Updated: Apr 19
A diagnosis of ADHD covers a wide range of symptoms, from difficulty focussing and staying on task through to hyperactivity, impulsivity, disruptive behaviours, anger and violent outbursts - all of which are beyond conscious control.
The cause appears to be differences in neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Specifically, not enough dopamine (a neurotransmitter required for focus/learning) and too much norepinephrine (an excitatory neurotransmitter resulting in adrenaline overload). Stimulant medications chemically alter this balance, which is why there is a knee-jerk reaction to reach for drugs, such as Ritalin, if ADHD is suspected on a ‘try and see’ basis.
Between 1995 and 2013, there was a six fold increase in Stimulant medication prescriptions in the UK (Ref Beau-Lejdstrom et al 2016).
Long term studies are now revealing that these stimulant medications come at a significant cost - loss of personality ; reduced appetite; being too wired to sleep; stunted growth; altered brain development; reduced motivation longer term; increased risk of self-harm, depression and suicide.
As a result in 2013, NICE advised against using drugs as a first-line treatment for children and young people with moderate (ADHD). Yet, prescriptions of these medications continue to soar, having doubled once again between 2010 and 2019 (Ref. Hasan et al 2021).
Parents who are desperate for their child to do well and not be excluded due to disruptive behaviour often do not feel they have a choice.
Thankfully, there is now a much smarter way to address these biochemical imbalances, without the need to introduce a chemical substance to the developing brain.
Over the past 35 years, Dr William Walsh, of The Walsh Institute in the USA, gathered chemical assays on 5,600 patients diagnosed with ADHD asking “What was different in their biochemistry?” The results are fascinating:
75% of those with ADHD have too much copper and not enough zinc in their systems. They are simply born this way, unable to absorb enough zinc from their diets and unable to excrete copper, resulting in a build up. This just happens to have the result of reducing dopamine and increasing norepinephrine - directly causing the inability to concentrate and the hyperactive behaviours!
More interesting still, 30% of those diagnosed with ADHD were found to have an underlying ‘Pyrrole Disorder’. Again, this is something you are born with and tends to run in families. It means that you are born unable to absorb or hold onto the Zinc or Vitamin B6 which your brain needs to function in a healthy way. People with Pyrrole disorder have high levels of toxic build up and oxidative stress. The neurotransmitters in the brain are, once again, directly impacted by this and the behaviours more extreme. Chronic anxiety, explosive temper, violent rages, Jekyll and Hyde type behaviours and Oppositional Defiance are all hallmarks.
A ground-breaking and highly effective new treatment approach called ‘Nutrient Therapy’ allows us to treat these imbalances using highly targeted supplements, to give the body what it needs to rebalance itself, without the need for drugs.
Clinical studies collecting data from doctors trained in Nutrient Therapy show impressive results:
80% of children under the age of 14 years show improved behaviour, with more than half ceasing physical violence.
Higher efficacy reported for severe cases involving a history of assaultive behaviour (91% reporting reduced incidence of physical violence and 58% reporting this had stopped completely)
71% achieved significant improvement in academics (Ref The Walsh Institute 2004 Study of those with ‘severe ADHD’ in a high poverty, inner city school in Chicago)
Behind these numbers lie many game-changing stories:
A 9 year old girl moving from the 13th percentile to the 71st percentile after 6 months of treatment. Staff and parents described her as “emerging from her shell”, becoming calmer and more focussed.
A 13 year old boy who had been suspended several times for out of control behaviour became calm and his explosive anger completely ceased - having discontinued Ritalin entirely.
A six year old who would regularly hit and kick fellow students completely stopped.
Several parents said they feared their child was heading for prison and were thrilled by the improvements.
Stimulant medications have their role as a short-term solution to be able to access other treatments. However, it is hard to justify the use of these brain altering drugs with serious side-effects, over the long term among approximately 3.5 million school children in the UK. Particularly, now that we have a viable alternative and less expensive alternative.
The Key Clinic Specialises in these Drug-Free ADHD programmes, pioneering Dr Walsh’s invaluable work, providing families - adults and children alike, with a viable alternative to having to take stimulant medications.