Attention Deficit Disorder
See also: Books About ADD & ADHD | Natural Remedies | Other Resources
ADD & ADHD: An Alternative View
Way too many children are prescribed Ritalin
for hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder. It is
a stimulant which speeds up their brains so fast they shift
into neutral. I wonder how often their doctors make any
attempt to find the actual cause. It's certainly not a Ritalin
One of the most common possible causes of hyperactivity
is magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a mineral which is
normally in the soil and is absorbed by plants and then
into people. The plants which have the most magnesium are
green leafy vegetables. Chlorophyll, the molecule which
makes plants green, is almost identical to hemoglobin, the
molecule which makes our blood red. The only difference
is that the center of the chlorophyll molecule is magnesium,
the center of the hemoglobin molecule is iron.
Even if your kids eat lots of green leafy veggies, how much
magnesium is in them depends on how they were cooked. If
they were boiled in water and the water was discarded, some
or all of the magnesium went with it! If you prefer to cook
your vegetables this way, save the water and add it to soup
or rice in place of part of the cooking water. Better yet,
steam them to preserve both flavor and nutrition! You can
do this by putting the vegetables in a pot with about a
tablespoon of water, and once it gets hot, cover the pot
and turn the heat as low as it will go to cook. Do not overcook
the veggies. As long as their color is bright, they are
good. Once the color changes or turns dull, they are overcooked.
What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency? According
Eat Right to Keep Fit" by the late biochemist Adelle
Davis, "persons only slightly deficient in magnesium
become irritable, high-strung, sensitive to noise, hyperexcitable,
apprehensive, and beligerent. If the deficiency is more
severe, or prolonged, they may develop twitching, tremors,
irregular pulse, insomnia, muscle weakness, jerkiness, and
leg and foot cramps; their hands may shake so badly that
their writing becomes illegible. Electroencephalograms, electrocardiograms,
and electromyograms, or the records of electrical waves
in the brain, heart, and muscles, all become abnormal. If
magnesium is severely deficient, the brain is particularly
affected. Clouded thinking, confusion, disorientation, marked
depression, and even the terrifying hallucinations of delerium
tremens are largely brought on by a lack of this nutrient
and remedied when magnesium is given." She continues,
"improvement is usually dramatic within hours after
magnesium is taken."
Another common problem in children which can be caused by
magnesium deficiency induced muscle weakness is bedwetting.
Miss Davis also mentions hyperactivity and colic in relation
to magnesium dificiency.
A word of caution. If you decide to add a magnesium suppliment
to your diet, do not make the mistake of thinking more is
better. Do not take more than the RDA (400 mg. per day)
without instructions from you doctor. Magnesium and calcium
work together to make the nerves and muscles function properly.
Too much of one or the other can make the nerves and muscles
malfunction or even stop working. (Your heart is one of
those muscles! Too much or too little magnesium can make
it stop beating!) The generally recommended balance of calcium
to magnesium is 2 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium. The
most popular suppliments will have about a gram (1,000 mg.)
of calcium and 400 mg. of magnesium. This is usually fine. Some people need more magnesium than calcium. You can purchase suppliments
with the ratio reversed, with twice as much magnesium
as calcium. This is also within reason, especially if you
diet has more calcium in it than magnesium. Most Americans
The simplest thing to do is add 200 mg. to 400 mg. of magnesium
per day and see what happens. For my kids, I used a magnesium oxide powder from the health food store, which I stirred
into kool-ade. Not that I recommend kool-ade, but kids like
it, and the magnesium is tasteless if they drink it right away. Left
to sit in a liquid, it gets a noticeable flavor. I have
put it in orange juice, but it seems to me it made it taste
different. It's been many years since I've used it, so I'm
not sure about that, and it's certainly worth trying in
various juices to see if that works for your kids. (Note: avoid magnesium oxide if you have tummy trouble; take magnesium citrate instead. It absorbs better anyway, so even if you don't have tummy trouble it's a good choice.)
I have used it on other kids too, with their parents permission,
and always, without fail, everyone present can tell a remarkable
difference in the child who has taken it. The child calms
down, and his/her attitude improves dramatically! It happens
within a few minutes of taking it in powder form. Tablets
may take longer, and you never know if they're being broken
down or just pass through undissolved, so I prefer powders.
Just make sure you measure carefully and mark any containers
you put the powder into carefully, including the recommended
dosage, and a warning not to exceed this dosage.
Good food sources of magnesium other than green leafy veggies
are seeds and nuts if the magnesium was in the soil
where it could be absorbed by the plants. The chemical fertilizers
commonly used in agriculture often drive magnesium so deep
into the soil that the plants can't reach it. And our soils
have become depleted.
One more common cause of magnesium deficiency is the use
of antibiotics. Antibiotics waste tremendous amounts of
magnesium. And often children with one health challenge
also have others, such as allergies and ear infections.
If your kids are having lots of ear or respiratory problems,
take them completely off dairy products for three weeks
and see what happens. It usually takes two weeks for the
mucus to clear significantly. You could get an herbal expectorant
from a health food store to facilitate this process. Dairy
products, including milk, cheese and the ingredients cassein
and whey (read all labels carefully!) promote congestion.
Another reason to avoid dairy products is that milk has
lots of the antibiotics in it that were fed to the cows.
Over half the antibiotics used in this country are used
on farm animals raised for food. Children do not need milk
to be strong and healthy, and in fact, milk is not a good
source of calcium, contrary to the propoganda the dairy
industry would have you believe. If you don't believe me,
ask a Natural Food Hygenist or take a look at Harvey and
Marilyn Diamond's excellent bestselling book, "Fit for Life".
Educate youself. Ask questions. Talk with others. See if
a local health food store has a discussion group or is willing
to form one. Start you own discussion group! (Notice I didn't
say support group. "Support groups" sometimes
attract people who only want to vent their frustrations.
You want a group which is seeking solutions, looking for
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BOOKS ON HYPERACTIVITY, ADD, ADHD
Available in association with Amazon.com
ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to
See and Heal the Six Types of Attention Deficit Disorder
by Daniel Amen M.D.
Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program
for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger,
and Impulsiveness by Daniel G. Amen also has good information
about ADD and ADHD.
Hyperactivity: A New Solution
by Nancy O'Dell (Contributor), Patricia A. Cook
For more information see the Stopping Hyperactivity: A New
Solution website at:
Why Your Child Is Hyperactive
by Ben F. Feingold
No More Ritalin: Treating ADHD Without Drugs
by Dr. Mary Ann Block
"What does a mother do when doctors make her
daughter gravely ill with drugs, then can't get her well?
If you're Mary Ann Block, you become a physician to get
your child well yourself. Dr. Block was compelled to go
to medical school at the age of 39 to save her daughter.
Today, her daughter is a healthy adult as a result of her
mother's determination and devotion.
In her ground breaking book, No More Ritalin-treating ADHD
Without Drugs, A Mother's Journey, Dr. Block shares her
painful and shocking journey through the dark days of her
daughter's doctor-induced illness. She goes on to shatter
the conventional view of drugging children who have been
labeled with ADHD.
Dr. Block, medical director of the Block Center, looks for
and treats the underlying health problems causing the ADHD
symptoms. In her book, she discusses the causes of these
symptoms, explains her medical approach and offers parents
many things they can do themselves, at home, to help their
- Steven Zacharius,
Kensington Books (used with permission)
Remedies for Children's Common Ailments
by Carolyn Dean, M.D.
(A Keats Guide to Good Health)
Natural Approach to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Drug-Free Ways to Treat the Roots of This Childhood Epidemic
(Keats Good Health Guide)
by Ronald L. Hoffman
Free Kids: Safe and Effective Homeopathic
Medicine for ADD and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems
by Judith Reichenberg-Ullman, N.D., M.S.W. &
Robert Ullman, N.D.
Talking Back to Ritalin: What Doctors Aren't Telling You About Stimulants for Children
by Peter R. Breggin
Running on Ritalin: A Physician Reflects on Children, Society and Performance in a Pill
by Lawrence H. Diller
Shelley, the Hyperactive Turtle
Deborah Moss, Carol Schwartz (Illustrator)
Your Hyperactive Child: A Parent's Guide to Coping With Attention Deficit Disorder
by Barbara Ingersoll, Ph.D.
More ADHD books by Barbara Ingersoll
Power Parenting for Children With ADD/ADHD: A Practical Parent's Guide for Managing Difficult Behaviors
by Grad L. Flick, Ph.D., Harvey C. Parker
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ADD-Vantage™ for Kids - Enhances mental focus and performance. Calms and soothes tense nerves and hyper behavior. Helps restore normal metabolism. Not addictive or druggy.
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Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) can respond to a diet change
ADD / ADHD & Behavioral Problems: Nutritional Causes, Prevention and Therapies
Common Conditions That May Result from a Magnesium Deficiency: ADD
Attention Deficit Disorder ADD/ADHD
Magnesium supplementation as a
treatment for ADHD
PubMed Abstract: The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Positive response to magnesium oral loading test.
"The Mozart Effect is the definitive book on
the astonishing powers of music - from Mozart to Jazz, New
Age, Latin and even Rock - to heal the body, mind and spirit."
See also: The Mozart Effect at Amazon
Method builds strong listening skills through auditory
stimulation, to improve learning and language abilities,
communication, creativity, and social behavior. Has sections
on Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD), Autism, Depressive
Tendencies, Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia.
of the North American Tomatis Listening Centres
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