ADHD flares tend to rise up at the beginning of each school year. For us, we tend to go through a checklist of behavior correction tools when this happens. For my son his intentions come from a pure heart and he doesn’t mean to struggle. Sometimes there are circumstances beyond his control and he needs some help.
Each time we go through the checklist my son is part of the processing and discussion. He will live with himself the rest of his life and if he learns how to cope with himself, when he sees issues rising, he has a better chance of surviving. Together we go down the list to see what could be causing the flare.
Food: Like clockwork ADHD flares are caused by food. We avoid certain foods like they are poison, because frankly they are. Food colors, wheat and other grains cause hyperactive behavior. High starch foods feed bad bacteria in the intestinal tract which directly cause problematic behavior. With school starting we do not touch foods containing problematic reactions: gluten free, any dye (red dye #40, blue #5, etc), MSG, aspartame, agave, xylitol, corn, soy, rice, wheat, corn flour, rice flour, flour, soda, sugar of any kind including evaporated cane juice and wheat.
Constipation: I know you don’t want to read about someone being corked up but the truth of the matter is kids that have behavioral issues have very toxic systems, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Their bodies do not flush toxins like they should. These toxins build up in their tissues. The body normally flushes out toxins through fecal matter and urine. If they are constipated the toxic feces sit in the gastrointestinal tract making the person feel more sick. This can flare as anger, irritation, discomfort, dyslexia and exhaustion as well as others. Our favorite way to relieve the problem is through a good quality high does of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known for pulling toxins out of the body and if too much is taken it flushes itself out through diarrhea – exactly the friend I am looking for when constipation is lurking!
Sleep: When ADHD kids are lacking in sleep they go into overdrive, taxing their already stressed system. The National Sleep Foundation says, “For children with ADHD, poor sleep (too little sleep or symptoms of sleep disorders) may profoundly impact ADHD symptoms. In fact, one study found that treating sleep problems may be enough to eliminate attention and hyperactivity issues for some children.”
This study (US National Library of Medicine & The National Institute of Health, J Sleep Res. 2010 Jun;19(2):379. Shur-Fen, Gau Susan [corrected to Shur-Fen Gau, Susan].) showed sleep disorders while falling asleep, between sleep patterns and while waking. This sleep disorder is known as parasomnia and is directly connected to ADHD behaviors.
Other behaviors encountered with insufficient sleep are abnormal tears, the feeling of being overwhelmed easily and quicker burnout during advanced learning.
Plus, if a kid with ADHD wakes up early, they’re awake! They lack the ability to calm themselves down to return to sleep. They spring forth to conquer the day! These early waking hours further deplete their sleep bank.
Vitamins: Natural News says children with ADHD have a perpetual flood of adrenaline on their systems. Saying the, “Flood of
adrenaline, drains the body of magnesium because this mineral is essential to the release of hormones like adrenaline. Since magnesium is used to calm the nervous system, the more stress children experience, the more magnesium their bodies use.” A lot of magnesium on the market today has a poor absorption rate. This could mean your child is taking magnesium while suffering from a magnesium deficiency. One of the best absorbable forms of Magnesium is Natural Calm.
Natural Alternative Treatment says, “B12 helps with ADHD symptoms through it’s involvement in many of the brain functions, especially in the production and maintenance of the myelin sheath (the protective coating on nerve cells), essential fatty acid metabolism and energy production.”
Dr. Arturo Volpe, a natural health doctor who specialized in ADHD says, “The methyl form of vitamin B12 helps regenerate neurons as well as the protective covering called myelin sheath that envelops nerves throughout the brain and nervous system. It is a well-established fact that, in the presence of any damage to the myelin sheath, nerves cannot function normally. Such damage can result from exposure to a broad range of environmental toxins including of course mercury.” Methyl B12 is recommended by every doctor I have studied that specialized in ADHD.
Overwhlemed: When ADHD children are overwhelmed they quickly shut down and spiral into a failure tunnel. It is very important to keep lessons basic and to cover every step in the process. For each achievement praise should be administered. ADHD children have been disciplined so much that they often feel like failures before they start. Continual praise lifts their spirits and encourages them to stay on this side of a downward spiral.
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