Attention Deficit Disorder - Out of the Blue

Attention Deficit Disorder is one of those conditions which didn't exist during the '40s and '50s.

Where did it come from? How did they miss it?

I'm sure that if your child has been diagnosed it seems all too real.

I'm also sure that strong evidence has been found to support the theory that it's actually a physical condition. The brain scans don't lie.

The key questions are, where did it come from, and what caused it?

My guess is the obvious: bad nutrition. I know that many others reached the same conclusion years ago.

It probably has existed forever. It's just that it's now been parlayed into a huge money-maker for the pharmaceutical companies.

It can be cured by some radical dietary changes - in some cases some very simple changes.

I'm willing to bet the biggest culprits are refined sugar and wheat.

If this is the first page of my website you've seen, you don't know that I'm not a doctor, though you can probably tell by the lack of technical language.

I'm a self-proclaimed expert - a parent and grandparent who has lived long enough to realize that the use of medicines usually makes any condition worse.

Any condition can be solved, relieved, even cured through the careful implementation of the right diet.

Attention deficit disorder is no exception.

Sugar has been getting lots of bad press for a long time - yet many people still consume much more sugar than their bodies can handle.

Some of us can tolerate very little sugar. We actually get all the sugar we need from fruits and vegetables.

Many young parents find it necessary for both parents to work in order to pay the bills - so fast food and food from the box is typical.

The amount of sugar contained in soft drinks is more than enough to choke a horse.

But horses don't drink soft drinks. Children do, though, along with their parents. If the soda is one which has caffeine, it's a double whammy.

Terrible nutrition from fast food restaurants and meals out of boxes are the obvious causes of attention deficit disorder.

James Braly, M.D. and Ron Hoggan, M.A. wrote Dangerous Grains. It was copyrighted in 2002. The subtitle is Why Gluten Cereal Grains May be Hazardous to Your Health.

The entire book is a serious challenge to some of our most cherished ideas about foods and nutrition. Our enjoyment of wheat, rye, barley, oats and other grains or grain products goes back to antiquity.

Bread is most often made from wheat flour - which has more gluten than the other grains.

We all grew up eating huge amounts of wheat. And it's hard to give it up.

I really miss bread, rolls, pasta, pizza, pies and cakes. Well, at least I did at first.

Not that I was ADD. I was and still am ODD.

I wish I were clever enough to have originated that one.

I first heard it said by my nephew, Chris Ellis. He is clever enough to have originated it.

Attention deficit disorder has become a very serious problem. It has been a serious problem for many decades, but it really wasn't recognized until sometime during the '70s.

Since then it has been treated almost exclusively as some sort of mental-emotional problem with a mysterious or unknown cause.

The usual treatment is to use strong drugs - oops, I mean medications.

Actually there are substantial numbers of young folks who self-medicate using street drugs. They probably don't realize they have attention deficit disorder, but the relief they find from drugs is bound to be quite addicting.

The relief is in the form of escape - which is similar to the relief found by patients who are on prescription drugs. There may be some pain relief, in both cases.

Dangerous Grains has a chapter devoted to Brain Disorders and Gluten. That's the title of the chapter, surprise, surprise.

A sub-heading in that chapter is MOOD, BEHAVIOR, PSYCHOLOGY, AND GLUTEN - all caps. A sub-sub-heading is Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without Hyperactivity).

The entire chapter is very informative - but take a look at this paragraph, which is the first paragraph under the sub-sub-heading, Attention Deficit Disorder.

Disorders of mood and mind are also common in people who experience difficulty in maintaining their attention, but the most prominent feature of attention deficit disorder is the inability to maintain focus and attention where there is no strong emotional motive. Whether the afflicted individual is lethargically disinterested in her or his surroundings or is hyperactive and unable to settle into a task, the attention-challenged individual in question may well be suffering from gluten sensitivity.

When I was a public school teacher during the '70s my colleagues and I had trouble taking seriously the idea that ADD was being presented by psychologists and other behavioral experts as an actual disorder or disease.

Many teachers during that time felt that this new disorder was just an attempt to justify soft-pedaling discipline in the classroom.

As the years and decades marched by more and more medical and other experts got into the mix and ADD grew in credibility.

With medical doctors often diagnosing ADD as a chronic disorder then prescribing drugs such as Ritalin, it has become common for people to insist that their doctors put children on Ritalin, in spite of serious side effects.

On the other hand, apparently some parents have experienced pressure from others to put children on Ritalin.

The side effects of this powerful drug are very frightening. They include pounding uneven heartbeats, lightheadedness, fever, sore throat, headache, severe blistering and peeling of the skin, restlessness, aggression, hallucinations, easy bruising, dangerously high blood pressure...

Why would anyone ever put a child or an adult on this stuff??

I guess parents feel really helpless when their child is constantly disruptive - as with attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity.

I've heard of situations where one child in the family is especially hyperactive - aggressively demanding his own way, even violent toward parents and siblings.

Why didn't doctors know about dietary considerations decades ago?

Primarily because medical schools have had very little coursework in nutrition. If any nutrition was taught, it involved learning about the food pyramid and the four basic food groups - same stuff we all learned in 6th grade.

Probably no humans should be eating wheat in any form.

It certainly seems to have little or no negative effect on some individuals. The key word here is


Harmful effects from foods are sometimes immediate as with apparent food allergies.

For many of us, the problems accumulate in our bodies over time. For others, the reaction is fast and severe.

Why is one child in the family apparently affected by attention deficit disorder while another is not?

Their basic diets may be the same - yet one is out of control, and another seems normal.

Stress can be a serious trigger of various conditions.

One child may be feeling a lot more stress than another - may somehow feel threatened by the presence of a sibling. Or possibly the stress is coming from outside the family.

Differences in physiological factors cause differences in the way anyone reacts to foods.

Different children in the same family often have different sensitivities to gluten, sugar and other food constituents.

I've been on the planet now for 68+ years.

For most of my life my diet was pretty much the same as anyone's in terms of eating wheat and wheat products along with dairy products.

If I had known better I would have stopped eating those foods much sooner.

Now that I have, I feel better, have much more energy, and it's much easier to control my weight.

When I was a child, if I misbehaved, I experienced pain on my backside. I might have had attention deficit disorder - but if I did, neither I nor my parents knew.

One big thing was missing from our diet when my sisters and I were being raised. Sugar overloads.

In general, candies and sugared desserts were a rare treat for those of us raised during the '40s and '50s.

As I observe various children acting like wild animals in public places while parents stand by in apparent helplessness, I have to wonder what the parents will be in for when the toddlers become teens.

If you're a parent raising a child with attention deficit disorder, try some radical dietary changes.

Don't take my word for it. Spend $15 for a copy of Dangerous Grains and maybe another $15 for a copy of Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger.

Read them carefully and learn some exciting new nutritional approaches to great health and freedom from the awful side effects from medicines.

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