The Manhattan Adult ADD Support Group
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Lecture Notes

4/3/2014 Letha Hadady-  ADD/ADHD:  An Eastern Perspective


Many people feel stressed, out of focus, or driven without knowing why or how to overcome the ups and downs. The meeting of NY ADD support group offers some new insights and lots of useful information. All are welcome. Below is (Western medical) background information for people unfamiliar with "Attention Deficit Disorder." I consider it a lifestyle that has some advantages and drawbacks. My natural approach does not include drugs or medical treatments. However certain herbs can be combined with medicines. 


The meeting is: APRIL 3 at West End Collegiate Church, 245 West 77th Street near West End Avenue, NYC 10024; When: 6:30PM to 9PM -- 6:15 -- doors open, 6:30 – announcements, 6:45 -- presentation + group discussion) 


I will speak non-medically and primarily about an Eastern healing approach describing many useful Asian herbal remedies for easing symptoms and side-effects such as chest pain, indigestion, depression, hyperactivity etc. However here are articles on a Western medical approach including drugs (which I do not recommend) and a few helpful Western herbs of which my favorites are skullcap (relaxing and enhances brain oxygen) and gotu kola (improve concentration and memory). 


ADHD Medical View WebMD: 


Children: can be diagnosed as of age 4
Not all kids with ADHD are restless or hyper. There are actually three types of ADHD:
Predominantly inattentive -- These kids have problems focusing, are distracted easily, and have trouble following directions or conversations. 
Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive -- These kids fidget, talk a lot, are impulsive and/or accident-prone, and can't wait for their turn. 
Combined -- These kids have traits from both types. This is the most common. 


As of 2007, 9.5% of 4- to 17-year-olds were reportedly diagnosed with ADHD. That's 5.4 million kids -- an almost 22% increase from just four years earlier.


More than twice as many boys aged 4 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD -- 13.2% of boys compared to 5.6% of girls. Girls, though, are more likely to have the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD. Girls' ADHD may be overlooked because their lack of attention is often mistaken for daydreaming and not recognized until they get older. Girls also tend to be less disruptive and less likely to have a learning disability, the red flags teachers often watch for. 


Today, professionals use "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder," or ADHD, as the umbrella term. There are different subtypes under it. Now, ADD is one of those that usually falls under ADHD. ADD is also known as the “predominantly inattentive” type.


About two-thirds of children with ADHD also have other conditions or illnesses, such as: 
• a learning disability
• anxiety
• depression
• oppositional defiant disorder
• conduct disorder
• delays in learning or language development


Medicine: 
It may seem odd to give stimulants (Adderall, Concerta, Focalin, Ritalin, Vyvanse) to treat a condition that may feature hyped-up behavior. But these drugs stimulate the parts of the brain needed for impulse control, focus, and organization. 
While there's no cure for ADHD, stimulants seem to do a good job of controlling some symptoms for most kids. 


Diet: 
Eat -- mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and omega-3 fats (found in foods like salmon and walnuts) 


Avoid -- saturated fats, sugar, and additives or processed foods 


Adult ADD: 


Procrastinate the boring tasks, not focused, depressed, anxious, hyper multitask, distracted, restless, and unable to finish things. Outbursts of temper, impulsive, more likely to smoke,
They often have trouble breaking down tasks and following directions, staying organized, and making deadlines. They’re also prone to tardiness and careless mistakes. I


If you are often restless and have trouble concentrating, don't jump to the conclusion that you have ADHD. These symptoms are also common in other conditions. Poor concentration is a classic sign of depression. Restlessness or anxiety could indicate an overactive thyroid or anxiety disorder. Your health care provider will investigate whether these conditions could be causing your symptoms instead of -- or in addition to -- ADHD


Neurotransmitters less active in areas of brain that control mental focus, attention
Researchers don't know exactly what causes this chemical imbalance, but they think genes may play a role, because ADHD often runs in families. Studies have also linked ADHD to prenatal exposure to cigarettes and alcohol.


To confirm the diagnosis, the disorder must have been present during childhood, even if it was never diagnosed. Old report cards or talking with relatives can document childhood problems, such as poor focus and hyperactivity. Tests are given= problem solving, timed – (causing stress) 


The most common medicines for ADHD are stimulants. It may seem ironic that people who are restless or hyperactive get help from stimulants. But there is good evidence that these drugs sharpen concentration by correcting an imbalance of brain chemicals. If stimulants aren't sufficient, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to stabilize mood or a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, such as atomoxetine, which can help control impulsive behaviors.


Counseling for ADHD focuses on getting organized, setting helpful routines, repairing relationships, and improving social skills. There is evidence that cognitive-behavioral therapy


Diet
Some experts believe foods that provide quality brain fuel could reduce symptoms of ADHD. High-protein foods, including nuts, meat, beans, and eggs, may improve concentration. Replacing simple carbs with complex carbs, like whole-grain pasta or brown rice, can help ward off mood swings and stabilize energy levels.


One pediatrician from my walking tour of little india said – I’ve seen kids medicated for ADD and then as adults they get drugs for depression. 


Herbs for ADHD


http://www.nativeremedies.com/products/focus-formula-childrens-herbal-adhd-remedy.html?gclid=CPXPmMGfrLwCFZJxOgodR0wAUw


What are the Ingredients?
Focus Formula is a 100% herbal formula and contains the following ingredients in therapeutic dosage: Extract of Nettle, Chamomile, Ginkgo biloba, Gotu kola, Green oats, Rooibos, Skullcap.


They support, nourish brain, digestion, nerves, antioxidants in ginko and rooibos, cleanse liver for impulsiveness, skullcap sends oxygen to brain. 


• Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba) is an extremely effective herb used in traditional Chinese medicine and derived from one of the oldest trees on Earth. Recent studies have indicated its effectiveness in maintaining the functions of a healthy circulatory system, particularly in older patients with age-related memory loss and forgetfulness (Rai GS, Shovlin C, Wesnes KA. Curr Med Res Opin 1991;12[6]:350-355; Oken BS, Storzbach DM, Kaye JA. Arch Neurol. 1998;55:1409-1415; Le Bars PL, Kieser M, Itil KZ. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2000;11:230-237). Ginkgo biloba is one of the top-selling herbal medicines in Europe and is in the top five of all prescriptions written in France and Germany. Active ingredients include flavone glycosides (including ginkgolide), bioflavins, sitosterol, lactones and anthocyanin.
• 
• Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) has been traditionally used as an effective nerve tonic. It helps to support the natural equilibrium normally present in the mind and contributes to the maintenance of a healthy attitude. Active ingredients include flavonoids, tannins, bitter, volatile oil and minerals. Scutellaria lateriflora was recently studied with regards to its supportive ability on relaxed mood and calmness. (Wolfson P, Hoffmann DL. "An investigation into the efficacy of Scutellaria lateriflora in healthy volunteers". Phytos Inc., San Anselmo, Calif., USA. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Mar-Apr;9(2):74-8.)
• 
• German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) was traditionally used to help relieve occasional simple nervous tension. This herb helps to gently soothe and lessen frustration caused by common everyday overwork and fatigue. Active ingredients include volatile oil, flavonoids, valerianic acid, coumarins, tannins, salicylates and cyanogenic glycosides.
• 
• Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is found wild in moist areas throughout Africa and Asia. This herb is traditionally used as a tonic to support a healthy brain and nervous system. Centella asiatica is recommended to support brain functions such as mental clarity and a healthy memory, as well as to maintain a balanced mood. This medicinal herb is so highly respected in Ayurvedic medicine for its effect on the mind that it is even said to increase knowledge of Brahman, the supreme reality! Centella asiatica is also a favorite food of elephants and, as we all know, elephants never forget! Recent studies have suggested that Centella asiatica supports cerebral blood flow (CBF) and circulation in general (Pointel JP, Boccalon H, Cloarec M, Ledevehat C, Joubert M. Angiology 1987;38[1 Pt 1]:46-50), thereby allowing oxygen-rich blood to penetrate deep into the brain. Studies have also suggested that this herb may be beneficial as a mood tonic (Bradwejn J, Zhou Y, Koszycki D, Shlik J. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000;20[6]:680-684).


• Green oats (Avena sativa) is a general tonic traditionally used in folk medicine, as well as in modern herbalism. Avena sativa is invaluable in alleviating common nervous irritability. Active ingredients include saponins; flavonoids; minerals; alkaloids; steroidal compounds; and vitamins B1, B2, D and E.
• 
• Extract of Nettle (stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and/or dwarf nettle (Urtica urens)) is used both traditionally and in modern herbalism to maintain blood sugar levels already within the normal range. Urtica urens also helps to maintain the good disposition of the circulatory system in a healthy body. Active ingredients are histamine; formic acid; acetylcholine (important in maintaining healthy memory functioning); glucoquinones; minerals; vitamins A, B and C; and tannins.


• Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) contains magnesium, zinc and iron, all of which assist in maintaining a healthy nervous system. Zinc and iron, in particular, support natural systemic balance in the brain, promoting standard consistency and normal functioning of the nervous system. In an animal study, the protective effects of Aspalathus linearis against damage to the central nervous system (CNS) were investigated. Chronic Rooibos Tea administration helped the animal body to naturally resist age-related accumulation of lipid peroxides in several regions of the rat brain (Inanami O, Asanuma T, Inukai N, Jin T, Shimokawa S, Kasai N, Nakano M, Sato F, Kuwabara M. "The suppression of age-related accumulation of lipid peroxides in rat brain by administration of Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis)". Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, Japan. Neurosci Lett. 1995 Aug 18;196(1-2):85-8.).
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Native Remedies is the leading brand of natural remedies known for safe, effective and quality products. Our remedies are formulated by natural health experts and produced under the highest pharmaceutical standards in FDA-registered, GMP certified facilities. We utilize the finest quality ingredients in a Full Spectrum manufacturing process that doesn’t use any chemical solvents. We use the whole herb, not just a standardized extract, for a more potent, easily ingested remedy that is easy for the body to absorb.

Chemicals that act as neuro- (brain) poisons can affect brain and nervous system development of the fetus, lower the intelligence scores of kids, and may aggravate so called diseases of aging such as Alzheimers. They have been linked to a higher incidence of ADD and autism. More boys than ever are developing autistic tendencies of non-communication. It may be a genetic factor but the problem may also be linked to harmful chemicals from plastic bottles, drugs, smoking, as well as social issues like unemployment. Damage has also resulted from use of cell phones and electronic devices that bring their own kind of toxins.


Dr. Mercola advises to avoid chemicals in the environment in the following ways. His advice is mainly what to avoid. (My additions in ((...)) include positive steps that can be taken for natural protection against brain damage from chemicals. . 


Mercola writes: Organically-grown, biodynamic whole foods are really the key to success here, and, as an added bonus, when you eat right, you're also optimizing your body's natural detoxification system, which can help eliminate toxins your body encounters from other sources. Here are a dozen recommendations that will help limit your family's toxic exposure. Please remember that all of these become even more important if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy, since your toxic load will be transferred on to your child.


As much as possible, buy and eat organic produce and free-range, organic foods to reduce your exposure to agricultural chemicals. Eat mostly raw, fresh foods, steering clear of processed, prepackaged foods of all kinds. (( Check with your local farmers to see what sorts of pesticides they are using. Many use toxic chemicals that they believe "wear off" but do they?)) This way, you automatically avoid artificial food additives, including dangerous artificial sweeteners, food coloring, and MSG.

Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality purified krill oil, or eat fish that is wild-caught and lab tested for purity. ((Add clean omega 3 rich foods like flaxseed oil))

Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap and canned foods (which are often lined with BPA-containing liners).

Have your tap water tested and, if contaminants are found, install an appropriate water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath). ((Testing your water in NYC is a joke. It takes months and results sometimes useless. Assume you need water filters))

Only use natural cleaning products in your home. ((Water with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to kill germs when washing bath and kitchen fixtures, floors and even cloths if possible. For your bath 1 cup baking soda.))

Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants, and cosmetics. ((See my book Healthy Beauty for safe clean products including some home made cosmetics.)) The Environmental Working Group has a great database20 to help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals.

Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, or other synthetic fragrances. ((Essential oils are wonderful and safe. ))

Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware. (!! Yes. if you still use non-stick pans, clean only by wiping with wet paper towel, never wash and scrub.))

When redoing your home, look for "green," toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.

Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric, or install a glass shower door. Most all flexible plastics, like shower curtains, contain dangerous plasticizers like phthalates. ((Take a nice soothing seaweed bath. See Naturally Pain Free for the recipe.))

Limit your use of drugs (prescription and over-the-counter) as much as possible. Drugs are chemicals too, and they will leave residues and accumulate in your body over time.

Avoid spraying pesticides around your home or insect repellants that contain DEET on your body. There are safe, effective, and natural alternatives out there. ((Neem powder and baking soda works well for tooth powder, neem added to floor wash helps prevents bugs, neem leaves or powder discourages moths and other clothing bugs. Neem can be used internally and externally))
Native Remedies is the leading brand of natural remedies known for safe, effective and quality products. Our remedies are formulated by natural health experts and produced under the highest pharmaceutical standards in FDA-registered, GMP certified facilities. We utilize the finest quality ingredients in a Full Spectrum manufacturing process that doesn’t use any chemical solvents. We use the whole herb, not just a standardized extract, for a more potent, easily ingested remedy that is easy for the body to absorb.