Category Archives: Chemicals

Foods that cause ADHD Behavior

Foods that cause ADHD Behavior A child’s diet often determines whether or not they show signs and symptoms of ADHD. Many parents have noticed their child’s behavior to be more impulsive or more hyperactive after eating certain foods. This increase in ADHD behavior is particularly more common during times of the year when children and teens tend to eat or drink more foods that contain sugar, dyes, caffeine, and preservatives. Christmas is one such time of the year, as it’s not uncommon for children to be bombarded by offers of candy, cookies, cakes, sweetened flavored drinks and other high calorie foods. It just seems we all tend to err on the side of over-eating for the holidays. This habit probably comes from the common misbelief that in order to have a great Christmas or holiday season and be happy-during a time of the year we want everyone to be happy-that we must be well-fed, over-stuffed and jolly like Santa. Unfortunately, overfeeding children with ADHD or feeding them the wrong foods can make their ADHD behavior much worse. This is especially true of ADHD hyperactivity and impulsivity. To further confuse things, as many as 25% of children and teens who… Read the rest

Drugs for Common Head Cold can Cause ADHD Behavior

Over the counter antihistamine-decongestant-cough medications can cause worsened ADHD behavior in both children and teens with ADHD and those who are not ADHD. In the past eight weeks, I’ve seen no fewer than seven ADHD kids and teens with the impulsive-hyperactive type of ADHD whose ADHD medications had suddenly stopped working.  All seven were on non-stimulant ADHD drugs (guanfacine and clonidine) to help decrease their hyperactivity and help them control their impulsivity. These kid’s and teen’s parents and teachers had noticed they often fell asleep in class in the early morning and later: Were more fidgety-couldn’t sit still Interrupted more than usual Were restless Didn’t sleep well (in two cases, they were having nightmares) Were definitely more impulsive (one teen was caught speeding, when he normally drove well) Were having problems concentrating well enough to get class work and homework done! So, what caused ADHD children who had “more normal behavior” on prescription ADHD medications, to suddenly show an increase in symptoms of ADHD? Non-prescription-over-the-counter cold medications… In each case, we discovered the reason their ADHD medications seemed to stop working or weren’t working as well was due to over-the-counter antihistamine-decongestant-cough medications they were taking for head… Read the rest

ADHD Treatment-The Danger of ADHD Drug Shortages

ADHD children and their parents face many unforeseen dangers  due to shortages of ADHD drugs! Shortages of drugs used to treat ADHD in children and teens may cause much more risk than just increased behavior problems, poor concentration, and learning difficulties. During recent shortages of ADHD medications such as Adderall, most parents assumed the biggest problem they could face would be due to the fact that their ADHD child would run out of medication and his or her attention span and impulsive behavior would worsen and they would start making failing grades again. Unfortunately, as many ADHD experts will tell you, the side effects of not having ADHD drugs probably won’t come close to the other more serious consequences of ADHD drug shortages. The more serious effects of children and teens not being able to get their ADHD medications lies in the risks of substitution induced side effects and experimentation with other drugs and chemicals to replace those ADHD drugs unavailable. As ADHD drugs have become unavailable or scarce, parents are often scrambling to buy 12 pills here and 7 pills there, jumping from pharmacy to pharmacy. Many times, these drugs differ by maker, especially if they are generic. That means… Read the rest

Diagnosis of ADHD-Drugs that cause ADHD Misdiagnosis

Diagnosis of ADHD-Drugs that cause ADHD Misdiagnosis Many drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription can cause signs and symptoms of ADHD that might confuse accurate diagnosis and lead to misdiagnosis of ADHD and other behavior disorders. One such drug has recently been the topic of a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety alert-Valproate-a medication used for treatment of seizures and bipolar disorder-depression.  The FDA issued a safety announcement about valproate based on a 10-year study that confirmed that “fetal exposure to valproate impairs IQ well into childhood.” It appears women who took valproate during pregnancy delivered children who later had significantly lower intelligence quotients (IQs) than children who had never been exposed to the drug. In addition, the effects on the unborn child’s future IQ were directly related to the dose of valproate taken by the pregnant mom-the lower the dose, the less the decrease in IQ. This data supports the beliefs of many ADHD experts-that a child’s neurodevelopmental well-being is often determined by what the mother is exposed to both before and during her pregnancy. Valproate isn’t the only drug that might cause future learning problems in unborn children. And…if a drug causes any type… Read the rest

ADHD Teens and Impulsive Sex over the Holidays

Teenagers with ADHD are more likely to have unprotected sex during the holidays because of heightened impulsivity. Unprotected spur of the moment sex is just one of several reckless behaviors that may end up causing legal problems for your ADHD teen and your family over the holiday season. This is particularly true for ADHD teens who don’t take their medication regularly or for those whose parents thought they needed a drug holiday from their ADHD drugs and behavioral therapy.  Very rarely do I recommend taking a teen with ADHD off of his or her ADHD medications over the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s holidays. Why? The holiday seasons are now more than ever: Hyper-stimulating-too much spontaneous excitement makes impulsivity much worse   Move too fast even for non-ADHD children and teens, often causing more impulsivity than normal Full of activities such as parties and concerts that are poorly supervised and provide ample opportunity for mischief Cause teens and adults to let their guard down as all of that good cheer and those renewed and new friendships lead to promiscuitive ADHD teen behavior and risk taking   Because ADHD teenagers tend to believe and trust in other teens and young adults who should often… Read the rest

ADHD Teens-Impulsivity, Alcohol and Drugs during the holidays

Impulsivity is what usually gets ADHD teens in trouble with alcohol and drugs during the holidays! Fortunately, there are several things you can do before uncontrolled or untreated Impulsivity gets your ADHD teen in legal trouble over the holidays. The holiday season tends to be one of the most common times for teenagers with ADHD to experiment with drugs and alcohol because of all of those unsupervised parties and other social events. Being around friends and even strangers who are smoking the weed, taking a few uppers or tabs, and drinking beer or liquor seems to destroy  whatever inhibitions an ADHD teen normally has. Their ADHD behavior tendency to be impulsive-take risks without thinking about them or the consequences-just seems to get worse making them more likely to try a few drinks or a take a few puffs of that reefer or pop a few pills-often without knowing what they are. Unfortunately, Carissa was not an exception to the rule… Carissa’s mom phoned me at 11:30 on a Saturday night to tell me she had been arrested. She was scared that Carissa would be molested or raped in jail and wanted me to help get her out immediately. Carissa was… Read the rest

ADHD Treatment: Avoiding Drug Therapy for ADHD

The best first-line therapy for most children with ADHD is behavioral training or ADHD coaching, not ADHD drugs! Many ADHD experts feel that children with ADHD are too often treated with ADHD drugs-both stimulants and non-stimulants, when behavioral therapy or ADHD coaching would be the best treatment. As we discussed in previous posts, even the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or ADHD coaching for the very first treatment of ADHD behavior in kids under age 6 years. I would argue that we should try behavioral therapy or coaching in children who have the milder forms of ADHD behavior and learning problems, before considering ADHD drugs. Why should mild ADHD be treated with coaching or behavior therapy before starting ADHD medications? Because doing so…. Gives parents, teachers and doctors a chance to thoroughly assess the child’s behavior traits, ability to inter-relate, learning style, and adaptability and a chance to make sure he or she hasn’t been misdiagnosed with ADHD Helps avoid all of those nasty ADHD drug side effects-nausea, weight loss, headaches, rapid heart rates, mood swings Allows assessment of the child’s strengths-giving a therapist the opportunity to build on the child’s talents, instead of… Read the rest
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