ADHD [General ADHD Talk]

Somegeezer

New member
Doing a search on "ADHD" didn't come up with anything specific to it, but rather linked to many threads that had mentioned it somewhere. Including one of my own. So I have decided to start this thread as a very general and broad thread about ADHD and its few incarnations.

I'm no brain doctor, and so am not qualified myself to help anyone, specifically. If anyone does feel they have ADHD and would like help, I suggest seeing your GP, who may be able to point you in the direction of a qualified professional. [I'd hope that those of us who even may be qualified, would say the same.]
I especially will point out that, anything said in this thread, should not be used to help yourself, without the go ahead from said professionals.


That now being said, the point of this thread is to share stories of ADHD, from yourself; people close to you, that you know have gone through it; what kind of things you [or they] may have done, to help your [or their] personal ADHD.
 

Somegeezer

New member
As I'd dislike to take up the OP with my own personal comments, I figure a double post should not be any problem.

But recently, I've come to a realisation that I may have ADHD-PI [Primarily Inattentive - Previously named ADD], and that I have actually been this way since childhood, but slipped by, without anyone noticing.

Of course, my own thoughts on this are before any professional help, and so I may be incorrect. But I feel that if it is ADHD, that I actually have a chance at finding my strengths, and using them to find a fulfilling life, rather than being a lost cause.

Hopefully I can find out soon, and get on my way to getting help.
 

Helo

New member
I was diagnosed back in the day when they were first hammering out the details of it and recognizing it as a diagnosis.

I tried several different medications and I found the overwhelming majority of them to be effective however they had extremely undesirable side effects. The classic Ritalin was the lest egregious in this category however my body adjusted to it so quickly that when I stopped taking it, I was up to nine pills in a day just to get the desired effect.

After a crapton of research and several years of refining the process, I do believe I've come up with a medication solution that works quite well. It does for me, at least. Citicoline. It's over the counter, relatively inexpensive, no side effects (that I've noticed), and works well without clobbering your ability to multitask. I feel much more...normal, I guess would be the best term. I dont feel zombie-like the way I did with the prescription meds. I just feel better able to concentrate.

Several doctors have told me in no uncertain terms that this is incredibly stupid yet have not told me why beyond "you're not a doctor." No one has yet given me a specific medical reason why I should discontinue the treatment, especially when it works so fucking brilliantly.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Every single person in our household is diagnosed.

The best helpful info I have found was a couple books by Dr. hallowell. (theres a website too).
Talks about 8 steps for managing ADD, including-but not limited to medication.

2 of us are primarily inattentive, 2hyperactive and 1is primarily impulsive.

It has made a HUGE difference (to the better) knowing what each of our weaknesses are and each of our strngths.

(typing on cell-sorry about spelling)
 

Helo

New member
I remember they were kicking around the idea of not diagnosing ADD in young children anymore, anyone know what happened with that?

The argument was (and frankly I agree) that ADD is often misdiagnosed in kids who are just naturally more energetic than peers or who have other issues going on that arent as developmentally seated.

It doesn't help that the popular idea of ADD tends to warp people's perception of it.
 

Somegeezer

New member
I remember they were kicking around the idea of not diagnosing ADD in young children anymore, anyone know what happened with that?

The argument was (and frankly I agree) that ADD is often misdiagnosed in kids who are just naturally more energetic than peers or who have other issues going on that arent as developmentally seated.

It doesn't help that the popular idea of ADD tends to warp people's perception of it.
People are very wary of diagnosing them as easily these days. There are specific ages [I can't remember which] between which, you are able to get accurate answers. But both young children, and even adults, can be difficult to diagnose.

Plus more than half of those who have it s children grow out of it before adulthood. So it's a difficult thing to keep track of. Those who diagnose it, have to be highly skilled in the field. Generally, you'll find that ADHD is their specialty. and you'll certainly never have a GP diagnose it.

I've heard it actually takes a lot of testing too. Just to make sure it's definitely not something else, like anxiety or depression. Because those are much easier to diagnose.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Great tidbit-
An hour of aerobic activity does for attention/hyperactivy what a 4 hr dose of ritalin does.

So even if ur kid is diagnosed-seek alternatives. Some of them rock.

We send our 5 year old to run the fence line (1/2 acre fenced). She times herself and tries to accomplish weird tricks like jumping over a log or doing a somersault along the way. The dog lOves having her to run with.
Then she comes in and knocks out an hour of school work with no issues.
Repeat.

The 13 year old and I get up and hit the gym before class. In the afternoon he will chop wood, run the fence line, practice unicycle, bike to the library (3miles) etc. (not all of them every day-just examples).
 

Somegeezer

New member
Great tidbit-
An hour of aerobic activity does for attention/hyperactivy what a 4 hr dose of ritalin does.

So even if ur kid is diagnosed-seek alternatives. Some of them rock.

We send our 5 year old to run the fence line (1/2 acre fenced). She times herself and tries to accomplish weird tricks like jumping over a log or doing a somersault along the way. The dog lOves having her to run with.
Then she comes in and knocks out an hour of school work with no issues.
Repeat.

The 13 year old and I get up and hit the gym before class. In the afternoon he will chop wood, run the fence line, practice unicycle, bike to the library (3miles) etc. (not all of them every day-just examples).
I've definitely heard of exercise being a great help. But for me, it would be choosing something that could keep my attention in the first place. Something I wouldn't give up on after 10 minutes.

I think if I could find something, that would be great though. Especially as I hate to medicate myself. I don't even enjoy paracetamol [or aspirin, I believe is more common over the ocean], when I have killer headaches. I just soldier on through.

So any alternative means, that anyone could do without medical advice, I think are safe to share.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
I've been seeing some studies lately, linking ADHD and associated behaviours with artificial colouring. There have been reported cases (I'm no expert) where parents have cut out artificial colouring completely, and their problems completely disappeared.

Anyone have experience with this? I figure, at the very least, it sure can't hurt to try.

On a related note, there was a woman on CBC Radio last week who'd been diagnosed with MS in her early teens. She was told that she'd be in a wheelchair by the time she was 25. She's now in her 40s and doesn't have a single symptom. She credits her health to cutting out all processed food, artificial colours and flavours.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
I don't even enjoy paracetamol [or aspirin, I believe is more common over the ocean]

Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid. Google informs me that paracetamol is acetaminophen (aka Tylenol.) I thought you were talking about some crazy narcotic... I didn't realize acetaminophen wasn't the official name for the stuff... learn something new every day! I want to start calling it paracetamol now, but no one around here would know what I'm talking about. I'm not even sure I could remember it when I want to sound all clever and stuff.

Aspirin is cool. It grows on willow bark. Humans have been using it since the hunter-gatherer days. You can rub it on your skin and use it as sunscreen. We synthesized it in 2nd year organic chemistry. I hated the class, but the labs were fun.
 

Somegeezer

New member
I've been seeing some studies lately, linking ADHD and associated behaviours with artificial colouring. There have been reported cases (I'm no expert) where parents have cut out artificial colouring completely, and their problems completely disappeared.

Anyone have experience with this? I figure, at the very least, it sure can't hurt to try.

On a related note, there was a woman on CBC Radio last week who'd been diagnosed with MS in her early teens. She was told that she'd be in a wheelchair by the time she was 25. She's now in her 40s and doesn't have a single symptom. She credits her health to cutting out all processed food, artificial colours and flavours.
People have blamed E numbers for hyperactivity in general for a very long time. I'm not sure on the specific studies you've seen. Perhaps there is new evidence. But from what I know, it's nonsense. Hyperactivity in general, is actually caused by the actions of those around you. ADHD in all forms, however, is [or rather, can be] both genetic [in your DNA], and environmental [the way your mind is wired through development].

MS is something I really don't have much knowledge of though. Other than having some of the same symptoms [which a lot of other things do, too], they are very different to each other.

Eating healthier is also another great bit of advice for anyone though. The only problem comes when you ask what is healthy. Because everyone is different... and don't let dieticians [sp?] ever talk you into anything. They aren't real doctors.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
People have blamed E numbers for hyperactivity in general for a very long time. I'm not sure on the specific studies you've seen. Perhaps there is new evidence. But from what I know, it's nonsense. Hyperactivity in general, is actually caused by the actions of those around you. ADHD in all forms, however, is [or rather, can be] both genetic [in your DNA], and environmental [the way your mind is wired through development].

Yeah, I was trying to track down specific studies about it. Didn't get very far, was wondering if anyone else had heard of them. This was all prompted by a petition notification I received from change.org, about removing Yellow #something from Kraft Dinner in North America. My knee-jerk reaction was, "if you know it's making your kids hyper, then quit feeding it to them." You can make macaroni & cheese from scratch for cheaper than the boxed crap, and it's way yummier. Just takes longer. Even though cheese is expensive, you can make a lot of macaroni and cheese with a 700g block... and bulk pasta is just about the cheapest thing you can eat.

However, my gf's son is allergic to artificial colouring. They're not sure which ones yet, but he's had anaphylactic reactions to some, and vomitting to others, so they had to cut them all out until he's old enough to begin testing one by one. Makes it really fun when he needs a prescription, since they pretty much don't make any that are colourless.

I'm pretty sceptical about most scientific results. My first reaction is that everything is wrong - convince me otherwise. So I signed the petition because I didn't really care one way or another, and I figure less artificial colouring is good for everyone. But I found it ironic that the petitioners were using the excuse that poor families couldn't afford the naturally coloured alternatives... surely they must realize that taking out the chemical colours will immediately raise the price for everyone? Or that the poorest of the poor can't afford Kraft brand anyway? Apparently not.
 
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Helo

New member
I've been seeing some studies lately, linking ADHD and associated behaviours with artificial colouring. There have been reported cases (I'm no expert) where parents have cut out artificial colouring completely, and their problems completely disappeared.

Anyone have experience with this? I figure, at the very least, it sure can't hurt to try.

On a related note, there was a woman on CBC Radio last week who'd been diagnosed with MS in her early teens. She was told that she'd be in a wheelchair by the time she was 25. She's now in her 40s and doesn't have a single symptom. She credits her health to cutting out all processed food, artificial colours and flavours.
I'd put very little stock in it.

A lot of these "health warnings" come out every year and most turn out to be bogus; Mountain Dew makes you sterile, Red Bull gives you brain cancer, Pop Rocks will kill you, etc etc.

Food colorings are generally artificial in nature and have long, science-y sounding names so people automatically associate that with bad things. Namely because they dont understand what they're looking at and wont go do something as basic as punch it into Wikipedia to find out.

Also consider that most things with food coloring in it have very little of the actual coloring substance in it. To highlight this, take some kitchen food coloring and fill up the biggest container you have with water. Put one drop in the water and stir it. See the radical change in color with a single drop of the stuff in relation to how much water is there.

Yes, I'm sure if you chugged enough of something with food coloring in it then there would be problems. But you'd likely be dead from a hundred other things before the food coloring caused problems.

But I found it ironic that the petitioners were using the excuse that poor families couldn't afford the naturally coloured alternatives... surely they must realize that taking out the chemical colours will immediately raise the price for everyone? Or that the poorest of the poor can't afford Kraft brand anyway? Apparently not.
It's a valid concern. The reason chemicals are used is because they're cheap. As much as I'd love to eat all organic, clean food that shit is NOT cheap and there are a lot of people in the position of not being able to afford much else either in terms of finances or time.

Personally I dont get why they need coloring AT ALL. It's fuckin' mac and cheese, it does not need to be neon yellow. Sell it in its natural color and stop fucking with it to take advantage of people's psychology.
 
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LovingRadiance

Active member
My sisters family swears avoiding food coloring controls their kids behavior.
I am not around them-so can't say.

Start with something for 10 minutes. It only takes Sour Pea about 3 min to run the fence line-but it helps. When she gets out of whack-repeat. ;)
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
Also consider that most things with food coloring in it have very little of the actual coloring substance in it. To highlight this, take some kitchen food coloring and fill up the biggest container you have with water. Put one drop in the water and stir it. See the radical change in color with a single drop of the stuff in relation to how much water is there.

Yes, but many LD-50's are measured in mg/kg of exposure, and that's just what it takes to KILL half the lab rats in one dose... cumulative effects generally require far, far less.

Put another way, if 10 mg per day of something can keep you from having symptoms of ADHD, isn't it at least plausible that 10 mg of something else could be what's causing those symptoms, in some cases at least?

I'm by no means saying that ALL cases are caused by artificial colouring. Every person has their own biochemistry, and we all respond differently to chemicals. What I'm saying is that for some people, it could be a contributing factor. What harm does it do to cut out artificial colour for a month and see if the symptoms improve? If they do, then you might be having an interaction. If not, then go back to the junk and rest easy knowing it's not a factor.

Personally I dont get why they need coloring AT ALL. It's fuckin' mac and cheese, it does not need to be neon yellow. Sell it in its natural color and stop fucking with it to take advantage of people's psychology.

It's gotten to the point where people expect it. Some mothers claim their kids won't eat this or that if it's not the right colour. I love that "won't eat healthy food" claim. Like they're going to starve themselves completely before they'll let their tongue touch a vegetable. One mother on TV said, "My child will only eat ice cream and chips." What, does your child do the grocery shopping?

If they like the taste, they'll devour it, no matter what colour it is. What I'd like to know is how we got on this runaway train in the first place. North American foods are far more coloured than in the rest of the world. Their kids don't seem to be sitting around, refusing to eat their elbow macaroni because it isn't yellow enough...

They used to colour margarine because it wasn't as yellow as real butter. Then people started wondering why their butter wasn't as yellow as their margarine, so they started colouring the butter too. *fp*
 
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Somegeezer

New member
Guys, please keep on topic for the thread. This is not a debate on food colouring, but on ADHD. I know it's hard for us to concentrate long enough sometimes... :p
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
My apologies. I don't even have ADHD, I was coming at it from an intellectual perspective. I'll duck out now.
 

midnightsun

New member
ADHD, food dye & physical violence...

Yeah, I said it. I'm not only firmly convinced that food coloring (and possibly artifical flavoring/sweetner) triggers worse-than-normal hyperactivity in both of my children, it will also produce defiance, attention problems and even physical aggression. I also had an uncle who had a traumatic brain injury & would become physically violent when exposed to yellow food coloring. They'd have to take him to the emergency room for a glucose IV and high doses of Benadryl. Currently we use dye-free Benadryl (not easy to find sometimes) to treat our kids when they've had food coloring. It doesn't completely take away the issues, but it helps some - although it takes almost a full 24 hours sometimes to get the chemicals out of their systems and Benadryl only lasts 4-6 hours.

I actually wrote an article on it based on several studies and my own personal experiences: http://special-ism.com/hyperactivity-insomnia-and-behavior-problems-its-whats-for-dinner/ The studies are quoted in there, but I will add links to the sources I used at the end of this post (including the one 'meta-source' I used to help me figure out what the heck the studies were saying.

Here's the short version of what is known:
1. Artificial dyes/additives bother ADD/ADHD kids more than non-ADD/ADHD kids.
2. Not all ADD/ADHD kids are affected, but a much higher percentage of them are affected than the general population.
3. The studies that were done were small-scale and were done on a group of kids ages 3-8 in England, which is why our FDA rejected the study as not large enough to be significant, although they DID acknowledge that food dye/additives do appear to create behavior problems for some ADHD kids and should probably be avoided in those populations. [insert eye rolling here]
4. Another study was done on these same kids to test for abnormalities in their hystamine receptor genes. Past studies have tested for anomalies in kids/adults with ADHD when it comes to dopamine, norepinepherine and GABA neurotransmiter systems but nobody has ever looked at the hystamine as a potential player in ADHD.

What they found was stunning IMHO: a huge percentge of the ADHD kids from both age groups had phyisical differences in their H3 histamine receptor - the one that tells your body to STOP making histmine once there's enough in your system. So, essentially it may not only be food coloring that messes with ADHD kids & adults - ANYTHING that triggers a histmine response can create behavior problems.

Why you ask? Awesome question, I wondered that myself. Answer: because histamine is more than just an alergic response - it's a neurotransmitter and impacts body function all throughout your entire system. There are actually 4 types of histamine receptors in your body which I think I detailed in the article. Here are some fun facts you probably don't know about histamine:

a) It's part of the sleep/wake cycle: your body produces it to wake you up & shuts it down entirely when you're sleeping. That's why anti-histamines like Benadryl make you drowsy. Too much histamine and you're going to have sleep problems. I haven't met a person yet with ADHD who didn't have some form of sleep disorder.

b) The H2 receptor controls release of acid into your stomach which is why stuff you're allergic to can make you nauseas (sp?). Anti-nausea meds like Phenregan? Yeah... they're actually potent anti-histamines.

c) Histamine is a neurotransmitter that seems to play a role in memory and learning, particularly in the learning of inhibitions (i.e. putting on the brakes on behavior). How this works exactly is still something I'm not clear on because reading these studies is like trying to translate legal jargon, it's super annoying.

Here are the original studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17825405
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)62227-1/abstract

And for anyone who would prefer to read a SENSIBLE doctor's interpretation of annoyingly-vague-but-significant studies, here are links to a wonderful blog I located that helped me make sense of these studies. She also covers other topics like BPA, etc.:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/07/hyperactivity-and-diet.html

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/search?q=food+dye

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/02/food-elimination-diet-and-adhd.html

So, yeah... feel free to throw questions my way. Be forwarned there may be a lot of scientificly convoluted responses. Hehehe! Oh! And listen to Loving Radiance's advice - she knows what she's talking about. ;)

-MidnightSun
 

Somegeezer

New member
midnightsun: "The studies that were done were small-scale and were done on a group of kids ages 3-8."

First link: "children ages 3 and 8/9"

Second link: "153 3-year-old and 144 8/9-year-old children"

Third link: "children aged 4—8 years who were diagnosed with ADHD"
"relapse of ADHD symptoms occurred in 19 of 30 (63%) children"

The blog seems to be using all these figures from the links you shared.

Unfortunately, as already mentioned, children are not good for testing of hyperactivity or ADHD in general. Children are generally naturally hyperactive. Eventually growing out of it between puberty.

I would personally be open to links to studies on adults. But all I can find, searching E numbers and hyperactivity, are just more studies on children. Even adding specifically in my search, that I want studies on adults, the studies for children come up, with other links to ADHD [that have no mention of E numbers].

If, however, you have something that is relevant to ADHD as a whole, and not only to hyperactivity [unless the hyperactivity is of that in people with ADHD] [as hyperactivity itself does not mean you have ADHD], it is very welcome in the thread.
 
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