What About Drugs, Food Additives, ADHD & Spirituality?
Tuesday, September 06 2011 @ 06:07 AM PDT
Editor's Note:The following information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, or curing ADHD. It is our conviction that all mental, physical, and spiritual diseases are the result of a violation of definite laws. (see Isaiah 1:4-6; John 5:13, 14; Job 29:16) For all your personal medical concerns consult your physician. For health, hope and healing consult the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, through prayer and the study of His word. It is not our intentions to give a clinical definition and treatment for ADHD. Our desire is to share general information that will enable one to closely examine himself/herself (physically, spiritually, and mentally) in the light of God's Word.
ADHD's Most Common Occurances & Definition
ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood. It affects about 3 - 5% of school aged children. ADHD is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls. Imaging studies suggest that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children.
Depression, lack of sleep, learning disabilities, and behavior problems may be confused with, or appear with, ADHD. Most children with ADHD also have at least one other developmental or behavioral problem. They may also have a psychiatric problem, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
It is becoming increasingly accepted that individuals with ADHD have difficulty with what neuropsychologists term "executive functioning". These functions are thought to reside in the frontal lobes. They enable us to recall tasks that need accomplishing, organize ourselves to accomplish these tasks, assess the consequences of actions, prioritize thoughts and actions, keep track of time, be aware of our interaction with our surroundings, sort out competing stimuli, and adapt to changing situations. They also enable us to judge what is "right" or "correct" as opposed to what is "wrong" or "incorrect".
The Mind/Body Is Very Close
The function of the mind and it's relation to the health of the body is no trivial matter. Throughout the pages of holy writ we find many examples of this mind/body relationship. Among the many recorded miracles of Jesus Christ we find many examples of a very intimate relationship. Moreover, within the inspired counsels of Ellen G. White we find clear statements of this intimate relationship between the mind and the body:
"The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize." The Ministry of Healing p. 242
"Disease is sometimes produced, and is often greatly aggravated, by the imagination. Many are lifelong invalids who might be well if they only thought so." ibid
"In the treatment of the sick the effect of mental influence should not be overlooked. Rightly used, this influence affords one of the most effective agencies for combating disease." ibid. . .read more. . .
Science Gives Evidence Of A Very Close Relationship
Even in the world of science we can see evidence of a very intimate relationship between the mind and the body. Phineas Gage, a railroad worker who in 1848 survived a large iron rod being accidentally driven through his head, is often cited as a demonstration that executive function resides in the frontal lobes, because at least one of those lobes was destroyed in Gage by the accident, after which his behavior and personality were markedly changed. However, while Gage's case certainly stimulated 19th-century thinking about the brain and the localization of its functions, it certainly gives clear evidence of a very intimate relationship between the mental, physical, and spiritual.
The Prefrontal Cortex Is The Head In This Relationship
The executive functions of the brain in the frontal lobes are thought to be linked to the rest of the brain by way of the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is involved in working memory and linked to the limbic system, which controls our basic emotions of fear, anger, pleasure and also plays an important role in the formation of long-term memories. The nucleus accumbens is a part of the brain that is involved in our internal reward system and allows us to feel pleasure, success, or accomplishments in response to certain stimuli. Many of these interconnections are via dopaminergic pathways. For example, cocaine and amphetamines act directly on this part of the brain to stimulate dopamine release, giving users a euphoric feeling.
The Frontal Lobe And It's Relationship To Diet and Spirituality
The frontal lobe’s role in both decision-making and spirituality is here highlighted in contrast to the lower forms of life. Man's spirituality is superior to any other brain function, and is what sets us apart from the lower forms of God's animate or inanimate creation. It has it's seat in the prefrontal cortex and should not to be confused with the basic sensory functions of the brain. Neither should it be labeled as the mere emotional stimulus of the nervous system. While it utilizes the basic functions of the body, it has the ability to transform the believer above the fallen tendencies of the flesh into a new creation. (see 2 Cor. 5:17) It is for this reason that the frontal lobe can be termed as the "Crown of the Brain".
Things That Affect The "Crown of the Brain"
Damage to this “Crown of the Brain” would definitely lead to serious spiritual, moral, and intellectual functioning. Here we have inserted certain food choices that will ultimately cause severe damage to the "Crown of the Brain".
- Marijuana, Heroin, Cocaine
- Drug Medications
- Beta antagonist (asthma), Beta Blockers (High BP), Pain Relievers etc.
- Alcohol Reduces oxygen in blood, noticeable reduction of frontal lobe gray tissue disrupts brain chemistry (neurotransmitters in brain) (delirium, anxiety, neurosis) dopamine.
- Adenosine, acetylcholine. Increased dopamine levels and depression linked to caffeine consumption.
- Nicotine (Any addictive agents and there attended affect on the will, as well as the judgment center of brain)
- Sugar (Refined sugar causes glucose levels to fluctuate precipitating a lack of nutrients to the brain inhibiting brain function)
- Cheese (Tyramine affects on brain (frontal lobe) function is two-fold. It stimulates the bodies stress hormone system releasing a chemical called norepinephrine the main chemical for stress response. This reduces blood flow to the brain and critical thinking impairment.)
- Meats (Arachidonic Acid found almost exclusively in beef and pork meat interferes with storage of acetylchloline, the neurotransmitter essential for proper brain (frontal lobe) activity.
What I have found to be rather interesting is there are certain food additives that have the same effect on the brain as those listed above. Some call it a food allergy to certain food groups. One of the ways you can find out if there are food allergies causing the ADHD symptoms or behaviors is to eliminate certain food items and then re-introduce back into the body while monitoring the pulse rate. Eliminate these foods for two weeks, then get ready to add them back in to the ADHD diet and see if the symptoms don't disappear.
- NO DAIRY PRODUCTS, especially cow's milk.
This is the single most important restriction for the first two weeks. The American Pediatric Association estimates that a significant percentage of all children are allergic to milk. Instead try Almond milk, Rice milk, or Better Than Milk. We are looking at "Raw Organic Milk" which has not been pasteurized. Since it still has enzymes it might be digested better than the "ultra-pasteurized" milk. And drink lots of water for two weeks.
- NO YELLOW FOODS. Especially Yellow Corn or Yellow Squash. Bananas are white, but don't eat the yellow peel. About 1/1000 people have problems with the stuff that makes these foods yellow in color.
- NO JUNK FOODS. If it comes in a cellophane wrapper, don't eat it. Stop eating junk food and your brain will work better. Junk foods tend to be very high in sugars and carbohydrates, and our brains get fuzzy and our kids get more hyperactive when sugars and carbohydrates are eaten together.
- NO FRUIT JUICES. They have too much sugar. One small glass of apple juice has the sugar content of eight apples. Later on you can have juice, but for now if you have to have any juice just dilute it with water 50/50.
- CUT SUGAR INTAKE BY 90%. If you can, cut it down to zero. Sugar is in just about everything, but try to really restrict eating it. Do your best to reduce your sugar intake without going crazy.
- CUT CHOCOLATE BY 100%. Chocolate has about 220 different chemicals, some of which people can have problems with. It is a highly toxic food that affects the brain and the central nervous system. More on this at a later date.
- NO NUTRASWEET. None. Period. Never. It's bad for you. It is bad for your brain. This is not just a two week restriction. It is not very good for your brain.
- NO PROCESSED MEATS and NO MSG. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as naturally grown as possible. Don't compromise!
- CUT FRIED FOODS. The Trans-Fats in fried foods and other less than healthy foods compete in the body with good Fatty Acids, and the Essential Fatty Acids. You can either have unhealthy Trans-Fats, or healthy EFA, but not both in the same space in your brain. This is not just a two week restriction. Good fats with good fatty acids are your friends. Bad fats such as Trans-fats or Poly-Unsaturated fats are bad for us. Good fat sources can include plant-base fats (avocado, nuts, olives seeds), coconut oil, olive oil, flax oil and so on.
- AVOID FOOD COLORINGS. Advoid any food colorings, such as Reds, Yellows, etc. Avoid all colorings in beverages, processed foods, and candies.
- AVOID FISH. Often we hear many people say, "Jesus ate fish"! We hate to say this, as there used to be so many benefits to eating fish, especially the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) or Omega Oils. But the problem these days is that the mercury levels in most fish is simply too high to be either safe or healthy. Mercury is the second most toxic metal on earth, and is a terrible neuro-toxin. Until we clean up the oceans and the rivers of mercury, just don't eat it. Sorry.
The Healing Process
Once the controlling influence of frontal lobe activity is neutralized by diet or lifestyle practice, the brain operation shifts from its designed balance of spirituality, reason and conscious to a hyperactive unbalanced level. In effect, it will actually short-circuit the higher functioning of the prefrontal cortex and the lower powers (hypothalamus) goes into overdrive. The lower powers of the mind dealing with appetite, emotions, sleep cycles, sex drive now begins to predominate the individual. The power of choice and will power become subordinate to appetite and passion. The hypothalamus’ role in controlling the animal propensities in man held in subjection to morality, spirituality and reason, as regulated by the frontal lobe, is no longer in effect. The prevalence of eating disorders, obesity, sleep disorders, immorality, rage and violence can be triggered by un-natural dietary and lifestyle choices. In children this may be seen by many as symptomatic of ADHD. The food choices we make affect our continued ability to make calm, rational choices. Consequently, the connection between food additive, ADHD, diet, and spirituality is more than evident.
Dietary Suggestions For ADHD
- ADHD diet therapy should include an organic diet. Certified organic products are foods which are grown without the use of potentially harmful long-lasting pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
- Since organic foods are also grown without genetically processed seeds, sewage sludge or irradiation, some people feel that this is a more wholesome choice. This avoids many of the unknown substances that your child's overly sensitive body may have problems with.
- Every child needs plenty of water. The brain is made up of 85-90% water. It will help him a lot!! Don't overlook this. It really is critical.
- Provide raw fruits and vegetables. A lot of them.
- Provide a good choice of homemade food. Use a variety of recipes that he won’t get bored with.
- Give your child multivitamins and protein supplements.
- An ADHD child diet should provide rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in flax seed and fish. Fish oil supplements are also recommended as an easy way to keep these essential fatty acids in your child's system.
- Consider some of the natural homeopathic and herbal supplements that have been proven to help with ADD and ADHD. I encourage you to visit the Native Remedies website to learn about these safe and natural products.
"Those foods should be chosen that best supply the elements needed for building up the body. In this choice, appetite is not a safe guide. Through wrong habits of eating, the appetite has become perverted. Often it demands food that impairs health and causes weakness instead of strength. We cannot safely be guided by the customs of society. The disease and suffering that everywhere prevail are largely due to popular errors in regard to diet." Counsels on Diet and Food p. 295
The Healing Promises
"The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants:
And none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate."
"In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence:
And His children shall have a place of refuge."
"Zion said, Jehovah hath forsaken me, and
The Lord hath forgotten me.
Can a woman forget her sucking child,
That she should not have compassion on the son of her
Yea, these may forget, yet will not I forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands."
Isaiah 49:14-16, A.R.V.
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
Be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My
righteousness." Isaiah 41:10.
"Ye that have been borne by Me from your birth,
That have been carried by Me from your earliest breath,
Even to your old age I am the same;
Even to hoar hairs I will carry you;
I have done it, and I will still bear you;
I will carry, and I will deliver you."
Isaiah 46:3, 4, Noyes.