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Old 08-09-2007, 11:34 PM   #1
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Jennita HB User
A serious thought here on a possible alternative to drugs for ADD

Ok, I'm not much for the stimulant meds, I'm sure some here are totally surprised by that. Some parents today are worried about stimulants and the health effects and risks. But truly there are kids who do have problems with concentration. Now, one problem with stimulants is the crash. That is also a problem with self-medication like caffeine, yes?

But tonight as we and also my brother in law and kids visited a friend who offered tea my nephew, his father would not let him have it due to the stimulant in it. He explained to his son that it was worse than caffeine and would keep him up all night. I didn't butt in to explain that no, it's not worse than caffeine , in strength that is, but actually it is basically longer lasting and keeps mild stimulation longer, whereas caffeine is stronger but lasts a short while and has a bigger up- to down- effect. And yes, the longer stimulation could upset sleep if drinking it late in the evening as we were(that's why I personally asked for de-caf)

Anyway, when I asked our hostess for decaf, my brother in law did not get the hint that his son could try that tea, he still didn't let his son have any. Poor kid, he wanted to try some as he said he's never had tea before(and it's healthy too so why not).

But then it hit me........ Could tea(obviously non-decaf) actually be helpful in ADD? The stimulant is mild, but it could be brewed stronger(more bags/less water)and of course, long lasting, even keel effects and no crash PLUS health benefits.

Of course, how silly would a kid feel saying to others he always has a spot of tea for breakfast......

Or, green tea extract might be for more potent effects or more convenient?

I wonder if some strong tea with a fish oil with breakfast would really help the concentration levels of the day, eh?

Anyway, maybe tea could be a viable alternative for parents who do not want to use drugs.

Good/bad idea? Any thoughts?

Last edited by Jennita; 08-09-2007 at 11:38 PM.

 
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:43 AM   #2
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Re: A serious thought here on a possible alternative to drugs for ADD

Jennita,

My experience is that the caffeine in black tea is somehow milder than the caffeine in coffee. I normally have two huge strong mugs of tea per day, one with breakfast and one with lunch. Once in a while I have another huge strong mug at night, to mellow me out and help me sleep. Doesn't make any sense. I can't sleep with coffee, but I have no problems with tea. But I am definitely addicted, since after about 36 hours without tea I get a splitting headache that no amount of aspirin or ibuprofin will kill.

I've only recently started taking Ritalin, but I have 12 years of using tea as my only drug. My experience is that I get a feeling of peace and relaxation for a short time after my huge strong mug. (Love the stuff, can you tell?). This is similar to the peace that comes over the chaos in my brain when I take Ritalin, but not as strong. The tea's effect isn't strong enough for me to feel that I can function without Ritalin.

BUT... children have more sensitive systems, and it can be that for some children the effects of tea (or even coffee for that matter) can be enough to produce a similar effect. With a lot of coaching and structure from home and school, it may be that caffeine could be a less risky choice for some children than the prescription drugs.

The key here is that it's still a drug, and it's addictive. The main addiction withdrawel symptom for me is a headache, and I understand that it goes away within 3 days for those who stick it out, but it's still hard to stop once you start.

I never did find out why my parents never let me have caffeine as a kid -- I still don't know what harm it's supposed to do to kids. But it's a wonderful relaxant for adults!

This is a good topic to bring up. We're trying to find things that will help kids so that they don't grow up so lost and chaotic as adults. I never got diagnosed, and I never got drugs (caffeine or otherwise), and I never got the coaching and structure that would have made a world of difference to me.

I know that coffee can be harsh on the stomach, although my husband swears that Arabica coffee beans are very mild and give him no problems at all. So if I had a kid who showed signs of ADD, I would be willing to try a measured amount of Arabica coffee or strong black tea to see if it had any calming effect -- measured as in: "you're allowed x number of x-sized cups of x-strength coffee or tea a day".

Does anyone else know why everyone gasps in horror when you talk about giving caffeine to a kid?

Caffeine combined with fish oil and an absence of sugar and white-flour junk food would be an interesting experiment. I wish I could have been a guinea pig for such an experiment!

Good topic for discussion, Jennita.

--Rheanna

 
Old 08-10-2007, 06:20 AM   #3
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shmik1 HB User
Re: A serious thought here on a possible alternative to drugs for ADD

I agree that the theory adds up, makes perfect sense and would probably work to an extent. But from my use of coffee (very strong, 1-2 average mugs per day, when I do have coffee - which isnt daily) it has some effect, but it's nothing compared to Concerta.

IMO: It would all depend on the level of inattentive-ness and of course individual reaction on a case-by-case basis.

I think it is an excellent idea. Hopefully someone has the means to try it and give us a "case study report."

 
Old 08-10-2007, 06:45 AM   #4
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addprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB Useraddprogrammer HB User
Re: A serious thought here on a possible alternative to drugs for ADD

Yes,

Green tea (caffeinated) helps.

Disadvantages? Doesn't help enough for me to work efficiently. Days off no problem.

Bob

PS Believe it or not, I'm not much for stimulant meds either. No joke.
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Bob

 
Old 08-10-2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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Jennita HB User
Re: A serious thought here on a possible alternative to drugs for ADD

Amphetamines will always be stronger than tea but I would love, as someone suggests, to see any studies on tea someday.

Is there anywhere we could write? I get a feeling nobody in the US would necessarily want to do it. The recent study that won an award for improving ADD symptoms with a combo of fish oil and evening primrose oil I think was from another country.

It seems other countries are more inclined to look at non-drug alternatives, I suppose it might be related to the universal healthcare systems they have and thus more government involvement and support.

Hey, has anyone here tried the fish/primrose oil combo? It worked in the study but not for everyone, of course. Maybe that plus tea would even be better?

Addprogrammer, you are not much for them? But it is hard to be a programmer, isn't it, it takes alot of mental energy? I'm not sure how my son does it but then again, he sleeps alot and I wonder if that's why he has so much energy to devote to the programming half the day. I think just sitting in front of a computer that long alone would drive me bonkers! But he says he loves it and he is really good at it. He wants to teach it so he's still in school despite many offers for full-time work. He was looking for part time but it seems that's hard to find,if at all, in most offices. So he'll finish school instead, doing a bit of freelance here and there intil then.

Also, I manage to get him to the gym once in while plus we have a really good diet here which includes not only fruits, veggies, chicken, fish,no beef, not much canned food, etc. but also protein shakes and basic supplements like fish oil, wheat germ oil, rosehips, etc.

Well, except for our(both of us) one weakness...the worst thing for health invented yet......coca cola.

Both him and I love the stuff but we have limited ourselves to maybe one a day and skip days whenever we can. Those darn big red trucks literally follow me around during a the day I swear I see several when out shopping.....

So I'm not perfect either.

 
Old 08-10-2007, 09:16 PM   #6
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: A serious thought here on a possible alternative to drugs for ADD

Jennita,

ADDProgrammer will have to speak for his own experience, but it is well known among the programming world that Jolt Cola ("all the sugar and twice the caffeine!") is the drug of choice to enable them to sit for hours and program some arcane and complicated piece of programming.

--Rheanna

 
Old 08-11-2007, 11:05 AM   #7
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Jennita HB User
Re: A serious thought here on a possible alternative to drugs for ADD

yeah, I guess such a drink could help alright, sounds like it anyway.

 
Old 08-13-2007, 06:13 PM   #8
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Re: A serious thought here on a possible alternative to drugs for ADD

Quote:
Originally Posted by rheanna View Post
Jennita,

ADDProgrammer will have to speak for his own experience, but it is well known among the programming world that Jolt Cola ("all the sugar and twice the caffeine!") is the drug of choice to enable them to sit for hours and program some arcane and complicated piece of programming.

--Rheanna
Does that stuff still exist?! I used that stuff in undergrad, I found it at one place. However, that was back during the days when I didn't look at the sugar content.

 
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