Updated: Apr 19
Does your child have ADHD? It's one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders experienced by children, and the numbers being diagnosed are increasing every year.
The usual route of treatment for children is to prescribe medication, without any lab tests. ADHD medication has the function of suppressing the symptoms of ADHD: these include difficulty concentrating and focusing, as well as hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
The medication route however is looking increasingly outdated in light of recent neuroscience. Now, it's possible to test for the exact biochemical and neurodevelopmental imbalances that cause symptoms of ADHD. This means we can treat ADHD symptoms at their root cause, by using pioneering, drug-free therapies.
The treatments are incredibly effective, with long-lasting results.
"The Key Clinic has helped my two dyslexic sons tremendously. Particularly the one with ADHD and sleep issues. I would recommend starting with the clinic before any other therapies or extra coaching for children who are struggling in any way."
- Surrey Mother, August 2019
Side effects of using medication to treat ADHD
The long term use of ADHD medication can be problematic. Medications such as Ritalin and Adderall are stimulants, and they certainly work. They are structurally similar to a slow-release cocaine and work by helping to increase dopamine (helping the brain to focus) while dampening norepinephrine (reducing hyperactivity).
However, regularly dosing with these medications over the long term, when a child's brain is sensitive to change has been shown to have many damaging long-term effects. These include altered brain formation, increased risk of depression, changed appetite and sleep patterns and stunted growth.
A drug-free approach to treating ADHD
At The Key Clinic we believe in a multi-disciplinary, holistic approach to treating ADHD, without resorting to medication.
How do we do this? By exploring the root causes of ADHD diagnosis and symptoms in children.
When we look at brain health, we always look at the gut health first. A healthy and diverse gut microbiome and a gut which absorbs nutrients well is critical for healthy brain functioning. 80% of the body’s neurotransmitters are made in the gut, or the ‘Second Brain’. For example, serotonin and dopamine send calming signals to the brain and the nervous system - so you can see how crucial this connection is for optimal mental health.
However, even with the most perfect diet and with healthy gut functioning, ADHD is often caused by underlying genetic predispositions which can prevent the absorption or the excretion of particular nutrients.
The Walsh Institute in the USA analysed the biochemistry of over 6,000 children with ADHD. The results are striking:
90% had too much copper and not enough zinc in their bodies. This is the root cause of the low dopamine and norepinephrine overload as these nutrient imbalances directly cause this effect.
30% of those diagnosed with ADHD were found to have an underlying ‘Pyrrole Disorder’ - it alters the biochemistry of the brain and body and tends to run in families.
Pyrrole Disorder can lead to more extreme symptoms such as chronic anxiety, mood swings, violent rages, explosive temper, oppositional defiance and Jekyll and Hyde type behaviours.
There are also particular traits which frequently go with ADHD - for example, not having an appetite in the morning, being a night owl, joint pains, craving salty or spicy foods, being pale with circles under the eyes.
However, there is good news: these specific biochemical imbalances can be accurately tested for and diagnosed, using blood and urine tests. They can be treated without the need for medications. The Key Clinic is Europe’s leading specialist in this ground-breaking new approach to treatment.
By being able to recognise these root biochemical causes of ADHD, we are then able to prescribe targeted doses of supplements to address them. The results speak for themselves: 85% of children (and adults) manage to come off their medications as a result. (Source - The Walsh Institute)
This highly effective approach to treating ADHD means that children can thrive at school, without having to be reliant on medication.
ADHD and Morphine food reactions
When treating the root causes of ADHD we also need to assess whether an inability to digest certain foods could be contributing to symptoms. We find that often in ADHD cases, gluten and casein peptides cannot be broken down properly in the system. They pass through the blood-brain barrier, causing a morphine-like effect. This means that children are effectively getting a ‘high’ from the food they are eating.
At The Key Clinic, we are able to effectively treat the biochemical imbalances which cause ADHD without using drugs. This pioneering work, 'Walsh Nutrient Therapy', means we can rebalance the dopamine and norepinephrine levels using highly targeted doses of supplements - giving the body what it needs to heal itself.
We also target other factors which may be interfering with a child's ability to focus - hypersensitive hearing or retained primitive reflexes.
ADHD and Auditory Therapy
Hearing affects behaviour; ADHD symptoms can be linked to auditory hypersensitivity.
In our treatment of ADHD, we will look at how a child is hearing. For example, hypersensitive hearing can make it impossible for a child to phase out background noises, making them highly distractible. They will be trying to focus on what the teacher is saying in the classroom but can hear additional sounds outside the window or the back of the classroom that other children may not.
With Key Auditory Therapy, we are able to target specific, individual hearing distortions causing these difficulties using objective tests. Customised, modulated music files are then created according to each patient's specific hearing profile, to correct the hearing distortions which lie behind their particular learning or speech/language difficulties.
"The Key Clinic has rewritten the future for my daughter. Had we not found Sarah and the team, she would have carried on struggling. I cannot thank them enough for the work they have done with my lovely daughter. The care and attention that she received during her neurodevelopmental programme and auditory programme was exemplary. Best of all they have restored our bright, sparkly, fun loving girl."
- London Mother, December 2017
Primitive Reflexes, ADD and ADHD
ADD and ADHD used to be given as separate diagnoses, but unfortunately this is no longer the case. It means that even more children are being medicated as though they are 'hyperactive', when actually they may simply have a hard time concentrating.
Difficulties concentrating and sitting still can be caused by something called primitive reflexes. These are reflexes originating in the central nervous system that are present in infants. These reflexes should be 'switched off' as the infant grows, yet are sometimes retained. This results in neurodevelopmental difficulties.
ADD symptoms can be caused by specific primitive reflexes. For example, The Spinal Galant Reflex creates the effect of a ‘blue bottle in the room’ - a child cannot keep still, as the lumbar region of the spine is overly sensitive. They need to keep moving and cannot sit still for long. It also interferes with auditory processing and can even cause bed wetting.
The symmetrical tonic neck reflex (STNR) is the last primitive reflex to develop during the pre-crawling stage. When the STNR is retained in the nervous system it can be related to ADHD symptoms such as poor control of the body and can affect the ability to remain still and to focus attention.
Sally Goddard, author, lecturer and International Director of The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, says:
“Problems with coordination, attention and concentration can all be secondary outcomes of a retained STNR in the older child. A study from the University of Indianapolis, which spent more than 30 years working with the Bender Exercise programme - a programme devised by Miriam Bender to inhibit the STNR - found that a high percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD in the USA still had an active STNR. When the STNR was inhibited using a motor program which involved crawling and creeping against a resisting force, many of the 'symptoms' of ADHD started to recede. In other words, poor control of the body can affect the ability to remain still and to focus attention."
If your child is struggling with ADHD, there is hope. The underlying causes can be addressed quickly and effectively and children can achieve their full potential. You can rewrite the future for your child.
To register for an Initial Screening Consultation with one of our practitioners at The Key Clinic, please complete our online registration form.
If you have any questions our admin team are on hand to offer advice and additional information - call us on 01635 761565.