Hello Yvette84 and threadies, Yes!!! A most emphatic yes, there are ways to help ADD without medication. Please let me set the stage with some background. I'll work into practical ideas and then I'll revisit the thread and sprinkle more gems in when I have the time.
Everyone with a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey diagnosis labeling them, do not have the same reasons for their condition and will respond brilliantly to different intervention strategies!
I think in terms of beginning life with a certain number of resiliances and vulnerabilities. You could say strengths and weaknesses. Everyone begins life with a set of genetic vulnerabilities. In addition to genetics, we have metabolic, social and spiritual strengths and weaknesses. People with more pronounced vulnerabilities who are blessed with an optimal environment may fair extremely well. People with relative strengths and very few vulnerabilities but who are challenged with a troubled environment may do very poorly. Environment in it's simplest sense is nourishment versus toxicity in the biochemical, social, psychological and spiritual realms.
The human metabolism is amazing. I just turned around and looked at a chart with every known human biochemical pathway and it's associated nutrient needs. I'm telling you, we are quite impressive!
One of the most critical functions in basic biochemistry is to produce energy. We have a very efficient "aerobic energy" potential and then we can also rely on a very inefficient "anaerobic" pathway just like a fungus. Cells which are more active need more energy. The cells which work the hardest will be hurt the most when deprived of energy. During embryonic development...the first and most likely thing to suffer is the brain!
Let's develop a theoretical boy. Let's say he has inherited a genetic problem in the activation of a B-vitamin, let's say Folic acid (Estimates suggest between 30-40% of the North American population has one such "SNIP" and it is associated with Cancer, all forms of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and stroke, diabetes, depression, anxiety...), then let's say his parents are smokers, so they are deprived of oxygen in utero, then let's say his mother has the same "SNIP" which has caused irregularities in her hormones which has increased her level of social stress causing adrenal gland exhaustion. Now the baby is born...and while only 3 days old a nurse sneaks in and gives a vaccine containing Thimerisol (MERCURY) which is a known neurotoxin. The vaccine may be important to prevent a disease that the neonate might get in his or her late 20's or 30's from sexual promiscuity or IV drug use.
Now maybe a neonate with more resiliance and fewer vulnerabilities would be fine....but this child....
Cells which are deprived of oxygen suffer hypoxia which in the Central nervous system can quickly create a neurotoxic state. Any reduction in aerobic energy production can induce "energy linked excitotoxicity and neurodegeneration". Remember we have a stressed out smoker mom. Stress induced vasoconstriction with relatively useless carbamino Hemoglobin caused by smoking reduces our theoretical boy's oxygen and nutrient delivery to his brain. The developing baby now has a considerable obstacle to his neurological development. The lower part of the brain, called the cerebellum, is EXTREMELY sensitive to hypoxia (low blood oxygen). A developmental delay in the cerebellum will be seen early in development as incoordination, unusual patterns of movement, early or late crawling or walking. Under very careful history taking, one of the most common developmental findings in people who are eventually labeled with ADD is motor (fine or postural) dysfunction. It may be shrugged off as being alittle clumbsy. Oh, by the way, the cerebellum fires very powerfully into the prefrontal cortex where the predominant "brain" findings in ADD are usually identified. Furthermore, it is the immense signaling from the cerebellum that actually drives the neurodevelopment of the frontal lobe in infancy and childhood. Kids talk AFTER they walk...for very important neurodevelopmental reasons! Science has proven that all learning must first activate the cerebellum and furthermore that the cerebellum is involved in thought. Most clinicians still believe the cerebellum is only responsible for co-ordinated movements. Actually it is the very strategies which we explore to link movements together which we later use to link thoughts into ideas!
There is some reasonable and scientifically tenable research that suggests the male fetus converts the mothers progesterone into fetal testosterone and uses this to rapidly increase the development of the right side of the brain. Indeed males have larger right brains. (I realize this comment could spawn a new thread)
Our child with the stressed out smoker mom may have been supplied insufficient Progesterone and ended up with a DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY effecting his brain. Indeed, in the third trimester, he probably was depleated of cortisol, a "stress" hormone, in utero, as his mother finally began feeling better (benefiting from the babies cortisol) in her third trimester. So now we realize he will be born with his own adrenal fatigue. This produces a colicy baby. A baby with trouble balancing blood sugar levels from the start. (OH, could this be one reason why sugar aggravates so many people with ADD) Also, the mother will likely suffer post-partum depression.
Wait a minute, isn't this mother socially challenged and stressed beyond belief?...Oh, well how is she going to handle a colicy baby boy? The early bonding moments of the neonates life set the stage for all autoregulation....for the rest of the person's life.....both in terms of influencing the autonomic nervous system....and social and emotional autoregulation....and approach withdrawal behavior....!!! If this little baby boy has his own fussy emotional interpretations, even the most responsive parents may be perceived as untrustworthy or even neglectful. Basic trust versus a foundation of abandonment are forged in ways such as this.
Anxiety is, at it's root, mistrust. This mistrust will impair intimate social relationships with people, create abnormal relationships with risk and even create a challenge to finding the deeper and intimate relationships with GOD.
ADD as a pin the diagnosis on the patient is usually associated with other conditions called co-morbidities, such as OCD, Tourettes, etcetera. Can you begin to see where the OCD comes in.
Fortunately, we know that activation in the central nervous system produces plasticity. Said more plainly, practice makes perfect, or use it or loose it. Deal with the basic trust issue psychospiritually, perform a fun and diverse variety of Go-No-Go tasks to induce plasticity in the frontopolar regions of the brain, and overcome the metabolic issues with simple vitamins and there you have it.
My point here is that there are very real and unique considerations in every individual. There are metabolic considerations which CAN be discovered through a variety of lab tests. You can find out if you are vulnerable to Mercury or not. You can find out if you have blood sugar dysregulation. You can find out if you have immune system or endocrine (glandular) dysregulation. You can find out if you have food allergies, you can find out if you have functional neurological deficits ....and you can correct all these issues and NEVER USE A DRUG!!!
Well...I believe since the liver is highly metabolically active it is very vulnerable to the kinds of metabolic problems which, people like me believe, are astonishingly common. Taking pharmaceuticals can challenge the liver and exploit vulnerabilities. This is precisely what is happening in people who experience drug "side effects" and explains precisely why others do not.
I recommend we all search out and make use of options which offer side benefits rather than side effects.
Gotta Go for now,
I hope my rant was intriguing and not too hard to follow.
Mom's, please understand that my example is not intended to blame you. I used a bunch of environmentally toxic examples. Mom's offer some of the most important opportunities for healing and wholeness and it is one of the highest callings in life. For your motherhood and it's accompanying sacrifices you are truly blessed.