Sunday, November 1, 2015

13 Years on Ritalin

In March of this year I began treating an 18 year-old male who at age 5 had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and put on Ritalin. It controlled him somewhat, but he did not improve.

When he and his parents came to see me, they all agreed that he was unable to concentrate and was both impulsive and aggressive.

I explained to the young man that the "problem" might not be him, but rather a mismatch between his lifestyle and his genes. He stated that he was interested and willing to try making some changes to his lifestyle. Here is what I asked him to do:

  1. remove all gluten and dairy from his diet,
  2. reduce sugar intake,
  3. take an excellent quality daily multivitamin,
  4. take 4000 mg/day of Magnesium Glycinate,
  5. take 3,000 mg/day of combined EPA+DHA from fish oil,
  6. take a daily probiotic,
  7. stretch 30 minutes per day.
Seven months later I asked him how he was doing. He said, "Great!" I asked him what that meant. He told me that:
  1. his grades had gone from D's and F's to A's, B's and a few C's,
  2. he was more calm,
  3. he did not feel irritated,
  4. he was less impulsive,
  5. and he had lost 20 lbs.
His mother confirmed the progress.

He is still on Ritalin. He had not been able to carry out all of the changes, but still has made remarkable progress. He has reduced gluten, but has not been off of dairy.

There is more that we can do, he knows it, and is optimistic about his future!

Imagine what might happen if changes like this were begun at age 5!

Functional Medicine

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