attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

  1. Mercury in fish dangerous during pregnancy

    How mercury can wreck little brains

    Fish are the best source of essential omega-3 fatty acids around. Unfortunately, many fish are also high in something else -- something you don't want at all.

    Mercury in fish and seafood is becoming such a huge problem that there are certain types of fish -- like swordfish and king mackerel -- that shouldn't even be on the menu at all, especially for pregnant women.

    It's a double-edged sword(fish), and new research of mercury in fish shows just how fine the line is between benefit and risk: Children born to moms who get plenty of omega-3s have a lower risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder... while kids born to moms exposed to mercury have a higher risk of the condition.

    In the study, women used food diaries to track their seafood consumption during pregnancy. Then, researchers took hair samples to measure their levels of mercury exposure from the mercury in fish.

    Moms with higher levels of mercury produced kids 40 percent more likely to show mild ADHD-like behavior and 70 percent more likely to battle full-blown impulsive and/or hyperactive behavior -- especially among boys (who have a much higher risk of ADHD in the first place).

    By higher levels of mercury, we're not talking much -- just 1 microgram per gram, according to the study, or what many in the mainstream would consider to be both normal and safe.

    Clearly, it shouldn't be considered normal or safe.

    On the other hand, the study also found that women who consume two servings of fish per week or more give birth to kids that are 60 percent less likely to suffer ADHD -- and that's almost certainly thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids in fish, which are critical to brain development.

    So can more of one cancel out the other? Don't bet on it either way.

    Expectant mothers -- and everyone else, for that matter -- should get their omega-3 fatty acids from fish we know to be safe, such as salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel to lower their risk for mercury in fish.

    King mackerel, shark, tuna, and swordfish, on the other hand, tend to be much higher in mercury and should be off limits.

    Making matters worse, there is a huge problem with high-risk fish being deliberately mislabeled to make them more marketable.

    If keeping up with it all is too much of a challenge, try a purified omega-3 supplement from a manufacturer you trust instead. And if you want to test the levels of metals in yourself or a child or grandchild, make an appointment to see a holistic doctor, like me, who can run those tests for you.

  2. Docs told to drug unruly toddlers

    Parents, watch your tots: There's a new creep in the neighborhood, and it's not the local perv.

    It's the family doctor.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics is out with new marching orders, urging its 60,000 members to "screen" kids for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder starting at the age of four.

    Kids who have the condition are supposed to be treated: First with therapy -- which is a crazy enough thought for a 4-year-old -- then with drugs like Ritalin if they still have even "moderate" signs of those attention deficits or hyperactivity... which goes way beyond crazy.

    The word "outrageous" comes to mind. "Criminal," too -- especially since the powerful stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD aren't even approved for 4-year-olds.

    Makes you wonder if these pediatric experts have ever seen a four-year-old -- because they ALL have attention deficits. They're ALL hyper. It comes with the territory with kids that young, and part of a parent's job is teaching them how to behave.

    The new recommendations don't just extend to the younger kids -- they're also pushing docs to screen older kids, right up to the age of 18.

    In other words, they're growing the market for ADHD meds at both ends of the age spectrum -- and that's what this is really all about: getting more customers for some of the world's most dangerous drugs.

    Kids on these meds have been known to engage in bizarre behavior and even commit acts of extreme violence. One recent study found that patients on stimulant drugs including common ADHD meds were nearly 10 times more likely to commit acts of violence.

    Imagine giving these meds to a four-year-old!

    These drugs have also been linked to hallucinations and addiction. Put all those side effects together, and it's not hard to see why the kids who take them are also more likely to kill themselves.

    There are far better ways to treat the signs and symptoms that make up ADHD in kids of all ages -- and they start with better discipline and better diet.

    In many cases, kids have seen miraculous returns to normalcy by simply avoiding processed foods -- especially the food colorings that an FDA panel now admits may cause or worsen ADHD in some kids.

    Bottom line: Kids who eat better, behave better.

    Just remember that even the best kids act up at least some of the time... it's normal. Handle them the same way your parents handled you -- and I'll bet it wasn't with meds.

    I'm not done with children's health yet -- keep reading for more.

  3. ADHD meds reach new highs

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder isn't a diagnosis designed to help identify and treat children -- it's a condition tailor-made to sell meds.

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