Friday, August 31, 2007

Non-Medical Interventions For ADHD

Non-Medical Interventions are an option with ADHD. According to one U.S. study, non-medical interventions can help prevent academic and behavior problems due to ADHD. The early intervention techniques use highly individualized programs, relying mostly on positive support to reinforce good behavior. This technique is simply known as positive reinforcement. When using a variety of early intervention techniques, an average 17% decrease in aggression and a 21% improvement in social skills was reported by the children's parents. The children's teachers reported a 28% improvement in both of those categories. Literacy skill improved up to 3 times over the baseline status. The multi-tiered approach to the early intervention offers more traditional services to at-risk children, and a more intensive service to children in greater need. While medicines might address symptoms of ADHD, it does not necessarily improve a child's academic and social skills.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ADD- Or Lack Of Quality Sleep?

The university of Michigan has recently done a study suggesting that around 30% to half of all ADHD diagnosed children may have nothing more than a lack of quality sleep problem. Children don't usually tell their parents that they are tired and want a nap or that they want to go to bed. Instead, they act irritable, temperamental, and in school aged children experience a great lack in focus and attention. Children aren't the only ones with this problem. Many adults simply do not get enough sleep. Avoiding caffeine, keeping TVs and computers out of the bedroom, and going to bed at the same time every night are all examples of simple ways to get more sleep. Although pediatricians are not yet appreciating this concept, any child with ADD should be changing their sleeping habits, in an attempt to potentially change their symptoms. Hey, it can only help right?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Is 5 Minutes Enough Time to Diagnose ADD?

The reality is this; Most pediatricians are booked for two patients every 15 minutes. With about five of those minutes dedicated to paperwork, doctors have about five minutes to spend on each child.Can your doctor truly give an adequate ADD diagnosis in 5 minutes? It is the opinion of many that doctors simply cannot provide a diagnosis for an issue as intricate as Attention Deficit Disorder in a short amount of time.What the pediatricians often do with new mental health problems is guess what the problem is, write a prescription and then see if the medication works. This is time efficient for the doctor - they don't have to ask a lengthy series of questions.However, a child may have ADHD coupled with other issues like anxiety and depression that can worsen with stimulant medication. Or, the child might not have ADD at all but gets stuck with the label - and the drugs to go with it.If your doctor has not spent at least 15 to 20 minutes to thoroughly address your child's issue, it's time to either get a new doctor or demand the time an ADD diagnosis truly needs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ritalin Affecting Chilldren's Brain's?

Somewhere around 2 and 18% of american kids are affected by ADHD, as well as Ritalin, which is a stimulant not unlike amphetamines or cocaine. Ritalin still is one of the most prescribed drugs for the behavioral disorder.The Weill Cornell Medical College animal study is is one of the first to research the effects of ritalin(methylphenidate) on the neurochemistry of the developing brain. They did this research on rats of course. "The changes we saw in the brains of treated rats occurred in areas strongly linked to higher executive functioning, addiction and appetite, social relationships and stress, said Professor Teresa Milner, the study's lead author. "These alterations gradually disappeared over time once the rats no longer received the drug." Physicians should be extrememly careful when diagnosing ADHD and before prescribing Ritalin,this is because whileRitalin may help to battle the disorder, it is also potentially harmful when given to young children with an overall healthy brain chemistry. The risks seem to outweigh the benefits sometimes huh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Divorce and ADD- Connection?

Children that come from divorced families are twice as likely to be prescribed attention-deficit disorder medication, than children whose parents are still married. Of the children with married parents, only 3.3% were prescribed Ritalin. From divorced families, 6% of 633 kids received this treatment, according to a Canadian study. This study began in 1994, with 4,700 families with children, and parents who were not yet divorced. Then, these families were frequently checked up on, to record the status of their marriages, and what their children were being prescribed. Researchers aren't yet sure why children of single parents are more likely to receive medication like Ritalin, and other mood altering drugs. But, there is definately some connection here, don't you think?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stress Actually Making Us Fatter?

We all know stress can make you eat right? Although sometimes, stress will make you not eat. Well, a new study finds that stress can be fattening. As stress levels grow, so might your belly fat. A study done at Georgetown University states that there is a hormone called neuropeptide Y that promotes the growing of abdominal fat. The researchers found that stress triggers the release of this hormone. While some scientists try to come up with yet another pill that will block this hormone, the rest of us could try and reduce stress in drug free ways. For instance, relaxing our minds and bodies would help. Try mindfulness meditation or relaxation response. Also, subliminal messaging has been known to work for many individuals.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Girl Talk leading to Depression?

Girls have always been known to tell their friends basically everything about themselves. From who they have crushes on, to whom they think are the prettiest girls, and so on. Up until now, we have had no reason to believe that this "sharing of information" was unhealthy in any way. Indeed, there has been new research done stating that excessive discussion of "problems" and "stuff" will strengthen friendships, but take a very emotional toll on girls ages 8-15. Non-stop venting about popularity, crushes, and personal issues could lead to anxiety and/or depression for girls, but not for boys. The results of this study may be reflecting the tendency among girls to blame themselves when guys don't call them back right away, or they don't get invited to "the party." Apparently the more they talk about it, the more anxious and depressed it makes them. So, is it really better to share feelings, rather than keeping them "bottled up inside?" Students were surveyed twice, six months apart. Researchers used questionnaires to assess students' anxiety, depression, and friendship quality, and tendency to relay their problems. Ultimately, they found that students with emotional difficulties were more likely to ruminate about their problems. Then, examined the effect this had on the students emotional well-being and friendships. While the boys had no changes in feelings of depression or anxiety, the girls felt worse, although the change was a modest one. Basically, girls are at risk of this despite having strong supportive friends. This supports findings that support groups can reinforce eating disorders or delinquent behaviors. Most people think having similar social support wold be a positive thing, but putting people with similar issues together doesn't necessarily make anything better.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Laughter is the Best Medicine!- It's True

Have you ever heard the saying "Laughter is the best medicine?" Well, it's actually true! Laughter really is the "best" medicine for all kinds of diseases, this has been medically proven. Stimulating the brain, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the muscular system, and the hormonal system isn't all it does. Laughter can also reduce allergies and stress, lower blood pressure, increase muscle flexion, lighten depression, and can strengthen the immune system. Sigmund Freud wrote a book called "Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious" all about this subject, and in it he describes laughter as the body's way of safely releasing anxiety, aggression, fear and anger. Exercise releases endorphins in the body, which are the body's natural painkillers.These are the same chemicals triggered in response to sexual stimulation. They make a person feel good, relieving stress and indirectly reducing one's risks of suffering a heart attack and other health problems."Laughing provides the same effect, which makes people, like exercising, naturally happier individuals. Some people even say that laughing is the body's internal jogging. Stress hormones will constrict the blood vessels which causes high blood pressure and leads to heart problems. Health professionals actually admit that laughing decreases stress hormones and growth hormones, like adrenaline, this allows them to return back to normal. Based on all of this, we can truly say that laughing helps the body to fight off diseases. Laughing is like exercise in that they release the same hormones (endorphins, the painkillers), but laughing is also considered exercise for certain parts of the body. For instance laughing gives the diaphragm, abdominal, intercostal, respiratory accessory, and facial muscles a complete workout. Beyond all of this, laughing can actually make you appear more friendly and approachable. Think about someone you know who has a long, unhappy face most of the time, now picture someone who laughs all day long, who would you rather spend time with. Most people would say the laughing person. Laughter will eventually even create "laugh lines" in your face, which actually poses a warmer kindly look, as opposed to stress lines and wrinkles due to unhappiness and hardships, ultimately aging a person, giving them an angry or hard appearance. When it comes to relationships, because laughter is so uplifting, it takes you to a deeper level where there is understanding and a mutual release of a person's reservations and inhibitions. They say that even if you can't laugh for whatever reason, tat faking it can help you achieve the same affect, since it it the action of laughing that is most beneficial. Basically, laughing can actually help you live longer, so laugh and laugh, until you just can take anymore, and then try a little harder!