had multiple scopes and other tests done, he was tested for deficiency and put on a high fish diet prior to any results in case there was lacking omagas. Everything was and is fine. Drs do not support life long use of the medications, they pair them with therapy to learn to manage the symptoms on your own. We have seen multiple in 2 different states. Also, setting you up for life long drug addiction? That sounds like a scare tactic. They dose the kids as low as possible and ONLY on school days, not on weekends, summer, or holidays. The medical approach is not as all as this article made it seem. Also my son is gluten free, no sweetened drinks unless at a child’s birthday party, fruits and veggies for snacks, etc. I agree they are lumped symptoms, most disease/ medical issues are symptoms lumped together. Could we be calling it something wrong? could we be treating it wrong? Possibly, we have done that with a very large amount of disease until progression in that area took over. That does not mean the issue is unreal. Could a poor diet cause these issues? Yes. Is that what is causing all these ‘fictitious’ DX pushed by drs under the wing of evil big pharma and gmo supporters? Seems like a small scope to look through. Maybe it is one of those issues you have to be touched by to open your eyes to. I will however admit it is over DX. I do not think it is the fault of drs however, I think it is an issue of expectations of children that mothers and fathers in our society are developing. If I push a dr hard enough, I am bound to find one to agree with me. If I search long and hard enough for someone to rob a bank with me I can also find that too. Meaning, because some cases are fake or misdiagnosed does not make them all. Because some drs are bad, does not make them all. Because some kids live off fake foods, dose not mean all do.

        • Liz June 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

          You are so right have them come live with our sons and try staying in our homes. Getting them up for school and trying to get them out the door on time and get yourself off to work also. It’s rough!! Mine son is 10

          • Ashley Steinbrinck June 1, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

            Well, I have 2 sons also – they aren’t labeled with ADHD – but it’s still damn hard to live in my home, getting them ready each day and trying to get them out the door on time. I’m hardly ever to work on time and I’m ready to rip my hair out many a days. It is rough being a parent. NORMAL KIDS. I’m giving moms like you information that’s relayed all over the web and from Doctors that have been on both sides of medicine. Our entire motive is to help you have an easier day to day life. We’re giving you an idea. Something to try that maybe you haven’t yet. http://blog.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/2014/05/27/adhd-nutrient-deficiencies/ Thanks for your comment!

      • Dr Andrew Kinsella June 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

        Ashley,
        I am sure you are trying to help. However– all of the material you present on the “non existence of ADHD” is hopelessly flawed.
        Nobody who is scientifically literate believes the “ADHD is a discrete disease entity caused by a genetic deficiency in dopamine production” story.
        There are too many flaws in it.
        If you want a good demolition of it– look at the appendices of the book “In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts” by Dr Gabor Mate,himself an ADHD sufferer.

        The material you present that highlights some of the many acknowledged environmental contributions to ADHD is worthwhile, though far from complete.
        However the material that says the CONDITION (not disease) does not exist is utterly flawed. The oldest description I have encountered of the condition is in Hippocrates aphorisms.

        What you have done here is muddy the waters by tying together good material on contributions to ADHD with utter rubbish about ADHD not existing. Did you not even to do enough homework to check Snopes on the quotes attributed to Eisenberg? What sort of journalism is that?

        In presenting such a mish mash of good sense with rubbish you are likely to infuriate many ADHD individuals so much that they will regard the whole of your work as rubbish. That is not helping – not by any stretch of even the most simple imagination.

        • Ashley Steinbrinck June 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

          I believe 100% that this will help those kids that suffer with symptoms of ADHD. Much of what I said is real, and everyone has an opinion. Thanks for yours – I hope you feel better.

        • phil mccracken March 12, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

          You should be skeptical of ADHD. Look at how they diagnose the “disorder” (actually should be called a set of circumstances) and you’ll realize that it’s not scientific at all. It applies broadly to all children.

      • Gary August 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

        There is no distinct helpfulness in the article. For the mere reason it implies ADHD is fictitious not to mention a fictitious diseases. By further advertising as such – Natural Ways to Treat ADD & ADHD – you are equating ADHD as a disorder and real.

        [First off, there’s no lab test that proves a person has ADHD. There’s nothing that proves it’s even a disorder having anything to do with the brain. I don’t even believe it is a disorder.]
        —The “I don’t believe it is a disorder” is stating you believe in ADHD.

        How come the article doesn’t say the DNA linked to ADHD is fictitious. Or that science got it wrong. Any reason why it was left out?

        • Ashley Steinbrinck August 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

          Gary, I can’t help but be a bit confused by how you worded your question. However, it seems as though you’re wondering if I think ADHD is real or not. Here’s the thing. ADHD symptoms – the hyperactivity, inability to focus, etc. are very real. But ADHD is a label for a group of symptoms that have a variety of root causes. It could be food allergies/sensitivities (you can even be allergic to healthy foods), it could be nutrient deficiencies (this is a big one) it could be environmental toxins or a high toxicity level in the body with a biological inability to detoxify, it could be Lyme disease, it could be an adverse reaction to vaccinations, it could be heavy metal toxicity, etc. etc. Many times, functional medicine practitioners find that people labeled with ADHD have a mixture of these. Especially food allergies, nutrient deficiencies and toxicity. The gut needs to be healthy – either way. And there is a huge correlation to ADHD and poor gut health. Does that answer your question?

          • Gary August 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

            It tells me you believe that ADHD is genetic. And there are symptoms that mimic ADHD as well.

          • Ashley Steinbrinck August 6, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

            I use ADHD as a “term” so people know what I am referring to. People’s genetics help determine their biological make up. Someone might have a gene making them more susceptible to a certain issue of sorts. Many nutrient deficiencies mimic the symptoms of what “ADHD labeled people” are suffering from. From now on, I can be extremely detailed and say “people labeled with ADHD” every time I use that term. I am not in this to find people to argue with. I am in this to help those who may not be aware about the functional side of medicine.

          • Carolina October 13, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

            I agree with you Ashley, we live in Nevada, my son is 10 and he was just diagnosed with ADD, I believe that he has symptoms but I am totally against any drug. My son is actually attending a Catholic school and I am having a hard time trying to keep him in school even that he has good grades and he is very respectful and kind with everyone there cause he has problems staying focus and he gets a litt’l behind with the classwork.We already got him medical checked, changed his diet, added natural supplements and vitamins and created rutines for home organization but It is very sad the way most of schools operate now a days trying not to deal with this common situations and just opting for getting this kids out of their schools, education should be based on cooperation between educators and parents for a better future of the kids, thanks for your article!!

      • Arturo Perez, PhD September 25, 2014 at 11:55 am #

        Ashley first lets look at your background. You are a communications major, who does not have ADHD. Also, you ADHD cannot be proven. Here is the link for the ADHD studies please read and educate yourself.

        http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=neurological+studies+adhd&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ei=u0IkVJHXJ8izyAT8n4CoDQ&ved=0CBsQgQMwAA

        Living with ADHD is not easy. There are seven types of ADHD

        1. Classic ADD
        This is the easiest type to spot: Primary symptoms are inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, disorganization, and impulsivity. Scans of the brain show normal brain activity at rest, and decreased activity, especially in the prefrontal cortex, during a concentration task. People with this type of ADD have decreased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum, and the basal ganglia, the last of which helps produce the neurotransmitter dopamine.

        2. Inattentive ADD
        This type, as well as Classic ADD, have been described in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders since 1980. This type is associated with low activity in the prefrontal cortex and low dopamine levels. Symptoms are short attention span, distractibility, disorganization, procrastination. People with this type are not hyperactive or impulsive. They can be introverted and daydream a lot. Girls have this type as much as, or more than, boys.

        3. Over-Focused ADD
        Patients with this type have all of the core ADD symptoms, plus great trouble shifting attention. They get stuck or locked into negative thought patterns or behaviors. There is a deficiency of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. When the brain is scanned, you see that there’s too much activity in the area called the anterior cingulate gyrus, which is the brain’s gear shifter. This overactivity makes it difficult to go from thought to thought, task to task, and to be flexible.

        4. Temporal Lobe ADD
        This ADD type has core ADD symptoms along with temporal lobe (TL) symptoms. The TL, located underneath your temple, is involved with memory, learning, mood stability, and visual processing of objects. People with this type have learning, memory, and behavioral problems, such as quick anger, aggression, and mild paranoia. When the brain is scanned, there are abnormalities in the temporal lobes and decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex.

        5. Limbic ADD
        This type looks like a combination of dysthymia or chronic low-level sadness and ADD. Symptoms are moodiness, low energy, frequent feelings of helplessness or excessive guilt, and chronic low self-esteem. It is not depression. This type is caused by too much activity in the limbic part of the brain (the mood control center) and decreased prefrontal cortex activity, whether concentrating on a task or at rest.

        6. Ring of Fire ADD
        Patients with this type don’t have an underactive prefrontal cortex, as with Classic and Inattentive ADD. Their entire brain is overactive. There is too much activity across the cerebral cortex and many of the other parts of the brain. I call it “ADD plus.” Symptoms include sensitivity to noise, light, touch; periods of mean, nasty behavior; unpredictable behavior; talking fast; anxiety and fearfulness. In brain scans, it looks like a ring of hyperactivity around the brain.

        7. Anxious ADD
        People with this type have hallmark ADD symptoms, and they are anxious, tense, have physical stress symptoms like headaches and stomachaches, predict the worst, and freeze in anxiety-provoking situations, especially where they may be judged. When the brain is scanned, there is high activity in the basal ganglia, large structures deep in the brain that help produce dopamine.This is the opposite of most types of ADD, where there is low activity in that region.

        Now I am an adult with ADHD. I was diagnosed at an early age. My disorder is not fake. I have all 7 types which can be moral debilitating if not assisted. Yes I have been tested for allergies and other deficiencies in my body. So your comments come from lack of research. Each type has a way of treating with meals, creating patterns, and a constant support from your loved ones. But yes there are times that medication is required. Some medications are stimulants others are not. I have to take the stimulant and I only take it when I am in need to focus and be attentive to work needs. But the days I do not take it, it can create chaos at home. Why you may ask? Well ADHD people tend to only focus their brain to what is wanted and needed at that moment for them. Impulsivity can take out the works of our lives. ADHD people can be considered and misdiagnosed as Bipolar. The worst part is that your brain never stops. Other things as you grow older start to develop, like restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, insomnia, Depression, etc. That if not handled at an early age this can become an issue at a later age. If your kids are ADHD then educate yourself and help them. It is not a label it is a true disorder.

        Join the local organizations, like CHADD, http://totallyadd.com/ has great information to help.

        We all can say come live in my house but you do not understand what ADHD is and because of that you write this information. You are not ready to accept that this disorder exist. A lot of parents go through this but when you are ready to get full information of the matter then go visit UCSF Hyperactivity, Attention, and Learning Problems Clinic http://psych.ucsf.edu/lpphc.aspx?id=450 . I am giving you a renowned name of an institution so you have proper documentation and not the stuff you probably read in a magazine. Also go to http://www.help4adhd.org/ the National Resource Center on ADHD to get information to help you.

        • Ashley Steinbrinck September 26, 2014 at 7:49 am #

          Thanks for writing in. The things I’ve learned have come from doctors with credentials that have said the same things. I encourage you to check out Dr. Hyman’s website http://drhyman.com/ and learn more about functional medicine and you could maybe even help yourself. It goes far beyond food allergies. Just read a few of Dr. Hyman’s stories on those he’s healed.

          As far as CHADD goes. Did you read my article? Or did you just see the title, scroll down and read my bio and instantly get upset that I am not a doctor? Just in case, here’s the part I talked about on CHADD.

          The “patient’s rights group” called CHADD, or Children and Adults with ADHD, has had a very sweet and very private financial relationship with Ciba Geigy – the manufacturer of Ritalin – since 1987. CHADD, which is also funded by Shire Pharmaceuticals – the maker of Adderall and Vyvanse, is the same group that helped get schools set up with federal funding for each kid who is “diagnosed” with ADHD.

          Get this…

          “In 1991 CHADD lobbied for the Individuals and Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to amend eligibility rules for federal special education programs and federal education grants, providing schools with $400 for each child diagnosed with ADHD. (source)

          PLOS Medicine published an article saying CHADD tries to make teachers “sickness brokers for ADHD.”

          The article goes on stating,

          “Pharmaceutical companies have been able to exploit the Internet to access teachers and to influence their brokerage role. The approach to teachers tends to mirror strategies used to familiarise doctors with pharmaceuticals.”

          Dozens of educational resources for teachers appear to be helpful, but are only designed to sell the ADHD drugs.

          So – no thank you I will not want to learn ANYTHING from CHADD. The same people who are only marketing the ADHD drugs. One day you may begin to see it for yourself. There is starting to be A HA moments for many doctors just like yourself.

          Thanks again for taking your time to comment – but next time, be sure to read the article before you do. Thanks doc! ; )

          • Dylan King March 1, 2015 at 12:06 am #

            Ashley, you are awesome! I love that sarcasm! You totally put him in his place, nice job! 🙂

          • Ashley Steinbrinck March 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

            Thanks, Dylan! This is one of my most hated articles yet, so I really appreciate your comment! ; )

      • Michele January 27, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

        They didn’t even give you any details about how it is to live with them, and you assumed it would be exactly like your sons, in an attempt to put them down. That shows how much you lack professionalism, not very credible. Also, it is very unprofessionnal to suggest things to people like they’re dumb and didn’t try it before. Maybe if you sons actually had ADHD you’d understand more people’s situation. But all you do is pretending to not hear what they have to saying, saying stuff like “meh, normal kids, pretty sure it’s like my own” without any informations about them. Which is, once again, removing all credibility from you.

        • Theresa Groskopp, CN January 28, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

          Sorry Michele that you disagree with the article. That’s okay though, we all have the right to express our opinions. Ashley is very passionate about this topic as she does indeed have children that have ADHD-like behavior. She might be a little too passionate at times in sharing information she has found and believes to be true. But I believe passion is better than apathy though.

          I am not sure if you were looking at a different article but I couldn’t find any reference to her saying people were dumb. That certainly would be unprofessional. As far as suggesting things, I thing that might be part of the idea behind a blog – is to share your personal experiences so others can draw from the article, take what is applicable to them and discard the rest. None of us will ever have the same exact experiences so you will definitely get something different out of the same article that I would, or anyone else for that matter. Thanks for commenting and sharing your opinion.

      • shelly June 16, 2015 at 8:46 am #

        I am a yoga instructor, mom of 2 adhd children. They eat an organic diet, been taught to meditate, have used Occupational therapy which helped, added supplements to their diet and they still have adhd! There is so much misinformation in this article. Where to begin? The nutrients that are deficient are a result of an overtaxed immune system CAUSED by the ADHD. The resulting anxiety depletes the adrenals and pituitary glands of magnesium and other minerals. ADHD sufferers require more omegas but ADHD is not caused by lack of.
        You seem to be confusing cause and effect and are dangerous in your misinforming parents. OT works, dietary supplementation works, music listening programs work, and maybe choosing to medicate as needed works. get off your self-righteous high horse.

        • Ashley Steinbrinck June 16, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

          Hi Shelly, cause and effect is still very up in the air when it comes to many of these chronic symptoms so many of our kids and even adults are facing. ADHD is a set of symptoms that stem from a root cause. ADHD symptoms, like inability to focus, etc. could be a result of a specific nutrient deficiency like magnesium, B-complex vitamins, etc. The symptoms could be from a mold toxicity, they could be a result of a build of of toxins and the inability to detox well. The symptoms could be a result of fluoride toxicity, heavy metals, Lyme disease, leaky gut, and on and on and on. There are so many environmental triggers and we live in a toxic soup. No matter how healthy and organic you try to be, sometimes it doesn’t always matter – depending on your child’s biological makeup.

          I assure you, this information is researched and studied by many medical professionals. Things are not always as they seem. I challenge you to continue your research with a very open mind. I believe there is something that can be done to help your 2 children. I know you’ve tried a lot and you’re a very good mama feeding them an organic diet and using meditation to keep the stress at bay, but don’t give up.

          I doubt that I can change your opinion, but maybe this insightful article from psychiatrist, Dr. Kelly Brogan, will shed new light on the situation. Her credentials are pretty impressive. Keep up the great work! I wish you and your family the best and hope that you will find the answers that could help!

          http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/medicating-our-kids-new-perspective-adhd

          Thank you for your comment.

    • Dr Andrew Kinsella June 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

      I was diagnosed ADHD at age 46– too late to save my marriage, sadly.
      The stimulant treatment has been a great boon for me and has allowed me to progress to the point where I no longer need medication.
      This article makes a number of valid points about various environmental issues that can contribute to ADHD– but the parts about ADHD being a “fictitious disease” are pure hokum.
      For asystematic demolition of the rubbish that has been posted here I would direct you to this thread:
      http://addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1659376&posted=1#post1659376

      Post 18 contains a thorough deconstruction of the critical points in this thread. I am astounded at the woeful example of cut and paste journalism that the author has provided.

      • Ashley Steinbrinck June 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

        So, does that mean you’ve been tested for food allergies? You’re sure you have a healthy gut? You eat a diet rich in plant-based foods? You’ve been checked for toxins in your body – lead and mercury, for example? You know that you have proper levels of all nutrients? Nobody should say this is hokum until they actually give what me along with OTHER doctors, including many on the conventional side say, a try.

    • phil mccracken March 12, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      It’s not narrow minded. My wife’s child from a previous marriage was diagnosed with ADHD and exhibited MANY of the symptoms. We corrected them. He didn’t have any structure or discipline and had a diet loaded with sugar. We got him off those pills (which helped with his non-compliance), got him off sugar (which helped with the hyperactivity) and started working working with him to develop habits we liked and break habits we didn’t. He went from being in special ed and performing badly in school to being normal with a normal appetite and not acting like a pain all the time. I am convinced people just aren’t parenting their kids well enough. Your kids probably need more direction.

    • A 14 Year Old Logician April 24, 2015 at 12:05 am #

      The entire argument over ADHD is preposterous. The disease, in its very name, states that its main symptoms are lack of focus, and an abundance of energy. I’ve never met a 7 year old who didn’t fit that description. I’m 14, and I’ve lived through a few of my friends being diagnosed, and their stories are all the same. As soon as their body has grown a bit, thereby meaning they have more weight to drag around, and they aren’t so full of sugar-fueled hyperactivity and instead become more fond of napping and eating, they mellow out and the “Doctor’s NEW Opinion” is that their condition had “shifted” to ADD. So basically, now, they have trouble focusing without a medication. As does every other child. Nobody enjoys sitting down and writing a prompt in utter silence. But when a kid, with other things on his mind than his prompt chooses to just write whatever he wants, and make noise, his parents will go to any lengths to make their kid look tragically victimized by an “uncontrollable disease”. Anything to avoid facing the reality that their child isn’t doing well in school cause he won’t do his work. Even giving him, not only a label which they force him to carry throughout his whole life, but a behavior altering drug, which will make them lose their natural energy, and in turn, often bring suicidal thoughts, or depression. Just because your kids didn’t turn out great is no reason to invent excuses, you can’t follow behind them in a job interview and explain why their high school transcript looks like somebody was trying to recite the alphabet, but got stuck after A and B. It’s frustratingly defensive parents like you, who refuse to accept that your children are just like every other, and aren’t any different behaviorally, but still want to make it seem as though your children are more difficult to raise than others. Mothering isn’t the hardest job in the world. Not unless you make it that way.

      • LJH May 7, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

        First, two thumbs up for this kid! And second, has anyone thought to look at the social or environmental factors associated with those diagnosed with “ADD”? It could be possible that parents create an environment which essentially promulgates and propagates this behaviour. If a child is used to being the centre of attention at home but not treated this way at school, maybe he or she will act out? Alternatively, maybe a child is ignored and acting out to get attention.

        Cheers.

    • Dave May 9, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

      I wonder if these people think that AIDs can be cured by eating carrots? It seems to me that they are just trying to sell THEIR brand of snake oil. They see the cash cow that big pharma’s been milking all these years and they want to dip their wiskers in the cream. I have ADHD. This s*** is REAL. It isn’t my diet, I’m not taking the wrong vitiamins, all of my humors are balanced. It’s been scientifically proven. Why don’t you go to MD Anderson and tell the people there for treatment that they don’t really have cancer because you don’t have it?

      • Ashley Steinbrinck May 11, 2015 at 9:07 am #

        They symptoms are very real – but it can be reversed and that’s what we are trying to bring attention to. Unless you’ve been tested for food sensitivities, heavy metal toxicity, toxic mold exposure, Lyme disease, nutrient deficiencies, and a whole lot more – you can’t know the cause. Medications are just a Band Aid. They do not focus on the root cause of a person’s health issues. There have been so many times that people got 100% better when they figured out their triggers and it’s almost always environmental. Not just diet. Although, with the right nutrients from FOOD (and even WITHOUT vitamins/supplements) you could most likely improve your symptoms a ton. We are only trying to help. And if it can be done without the use of supplements – then more power to ya ; )

    • Happy June 14, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

      Not cool! I’m a 44 year old woman who has ADHD….no one made money off of me when I was a kid because I was not medicated!!! If I had been I’m sure that my life would have been very different….maybe I could have achieved my “potential”. My heart breaks for the children when I see articles like this. it’s so damaging and causes more stigma. ADHD has many variations, just like most things in the world. This viewpoint is sad and it clearly comes from someone who hasn’t been battling with these symptoms their entire life. There are many things that DO prove ADHD is real. Look at brain activity, medications that work on those with ADHD but clearly have a negative effect on those without it, those who have tried the things you suggest and that did NOT work! I DO believe that food allergies and other variables can impact the level of disruption ADHD has on your life, however, I do not believe it is the root cause.

  2. Yawn June 21, 2014 at 5:14 am #

    Big Pharma is a business? Well I can see some ‘FREE SHIPPING’ and ‘SEE OUR DEALS’ buttons at the top of your article. So….. they don’t care about your kids, they’re just trying to get money whereas you really care and just want to help people with the stuff you want to sell them. Is this really your argument?

    A more appropriate title for this article would be ‘This is a Shop, My Job is to Sell You the Things In It, and Here Are a Bunch of My Opinions About ADHD’

    • Ashley Steinbrinck June 23, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

      You’re very funny, YAWN. True, Natural Healthy Concepts sells supplements. But did you know vitamins and minerals they sell are made from food? Supplements NEVER killed anyone. Prescription drugs on the other hand – hundreds of thousands a year. Writing for the Natural Healthy Concepts BLOG is my job – that’s true. But, I am passionate in and believe what I write about. If people can get the nutrients from food – awesome. That’s even better than buying a vitamin or minerals to supplement your diet. But “food” is not the same anymore and the food people eat actually deplete nutrients. It’s not even food. I am not trying to argue. I’m trying to help the millions of kids who may be improperly diagnosed with a “condition.” Often times, it’s nutrient deficiencies, toxic overload, poor diet, food allergies, etc. that is too blame. THAT’s the treatment they need. NOT DRUGS. Big Pharma is BIG BUSINESS.

      • Michele January 27, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

        You saw those things without any sources. To read you, you sound the same as these big pharma you’re trying to put down. Actually, you pretty much proved his point; you’re there to remove the competition to get profit from it. You’re even trying to put down another competitor with food. All your sentences just sounds like a salesman. And trying to sell products saying that’ll fix their problem might hurt people who TRULY need stimulants. By the way, that’s funny how you never mention supplements and vitamins overdose. Too much vitamin IS toxic. Also, death from ADHD drugs is very rare and is only a myth. There is no actual proof or sources to hold your claim. You’re really just doing the same as big pharma with your beautiful sentences trying to lure people you want their well-being.

  3. Susan July 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    Your article is insulting. You assume that everyone who has a child with ADHD is blindly believing their doctors without doing any of their own research on it. I agree that most doctors I’ve met are not nice, push too much medicine, and are really out to make money easily. I also agree that many parents are hoping and therefore believe that getting a doctor to write you a prescription will solve your problems (over prescription of antibiotics is a sad result of this one as well). But I grew up with ADHD and I know what it’s like. Yes, I hated the medicine, but my parents tried everything else with me and nothing worked.
    I now have 3 daughters. 2 are about 1 year apart. They do all of the same activities, share a room and eat the same foods. One clearly does not have any mental disorder of any kind,and is very responsible. The other girl… it takes a full day to get her to brush her hair. She is incapable of taking care of herself or doing her schoolwork or chores because she is just too scatterbrained. Every day is a struggle and sometimes it is more than I can handle. She has had this problem her whole life. We have also tried all kinds of natural remedies like going gluten free, removing possible allergins, etc etc. nothing works. Let me repeat that her sister is raised exactly like her and yet does not have ADD.
    You can easily convince me that more than half of ADD diagnosed kids do not have ADD. But ADD exists.

    • Ashley Steinbrinck July 8, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      I’m very sorry you feel insulted, Susan. This article was not meant to offend anyone. This article was meant to ALERT parents about what science and functional medicine doctors say about auto immune disorders and gut health. It’s great to know you’ve tried natural remedies like going gluten-free and removing allergens. Have you actually been tested or had your daughter tested (IgG blood test) for allergens? People can be allergic to things like citrus or night shades like potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes. It’s not always the usual suspects like gluten. Also, toxicity levels play a HUGE role in auto immune disorders as well as nutrient deficiencies. Have you seen a functional medicine practitioner about your and your daughter’s ADHD symptoms? This is the type of medicine I’m explaining about in the article. I truly believe you can be helped, even cured with this type of medicine. It’s been done. Plenty of times by functional medicine practitioners like Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Joel Fuhrman, etc. Babies are born with more than 200 toxic chemicals already in their bodies. Lead, mercury you name it. Everyone’s biochemical make up is different. Even from your one daughter to the next. I do believe the symptoms of “ADHD” are real. But I do not think they can be clumped into one disorder and should not all be treated with drugs. I strongly believe it’s a label that is put on a variety of symptoms stemming from other issues inside the body. I am also not trying to tell parents they are stupid or in the wrong. Again, I’m sorry you took it that way. Just in case, here is another article you might find more helpful and less offensive. http://blog.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/2014/05/27/adhd-nutrient-deficiencies/ thanks for your comment.

      • Diana August 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

        I live in the uk and over here it can take years to get your child diagnosed with what you call a “fictitious disorder” my son went through hell and the graph you posted that shows all the side effects, that was my son prior to being diagnosed and medicated. By the way, my son wasn’t into junk food. he loved vegetables and fruit, didn’t like fizzy drinks. he actually preferred a plate of brussel sprouts to a chocolate bar and a cup of fennel or chamomile tea to a can of pop, but diet was still the first thing we looked at when trying to figure out what the problem was. We listened to teachers who were full of advice on how to deal with my son as for many years they deemed it to be a parenting issue, until he ending up suicidal at age 8. Do you have any idea what that feels like? It was when I found carving knifes in his toy box that I said enough is enough and requested a referral to pediatrician, it then took another 2 years before he was eventually diagnosed with ADHD after lots of tests. He’s 24 now and been taking ADHD medication on and off since he was 11, and I can assure you that he’s not addicted to his meds nor has taking his meds led to him going onto other drugs. It has however stopped him from feeling suicidal. I was diagnosed with adhd in my early 40’s. It was like finding the missing piece of a puzzle and explained a lot of things.
        As for supplements……lets face it they can do just as much harm as they can do good
        http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYOu/Consumers/ucm109760.htm

        • Mary Bloomer August 5, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

          Hi Diana,

          We’re glad the ADHD meds helped your son, but medications have side effects, especially any medication that is taken long term like ADHD meds. We’d like to see people get the help they need without going through the nightmare you did. It shouldn’t take 2 years to get a diagnosis.

          Our modern one-size-fits-all medical system does not allow for more comprehensive, in-depth testing and research into the cause of a problem. Allopathic medicine is geared to treating the symptoms. Our objective is to help people get to the root cause of what’s wrong.

          Yes, we sell supplements, but more people die every year from prescription meds than heroin and cocaine combined; and side-effects from supplements are far less than those from medications. If someone is on a medication they should always talk to their doctor before taking anything new. Did you know pineapple shouldn’t be eaten with some medications?

          Here are the side-effects of Adderall for instance. We’d like to see people avoid that by getting to the bottom of what’s wrong and taking a more natural approach.

          Ashley’s post is not saying the symptoms of ADHD aren’t real. They are, and some of us know how difficult it can be to manage a child with these issues – we’ve experienced it first-hand. The point of Ashley’s post is that there are often a biological causes for the symptoms of ADHD that go undiagnosed. It’s faster and more profitable to prescribe a drug than run extensive tests, and doctors are not often allowed to treat their patients they way they want.

          It’s great that your son liked healthier things when he was growing up, but he also could have been allergic to some of them. I had a grandchild with a food sensitivity to green beans! Even healthy foods can cause problems for people, either physically or emotionally. There’s plenty of valid research to support this.

          A number of people who commented on this post said they had ADHD themselves. I had what I thought was the worst case of ADHD ever in my late 40’s and it turns out I had Lyme disease. Lyme causes all kinds of neurological problems in people that mask many mental illnesses. Most doctors are poorly educated on the treatment of Lyme disease and the testing is very inadequate. With 300,000 new cases of Lyme every year, it’s highly probable there are scores of people on psychiatric meds who have Lyme disease and what they really need are antibiotics.

          I would encourage you to look into the work of New York Times best selling author, Doris Rapp, MD. She’s a board-certified environmental medical specialist and pediatric allergist. Her book “Is This Your Child?” delves into the many sources of environmental illnesses that can lead to significant behavioral issues in children and adults.

          When you read her book you’ll see the type of behavior your son exhibited – there were examples of suicidal, violent and even homicidal children. Many professionals had given up on these kids, but she didn’t. When they found the source of the problem (food allergies, molds, chemical toxicities, etc.) these parents got their children back.

          It’s never easy to talk about these issues and no one is saying you’re a bad parent – you seem like a very good parent who tried very hard to help your son. We just want you to know there’s more to the story than what you’re being told.

          Thanks for taking the time to comment. We wish you and your son all the best.

          • Michele January 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

            You have no sources on your claim about deaths. This is a myth that was disproven, and it is very unprofessionnal to try to push myths onto people to frighten them. Actually, drugs from the drug store are AS harmful as the stuff you’re selling. Do a little research about vitamin toxicity or overdose. Did you know you can’t mix some vitamins together? Some supplements too, like iron supplement is not recommended to be taken with any other supplements or food. Actually, you have to not have eaten in the last hours and to not eat in the next hours to take this supplement, and you have to avoid calcium. So what’s your point about the pinapple?

    • Susan September 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

      Susan I will tell you what ADHD is, ADHD is poor effort and dedication from the teachers why??? They know parents will solve their students discipline problems with drugs so they don’t have to make an extra effort for dedicating extra time to those kids, other thing, poor parent supervision kids need supervision, poor parent discipline, when is NO is NO lots of parents can’t say a big “NO” to their kids when they have to, and give to the kids the right to decide about what they are not capable of yet, that is when kids want to confront their parents authority, I am the mother of a 7 year old boy who was diagnosed with “ADHD” never have and never will give him one of those drugs, if his live would depend of that pill OK but,not for me to have peace of mind or make my life easier or the teacher’s job easier ADHD (a discipline concept to me).

      • Ashley Steinbrinck September 24, 2014 at 10:16 am #

        Great point, Susan. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • Nicole October 9, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

        Susan I totally agree. I found this article to be very informative. I have an 8 year old boy who was on ADD meds for two years up until this year. The teachers suggested I have him tested and the doctors went along with it. My husband and I decided to take him off the meds because the side effects just were not worth it. I do feel like teachers and parents are too quick to put kids on ADD meds today. They need to be better educated on the issue and try alternatives before meds. The side effects really worried me. His teachers were not happy with us for taking him off and they even disagreed with me for taking him saying that they felt that he was not ready to come off of it, but I cant give my child something knowing that it could become an addiction or even cause heart or psychotic problems. Not to mention the common every day side effects that he had…NO APPETITE AT ALL, head aches and tired all the time! Some days he would come home from crying or he was so tired coming off the meds that he would go straight to bed. NO THANK YOU! my child will not be those meds any more. We are trying an all natural alternative supplement. I’m hoping it works. I really just think that teachers need to be better educated and find other ways of helping these children.

  4. Chris August 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I just watched a video on a religion called scientism. It’s where all the knowledge can only come from officially accredited institutions. You as a commoner amongst the elite don’t have the capacity to grasp any of this and folks are insulted that you aren’t on board with the mainstream. You’re simply showing some research to back up your opinion. These folks don’t have solid info to back up there thoughts either other then life is hard and they trust only what comes out of the coveted institutions.

    Personally, I looked at the symptoms of ADHD and I’m pretty sure I have it. Stumbled on your website because I was looking for an alternative to prescription drugs which kills more people than illegal drugs. There does seem to be a relationship with between the school/other shootings and drugs. Keep up the good research and thanks for taking the time to share. I hope you do well and feel free to think for yourself. Your really just dealing with religious folks that aren’t using the rational thought that they expect everyone else to use.

    God Bless!

    • Naima April 18, 2015 at 4:44 am #

      What your saying makes absolutely no sense at all. I am religious and believe in educating yourself and I completely agree with Ashley, that ADHD is just a label. stop stereotyping on religous people….I for one believe in knowledge and learning as long as its beneficial as my religion encourages it. It also tells us to be open minded and to always keep an open heart ^_^

  5. Rodger August 5, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Ashley,

    I enjoyed your article.

    As a researcher and an ADHD sufferer I wish that you were correct and ADD/ADHD symptoms could be attributed solely to food allergies. However, recent studies of brain scans along with decades of ethnographic and longitudinal evidence suggests that actual ADD/ADHD is a deficiency that has nothing to do with food. However, environmental factors can exacerbate the condition.

    Also, poor diets can create ADHD-like symptoms in people who do not have ADD/ADHD. So, checking diets and food allergies should be a first step in the process to a diagnosis. Then, after environmental factors have been eliminated and symptoms still persist, the cause must be in the brain rather than the gut.

    And, my personal opinion – little children should NEVER be given drugs to medicate ADD/ADHD symptoms. Behavioral therapies are much more effective. As an adult though, some medications can be helpful.

    I have never taken any meds, but a good friend of mine (also diagnosed with ADHD) does, and the difference between on meds and off meds is light night and day for him and his family. Oh, and he lives with a cousin who is a personal trainer. Excellent diet, has been checked for food and non-food allergies. Regardless, his symptoms persist.

    Dr. Adair

    • Ashley Steinbrinck August 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Thanks for weighing in Doc. I did mention in the beginning of the article this …”But – kids with the “ADHD label” are likely suffering from toxic overload, poor gut health, food and environmental allergies or nutrient deficiencies – among other things.” I didn’t say that it was solely attributed to food allergies. That’s only one of a multitude of issues that could be causing symptoms. I urge you to read Mary Bloomers comment below in response to Diana. She also had some great things to add…Sometimes it could be something completely different – like Lyme disease or the toxins in the drywall from China at school that is affecting them. There are so many people’s systems that are compromised and super sensitive. I really believe that is thanks to our heavy reliance on medications and issues with everyday food. Thanks again for having an open mind to an article like this. I appreciate your comment.

  6. Audra Averbach MSW August 27, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    This is total crap. I can’t even use clinical terms because I’m so outraged. If what all this is true, explain why 3/4 of my children see ADHD? Overall, all things are the same regarding environment, diet, education, and parenting. Oh….by the way, I have 2 Masters Degrees. One in clinical social work with an emphasis on psychiatry and education. My other is a Masters in Teaching. Here’s the best part
    ..dad is a child psychiatrist.

    • Ashley Steinbrinck August 27, 2014 at 10:10 am #

      That all really doesn’t matter. Who’s teaching you? Who published those books? It’s not crap- and one day you may find this out.

    • Mary Bloomer August 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      Audra, we’re not sure what you mean by “Overall, all things are the same regarding environment, diet, education, and parenting.” Are you saying all the children you’re working with have similarities in these areas? You’re certainly entitled to your opinion on this, but your argument is questionable.

      Not all psychiatrists agree on the treatment and diagnosis of ADHD. As we’ve stated multiple times in our comments, we aren’t denying the symptoms of ADHD – they are real. And there are children who suffer from neurological damage with extreme behavioral issues – but nutritional/dietary and environmental factors should always be considered before risky drugs. We’re calling out those who are too quick to drug children. You can’t deny many of these drugs are dangerous and have long term health risks.

      We defer to the very respected psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan, MD, and an article from the New York Times- “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder.” We want what’s best for the children just as much as you do. Thanks for commenting.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/health/the-selling-of-attention-deficit-disorder.html?hpw&rref=science&_r=0

      http://kellybroganmd.com/snippet/worth-risk-child-stimulants/

  7. Anne October 26, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    First, I would like to thank you for your well-researched article. Although I may not agree with some parts, I still appreciate the time you took in replying to people, and researching the arguments you used in those replies. Now, here’s why I don’t especially agree with the “natural-only” treatment.

    I have been diagnosed with ADHD just recently by 2 different doctors (a family physician and a psychiatrist, who by the way, is also my aunt). As a 17-year old who will be 18 in 5 months, I only started taking medication a few days ago, meaning during my times as a child when my ADHD symptoms were prevalent and increasingly hard to control, I was not on medication. What I was on, however, is a STRICT diet, exercise, supplement and routine. I took fish oil supplements every day, vitamin supplements along with them, and I never ate junk food more than once or twice a year. I exercised at least two hours a day, and did not have any food allergies or toxins. Meaning on the outside, I seemed like a healthy kid. Just an overly excited one.

    But despite this, I was entirely unable to sit still in class. I would, and still do, doze off for long periods of time without noticing. I talk excessively, and can’t control many of the things I say, causing me to want to clam up, although I can’t sometimes. I have trouble following directions, and forget things easily. Basically, I showed, and still show, many ADHD symptoms. But according to your article, the natural treatments I have been following for years would have helped me, right? As I got therapy without medication, support from family and friends, and many check-ups showing my physical health (in terms of blood pressure and nutrients) to be perfectly fine, I thought I’d be better in no time. That wasn’t the case.

    After a few years, I lapsed into depression, and soon enough, suicidal thoughts. Two months ago, I was diagnosed with depression, with my doctor now stating that it was caused by my untreated ADHD. I have only taken medication for 2 days now, but Adderall certainly helped. Because of it, for the first time in forever, I can finally focus on my piano playing for 90 minutes (before my medication, I was unable to spend enough time on many tasks, even those that I LOVED). This is the first time I’ve been feeling better.

    Three days ago, I had NO idea I had ADHD. I thought my behaviour was my fault and mine only. I blamed myself for being lazy and unable to listen. That caused me to want to kill myself a lot of times. Now that I’m getting better with meds, not with the natural treatment I had been following due to my parents noticing what was wrong, causing them to create a well-regulated schedule and good diet/exercise for me. I really wish that weren’t the case, though. I’ve always hated the idea of medication. But it’s what has worked for me.

    • Ashley Steinbrinck October 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your story, Anne. You know, unless you go to a functional medical practitioner, you will not really ever know what’s going on. Or, the root cause of your symptoms. They can help you determine if there’s something triggering these issues for you. Simply taking fish oil, eating a healthy diet and supplementing with vitamins it not a cure-all. For anyone. Because there are so many other factors that go unnoticed. Have you heard of PANDAS? Flame retardants? The harmful affects of fluoride? The list goes on and on, but they are all things that can cause these symptoms. As well as food allergies (you can be allergic to “healthy” foods too – like tomatoes and citrus fruits), nutrient deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity… Supplementing with vitamins is really just taking a stab in the dark.

      But, finding a functional medicine practitioner who will investigate every possibility would be my first step.

      That being said, the drugs are sometimes necessary and maybe that is in your case. Do what you will, but we’re glad you’re finding something that works for you.

  8. Alan Leader November 9, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    Yikes. Lead and the sheep will follow. I have 2 boys and the school is right now pushing to have our 8 year old son ‘tested’ for ADHD. His work is fine, and he reads above his grade level, but he’s making the teacher earn her pay a bit, and we wouldn’t want that. Kids need to sit and be quiet all day long. We eliminate gym class because parents are locked into a never-ending competition amongst their kids. Same thing they said about me when I was his age. I settled down by grade 6, finished 2nd in a Gr. 12 class of 280 kids, 2 degrees in Eng and Finance…like that really matters though. We are a society so ruled by corporations that it’s hard to define what society even is anymore. Parents, have a look at your priorities. Are they big house, new SUV, vacations to pamper yourself (because of course, unless the rest of the world, you’ve really suffered for it), digital gadgets that keep your constantly hooked to corporations and their sales pitch? My sister-in-law is bent on having her kids in pre-pre-school for god’s sake! Maybe we need to focus less on useless crap like this (training your kids to be corporate slaves all their lives), and more on what’s best for our society and our family. It may mean one less SUV/trip/mini-mansion and a stay-at-home parent to source and prepare healthy meals, which is really a full-time job. Is the alternative turning your kid’s lives over to conventional wisdom and doctors/teachers/big pharma that really don’t care about you or your family? Not much of a future if you ask me.

    • Ashley Steinbrinck November 10, 2014 at 10:48 am #

      Well said, Alan Leader – well said. Thank you!

  9. Dana February 19, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    It is misinformation like this that caused me to not act when my daughter started having issues. Instead we tried all the suggestions that avoided the diagnosis and kept plugging away at what didn’t work.

    Meanwhile she was building emotional scars from feeling like she was too stupid to comprehend what was going on around her; when in reality it was the “noise” (how she described it) in her head. And her social problems that stem from this condition were wearing her out.

    Diagnosis is not made by any doctor asking about problems in a classroom. When we finally had to look at this as an option after years of hell, it was a slow process. It was a lot of talking with her, written tests, and working with very small doses to start with while continuing constant support.

    It is more than likely that too many people are being diagnosed with this as a convenience, but it is extremely irresponsible to sell this as an absolute. I will regret the damage I did to my own daughter forever; all because I listened to bunk like this and was too narrow minded to explore all the possibilities.

  10. Kid May 13, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    I am a child who was diagnosed with adhd And I agree with this Article 100% here’s why. I was diagnosed in 3rd grade and I was put on a stimulant and I have felt as tho they have set me up for a highschool Cerear of struggle. First off the meds made me starve myself and I was malnurished for at least 6 years, causing me to hit puberty and actually grow in 10th grade when I started to reilize I needed to eat. I have an iq of 122 and since I was diagnose I’ve been in special Ed and upon entering the program In 3rd grade I reilized where I was and my self esteem was reduced to nothing. This caused me to put literally no effort into anything because the combination of being diagnosed with a “mental disorder” and my academic placement had me convinced I was just another retard and what collage accepts retards, until about 8th grade.
    I’m now in 11th grade and the combination of the understimulating classes being small and the low self esteem have made my life so much more challenging then it had to be so please don’t put your kid on stimulants just make them want to try by giving them the motivation to try instead of using drugs fix their diets.

  11. E May 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    I have grown up with ADHD and have lived with it, and unless you actually have it, you can’t understand it. I do not consider my ADHD a disease or a a disorder. It is no excuse not to get my work done, or to slack off. It is something that I struggle with but it is a part of me and who I am. It makes things harder for me, to concentrate, not being impulsive, figeting, etc. And yes this is something that many children do, but I’m not a 5 year old who can’t stop moving in their chair, I’m a 14 year old who is taking high school classes and gets straight As. And yes, people abuse the medications, and yes the medications make money, but that is not everyone. And yes, ADHD/ADD is advertised but that is because there are people like you who say it isn’t real. just because you don’t understand it, that doesn’t mean it’s not real. And the medicine, those side effects are not everyone. I have had side effects with my medication, but if it is that bad, there are more ADHD medications out there that may not have the same effect
    And also, to kid, if your medicine did that to you, you should have gone to your doctor immediately. I had side effects and I went to my doctor and he helped me adjust to the point where I wasn’t starving myself.

  12. Hey there May 14, 2015 at 11:27 am #

    I recently had problems with my 4 year old daughter she would talk non-stop at meal times if told to clean unit was a nightmare to get ready to get out the door took 30 mins. At this point I considered taking her to see a doctor then I came across an article that basically asked me what I was feeding my daughter, had to think about it for a minute * pizza pops canned speghitti chips white bread ice cream*

    After reading to switch her meals to completely homemade I took the plunge I spent no money on junk food none! Zero! Started buying as much organic as I can afford the things we eat on a daily basis is organic, home cooked whole fat Dairy. It’s been 4 months since I have changed our food let’s be honest when you are just above poverty level it does take time to restock your food supply however on those few short months my daughter is a perfect angel well as much as any 4 year old can be. All you women getting angry maybe you should go through your food see what your feeding your child.

    I don’t allow Pop- I don’t allow juice unless I make it myself. Otherwise it’s water or milk(or almond milk) whatever kind of healthy liquids we have to offer however I make her drink water when she is thirsty nothing else.

    Most mommas may not agree but really what do you have to loose? You have your kids all drugged up how lazy.

  13. john May 25, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    I’m over 50 years old. Last week i was diagnosed with ADD by one of the doctors who developed one of the scales used to diagnose ADD.

    My life is literally collapsing because of my inability to focus, follow through and connect. I’ve put both my marriage and job in jeopardy because of behavior that I literally can’t, at the moment, control.

    All the questions about diet? Lovely advice, but please, save your condescension. I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years. Three years ago, after suffering from chronic diarrhea for several years, I went on the FODMAP elimination diet — I eat an extremely healthy diet including only non-glutenating grains, and have very good gut health.

    What is so infuriating about articles like this is that you and others simply choose to ignore the ever growing body of neuroscientific evidence.

    You say there is no definitive test for diagnosis. Ok, so there’s no physical test for any psychiatric diagnosis, but who’s counting? Are you telling us that bipolar disorder is a false syndrome? Tell me, how do you explain the fact that researchers who compare imaging of the brains of those diagnosed with ADHD with brains of control subjects who lack a diagnosis consistently find measurable differences in brain chemistry?

    Not once, not twice, but over and over again, there is difference in the regions of the brain that govern executive function, and not only in children but among adults.

    Is ADHD over diagnosed among children? Most likely. Do our schools fail our children by demanding extreme conformity and running boring programs due to understaffing the classroom with trained adults? You bet. But is ADHD just as likely underdiagnosed among adults? Most likely. Does stimulant medication work on everyone who is diagnosed? No. Is it overprescribed to children? It’s certainly possible. Do we grossly underestimate the impact of environmental factors on a myriad of medical conditions? Sure. And is Big Pharma the worst of corporate America? Sure, but they fund all sorts of patients’ groups, all of which advocate for people with very real disorders.

    However, none of these things are the same thing as saying that ADHD doesn’t exist, or that some people don’t respond dramatically to medication. Choosing to couple useful advice about diet and environmental toxins with sarcastic assertions that ADHD is a fictitious disorder without really engaging with the medical literature on the subject is intellectually dishonest and suggests that you’re more interested in scoring debating points than with helping people, whatever their age, cope with extremely difficult circumstances.

  14. Justin Wyllie May 28, 2015 at 10:09 am #

    This is an excellent article which clearly describes the marketing efforts of big pharma to promote the “condition” and the inevitable drug “treatment”.

    I’ve done an in-depth critique of how the ADHD narrative is built in the UK. My paper examines what passes for the “science” behind ADHD drugging. Even though the “evidence-base” is heavily skewed by being dominated by short-term manufacturer drug promotion studies it is still necessary to misreport and use selectively the results of the studies to produce a pro-drugging conclusion. My paper is here:

    http://thenewobserver.co.uk/features/adhd/

  15. Justin Wyllie May 28, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    As a follow-up I would like to answer the question posed by John above. John asks:

    Tell me, how do you explain the fact that researchers who compare imaging of the brains of those diagnosed with ADHD with brains of control subjects who lack a diagnosis consistently find measurable differences in brain chemistry?

    The answer is something like this.

    Firstly the “differences” found in these studies are statistical averages between two groups. A group of young people with an ADHD label is compared with a group without. Because the “ADHD ones” have been extracted from the group of normals the ADHD group is not being compared with the population average but with a special group with above average attentiveness. It is inevitable that such studies will find differences. In any event the differences are just an average across the whole ADHD group compared to an average across the whole normal group. The results do not necessarily mean that any one individual in the ADHD group could be shown to have unusual/abnormal brain activity patterns. No brain condition is established. Indeed the studies produce a range of different and sometimes contradictory results. Finally; because it is an average result many in the ADHD group will have no abnormality at all. Nothing.

    Secondly. These studies are notorious for not excluding from the ADHD group young people who have been drugged. In many studies the differences (statistical averages) may reflect prior exposure to toxic stimulant drugs.

    Thirdly. The studies typically exclude the effect of study participation. A young person who has been told that they “have ADHD” – that there is something wrong with their brain – will likely be more stressed in taking a computerised type of test than someone who is involved as a control. This will effect the study. These effects are typically not considered.

    All that said; yes. It possible to correlate (various) different patterns of brain activity as measured with an MRI scanner with inattention/hyperactivity on the basis of statistics. But this is not a medical reason to drug people. The trap that John may be falling into is the one used all the time by ADHD promoters. The studies show difference. (Statistically between groups). Difference is then used as an argument for drugging. They are different (emphasis). Therefore it is OK to drug them. But difference is not a medical reason to drug people. A medical case for drugging would require a biological test and an explanation of how the drug modifies the identified disease pathway. This doesn’t exist for ADHD which is (by the admission of its own promoters, at least in the UK) simply a “diagnostic category” of psychiatry which does not imply a “medical or neurological cause”.

    Finally, I have no problem with adults choosing to take stimulants if they feel that helps them, My concern is with the fact that the drugs are harmful and (again by the admission of psychiatry at least here in the UK) do not lead to “better long-term outcomes” for young people. Therefore I am against the mass imposition of drugging on young people who have no effective choice in the matter.

    If John is concerned that this article does not “engage with the science” I would invite him to read my paper linked to above. In Section 4) I review the case psychiatry in the UK makes to promote drugging. A careful reading of the material shows how they mis-report some studies and in other cases select only those parts of studies which can be used to make the case for drugging while silently discarding those parts which do not support the case. This is all entirely demonstrable. The very last thing that ADHD promoters want is for anyone to “engage with the science”.

  16. Dtonman87 June 4, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    ADHD is real, I’d like to see this person live one day in the life of someone with ADHD!

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