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Body Works Personal Training Tips
Ernest Brandon
Community Columnist

Thursday, October 21, 2004

A Healthy Alternative for ADHD Treatment

Ernest Brandon

More children are presently diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) then any other time in history and the number is rising daily. Many doctors suggest that the mental disorder is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This so called chemical imbalance causes the child to misbehave, act out in an inappropriate behavior, and to be so hyper that it prevents the child from learning. In the mean time, physical fitness is being cut from schools across the nation, and the entire population is quickly becoming overweight. One must ask themselves, what is more likely ''are there a growing number of children with chemical imbalances or are they effected by improper nutrition and lack of exercise that growing children so desperately need?''

According to a study done by the New York public schools and juvenile facilities on 803 children, when fruit and vegetables were increased and sugars and fats were decreased the academic performance rose 16% and learning disabilities fell 40%. Violent and non-violent anti-social behavior in juvenile facilities fell 48%. Research has also shown that daily exercise routine significantly reduces hyperactivity and prevents depression among children and adults alike.

The current method of treatment for this disorder is the use of prescription drugs. These medications have many undesirable side effects such as: nervousness and insomnia, hypersensitivity, anorexia, nausea, dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, blood pressure and pulse changes, tachycardia, angina, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and toxic psychosis. Several studies have also shown that people that have used these drugs for a prolonged period of time are likely to use more serious drugs such as cocaine. Many children that have used these drugs describe a feeling of living life through a haze.

Before resorting to mind-altering medications to simply cover up the symptoms of the problem, try a more natural approach to treating your child. Monitor your children's activity levels and dietary intake. Try enrolling them in more physical activities and helping them to make healthier eating choices. Sometimes, the quick fix is not always the right answer. It may take time and attention, but it will benefit your child greatly in the long run.