by Winston Chua
ADHD expert Dr. Frank J. Granett, author of The American Epidemic and Over Medicating Our Youth, spoke with the Tribune recently to talk about the issues relating to the overprescribing of ADHD stimulant medications, including Adderall and Ritalin in young children.
“ADHD symptoms are real, but they have an underlying causation,” the Michigan Psychiatric Hospital pharmacy operations director said. “It’s important to find the underlying cause of the condition before premature drug therapy.”
The creator of the educational DVD Overmedicating Our Youth: Solutions for America’s Epidemic, highlighted three key bioassessments every parent and health provider should watch out for.
First, parents should have their child screened for a condition called Convergence Insufficiency ( C.I.). Kids may have underdeveloped ocular muscles leading to a visual perception disorder which may mimic ADHD symptoms, according to research conducted at University of California at San Diego.
Second is the physiology of the spine. The first and second cervical sections of the neck should not be constantly protruding forward, a situation that can be problematic in a time when kids are saturated with texting, video games and computer use. This cervical spine curvature can impinge the nervous system.
But, if one’s spine is protruding forward, that in itself should not be a reason for any child to start taking ADHD medicines like Adderall, for example.
Poor diet is another important risk factor for the onset of ADHD symptoms. Kids need to have adequate purified water intake, high protein breakfast, including fresh oats nuts and berries. Granett recommends the elimination of all boxed cereals, sugar, processed foods, dyes, artificial flavorings as well as aspartame.
“Our brain and gut are communicating every day,” said Granett. “The gut and small intestine are the primary sites for neurotransmitter precursor production” said Granett.
The nutritional physiology advisor added that toxic foods must be eliminated from the diet and replaced with whole foods as well as nutritional enzyme supplementation, especially in children with behavioral challenges.
Fixing any of these issues can prevent a premature diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
And preventing a premature diagnoses can have quite beneficial impacts upon society at large.
Granett spoke of a Johns Hopkins child center study that followed three and four year olds who were diagnosed with ADHD at a young age. Tracking these children six years later, more than 90 percent of the children had no improvement whatsoever in their condition.
In fact, Granett added, studies show that 90 percent of school shooters were either not taking the medications prescribed to them or taking psychoactive medications that were not prescribed to them. Ineffective controls may have saved the lives of countless youth.
The author added some other disturbing facts in: suicide is the number two cause of death for college-age students in the 18 to 24-year-old range. An alarming number of students today use non-prescribed Adderall for academic doping, a felony for this class two narcotic.
Dr. Granett is the founder of Coalition Against Over Medicating Our Youth (CAOOY), a Michigan non-profit whose aim is to help children determine causation of behavioral conditions by providing free bio-assessment recommendations and consultations for safe medication protocols.
For more information visit www.CAOOY.org