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Doctors Told to Curb Use of Ritalin in Hyperactive Children

October 18, 2008 | 36,647 views
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hyperactive childrenAccording to new British health guidelines, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be treated with drugs such as Ritalin only in severe cases and never when they are younger than 5.

There is widespread concern that such medication is used too freely to calm hyperactive children. The new policy is that most children with ADHD should instead be offered psychological therapy to improve their behavior, backed up by training to support their parents and teachers.

Up to 3 percent of school-age children in Britain may be affected by ADHD, but only about a third to a quarter of these would qualify as severe cases. The symptoms of ADHD include an inability to concentrate for long periods, hyperactive and restless behavior, and impulsive actions.

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

A study just came out that found American children are three times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic drugs like Ritalin than children in Europe. This guideline urging for a cut-back in the use of Ritalin came from Britain, but it should be blasted through the offices of every pediatrician in the United States as well.

Every year there are 6 million prescriptions filled for Ritalin. U.S. pharmacists distribute five times more Ritalin than the rest of the world combined, according to Dr. Samuel Epstein’s Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC). In fact, CPC states that the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board has on two recent occasions written to U.S. officials expressing concern about the six-fold increase in Ritalin usage since 1990.

In all, 60 percent to 90 percent of U.S. kids with attention deficit disorders are prescribed this powerful drug, which amounts to 3 percent to 5 percent of U.S. children and teens on Ritalin.

The Potent Side Effects of Ritalin

Ritalin has the same pharmacological profile as cocaine, yet its effects are even more potent. Using brain imaging, scientist have found that, in pill form, Ritalin occupies more of the neural transporters responsible for the “high” experienced by addicts than smoked or injected cocaine!

By definition, Ritalin stimulates your central nervous system, leading to side effects such as:

• Increased blood pressure
• Increased heart rate
• Increased body temperature
• Increased alertness
• Suppressed appetite

When taken over a period of years, as Ritalin often is, the drug may cause even more severe health problems such as cancer. A small University of Texas study conducted in 2005 showed damage to the chromosomes of 12 children who had taken Ritalin for just three months.

The potential of Ritalin to cause cancer has been known for much longer though, as back in 1993 The National Toxicology Program released results that showed feeding mice Ritalin at levels close to those routinely prescribed to children induced liver tumors, including rare and highly malignant cancers.

Meanwhile, while researchers used to believe that Ritalin was a short-acting drug, studies have shown it has the potential for causing long-lasting changes in brain cell structure and function and may lead to stunted growth.

Ritalin is the drug prescribed most often to kids with ADHD, but there are others, with equally disturbing risks. ADHD drugs other than Ritalin have been linked to hallucinations, heart attack, stroke, increased aggressive behavior, suicide, and even sudden death!

Helping Kids Does Not Mean Giving Them Mind-Altering Drugs

Sadly, Ritalin and other drugs are the go-to treatment for behavioral issues like ADHD because it’s easy. Popping a pill takes just a few seconds a day, whereas the other treatments to help kids with symptoms of ADHD -- things like inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity -- take many weeks or months.

This is because in order to truly help children who are having trouble concentrating, are easily distracted, or who act like they are constantly feeling restless you need to address the underlying causes, not alter the child chemically.

Behavioral interventions using positive reinforcement are one of the best options for helping children with ADHD, especially if they're used alongside nutritional changes.

One study found that such interventions, which included individualized programs that emphasized positive support to reinforce behavior at home and school, were highly effective, even in young children aged 3 to 5. Specifically, children who received the intervention techniques had:

• A 17-percent decrease in aggression and a 21-percent improvement in social skills at home
• A 28-percent improvement in both categories at school
• Improvements in early literacy skills of up to three times over their baseline status

So if you are a parent of a child with ADHD please remember that this condition often improves dramatically with some natural lifestyle changes.

In my medical practice at the Natural Health Center, here’s what I recommend for kids, and adults, who suffer from ADHD:

• Increase your intake of omega-3 fat from krill oil. This is the single most important nutrient for ADHD children and adults.
• Drink only water for a beverage, taking care to avoid fruit juices, soda, and pasteurized milk.
• Restrict or eliminate all processed foods, sugars and most grains from your diet.
• Avoid processed foods, especially those containing artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which may aggravate or cause   ADHD symptoms.
• Spend more time in nature.

Another important element that you can teach your children, or do right along with them, is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This is a form of psychological acupressure that you can perform anywhere (it involves only tapping with your fingertips and repeating some positive phrases), and that would make an excellent addition to any type of behavioral therapy your child is receiving.

Most cases of ADHD will resolve naturally when you follow the recommendations above. So rather than relying on a dangerous quick-fix like Ritalin, teach your child that they can excel in life, and overcome their symptoms, by taking control of their health.

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