Should Ritalin be your first choice in making your child more "teachable?" According to a local newspaper report, over 80% of today's cocaine and speed addicts took Ritalin at school. Not all children react well to brain stimulants due to the chain reaction they have on the body's autonomic nervous system.
A concerned body of parents, teachers and doctors are trying to find better solutions to the growing problem of "attention deficit disorders". We need a better understanding of the background to this term called: ADD and ADHD. so we can draw up a constructive list of things to do to help our children without having to drug them.
WHAT HAS CHANGED FROM WHEN WE WERE PUPILS?
When we were at school, the only brain stimulants we had were good teachers, wooden spoons and the occasional taste of a cane. Exuberance and too much energy were dissipated with physical jerks, or vigorous runs around the field . If teachers sensed their pupils were losing concentration, the windows would be opened, we would run and jump around a bit and do deep breathing with flamboyant gestures. Often we could have something to eat or go to the toilet. Then it was back to work. Today such gestures would be classified as" hyperactive or impulsive." Children are not allowed to eat when they are hungry or when their blood sugar drops. They have to wait till beak and then they eat sweets and junk foods that do not stabilize the blood sugar. This causes hypoglycemia, a condition whereby the brain runs out of glucose and shuts down. Ritalin may kickstart the brain but it is not a cure for low blood sugar.
Hypoglycemic dementia is a temporary form of insanity that arises when the brain cannot get a vital supply of glucose from the bloodstream. The body's mechanism of stimulating the release of adrenalin by aggressive behaviour in order to raise blood sugar form glycogen reserves in the liver is now being classified as " hyperactivity" instead of hypoglycemia. The drug adrenalin is used to save the lives of diabetics who lapse into a coma as a result of low blood sugar. Did you know that the fastest way to raise blood sugar in such an individual is to make them angry or excited?
Breakfast was a substantial meal and Mom packed a good lunch to keep us well nourished. We regarded the tuck shop as a place to buy the odd little treat when we could afford it. Today's children consume junk food that includes products robbed of nutrients and they are very rich in sugar, rancid oils, white flour, artificial flavours, colouring agents, toxic chemicals and highly irritating substances. Some of their diets contain over 40% of these foods. A full tummy is not an indicator of good nutrition. All I can say is: junk in, junk out. It is not essential to become a label nitpicker either. A little colour or flavour here and there is not nearly as harmful as swallowing fluoride toothpaste. If you consume adequate vitamins, minerals, trace elements and healthy food your body can cope with a few additives. However, in a child who has major nutritional deficiencies, they do cause problems. All children with this elusive "attention deficit" have major nutritional deficiencies and all fingers point to the parents. We are all to blame as we no longer eat according to the Adelle Davie's norm of "adequate nutrition" for maintaining good health. I recommend you take a look at her book: "Let's Get Well." She says that allergies are directly related to nutritional deficiencies. She offers a treasure chest of information about how vitamin deficiencies influence behaviour. Perhaps you will find your child's "ADD" and other disorders described in her wonderful book. It will help parents and teachers to cope with exuberant, "impulsive" or simply energetic children. It will also help you gain the stamina you need to survive the pressures of the 21st century where both parents usually work and often the child is shunted between two homes as over 30% of today's couples are divorced. We also suffer from brain disorders that arise from low blood sugar and nutritional deficiencies.
Let us take a good hard look at Ritalin and other stimulants.
Can you answer the following questions both honestly and accurately?
1 What is Ritalin? Is it safe to use? Does it have side effects? What of the long term use?
2 What is Cocaine? Is it safe to use? Does it have side effects? What of the long term use?
3 What are slimming drugs that control your appetite called? How do you feel when you take them?
4 What happens when you drink more than ten cups of coffee? Do you sleep? Can you give it up?
5 What is the cause of "attention deficit disorder". Why does it affect boys more than girls?
6 Is there a connection between hyperactivity or violent behaviour and blood sugar?
7 We must give children lots of sweets and glucose to prevent a drop in blood sugar. True or false?
8 Do our children get all the nutrients they need from the food at the table? Do they eat it all?
9 Does discipline have an effect on your child? Do we need discipline?
10 Do we spend at least two hours of time every day with our children? Do we know their dreams?
11 Are our children suffering from nutrient deficiencies? What are the symptoms of the following deficiencies? Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Iron, essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants, B vitamins?
12 Are there natural remedies for the treatment of poor concentration? Are they safe? Do they work?
CAN WE SAY NO! TO THE DRUGS WE CALL "MEDICINE?"
We take drugs to feel "normal", to overcome fatigue and depression, to make us sleep, to wake us up, to take away our appetites, to lower cholesterol and to control just about every gland and organ in the body. If you take any drug to maintain a homeostasis in the body, you are no better than any drug addict on the street You cannot cope unless you take your daily drugs. You have withdrawal symptoms and get ill, if you do not take your medicine. This is blatant drug addiction, but we call it "medication." Remember that an opium or heroin addict is usually somebody who has been given morphine for pain during an illness or after an injury. When large, regular doses of morphine are given, the body stops generating it's own neuropeptides, known as endophines. These are endogenous natural painkillers and they are made out of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Likewise over 80% of the Speed or Cocaine addicts on the streets and in business today used amphetamines to help them concentrate when they were at school. They had to rely on Ritalin to help them to study and get through their exams. When you take a drug to achieve an effect, the body stops making that chemical. In the case of a stimulant, the body begins to rely on the chemical and the natural ability is suppressed. The principle is the same, whether you are taking slimming pills, amphetamines, anti-depressants or tranquilizers, They are artificial or herbal substances that take over and you are not able to function without them. Unless, you take yourself in hand and embark on a process of "cleaning up your act." You are quite capable of functioning without the use of drugs and medicines. There are many institutions that provide complementary health techniques to help you to live a clean, healthy and abundant life. You can learn how to produce all the drugs you need every day, out of your own food and supplements. We need adequate vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, enzymes and other micronutrients to function normally. A child who cannot concentrate at school does not need drugs to correct a disorder that does not really exist. What we do find in these children are definite symptoms of: low blood sugar, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and blatant "junkfooditis" or "dysnutrition".
In addition to not being fed correctly, these children are feeling the stress of being under the spotlight, of being judged according to the way they behave and are able to pay attention.
"Attention deficit" and "Hyperactive" are words they hear being bandied about and they begin to dread being one of "those kids." Parents opposed to agreeing to use Ritalin are under even more stress. Especially as they have to put their children on special diets and rip away all the family favourites like fizzy drinks, sweets and chips. The child's whole world falls apart and this creates a state of tension both at home and at school. Often this psychologically induced stress is alleviated by the use of Ritalin because then everybody relaxes. No more nagging and threats from the teacher and no more opposition and anxiety from the parents. The child relaxes, does better at school and has to face the consequences of becoming a drug addict one day. People who have been pumping the Ritalin theory for all these years cannot explain that the number of amphetamine or "uppers" addicts rises in direct proportion to the prescriptions that are written for Ritalin at school over a period of time. In business today, most of the people in computers, advertising and other highly paid professions are Cocaine or amphetamine addicts. Yet we give our little children amphetamines and we are led to believe that is safe, non-habit forming and essential for the child's academic progress.
One of the symptoms of stress is a state of alarm, of confusion and the inability to focus. Giving amphetamines to an individual under stress creates more stress. An amphetamine like Ritalin triggers off the sympathetic nervous system and this alerts every system in the body to react as if it was about to be attacked. The fight or flight system kicks in and the heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, muscle tension increases, and pain perception is dulled. Cognition is sharpened due to the rise in blood sugar that is caused by the release of glycogen that is stored in the liver. Digestion stops, normal processes of growth, repair and regeneration grind to a halt, the blood begins to clot, the bladder retains urine, you cannot sleep properly and you begin to cry a lot. When you take Ritalin to improve your attention span, you have to accept all these consequences. Frequent doses prolong these effects. If you were offered a way to improve concentration that did not produce all these adverse effects and it wasn't a drug, would you accept it? Would the school be willing to let you try some natural alternatives to dangerous, habit-forming drugs? As a parent you have the right to say NO to drugs but you have the responsibility to find a good alternative. How about finding a suitable, enjoyable regimen that will make your child, the teachers and you happy, relaxed and no longer stressed out. It is possible!
Ironically, the child who cannot pay attention to schoolwork is usually the one crying out for the most attention from both teachers and parents. We save time and dish out the pills because we say we have tried everything and it's only Ritalin that saves the day. Really? A deficiency in attention or: "attention deficit" is a term glibly used to describe a child who has the following deficiencies: calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron and essential fatty acids known as omega 3 and omega 6. Furthermore, they usually have inadequate levels of anti-oxidants like vitamin C, E and A as well as little or no evidence of B complex substances such as niacin or pyridoxine. All children with the "attention deficit disorder" have very low levels of these essential nutrients. This is a fact and is backed up by a number of clinically validated documents by highly respected research institutions.
Another common factor in children on Ritalin is their attitude to food. Known as fussy little eaters and junk food junkies, they seem to have an endless capacity for sweets, chips and fizzy drinks.
NATUAL DIETRY GUIDLINES FO SCHOOL CHILDREN
RRYou may benefit from treating your child's school hang-up along with all the other health related issues they have as one single problem. They may all be symptoms of a group of nutritional deficiencies you child may have. Professor Serfontein is very aware of this fact especially as most of our foods are depleted of the basic nutrients. To him, supplementation is the solution. He has made a special product to help boost your child's brain and help cure all associated ailments including: asthma, allergies, frequent colds, irritability, etc. His product is called: "HYPERVITE". from NRF or MY vitamins as it was previously known. He also insists that a good diet along with the elimination of junk foods is the best thing to do for your child, even if Ritalin has to be used for a short while to establish a learning pattern whilst the nutrients kick in. His products are available at pharmacies and health shops and some of his consultants can analyze your diet and recommend a list of supplements you and your children should be taking.
Essential fatty acids like flax seed oil do not always appeal to children, but a delicious new fatty acid supplement has been formulated by Dr Robert Verner: tel (021) 976 8861.He is a Holistic Practitioner who is achieving stunning results with ADD kids by supplementing their diets with Omega3 and 6 essential fatty acids, minerals and amino acids. His product looks and tastes like ground up nuts. It can be sprinkled onto cereals, salads and sandwiches. Natural tasty foods are always a better alternative to rows and rows of pills. Milkshakes and banana or fruit smoothies can also disguise a lot of calcium and magnesium supplements!
Today many health companies are having a crack at supplements and herbal remedies for this disorder. To instantly cure ADD or ADHD is impossible. It is a complex subject and each child is different. There is no single drug or supplement that is going to turn everybody into both an angel and a genius within 30 minutes. Natural products aim at first correcting the nutritional deficincies and this takesmany weeks. Dietary changes often trigger off a volley of rebellion, so be warned. Children deficient in zinc and other nutrients are fussy little eaters who crave sweets, fizzy drinks and chips. Perhaps you are the same? I have many complaints of osteoporosis from parents in their thirties. This tells me that none of you are getting enough calcium and magnesium, let alone zinc and copper! Without these minerals as a foundation, the brain and nervous system cannot function correctly. Adequate Vitamin B complex is also important to stimulate the brain. A restless anxious child may benefit from a Vitamin E capsule in the morning before school. It is best to experiment with various combinations. Calcium and magnesium have a calming effect and help to prevent cramps and spasms. They also help you and your kids to sleep peacefully.
The best time to work with a new regimen for your child is during school holidays. If you can, take some time off work. This gives you time to correct eating habits, start a strict regimen of supplements and establish a good routine of healthy activities that help to balance, control and stimulate the child as well as the brain. Many of these children are merely manifesting a desire for more attention from you as their parents. Children will stop at nothing to extract attention that they feel is rightfully theirs. Being difficult, sick , naughty or downright obnoxious is all part of being acknowledged. Even getting a hiding, confirms that they are being noticed. A healthy, balanced and happy child may revert to such behaviour if they feel they are being ignored or taken for granted. They often copy naughty kids because they see them getting more attention. Be one step ahead and hug and cuddle them before they ask!