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Hello! I have a 7 yr old little girl who is having issues with her ADHD medication.  It makes her NOT eat.  She goes through the entire day, after I make her have breakfast, without eating anything.  She will bring her lunch home most days, with only maybe a piece of fruit gone, pick at dinner, and sometimes ask for a snack before bed, but most days she does not.  She is super skinny and starting to notice people say things about how skinny she is. I fear she will end up with an altered body image issues!  She is currently taking Focalin XR. Her doctor is not concerned, but she is my child and I find it very concerning.  I found this all-natural alternative online and was thinking about trying it, but I am always skeptical of online testimonials of people. How do I know its not just someone behind the scenes making stuff up to get me to buy their product? If anyone has ever tried it, or used it for their child I would love to know how it works before I order it and give it to my child!

Or...if anyone has any suggestions for other all-natural products or medications that have worked that I can discuss with her doctor, I am always open to learning about them!

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Comment by Liz♥ on September 20, 2012 at 8:21pm

Just wondering how the Synaptol or any other medications, since your January post, worked for your daughter?

Comment by Christina Fields on January 11, 2012 at 10:13am

Thanks again Lori for all of your wonderful suggestions! It helps having someone suggesting alternatives to medications.  I will look into trying some during the next two weeks.  We do have Concerta here, my neighbors son takes it.  It was also a medication her doctor mentioned as an alternative to the Focalin XR.  I will most certainly update you with our progress! :)

Comment by Lorí Lea Harley on January 10, 2012 at 2:28pm

Pleasure Christina!  

Synaptol is a pure homoeopathic 'medicine'.  I believe in homoeopathy, as I have used it since my son was born, especially as he was allergic to just about everything.  It aids things from the common cold through the gamut of injuries, to sleeping (which Synaptol has).  However, in this particular case, it seems to act as a supportive and protective aid, it has in its ingredients all sort of things to do that, including a calming substance.  It is all natural, i.e. cannot have any side symptoms, and basically you cannot overdose, etc.  I would certainly use it and see how it helps, or not.  It does not do anything that I can see in the brain as such, i.e. it does not help the 'flow' of dopamine or serotonin.

If she is hyper, then maybe something like GABA would help (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-Aminobutyric_acid).  It helps keep a person 'steady/stable', and acts like a calmative.  I take it regularly, and it takes the 'edge' off the way I feel; less anxious, and takes me two nanoseconds to fly off the handle instead of only one! :)  St. John's Wort is another – calms a person down.

Maybe you could try each one in your 'two week holiday'?  You will know within a couple of days how it works, each one is virtually instant.  The key is also to keep a strict eye on her diet, making sure she has enough protein, and possibly supplementing with a really good vitamin and mineral supplement.

On allopathic medicine have you thought about Concerta?  I am not a doctor, so am not prescribing it, just wondered if you had thought about it.  In South Africa we do not have some of the meds you do, and Concerta was first introduced to me by a psychiatrist whose entire life is wrapped up in ADD/ADHD and he travels to Canada (used to live there) and still sees clients there, goes to CHADD every year, and so on.  It worked really well for my son (and me), but I have heard it is too strong for some others.  The delivery method is much longer and more steady than the others – rather like a drip feed.  My son started to eat better on it, didn't wolf down food, but eats every four hours or so.

In summary then, I would be interested to hear how you resolve this, and how the supportive methods work.  Her brain may be used to the 'knowledge' of how to 'behave' while on meds, and sometimes the person can manage without meds.  I think your daughter might be a bit young, but she might surprise you.  In the end, we have to think about our children.  Having an ADD brain is wonderful once we have sorted out the challenges with strategies, skills, support and structure.

Regarding the document "The Top 10 Questions to Ask a Potential Doctor for ADD Diagnosis & Treatment", I am waiting to see if it is permissible to copy it here.  When I know, I will post back here.

Warm regards and wishing you all the best in your endeavours.

Comment by Christina Fields on January 9, 2012 at 2:35pm

Thanks for replying Lori!

She has been on the medication for over a year.  We do an all-natural type diet most of the time, only occasionally (when she is at the neighbors to visit really) does she get anything with preservatives and such in it.  She does take Omega 3, but that is all she takes other than the melatonin at night to help her fall to sleep.  She actually does not have a psychiatrist here, my husband is active duty military and we moved here in June.  The pediatrician said they could manage her medication as long as she had uncomplicated ADHD (whatever that is, to me all ADHD is complicated!).  I took her to the doctor this past Friday, and she had lost some weight since her last visit.  They suggested she take a 2 week trial period off of her meds and see how she does.  So far I have not gotten a note home from her teacher, but then again her teacher does not even reply to notes I send, so I am not sure if she would inform me of any issues.  I have seen her somewhat hyper, and she has a bit of difficulty focusing on completing tasks, but nothing that constant reminding has not helped.  She is eating better, so I am happy about that.  I suppose if we make it through these 2 weeks without any major complications at school than we could perhaps try going along without medication. If not, her doctor is willing to try a different medication. (Vyvance is what I think we are going to try next if need be.)

Also, her pediatrician informed me that her school should do some sort of academic testing on her that she has never had done.  Now I am in the process of trying to figure out how to get them to complete that for her. 

I would love to read the document you suggested. I am willing to read any information that would be helpful to getting her on the right course! :)

Comment by Lorí Lea Harley on January 9, 2012 at 12:35pm

Hi Christina,

How long has she been on the meds?  Is she taking anything else?  I tried the natural stuff [with my son], and it helped a bit.  What seems to help a lot is correct diet and the best quality EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) you can find (Omega 3).  Are you/ have you been paying attention to the quality of food, i.e. no margarine, no flavorants, no preservatives, etc?  That already helps enormously.  If you are doing all that - and still had to give meds, then maybe she needs more time for her body to adjust?  My son took ages before his body did adjust, and I used to ensure that he had extra vitamins, minerals, phyto factors, and of course the Omega 3.  And made sure he had a good quality breakfast, with a decent amount of protein in it.  Yes he lost weight, but he is now 21, a strapping lad of over 6' and weighs over 150 lbs!  So much for my worry that I was going to stunt his growth!  Regarding the meds, have you spoken to a good ADHD psychiatrist?  

You need to find out what percentage of his clients have ADHD.  There is a super document, written by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, "The Top 10 Questions to Ask a Potential Doctor for ADD Diagnosis & Treatment".  If you cannot find it, I (or mgh) will post it here, if it is allowable, I will have to find out.

Hope this helps?

Lorí

(ADD/ADHD Coach and Mentor)

Comment by Christina Fields on January 4, 2012 at 9:15pm

Anything is possible.  She was diagnosed after her kindergartener teacher informed me she would day dream all day and not focus on her work.  I combined the teachers issues with her, and her issues at home, which at the time was the inability to ever calm down, (unless she was focused on a TV program, then she tuned everything out), she would be mean and aggressive to her younger brother, and when you asked her to calm down she would reply (at age 5) "I can't help it mommy, my brain just won't let me stop.  I took her to her pediatrician who assumed "ADHD" was her issue and referred us to a child psychiatrist.  He gave her a pill and sent us on our way.  I was always concerned that they never did any other type of testing on her to see if her issues could of been caused by some other sort of medical condition. I even took her to a naturalist who informed me that "ADHD" is nothing more than a "label", and my daughter was not benefiting from taking the medication at all, that she just needed to be on an all-natural, preservative free diet. (Which I tried with her for 3 months straight, and it helped a little bit, but she still could not focus in school.) I honestly don't think there is much help out there on this subject.  Most peds just prescribe the meds without question once the psychiatrist orders it and send you on your way. 

Comment by Sean Hufstetler on January 4, 2012 at 11:58am
Is it possible that her ADHD was misdiagnosed? ADHD mess are amphetamines. For people like me, they make me feel somewhat lethargic, but my brain works better. For people without ADHD they have the effect of speed, diet pills, etc...

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