Natural Health News and Articles

Food Dyes Can be Contributing to ADHD or ADD Symptoms in Children

In today’s society it seems that there is a diagnosis for every way that children behave. It becomes a quick Band-Aid solution to label behavior problems to ADHD or ADD. More children are treated for ADHD or ADD today than have been in the last 20 years and the emphasis on medication to treat behavior problems has begun to run rampant among children. Modern medicine has begun a trend of treating with convenience for ADHD or ADD rather than treating the cause of the symptoms. Perhaps, if we pinpoint certain triggers such as red 40 and yellow 5 food dye, we could eliminate treatment for ADHD or ADD for more children without the use of medication.

There have been numerous studies that conclude environmental triggers tend to be the core of the issue for behavior problems in children. These can include physical, allergens, and probably most controversial nutrition. In recent years there have been connections between certain food additives and behavioral problems that can be translated as ADHA or ADD. Specifically, food dyes are continually being researched and it is being discovered that there may be a direct link between the two. In fact, yellow 5, red 40, and 6 other dyes have been brought to hearing for the FDA to be banned completely. The theory is that dyes can have an adverse effect similar to an allergic reaction on susceptible children. While the reaction isn’t as obvious as most allergic reactions with hives or other food allergy symptoms, what comes from it is a change in behavior. For example, yellow 5 has a tendency to trigger hyperactivity in children and increase restlessness. Red 40, another controversial dye, has been inconclusive on its studies by the FDA but some parents still feel that foods that contain it are triggers for excessive hyperactivity and aggression.

While the FDA states that the evidence to constitute a long term ban on these dyes may be too limited or inconclusive, there have been many success stories by parents that choose to eliminate them from their children’s diets and have shown notable results with treatment for ADHD and ADD. With an influx of products that contain no preservatives and additives (food dye) it is becoming increasingly easier to remove these synthetically produced dyes completely from your children’s daily lives by purchasing organic brands that are more readily available of kids favorite treats. They can still enjoy fruit snacks, yogurts, ice cream, and even candy in some cases that are produced naturally and with no added food dyes.

So the next time you think your child is being out of control or abnormally disruptive think about what they’ve eaten recently. You may just discover that the culprit is not your child, but perhaps the dye in the food they are eating.



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Natural Health News and Articles

Fibromyalgia and ADD/ADHD – Diagnosing the Link between Them

ADHD and its cousin condition ADD have well known symptoms such as lack of focus, confusion, lack of clarity, and an inability to follow directions. Remarkably, the symptoms commonly associated with Fibromyalgia are almost identical to those in ADD/ADHD. What’s the connection? When diagnosing chronic disorders in children, oftentimes, these two symptoms are misdiagnosed with one another.

The biggest issue when trying to diagnose between Fibromyalgia and ADD/ADHD is the presence or absence of pain. However, most children translate pain in ways that adults don’t. With both disorders exhibiting similar neurological symptoms without the specific complaint of pain throughout portions of the body, Fibromyalgia can be mistaken for ADD/ADHD.

Another pain issue between the two is diagnosing between headaches – another symptom commonly associated with both disorders. For children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, headaches are usually attributed to stress and “overworking” of the brain to try to focus and compute information. Fibromyalgia patients experience headaches as well, but are usually attributed to nervous system translation and over-stimulated nerves. Unfortunately, for children, it’s hard to determine what kind of headache they are experiencing and the intensity of that headache. In fact, both conditions are often associated with migraines – a condition that affects thousands of children every year.

When diagnosing either ADD/ADHD or Fibromyalgia, pain is used as an indicator to differentiate the two. However, with most children pain is translated loosely. For example, many children that are struggling to maintain focus during school as with ADD/ADHD will feel stress in the form of a stomach ache or even joint pain. Whereas, a child that feels fatigued or in overall pain from Fibromyalgia may show signs of irritability, lack of concentration, and an inability to complete tasks. For obvious reasons, these two conditions are very similar in neurological symptoms.

Avoiding a misdiagnosis is difficult, but not impossible. The best approach is to utilize the services of a medical pediatric psychiatrist. This is the best qualified person to determine true pain symptoms through a child’s expressions. Working together with a pediatrician and a psychiatrist can offer the best hope for an accurate diagnosis of either ADD/ADHD or Fibromyalgia. It is also important to continue follow up care and subsequent therapies to monitor if there is any improvement. This ensures that the appropriate care plan is being employed.

At home to treat either condition, techniques like home organization, nutritional guidance, and systematic routine can often provide emotional and physical relief to both ADD/ADHD and Fibromyalgia patients. Hormones, preservatives, and food dyes have been shown to have profound effects both behaviorally and physical for both disorders. Incorporating a whole diet rich in Omege-3 fatty acids and high in magnesium helps with symptoms such as focus, irritability, pain, migraines, and fatigue. Organization and structure provide a consistent environment that reduces stress and irritability – both triggers for ADD/ADHD and Fibromyalgia.

Dealing with childhood ADD/ADHD or Fibromyalgia can be difficult. However, the most important part of the process is getting an accurate diagnosis and treating the right condition. Both have similar symptoms that are easily mistaken for the other. With some professional guidance and some minor changes at home, a child suffering from either can be successfully treated for either ADD/ADHD or Fibromyalgia and have a full and happy childhood.