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ADD/ ADHD: 7 Ways you can reduce symptoms - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADD/ADHD: 7 Ways you can reduce symptoms

As we all know, there seems to currently be a continuing epidemic of ADD and ADHD, with more and more adults, children and youth being diagnosed with the disorder.

The symptoms of attention deficit, impulsiveness and restlessness can severely impact everyday life, and the ability to focus and to achieve whether at work or school.

The medical profession has few answers beyond medication, so I would like to offer some simple ways in which you can help to reduce or even resolve your symptoms.

1. Increase exercise

It has been shown that incorporating exercise into your everyday routine can significantly reduce symptoms.

I remember reading many years ago about Daly Thompson. He was an Olympic medalist in the decathlon in the 1980s. He was unable to focus at school and was doing badly academically until he was sent to a special school for ‘Troubled Children”.

The school was unique in that it provided several hours of Phys-ed classes every afternoon. His grades improved dramatically, and he commented that it was such a relief to be able to MOVE instead of being tied to a desk all day.

2. Address Food Allergies and Intolerances

As a natural allergist, I see many people, especially children, who’s ADD / ADHD is being triggered, at least in part, by what they are eating.

The common allergens I see are wheat, milk, nightshade vegetables (in particular tomato, bell peppers, potato), food additives/colours. It is possible, however, to react to any food that you are eating.

I had one notable case where the mother complained that her two-year-old was sleeping only a couple of hours a night, was a nightmare to handle during the day, being aggressive and confrontational. She was exhausted. Following removal of milk products and potatoes from his diet, he started sleeping 9 hours per night and became much better behaved during the day.

3. Nutrition and Real Food

“We are what we eat” – nothing could be truer.

Changing the diet to include more fresh vegetables, fewer sugars (processed grains, fruits, potato, candies, etc.) and little-processed foods can have a significant impact on ADD / ADHD symptoms. It also helps to ensure proper nutrition.

Supplementing the diet with Vit D, Vit B12 (fish, poultry, meat, eggs) and B6 (beef, poultry, organ meats), Omega 3 oils (fish / chia/flax / hemp, etc.), and zinc (nuts, beans, red meat, seafood) can also be beneficial.

It has also been shown to be helpful to eat more protein, especially at breakfast and lunch.

Talk to your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor or holistic nutritionist about the right nutrition for you or your child.

4. Mindfulness

This is about being able to be present in the here and now.

Even small children can benefit from mindfulness. It can be as simple as asking them to describe what they hear, smell or see at that moment, or what the food they are eating tastes/feels/smells/looks like, allowing them to connect.

For older youngsters and adults yoga and developing a meditation practice can be helpful.

5. Disconnecting and Unplugging

We all spend far too much time in front of screens, whether for work, school, or gaming and staying in touch with our friends and family.

In addition to the addictive nature of these devices and the fact that it removes us from reality, every electronic device emits its frequency, whether the TV, computer screen, laptop, gaming console, etc. Even after they are turned off, they continue to emit for upwards of an hour. Reducing screen time has been shown to assist with ADD / ADHD symptoms so try to build in other activities and games that do not require screen time.

6. Chemicals and Toxins

When choosing household cleaning products, body products, shampoos, etc. select those which are natural and unscented.

Consider seeking advice from your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor regarding the possibility of heavy metal toxicity such as mercury and lead and the ways that this can be resolved.

And finally.

7. Get out in Nature

Getting regular outdoor time has been shown to be extremely beneficial to those with ADD / ADHD.

I hope these suggestions assist you in controlling your ADD / ADD symptoms.

If you have any questions or simply want to know more, please contact me today.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

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What is irritable bowel syndrome - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a commonly diagnosed condition that is classified as a combination of symptoms including constipation, diarrhea, alternating constipation and diarrhea, cramps, gas and bloating. Often issues resolve after a bowel movement. 

This array of symptoms (which do not necessarily need to be in conjunction with each other), to me, present as an undiagnosed food sensitivity.  Especially because IBS  is not a degenerative condition – as we see it in people of all ages, and it is primarily diagnosed earlier in life.

What makes this ailment unique is that it is manifested in patients much younger than typical conditions.

How is it diagnosed?

So what happens when Irritable Bowel Syndrome is suspected? 

Well, first off, one would present with the symptoms listed above and the Doctor would ask a series of questions. These usually relate to symptoms, some issues related to the person’s regular diet can vary considerably depending on the physician.

Next, there would be a series of tests requisitioned. Again, depending on the Doctor, the variety of tests can also vary widely, ranging from stool samples to blood tests and sometimes even MRI’s.

Once the results of each of these tests come back negative, a process that can take a couple of days or weeks of simple testing, or for some a long, harrowing tale of medical procedures, then and only then, will the patient be diagnosed with IBS. 

We call this process a diagnosis of exclusion; it’s a conclusion drawn by process of elimination, meaning we decide that a patient has Irritable Bowel Syndrome when nothing else can be determined.

What comes next?

Once a person has been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome the variations of what happens next are astounding and based, primarily, on the patient’s personality;

Will they fill every prescription offered them and continue managing symptoms? 

Will they take matters into their own hands and seek alternative advice, perhaps in the natural health world? 

Will they do their own research and be able to investigate any food sensitivities on their own? 

All of these are options.

The inconsistencies in the way this condition is diagnosed and dealt with tell me the allopathic establishment does not have a firm handle on what is causing IBS. 

In my (very) humble experience the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome rectify once food sensitivities are identified, removed and the gut is re-balanced. 

This process sounds easier than it is and it requires a personal commitment but if engagement and action exist so does relief.

Book a free meet and greet with me to find out more about food sensitivities and IBS.

Disclaimer

This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome? What have you tried to help your symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

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By submitting this form, you are granting: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
6 Nutrients To Help You Sleep

6 Nutrients To Help You Sleep

There are many nutrients which are essential for us to get a good nights’ sleep.

Some of these are:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin D
  • Amino acids

Often we eat poor diets, on top of which, if you have allergies and sensitivities to foods you will not digest these foods and absorb the available nutrients efficiently.

Magnesium and Calcium

A lack of these two nutrients can lead to muscular cramps, or ‘charlie horse’, in calves and feet, and restless legs. They also play a part in having a calm mind.

Most North Americans are deficient in magnesium, and you can ask your family doctor to test for this in your annual blood work.

It is always best to get your nutrition from ‘real food’, however, this is not always possible, and there are various nutritional supplements on the market that provide these two essential minerals. Choose magnesium as glycinate or dermal spray (skin) application and calcium as citrate. These forms are easy to absorb.

Foods that will provide calcium and magnesium include

Nut: – walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts

Seeds: however- pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, chia seeds

Bananas, avocado, dark leafy green vegetables and dark chocolate

Milk products will provide. However, they can cause restlessness and insomnia.

Vitamin D

There is research that shows Vitamin D to be essential for good sleep. OHIP no longer tests for this as it considers us all to be deficient. You can ask your doctor to check your level; it costs around $35.

It is safe for most adults to take 1 – 3000 iu daily and a blood level between 150 and 200 is sufficient. Liquid supplements that are absorbed in the mouth are the best way to increase your D levels as they are readily absorbed. Take them in the morning as they may keep you awake if taken at night.

Vitamin B

B vitamins are mostly found in fish, eggs and meat along with milk products. In particular, Vitamin B12 only comes from animal sources and foods that have been artificially fortified. If you take a supplement, it should also be taken in the morning as taking it at night may keep you awake.

Amino acids – the building blocks of protein

Several of these are essential for sleep. You will need to speak with a health care practitioner to determine which, if any, of these, may be playing a part in your insomnia.

Another cause of insomnia is going to bed hungry, with low blood sugar. Make sure to eat enough during the day, having your last full meal at least 2 hours before going to bed. You can also have a small snack 30 minutes before bed.

Melatonin as a sleep aid

If you are having problems falling asleep taking 0.3 – 5mg of melatonin an hour before bed can be helpful. It is a natural chemical produced in our bodies that tell our brain to prepare for sleep. Start with the lowest dose and monitor its effectiveness. It should be discontinued once you have created a habit of falling asleep more quickly.

Want to find out if you have deficiencies?

Your family doctor can test for most of these nutrients. However, the level that is considered ‘within normal range’ by them may well be very sub-optimal as the reference range is quite wide. A visit to a naturopathic doctor or functional medicine practitioner will provide you with more information.