November 19, 2001A.D.H.D.
GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS from Arnold's Way!
Tasks of life grow harder each passing day
Simply whipped become simply nourished
A charlatan pitches his ware
A young boy innocently follows
The magical mystery barrage of hype
Carried their own tune
Little boys little girls no longer
Run around without a plan
So begins the first step forward
This week's newsletter became unabashedly clear on Sunday night. It struck me that this had to be this week's topic. "Understanding ADHD." Up until Sunday night my mind raced, unattached, looking for a topic. Any topic. I stewed over AIDS, glanced over flu vaccine, briefly thought about asthma, and just when I was ready to choose a topic my wife gave me a little pamphlet called "Understanding ADHD." It was one of those short books with cute pictures sent to anyone who may be involved in children's health. To those reading this for the first time or umpteenth time, I, Arnold, repeat, I am not a doctor, not a medical researcher, and not even a writer. What I do each week for about 10 hours is research different subjects that so-called get my goad. I offer my opinion. It's my books, my research, my opinion. As a layman I have done this research consistently for almost a year. In almost every article, every disease, I have discovered miraculous recoveries once the intended victim becomes empowered, taking the social disease as a God sent imbalance. To reverse this God sent imbalance one simply has to remove the cause and change his or her lifestyle. The person has to learn to enjoy the fruit of living, the greens of nourishment, and the seeds of life. So on this note we begin our research on ADHD or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 55,000 primary care pediatricians who are dedicated to the health, safety, and well being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. I look at the words, I read the books. Do I feel the care? Do I sense the warmth? Is this an organization I would want responsible for my grandchild's health, especially since I read who supported the publication "Understanding ADHD." It's McNeil Consumer Healthcare who quite ostentatiously prints above its slogan and below a long paragraph about the AAP that the pamphlet is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from McNeil. My first reaction is what does unrestricted mean, and why would that even have to be mentioned?
So we open our eyes wide, read the words carefully. What is said? What is not said?
According to the AAP, "ADHD is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior." According to the AAP, ADHD affects 4-12% of school-aged children, and according to their pamphlet, "That's just the way it is." That means that if you're a parent, which I am, "Long-term planning is needed because these conditions continue or recur for a long time." So much for the hope of overcoming ADHD.
I look at their treatment, which is essentially divided into seven categories. These seven categories, which were developed by an organization of 55,000 primary care pediatricians and sent out to I assume thousands of other institutions that deal with child care, with the unrestricted support of McNeil Consumer Healthcare system, did not even mention once the importance of dietary lifestyle as their treatment.
My first reaction was of absolute horrid unfathomability (this is not such word, but such a word is needed). How dare they insult my intelligence, your intelligence, any parent's intelligence. This pamphlet clearly states in black and white, "There is no evidence that ADHD is caused by the following: eating too much sugar, food additives, allergies, immunizations."
This, my friends, is the conventional way of thinking. This, my friends, is a signal to feed a child as much sugar, candy, sugar, soda, sugar, gumdrops, etc. as they want and expect that your children, my child would not react in any negative way because there is no evidence to suggest that. To these 55,000 primary care health personnel I say, "HELLO!" I strongly suggest that you ask anyone who deals with raising children whether or not eating too much sugar causes any irregularity in their behavior. This all is in direct contrast put out by the Journal of Pediatrics, which clearly states, "More than 50% of hyperactive children showed fewer behavior problems and had less trouble sleeping when put on a restricted diet."
To a parent, what does a restricted diet look like? According to Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, "A diet free of all artificial and chemical food additives, chocolate, preservatives, and caffeine." Again, this is almost in direct contrast to the statement made under the guise of the AAP. Who do you believe?
So we assume, as most Americans do, that we should trust our pediatrician, for they are specialists. They have experience. They have 8-12 years of schooling with all this training behind them. We review the medication page of the pamphlet. "For most children, stimulant medications are a safe and effective way to relieve ADHD symptoms." This booklet is not some worn out pamphlet, which can be labeled "outdated" by medical experts who realize the effects of these drugs on our children. The booklet is written by the medical experts of today. This booklet is copyrighted 2001. There are absolutely no excuses.
One of the so-called safe medications named was Methylphenidate, or Ritalin. There were no side-effects mentioned, which certainly should have been mentioned since it was studied by 55,000 primary care pediatricians with the unrestricted support of McNeil Consumer Healthcare. You would think that with all this knowledge and wisdom they would have clearly discovered what was revealed in an article in the January 1998 Volume 1 issue of Health Keeper magazine, which describes Ritalin as, "a classified schedule 11 controlled substance. It is a stimulant which affects the neurotransmitter dopamine and is similar to cocaine, morphine, and Demerol." The fact remains that it is so addictive that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) monitors the amount sold. I assume if this is the case, every child who receives this so-called safe and effective drug would have to be registered with the DEA since besides being addictive, "there is already a problem arising on the street of illicit non-medical use of Ritalin."
I am sure there are reasons why these facts weren't mentioned. Additional side effects, according to ARKY 1994 include, "nervousness, insomnia, suppression of growth, anorexia, hypersensitivity, nausea, palpitations, headaches, blood pressure changes, and cardiac arrhythmia."
So I look at the side effects of Ritalin. I look at the study in the Journal of Pediatrics, which showed a 50% reduction rate in behavioral problems when children were put on a restricted diet. As a parent whom do I believe? What are the doctors telling me about my child and about their medications. What are they not telling me?
If we stop briefly and review the Feingold Cookbook for Hyperactive Children by Dr. Benjamin Feingold, it clearly states, "Practically all pediatric medication should be eliminated." As a fun-loving guy with no degree and no 8-10 year background (as that of primary care pediatricians), who happily breezes the pages and searches through the books, this is what I found. This is what I discovered. If one peruses the Feingold cookbook and the book Lick the Sugar Habit, we see that they both clearly state that sugar has been implicated in health problems, including hyperactivity, in children. So we as parents, as guardians of our natural treasures, are faced with the dilemma of whom do we believe? I can only speak for myself. I have over the years taken action when raising my children. I did what I thought that the right thing. I stopped giving soda, which at the time I thought was enough. I tried to limit the amount of candy in the house, which at the time was enough. I didn't allow any cake in the house, which at the time seemed to be enough. I tried doing all the right things, but little did I know how overwhelmingly our society's diet is packed with synthetic colors and synthetic flavors. They are in practically everything. Although all my children are grown up there were many times my wife and I were literally pulling out our hair from our children's out of control behavior. We raised four kids. To this day I still wonder how I have any hair at all. To this day I still wonder how we even got through the entire ruckus, the wildness, and the unbelievable effort it took on a daily basis. It's all because we did not know. We believed what everybody said around us, the friends, the neighbors, the doctors. The AAP sates, "There is no evidence that ADHD is caused by the following: Eating too much sugar, food additives, allergies, immunizations." So as parents we had to deal with constant disruptive behavior. In all fairness, all our children weren't affected by these addictive qualities all the time, but one was, and that was enough. It's enough to make me a staunch supporter of watching our children's dietary habits.
According to the Feingold Cookbook for Hyperactive Children, which was written 25 years ago and is still recommended today, there is hope other than medication. So we study the Feingold book. We study the success rate. We begin to wonder who is right, who is wrong? Who do we believe? Dr. Feingold states, "In group I, all food that contained synthetic (artificial colors) and synthetic (artificial flavors) as well as two preservatives the antioxidants BHT and BHA were removed." I still deal with young children because we are raising a grandchild. Having gone through hyperactive children once I do not want to go though it again. So by chance, as I am writing this article, I begin studying the two boxes of cereal. Bingo. One of the cereals has BHT. In the trashcan. The other cereal has at least 5 ingredients I did not understand. It's a crazy world out there. For one to speak of health, one has to be of health. If one talks of peace on the outside, one has to have peace on the inside. The strength within creates harmony on the outside.
I read further in Dr. Feingold's book about other food chemicals, which were used back then. Today I am sure the usage is so greatly increased that the average person is eating mostly chemicalized food (that's another topic). He states, "MSG, a flavor enhancer, is also a common cause of neurological disturbances. This ingredient is found in hundreds of food items and also has different names to protect the food producers." Sodium nitrate is, "used as a preservative of meats" and "considered as a cause of cancer." Anytime you eat packaged lunchmeat, check the labels. Anytime you buy those pretty wrapped boxes that are geared for kid's lunches, check the label.
The list goes on and on and on. It's endless. Can there be alternatives? Yes. Is there hope? Yes. If accidents are to occur and possibilities are to exist, then yesterday's occurrence of one of my ex-employees walking through the door after 8 months of not seeing him was certainly not an accident. If names shall be called, since I did not ask permission to use his real name, we shall call him Mark. He started working for me because he was seeking truth. When he first walked in he had all the characteristics of ADHD. He had a hard time paying attention, he was disorganized, and he was always forgetting things. In other words, as an employer he drove me nuts. But he did listen. We talked about diet, we talked about drugs, we talked about Ritalin, we talked about incorporating more fruit and vegetables in his diet. We just plain talked. He came. He saw. He conquered. Mark changed his diet, gave up the synthetic flavor, the synthetic coloring. As time passed Mark passed through seemingly little milestones like eating fruit in the morning. He reduced his medication. He gave up his cigarettes. Mark was labeled ADHD. He was under doctor's orders for prescription drugs. He was under primary care until that one day he walked in beaming, happy, determined. Mark decided to stop taking medication. A big decision. Proud, happy, he could not stop bragging. That was about 4 months ago. He walked in our store yesterday a new man. He gained (a needed) approximately 20 pounds. His hair was no longer green, purple, or whatever color he happened to choose for that day. He no longer had earrings on his face. He changed schools and began doing what he should have done so long ago. He was enjoying his life doing what he was meant to do. His passion. Art.
So I thanked him for coming in, thanked him for sharing, thanked him for being him.
I could write more, but I won't. For each week I write about a different disease, which in essence is the same disease. I write what the medical field says in the cause in volumes of theories with no set answer. Their opinion as in all options is to medicate until it doesn't work anymore and then medicate some more. That is fine for there are those who believe that is the way. I myself chose a different path. It's a path where I empower myself to be myself. I quest for truth, for the truth is written within each one of us. The end of my 10 hours of writing and research is near. I have to stop and leave for work. I hope that I have empowered each one of you to find your quest four truth whatever that may be.
I thank you for your time.
Understanding ADHD by The American Academy of Pediatrics
"Ritalin," article in Health Keeper Magazine by Beth Adam Spencer
Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Land, Rachel Walton, and Rob Roundtree
Feingold Cookbook by Dr. Benjamin Feingold ARKY - 1994
Upcoming events at Arnold's Way
Arnold's Way now has a website! www.arnoldsway.com
Here to Heal is sponsoring a Raw Food dinner, lecture, and food preparation workshop at Arnold's Way Sunday December 2 from 6:30-9pm. Featuring Kwalite Prince Wali and master of raw and living foods chef Kwalite Princess Nuriyah. Reserve early. Seating is limited. $35.
Call Arnold for reservations. 215-483-2266.
Arnold gives a breakfast lecture on raw food and healing every Saturday morning at the store from 8: 15 to 9:45. It's free and there's free breakfast. But please pre-register.
On the last Saturday of every month, Arnold gives a free raw food preparation course from 8:15 to 9:45 at the store. Learn how to make pizza, chili, pies, soups, cookies and more in 7 minutes or less.
There's a raw food Pot Luck dinner on the last Wednesday of the month at the store beginning at 6pm. Bring a raw food dish or pay $7. Pre-registration required.
Greenwood has 2 pot luck dinners each month, on the second and fourth Saturdays, from 2-5 p.m. Call Tom for more info at (610) 623-5656.
Loreta Vainius is sponsoring a Living Food support group. (610) 648-0241