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March 6, 2012
By Sharon Heller
Many people think organic fruits and vegetables are too expensive to buy for family meals. But those who have a hyperactive child should think again. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million children ages 5 to 17 in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD. These rates have risen 3% a year between 1997 and 2006. Could the problem be something in the air or food that American children eat? A new study suggests this is a strong possibility.
Appearing in the journal Pediatricsin 2010 (published online on May 17, 2010), a study conducted by Harvard researchers found that relatively low-level exposure to common pesticides doubles kids’ risk of ADHD. The researchers took urine samples of 1,139 children, aged 8 to 15 from across the United States. They tested for signs of exposure to various organophosphate pesticides used on commercially grown fruit and vegetables. Ninety four percent of the children showed evidence
of the compounds
February 22, 2012
By Mike Barrett
“Here is just one more example of why this president needs to be replaced. Ron Paul believes in health freedom and natural medicine.” –KTRN
Drug shortages seem to be igniting some problems for pharmaceutical companies and health officials – so much so that president Barack Obama previously issued an Executive Order demanding that the Food and Drug Administration address the shortages.
Per Obama’s request, the FDA is taking action and continues to fight the drug shortages traversing the United States.
Despite mostly being mostly manufactured in China with virtually no inspection, mega-tumor-linked pharmaceutical drugs are now being rolled out more than ever before.
It was only last month when we reported on the struggle pharmaceutical companies are going through with filling prescriptions for ADHD. More than 18 million prescriptions were written for Adderall in 2010, up 13.4 percent from 2009. While pharmaceutical companies would normally be thrilled about this, they are actually struggling to acquire enough of the active ingredient used in the drug, Adderall, to ‘treat’ the ‘disease. This is leading to complications for the drug companies since they are unable to provide for the high demand. Of course the information showing that ADHD can be combated with simple dietary changes is of no concern to drug giants.
Now, the Food and Drug Administration has announced on Tuesday that they will be taking measures to increase the supply of two other drugs – Methotrexate, a drug for children with leukemia, and Doxil, a drug used to ‘treat’ various cancers. Until the FDA successfully increases available supplies of the original drugs, substitute drugs from overseas will be implemented for United States patients. Nearly half of all pharmaceutical drugs within the United States are already produced overseas, with a shocking 81% of the 3,765 unregulated foreign factories never having been inspected by the FDA.
Is an Executive Order from the president that forces the FDA to supply the nation with more pharmaceutical drugs the answer to the nation’s health crisis?
February 6, 2012
By Alexander Frantzis
Many within the alternative health community believe anesthetics cause brain damage. Evidence for this claim has included innumerable animal studies demonstrating a wide range of side effects from every class of anesthetics.
Clinical observations of patients and in certain instances a physician directly perceiving the neurological damage within themselves following anesthesia have also supported this theory. Unfortunately, while a definite hypothesis is easy to establish with animals, it is difficult to test in humans.
Until recently strong evidence has been lacking either way that anesthetics harm human beings. Thus, safer alternatives such as acupuncture, non-toxic anesthetics and abstaining from the application of anesthesia remain under examination. Recent work by the Mayo Clinic however contradicts the prevailing mindset. Onset of ADHD, an indicator of neurological damage, was strongly correlated to children who had been repeatedly anesthetized.
Aware of the evidence suggesting a connection, Mayo Clinic researchers devised a method to test for a possible link between the two. Comparing the records of a group of children exposed to 2 or more anesthetics before the age of 3 versus a group with 0 exposure, it was found that the former group had over twice the incidence of ADHD as the latter.
Children with no exposure to anesthesia and surgery had a 7.3 percent incidence of ADHD. Equally, for children with only a single surgery and exposure to anesthesia before the age of 3 the rate was nearly the same as no exposure. However for children with two or more exposures to anesthesia and surgery, the rate of ADHD was 17.9 percent. This result remained even after researchers adjusted for other factors, including gestational age, sex, birth weight and comorbid health conditions.
Statistically, this data showed a very large difference between each group and a clear correlation between anesthesia and cognitive impairment. To quote study pediatric anesthesiologist and study investigator Dr. Warner: “We were skeptical that the findings in animals would correlate with kids, but it appears that it does.”
January 17, 2012
By Johnathan Benson
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that many of the symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the often over-diagnosed condition tacked on many young people, can be treated by simply altering or supplementing one’s diet. And a new study published in the journal Pediatrics helps confirm this, noting that when drugs and behavioral therapies are ineffective, ridding the diet of toxic additives, for instance, and consuming more whole, organic foods is the best route to take.
There is still much debate over what ADHD actually is, and whether or not it is even a valid “condition” at all, at least in the way most people define a health condition. Some say ADHD is a true disease attributable to family history and genetics, while others point to petrochemical-based food dyes, artificial additives, synthetic sweeteners, and processed foods as triggers of the brain abnormalities that spur inattentiveness and uncontrollable behavior.
Well, it appears that even mainstream science is finally coming around — sort of — to the idea that diet plays a crucial role in improving behavior, focus, and mental capacity in many that have been diagnosed with ADHD. While stopping shy of recommending dietary changes as a primary approach to ADHD, doctors from Northwestern University Medical School at least say that dietary changes constitute a secondary option.
January 12, 2012
By Bruce E Levine
“Most people are not mentally ill. Yes, we’re all weird. But this is good. People jump to the conclusion they have ADHD, depression, or some other mental illness when in reality, it’s who they are as people. It’s part of their personality. Yes, depression sucks – but are you really depressed? Or just bummed out? Stop and think for a minute if you really are as screwed up as you you think. Chances are, you’re just as crazy as the rest of us. Embrace it – it’s fun being weird.” –KTRN
Why do some of us become dissident mental health professionals?
The majority of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals “go along to get along” and maintain a status quo that includes drug company corruption, pseudoscientific research and a “standard of care” that is routinely damaging and occasionally kills young children. If that sounds hyperbolic, then you probably have not heard of Rebecca Riley, and how the highest levels of psychiatry described her treatment as “appropriate and within responsible professional standards.”
When Rebecca Riley was 28 months old, based primarily on the complaints of her mother that she was “hyper” and had difficulty sleeping, psychiatrist Kayoko Kifuji, at the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, diagnosed Rebecca with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Kifuji prescribed clonidine, a hypertensive drug with significant sedating properties, a drug Kifuji also prescribed to Rebecca’s older sister and brother. The goal of the Riley parents—obvious to many in their community and later to juries—was to attain psychiatric diagnoses for their children that would qualify them for disability payments and to sedate their children making them easy to manage.
By the time Rebecca was three years old, again based mainly on parental complaints, Kifuji had given Rebecca an additional diagnosis of bipolar disorder and prescribed two additional heavily sedating drugs, the antipsychotic Seroquel and the anticonvulsant Depakote.
At the age of four, Rebecca was dead.
At the time of her death, Rebecca had a life-threatening amount of clonidine—enough to kill her—in her body, according to the former director of the Massachusetts toxicology lab and the medical director of a regional poison control center. The medical examiner who performed the autopsy concluded that Rebecca died from intoxication of clonidine, Depakote and two over-the-counter cold and cough medicines that led to heart failure, lungs filled with bloody fluid, coma, and then death. Rebecca’s abusive parents went to prison for the over-drugging that led to their daughter’s death.
Kifuji’s fate? The psychiatric establishment rallied around Kifuji, enabling her to return to Tufts Medical Center practicing child psychiatry without any restrictions, penalties or supervision. After Rebecca’s death, Tufts-New England Medical Center defended Kifuji. A Tufts spokesperson told “60 Minutes” in 2009, “The care we provided was appropriate and within responsible professional standards.”
Apparently, psychiatric care that is considered appropriate and within responsible professional standards includes diagnoses of ADHD for a two-year-old and bipolar disorder for a three-year-old when the symptoms of those disorders are normal behaviors for those ages; prescribing three heavily sedating drugs that have not been approved by the FDA for child psychiatric treatment; ignoring the warnings from a school nurse about over-dosages for Rebecca; and making diagnoses based almost entirely on the reports of Rebecca’s mother, who herself was diagnosed with mental illness and heavily medicated to the point of falling asleep in Kifuji’s office.
Long before the Rebecca Riley tragedy hit the headlines, I was embarrassed by the mental health profession for seven major reasons:
1. Corruption by Big Pharma
January 10, 2012
By Allison Aubrey
“Food is medicine. Eating good food is a lot more about being healthy than it is about looking good.” –KTRN
You may remember the controversial studies linking food coloring and additives to hyperactivity in kids. Or you may know parents who have pinned their hopes on an elimination diet to improve their kids’ rowdy behavior.
“When [elimination] diets fail, parents can feel they’ve failed,” says Linda Brauer, coordinator of the Grand Rapids chapter of the advocacy group Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. She remembers feeling guilty when her son’s symptoms did not improve. But now she says the science is on her side.
A review paper published today in the journal Pediatrics evaluated the evidence from many studies on this topic. And it concludes that changing a child’s diet is usually not enough to effectively treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“Elimination diets may help in a very small percentage of patients,” whereas stimulant medications are generally very effective, writes J. Gordon Millichap, a neurologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago who authored the paper.
Now, before all of the we-are-what-we-eat believers among us dismiss this, you should know that experts don’t deny the importance of diet. Far from it.
January 9, 2012
By Ryan Jaslow
Do diets that claim to reduce symptoms of ADHD in kids actually work?
A new review of ADHD diets by pediatric researchers suggests healthy eating could actually help kids reduce their ADHD symptoms. But the researchers warn a diet probably shoud not be the first line of defense against ADHD, but merely a supplement to other proven therapies such as medication.
“Supplemental diet therapy is simple, relatively inexpensive, and more acceptable to patient and parent,” the authors wrote in the review, published in the Jan. 9 issue of Pediatrics. “Public education regarding a healthy diet pattern and lifestyle to prevent or control ADHD may have greater long-term success.”
For the study, Dr. J. Gordon Millichap and Michelle M. Yee, researchers at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University in Chicago, reviewed 70 studies on diet-based treatments for ADHD.
Some diets that have been thought to reduce symptoms of ADHD include the preservative-free Feingold Diet, a sugar-restricted diet, an “elimination diet” that avoids potential food allergens, and diets loaded with Omega-3 fatty acid supplements that supposedly boost brain health. What did the researchers have to say?
The Feingold Diet, which says to avoid foods like apples, grapes, luncheon meet, hot dogs, cold drinks, and anything else with orange and red dyes, was not proven to be effective by other studies, the researchers said. Parents who wish to follow this diet need patience, perseverance, and an understanding doctor and nutritionist, the authors wrote.
What about sugar? On the surface it seems giving a kid too much sugar can boost hyperactivity, but the researchers said the majority of studies it looked at failed to demonstrate that a diet high in sugar or artificial sweeteners had an effect on a child’s behavior or cognitive function, thus questioning the importance of a low-sugar diet for kids with ADHD. The authors realize despite their findings, the perception that sugar makes a kid more hyperactive is unlikely to change.
Did any of the diets actually work?
December 27, 2011
By Amanda Hess
“The natural cure for ADHD is a gluten free diet. If only it was easier to convince people to just give it a shot. I guess taking Adderall is easier.” –KTRN
News of the Great Adderall Shortage of 2011 scared up trend pieces in Salt Lake City and Grand Rapids before spreading to the stimulant capitals of America—New York, Miami, Los Angeles—where shit got real. One user of the ADHD-prescribed drug described the lack of pills as “a horror.” Some people cried.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, Adderall and its generic imitators experienced “supply issues,” “increased demand,” “inadequate finished product,” and “uneven product distribution patterns” this year. The FDA maintains that “availability for all dosage strengths is adequate,” but the freakout over the reduced supply of one of the most over-prescribed drugs in the country showcased Americans’ need for alternative ways to stay focused. Hippie types have long championed a natural remedy for attention deficit disorder: just don’t eat wheat. No, medicine has not established the wheat-free diet as an real remedy for ADHD. But the trends say otherwise. After all, many people who consume Adderall don’t really have ADHD anyway. Some of us have work to do!
December 5, 2011
By The Fix
“Nobody should be taking Adderall to begin with.” –KTRN
When Jay V.’s pharmacist told him about the nationwide Adderall shortages last weekend, he reacted as any economically rational finance professional would, and attempted to bribe her. Whatever the cost, “it’s cheaper than cocaine,” his reasoning went. And even if it isn’t, you can’t put a price on never having to go back to doing bumps in the work bathroom to get through late night deal committee meetings, can you?
Jay’s pharmacist said she was reserving her supply for regular customers, but that the price had doubled and the clock was ticking. “They’re down to one bottle,” Jay said, “and if I don’t get them a prescription by the end of next week I forfeit my right to it.” So long as he can tear himself away from one of the 16-hour days he cites as the reason he needs Adderall to begin with, he’ll be fine. At least, for the next month or so….
If addiction is the kind of thing you think about a lot, it’s easy to overlook its significance in the cold, objective Realpolitik scheme of things, which is this: it’s a great fucking business model. From the British East India Company to the Bronfman clan to Duke University, history is redolent of abject mediocrities who owe their billions to Big Addiction.