I’ve told you before the many reasons I don’t like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder drugs for kids.
It’s not just the side effects, which can be nasty, but the fact that they don’t really do anything to solve the underlying issue, often a nutritional problem impacting the healthy development of the child’s brain.
And now, there’s another reason to give these drugs a pass: A new study has linked them to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death in children.
The study, published in June in the online edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that kids who take the prescription stimulants commonly prescribed to treat ADHD symptoms are seven times more likely to die of sudden cardiac death than the children who don’t take these meds.
We already know these drugs can have a troubling effect on the hearts of children with preexisting conditions. Some of them have labels warning of this possibility, and doctors are encouraged to give children a cardiac screening before prescribing ADHD meds.
But in this study, the researchers found that the increased death rate remains significant even in children with no known preexisting heart condition.
The FDA response to this new information is even more troubling. Actually, I can hardly call it a response, since they are taking their usual see-no-evil approach, telling parents to keep their kids on these meds.
Even the study’s authors say they hope their research doesn’t change how the drugs are used and prescribed. They say their research means physicians should simply monitor children taking these drugs.
There is a real solution here, but no one wants to talk about it. Why? Because ADHD drugs are worth some $5 billion per year. That’s money a lot of powerful people will fight to keep, by making sure the public never knows about simple, safe and effective alternatives.
The real way to treat ADHD is to first ensure that your child is getting all the nutrients and fats needed to help the brain develop during this critical time.
American children are often deficient in key nutrients, including vitamins A, C, B6, B12 and E, magnesium, zinc and essential fatty acids. This alone can cause the brain to dysfunction, and lead to the symptoms associated with ADHD.
In other cases, kids may lack a key digestive enzyme that hurts their ability to assimilate these essential nutrients even when they do get them in the proper amounts.
And still other kids’ symptoms are triggered by allergic reactions, toxins such as mercury, viral infections, and more.
So there are many possible causes of ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms in a child. But none of them — not a single one — can be helped by these dangerous and potentially deadly stimulant drugs.
Dr. William B. Ferril
Dr. William B. Ferril's medical practice in Whitefish, Montana has become a beacon of hope for people throughout the country seeking relief from some of medicine’s most heartbreaking diseases. He also spent a decade practicing medicine on the Flathead Indian reservation in Western Montana.
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