The Rise of ADHD Cases in America

A person suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be disruptive, loud and moody, with a short attention span and an overabundance of restless energy. But by far one of the most devastating aspects of this condition is the isolation that sufferers feel because they are ‘different;’ they are outsiders looking in at a point in their social and psychological development when they want so desperately to belong to a group.


A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta claims that 11% of minors, ages 4 to 17, have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some experts believe this incredible number (a 16% increase since 2007) is highly unlikely, considering the numbers came from phone interviews with parents who report their child as having ADHD, rather than from an independently verifiable diagnoses via medical and school records.


Diagnosing and Treating ADHD


Properly diagnosing a child with ADHD requires a thorough and detailed medical and psychological assessment which may take several hours. The test takes different factors into consideration including hyperactive triggers, disruptive behaviors, inability to complete an activity, and inattentiveness, among others.


Most doctors prescribe behavior-modifying drugs such as Ritalin for their ADHD patients to control the symptoms that accompany the condition. These drugs have been linked to suppressed growth as well as the disruption of the natural development of a patient’s social and creative skills.


However, a diagnosis of ADHD does not have to doom a patient into a lifetime of taking drugs. There are non-drug treatments such as behavior modification therapy, which has proven to be very effective, especially for young patients. Successful behavior intervention has the added benefit of not only altering or completely halting disruptive behaviors, but also improving the relationship of the patients with their family as well as other members of their social circle.


Regardless of whether the recent increase in ADHD cases is accurate, it is crucial to note that non-drug treatment options for this condition do exist for families who do not wish to subject their children to a lifetime of taking drugs. It is worth considering going to a natural health clinic for alternative treatment plans. Doctors practicing at a natural health clinic are more likely to present a treatment plan that is drawn up specifically for the patient that addresses the cause of the behavior, rather than just treating the symptoms.

Connection Discovered between Bisphenol-A and Obesity

Here at Southern Environmental, we’ve always been concerned about the chemicals that companies carelessly leech into our food. For too long, scientists didn’t really seem to care about how chemicals like bisphenol-a (BPA) can affect our wellbeing. Thanks to increased social concern, science is finally starting to invest time and energy into studying these chemicals we commonly find in food—and the results are just as alarming as you would suspect.

A study came out recently in the journal PLOS ONE which linked higher levels of BPA in the body to a significantly higher risk of obesity in young girls. These findings are an eye-opener for many, and are all the more upsetting given that BPA is one of the most commonly found chemicals in the plastics and cans that store our food.

Research had already proven that BPA works as an endocrine disrupter, working within the body to mimic estrogen. It interferes with the normal hormone process that keeps our bodies regulated and at their healthiest. We already knew that was bad enough to caution our patients against exposing themselves to BPA, but this additional research has encouraged us to redouble our efforts to remove this chemical from our patients’ lives.

It has become increasingly difficult for Americans to avoid BPA exposure. Nearly all Americans have BPA in their bloodstream by the time they are 6 years old. The best way to try to limit your BPA exposure is to be aware of its presence and cut back on products that use it. Most plastics and canned foods contain it so that their packaging remains unaffected by its contents. We recommend that our patients seek out BPA-free plastic products and cans to help limit their exposure. If the product does not advertise being BPA-free, we recommend that you simply not buy it.

Detox from Environmental Chemicals

Just like sponges, our bodies absorb the things they come in contact with. Sometimes this can be great: after all, who doesn’t love the healing powers of antioxidants or the way protein helps to build our muscles? But unfortunately, our bodies also absorb toxins and environmental chemicals the same way that they absorb good things—and the toxins stay in your system all too easily.

While they’re in our systems, toxins don’t sit around quietly. They go to work, harming our essential systems and leaving damaged cells in their wake. Fortunately, our bodies do have natural defense mechanisms built in to remove some of the environmental chemicals we encounter daily, but we have to activate many of them ourselves through our actions.

To naturally detox your body from the environmental chemicals you encounter every day, you can follow a few easy steps:

Drink plenty of water.

Our bodies’ main ways to detox all rely on water to help flush toxins and waste out of our system. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty; sip water throughout the day to stay well hydrated.

Eat foods high in fiber.

Fiber helps to move waste out of our bodies by effectively scrubbing our digestive tract as it makes its way out, and that is essential for a thorough detox. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all great sources of fiber. As an added bonus, adding more fiber to your diet helps to keep you full for longer, which can help you eat fewer calories overall.

Avoid foods with toxins.

When you eat foods that have been exposed to toxins or are engineered with toxic ingredients, you are only adding to the load of environmental chemicals you would naturally face. Choose organic foods to avoid the toxins food absorbs through chemical exposure. Also, avoid pre-processed foods with ingredients you cannot identify or purchase. Chemically derived ingredients are not real food, and they only serve to put more toxins in your system.

The Importance of IV Nutrition

Intravenous (or IV) nutrition is an essential tool that doctors use when their patients are unable to absorb significant nutrition by eating or via other methods. An IV line is inserted into the patient, typically in the arm, and the IV nutrition is pumped into the patient over a period of anywhere between 10 and 16 hours a day. During this time period, the patient is typically given a solution of electrolytes, glucose, amino acids, and lipids suspended in water with lecithin. Any additional vitamins, minerals, and trace elements the patient needs will either be added to the IV solution or are given to the patient separately.

IV nutrition is important for patients whose gastrointestinal tracts are not working properly. Typically, this is caused by either a block or a fistula (leak), but it can also occur when a patient’s gastrointestinal tract is unable or less able to absorb the nutrients the patient needs. There are two main groups of patients for whom IV nutrition is typically prescribed: those with gastrointestinal disorders and those with malnutrition issues. It is typically not given to comatose or vegetative patients as severe complications can occur if treatment continues over a period of several weeks.

For patients with gastrointestinal disorders, IV nutrition is often the only way they can achieve complete bowel rest. Complete bowel rest allows the bowels time to heal without being agitated by stool passing, and it is highly beneficial for patients with severe Crohns’ disease, ulcerative colitis, prolonged diarrhea, high-output fistula, and other disorders.

For patients with malnutrition issues, IV nutrition is generally used to supplement food intake as long as it is possible for the patient to process food. It is especially useful if the patient seems to be unable to physically process the necessary calories or is particularly deficient in a particular nutrient.

Keys to a Well-balanced Meal

It is a fact that eating healthy is one of the best ways to feel better and live longer. The food we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our physical, mental and emotional state. In a world plagued with fast-food restaurants, sugar and saturated fat, getting the correct nutrients has become even more difficult. If you want to get in shape and get your health back on the right track, you will need to know what foods to buy.

 

It is important to remember that the food pyramid is worth its weight in gold when it comes to getting and staying healthy. There is a reason why the “sweets category” is only allocated a small percentage. As a side note, it is ironic that these foods were placed at the top of the pyramid; although the intent was to demonstrate the fact that sugar and saturated fat products (you know what these are) should be kept at a bare minimum, they have come to dominate the diets of a majority of Americans.

 

What is a well-balanced meal anyways?

 

So what exactly should we be eating? It is important to note that quantity is just as important with respect to the number of meals you eat in a day as is getting enough calories per meal. The age-old understanding that breakfast, lunch and dinner is the foundation for a healthy diet has been challenged in recent years. Many natural health clinic physicians and holistic doctors argue that eating more meals (5-6 a day vs. the big 3) is better. The main reason being that doing so keeps your body full all day. If you eat healthy, you should never feel hungry, and this often happens to those of us who only eat 3 times a day. Going 4-5 hours between meals does not suit the metabolic rates most of us have. Alas, what happens when we get hungry at inconvenient times (i.e. on the go)? Most of us tend to stop at the nearest restaurant and grab a bite to eat. To avoid this altogether, simply eat smaller portions more frequently.

 

Make your meals count

 

To make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs, including food from each of the main food groups is essential. This includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat. Do so in this order; the bulk of your calories should come from grains, fruits and veggies. Drink one glass of water with each meal as well (this cannot be stressed enough). Keep sodium, saturated fat and sugar intake to a minimum.

 

The keys to eating well-balanced meals are proportions and portions. Follow the food pyramid when cooking and avoid eating three times per day. It really is that simple, but doing this consistently will have major, positive effects on your health.