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Tuesday 6 January 2015

ADHD? Is Homeopathy preferable to Big Pharma drugs?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (or ADHD) is described by NHS Choices as “a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness” and that common symptoms of ADHD include a short attention span or being easily distracted, restlessness, constant fidgeting or overactivity, and being impulsive. But there are many more symptoms than this, including:
  • Accident proneness
  • Poor eye contact
  • Insomnia
  • Fussy, intensive, demanding attention
  • Temper tantrums
  • Defiance
  • Jealousy
  • Cruelty
  • Mischievousness
  • Repetitive behaviour
  • Making inappropriate noises and faces
Conventional Medical Treatment
NHS Choices says that “there is no cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but treatment can help relieve the symptoms and make the condition much less of a problem in day-to-day life.

NHS Choices says that ADHD can be treated using medication or therapy, but that “a combination of both is often the best way to treat it”.

It outlines four main drugs licensed for the treatment of ADHD, which they say are not permanent cures for ADHD, but “they can help someone with the condition concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer, and learn and practise new skills”.

1. Methylphenidate
“Methylphenidate is the most commonly used medication for ADHD. It belongs to a group of medicines called stimulants that work by increasing activity in the brain, particularly in areas that play a part in controlling attention and behaviour”.

After describing how the drug is administered and monitored, and who it is suitable for, NHS Choices lists these common side effects:
a small increase in blood pressure and heart rate
loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss or poor weight gain
trouble sleeping
stomach aches
mood swings

Methylphenidate drugs come in many different names, including Concerta, Equasym, Medikinet, and the most widely used, Ritalin.

2. Dexamfetamine
“Dexamfetamine is also a stimulant medication that works in a similar way to methylphenidate, by stimulating areas of the brain that play a part in controlling attention and behaviour”.

NHS Choices list these common side effects of dexamfetamine:
decreased appetite
mood swings
agitation and aggression
nausea and vomiting

Dexamfetamine drugs come under many different 'brand' names, including Elvanse.

3. Lisdexamfetamine
“Lisdexamfetamine is a similar medication to dexamfetamine, and works in the same way”.

NHS Choices lists these common side effects of lisdexamfetamine:
decreased appetite, which can lead to weight loss or poor weight gain
nausea and vomiting

4. Atomoxetine (Strattera)
“Atomoxetine works differently to other ADHD medications. It is known as a selective noradrenaline uptake inhibitor (SNRI), which means it increases the amount of a chemical in the brain called noradrenaline. This chemical passes messages between brain cells, and increasing the amount can aid concentration and help control impulses”.

NHS Choices lists these common side effects of atomoxetine:
a small increase in blood pressure and heart rate
nausea and vomiting
stomach aches
trouble sleeping

It goes on to admit that Atomoxetine has also been linked to some more serious side effects that it's important to look out for, including suicidal thoughts and liver damage.

NHS Choices have been somewhat ‘conservative’ about how dangerous these drugs can be, and the harm they can cause to children. 

Certainly no-one should agree to take these drugs until they have gone beyond what the conventional medical establishment are prepared to tell us about them. 

An ‘Informed Choice’ about taking pharmaceutical drugs like these can only be made after serious consideration of the possible consequences, and the possible harm that can be caused. 

To demonstrate the point, in a WDDTY report dated February 2005, the following side-effects of Ritalin (the most widely used ADHD drug) were listed, indicating just how damaging these drugs can be to young children (who are probably already suffering from a condition created by other NHS-ConMed drugs).

  • Rapid heart beat (palpitations, tachycardia)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Unusual heart rhythm (arrythmia)
  • Heart attack (cardiac arrest)
Central Nervous System
  • Altered mental status (psychosis)
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression or excitement
  • Convulsions / seizures (excessive brain stimulation)
  • Drowsiness or "dopey" feeling
  • Confusion
  • Lack of sleep (insomnia)
  • Agitation, irritation, anxiety, nervousness
  • Hostility
  • Unhappiness (Dysphoria)
  • Impaired mental abilities (cognitive impairment on tests)
  • Jerky movements (Dyskinesias, tics, Tourette's syndrome)
  • Nervous habits (such as picking at skin or pulling hair)
  • Compulsive behaviour
  • Depression/over-sensitivity
  • Decreased social interest
  • Zombie-like behaviour
  • Eating disorders (anorexia)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache, cramps
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Growth problems (pituitary dysfunction)
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Rash/conjunctivitis/hives
  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation of the skin (dermatitis)
  • Blood disorders (anorexia, leukoplacia)
  • Involuntary discharge of urine (enuresis)
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Unusual sweating
  • Withdrawal and Rebound
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Evening crash
  • Depression
  • Over-activity and irritability
  • Worsening of ADHD-like symptoms
And remember, these drugs are not offered as a ‘cure’, or even a treatment for the condition - they offer just an amelioration of some of the symptoms. And they normally have to be taken for many years.

NHS Choices then moves on to described therapeutic treatment, and mentions the following ‘talking’ therapies, none of which have any side-effects, or DIEs.
  • Psychoeducation
  • Behaviour therapy
  • Parent training and education programmes
  • Social skills training
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Then NHS Choices moves on to mentions the importance of some life-style and diet responses to ADHD, which also benefit from a lack of side-effects or DIEs. 
  • cutting out certain foods and taking supplements (but stating that “there is no strong evidence these work, and they should not be attempted without medical advice”.
  • Diet. There is a recommendation to “eat a healthy, balanced diet” but again with the warning “do not cut out foods without medical advice”.
  • The connection between ADHD symptoms and some foods are mentioned, for example, “sugar, food colourings and additives, and caffeine are often blamed for aggravating hyperactivity, and some people believe they have intolerances to wheat or dairy products, which may add to their symptoms” in which case you are asked to keep a diary.
  • Supplements, in particular, suggestions “that supplements of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may be beneficial in people with ADHD”, although again, NHS Choices expresses reservations in that “the evidence supporting this is very limited”.
If the Conventional Medical Establishment had any interest in providing us with safe medicine perhaps it would focus of these therapeutic and life-style focused treatments, but as usual, it does not do so, instead remaining intent on pushing drugs on us that can be dangerous, and harmful to our health.

Homeopathic Treatment

Important Note. 
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter “Illness Diagnosis” above. 

Homeopathy uses many remedies for people suffering with ADHD, and related illnesses. As is normal with Homeopathy, the correct remedy for any individual is based upon a remedy that best matches the symptoms of that individual. The main remedies used, with a brief description of the kind of symptoms they are used for, are as follows (taken originally from the website:

Arsenicum Iodatum 
For the individual who is irritable, unable to study, restless, anxious for health and demanding, climbs everywhere and wonders how they got there, fastidious, not exhausted by restlessness, is very warm, who tries to be nice but can't be still and dislikes bathing.

For relief of dissatisfaction with one's self; complaints about one's troubles, hysterical restlessness and anxiety. Indicated for the individual who is unsteady and fickle, irritable or apprehensive, over-sensitive or excitable.

For relief of an overly-excited mental state, hypersthesia of all senses, delirium, restless sleep, convulsive movements. A great children's remedy. The Belladona patient is wildly hyperactive, feels he or she is acutely alive and may be crazed by a flood of subjective visual impressions with acuteness of all senses and changeableness.

Cereus Bonplandii
For the individual who desires to engage in work; to have all time employed; to be engaged in something useful. May find it difficult to keep attention fixed, and feel that time seems to pass slowly.

Coffea cruda
Stimulates the functional activity of all organs, increasing the nervous and vascular activity. The drinking of coffee by the aged is likely to increase production of uric acid. Effective for nervous agitation and restlessness, extreme sensitiveness, great nervous excitability and intolerance of pain, unusual activity of mind and body. Helpful for alleviating the bad effects of sudden emotions, surprises, joy, etc. Indicated for individuals who are impressionable, especially to pleasurable impressions, full of ideas, and quick to act. The patient may experience tight pain in head, worse from noise, smell, narcotics.

For relief of the tendency to experience anxiety when quiet. May experience anxiety and depression, with no reference to the future. Sudden impulse to run and do violence. Forgetful. Must be busy. Iodium patients tend to have rapid metabolism, with loss of flesh despite great appetite.

For relief of restless excitability, hysterical tendencies, depression alternating with increased vital and mental activity. Hypersensitivity to noise and smells with increased appetite. The individual in need of mandragora has often experienced violence, either mental or physical, may have self-aggressive or self-abusive behaviour.

Sumbulus moschatus
Indicated for the individual with many hysterical and nervous symptoms, emotional and fidgety, dull in morning, clear in evening. May make frequent mistakes in writing and adding.

Randomised Controlled Tests (RCTs) on Homeopathy
Whereas the main proof for the effectiveness of Homeopathy are the patients who once suffered from this condition, and there are several RCT trials that have looked into the use of homeopathy for people suffering with arthritis, and similar diseases.

The following studies on Homeopathy and the treatment of ADHD have been listed on the Hpathy website. At this link each of the trials have been fully evaluated, and each one shows that the treatment of ADHD with Homeopathy can be successful.

1. Lamont J, (1997); British Homeopathic Journal, (1997) 86; p. 196-200
2. Frie, H, et al (2001); British Homeopathic Journal (2001) 90; p. 183-18.
3. Jacobs et al (2005); J Alternative and Complimentary Medicine (2005) 11:5, p. 779-806 .
4. Frie H, et al; Homeopathy (2006) 95, p. 163-170
5. Frie H, et al; Homeopathy (2007) 96, p. 35-41