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  • Anyone successful with natural supplements?

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    Old 12-28-2003, 09:35 AM   #1
    Raes*Mom
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    Smile Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    I've really been doing some soul-searching over the Christmas holidays regarding my daughter's ADD and whether or not I will start her back on Adderall when school starts back. She is a bright, creative 10 year old who is also very immature for her age (which sometimes can be a blessing when I see how fast other girls are maturing), she has a hard time focusing on things that don't interest her, she doesn't tend to be a self-motivator and she does have a learning disability when it comes to processing and comprehension. She attends a small private school where probably 70 - 80% of the students also have learning difficulties and ADHD. It is a multi-sensory environment, stressing arts and movement. She was diagnosed ADD and put on meds when we were still in the public school system and it seemed to be her only hope. Before meds, I had tried some supplments and even took her to a homepathic doctor and spent hundreds of dollars on visits and treatments but all to no avail. I lost my faith in natural supplements after those experiences.

    I'm beginning to question the use of meds and am considering a natural route again. But I haven't really heard from anyone both on these boards and in my community that have truly had success with supplements. I don't want to again waste hundreds of dollars on something that is not going to help. Many say that ADHD is a myth created by the pharmaceutical industry to make billions. And on the other hand, the same could be said about the claims of the natural product companies. I would really like to hear from anyone that can say natural products have helped either themselves or their children. And if so, what are you supplementing with?

    I thank God for my friends who also deal with these problems and boards like this that help us better understand what is going on both with our children and the medical community. We are the ones that care enough to make a difference in our children's lives and not let them suffer through the dissappointments and failures in life that most of us experienced because our parents didn't know better. We must continue to seek answers.

     
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    Old 12-28-2003, 08:28 PM   #2
    mandevu
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    Re: Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    I use bouts of movement to control adhd symptoms (see 'adhd and exercise').

    I have not had any luck with l-theanine so far.

    Tyrosine and phenylalanine are the precursors or building blocks to dopamine and norepinephrine. The latter are chemicals that the stimulants (e.g. ritalin, dexedrine, etc.) force your brain to release. Therefore it is reasonable to suggest that your brain could, at least in the short term, "run out" of them. Taking the supplements may help your brain to make more. In the past I have not noticed any affect from taking these.

    I have noticed a clear benefit from taking a protein supplement (whey protein, 70% or more protein by weight) on an empty stomach just before bed time. I sleep better and have less trouble with depression. This helps with adhd indirectly.

    I do not know if any of these experiences apply to other people, even less if they apply to children.

    Good luck with your search.
    mandevu

     
    Old 12-29-2003, 02:57 AM   #3
    brainf0g
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    Re: Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    Your not going to notice considerable results with AD/HD symptoms going the "natural route" (if there is such a thing) unless the case of AD/HD is mild.

    However, altering your intake to a higher protein diet, supplementing with the main two amino acids (L-tyrosine, DL-phenylalanine) and omega-3s, along with exercising everyday, etc. will allow you to consume less medication with the same or probably greater than the same results.

     
    Old 12-29-2003, 11:34 AM   #4
    rubydog
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    Re: Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mandevu
    I have noticed a clear benefit from taking a protein supplement (whey protein, 70% or more protein by weight) on an empty stomach just before bed time. I sleep better and have less trouble with depression. This helps with adhd indirectly. mandevu
    Being something of an insomniac myself, I'm intrigued by this suggestion. How do you take the protein supplement? Is it a powder that you mix with milk?

    Thanks for the info!

     
    Old 12-29-2003, 04:36 PM   #5
    mandevu
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    Re: Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rubydog
    Being something of an insomniac myself, I'm intrigued by this suggestion. How do you take the protein supplement? Is it a powder that you mix with milk?

    Thanks for the info!
    I have been doing weightlifting for years and started noticing the effects on sleep and depression when I took protein supplements in order to increase muscle mass.

    There are many formulations available at health food stores and even some pharmacies. It is typically a powder mixed with milk/water/juice.
    Although I have not tried to carefully examine the effects, my experience seems to suggest that the amount of protein has to be relatively high (the formulation I have currently has 30g protein/35g pwoder) and it has to be taken on an empty stomach (I think this avoids the protein from being diluted by the contents of the disgestive tract) before bedtime. My suspicion is that more of the protein is used for brain, as opposed to body, metabolism if it is taken at bed time and this may help to promote sleep.

    Also, I have found that soy protein formulations are less effective than whey protein formulations. I do not know the reasons for this.

     
    Old 12-30-2003, 07:08 PM   #6
    * Free ~ Spirit *
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    Re: Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    I have had major success with alternative treatments. Some people tend to think that success with natural treatments is based on the severity of your ADHD symptoms, this is not true. I was diagnosed with SEVERE ADHD and ODD, and alternatives have worked much better for me than any medication.

    Everyone reacts to medications and other treatments differently. One person with mild/moderate ADHD may try nutritional interventions and have no success while someone with very severe ADHD may make wonderful improvements when using nutritional treatments, so as you can see, the severity has little to do with whether or not natural treatments work.

    I would say that the most helpful for me were Omega3 and beCalmd. Of course, alternative treatments can be a lot of hard work and include a lot more than just taking a few pills every day. Exercise and eating properly is important. Many children with ADHD symptoms are sensitive to certain foods. Exercise is important because it helps get out extra energy and also helps improve mood and even focus for some people.

    Everyone is different and will react differently to any meds whether they are RX or vitamin supplements, therefore it is almost impossible to say what would work best for your child. It's really a lot of hard work and trial and error. With natural treatment you have to be even more patiant than if you were trying other treatments... just because natural treatments can take a bit longer to start working.

    As previously mentioned, high protein low carb is extremely helpful for many with ADHD.

    Omega3 is very cheap, easy to obtain, and very helpful for many problems including ADHD.

    beCalmd is a combination product which includes a few diff ingrediants including glutamine, phenylalanine, and 5-HTP ... it works well for a variety of problems including ADHD, depression, addiction, OCD, and more

    You can purchase any of the ingrediants in beCalmd seperatly. DL-phenylalanine is very cheap and can be helpful, it is a building block of dopamine and norepinephrine which are believed to play a role in ADHD. L-Tyrosine also does the same, some people react better to one over the other, I personally cannot take l-tyrosine but find dl-phenylalanine to be very helpful.

    There are hundreds of options out there, you can always start with something that is safe to give your child along with meds, then start reducing the dose of meds and upping the dose of sups. The desired outcome of course would be to get the child completely off meds without having too many disturbing symptoms return.
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    Old 12-30-2003, 07:52 PM   #7
    Raes*Mom
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    Re: Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    Since posting, I have purchased l-tyrosine, l-phenalaline and a liquid product that includes Omega-3 mixed with Evening Primrose. Each of the amino acids is in a 500 mg capsule. It's recommended to take one capsule each day. As you've said, each person is different and effective dose is probably different with everyone but are these amounts sufficient for my 10 year old who is the size of a small adult? Or are they too much? Just curious as to what is the typical recommended dosage. I'm really going to try and not start her back on Adderall when school begins and try the natural products along with being better with our modifications at home.

     
    Old 12-30-2003, 08:14 PM   #8
    * Free ~ Spirit *
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    Re: Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    As far as Omega3 goes, it has been found that for ADHD it is best to use a product that contains both EPA and DHA.

    The one I use reads

    Natural Fish Oil Concentrate 1000mg
    EPA 180mg
    DHA 120mg

    As far as using 500mg of tyrosine and 500mg of phenylalanine, it really depends on the person. When giving supplements its best to start with one at a time, expecially with children, that way if there is a negative reaction you will be able to know what its from. Do you give them all at the same time or morning and evening? On an empty stomach?
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    Old 12-30-2003, 09:06 PM   #9
    Raes*Mom
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    Re: Anyone successful with natural supplements?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by * Free ~ Spirit *
    As far as Omega3 goes, it has been found that for ADHD it is best to use a product that contains both EPA and DHA.

    The one I use reads

    Natural Fish Oil Concentrate 1000mg
    EPA 180mg
    DHA 120mg

    As far as using 500mg of tyrosine and 500mg of phenylalanine, it really depends on the person. When giving supplements its best to start with one at a time, expecially with children, that way if there is a negative reaction you will be able to know what its from. Do you give them all at the same time or morning and evening? On an empty stomach?

    I gave her the amino acids in the morning on an empty stomach. And then the Omega3 product in the evening. She seemed to tolerate them all just fine. Seems I read somewhere there is a possibility of tyrosine causing sleeplessness so that's why I chose to give in the morning. The Omega Blend I'm using is called "Learning Factors" DHA Rich Oil Blend EFA Support for Learning, Attention and Concentration. Per teaspoon it contains 400 mg fish oil and 100 mg DHA. 2-4 tsps is recommended daily dose. I don't see anything for DHA however as the label reads, this is formulated for attention and concentration. We'll see how it goes.

     
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