Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's going on with ADHD?

According to a recent study from the CDC, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder now occurs in 1 out of every 10 children. I was shocked to read this! One in 10 children have ADHD? Are you kidding me? Does this blow your mind? It should.

Sure, I am accustomed to reading all of the statistics about autism and how the prevalence is skyrocketing out of control and reaching epidemic proportions. It’s sad to think how it becomes mind-numbing after a while. But, in all honestly, I really had no idea that ADHD was so much worse. I knew it to be true in my gut, but somehow had not actually equated that with hard numbers. And, those numbers are huge.
What is going on with this generation of kids? Autism is out of control. ADD and ADHD are out of control. Asthma is out of control. Allergies, particularly life-threatening ones, are out of control. Something is very wrong here, people. Does this not alarm you?

Well, if you are like me, you have done a lot of research and have come to conclusion that most (if not all) of our current health care problems are due in part or whole to environmental causes. This is not necessarily a genetic phenomenon. If we are talking autism, the rates are increasing too fast to attribute causation solely by genetics. And, genetic studies on autism so far have been fairly disappointing. There is no genetic smoking gun.

I’ve explained my theory of autism to you before. In a nutshell, you have many factors at play in the body (genetics, allergies, ear infections, heavy metal exposure, etc.) and at some point there is so much assault on the system that it creates a tipping point for the body and brain to fall into autism. You can take my theory it or leave it, but it helps me think about autism more clearly as a sum of many parts.

When thinking about environmental contributors to conditions like autism, there is a lot to learn. My eyes have been opened over the past several years as my family has dealt with both cancer and autism. There are many things to consider, like: artificial ingredients (colors, flavors, sweeteners), GMO (genetically modified organisms – which currently have no labeling requirements), allergens, heavy metals (like mercury found in high fructose corn syrup – which is in a majority of processed foods), and the list goes on and on.

You can be aware of what you purchase and what you allow your family to be exposed to. Reading labels is a great place to start. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or it cannot be found in nature, you might consider choosing a different product. One of my favorite health sites is www.mercola.com. Learning more and making better choices will greatly benefit your family’s health.

Now, I am not much for politics. After a certain point of listening to politicians pontificate it just makes my skin crawl. My hubby and dad like to talk about politics whenever they can and I have little patience or interest when they get going. I have a few key things that I look for when I’m voting, but those things don’t necessarily fall neatly into the boundaries of one political party. I vote where the issues take me, not the party.

Recently I learned I could align myself with the issues that matter most to me and a political party that backs those very issues. I joined the Canary Party because it is issue-centric and not what you would typically expect from a political party. The Canary Party is “a group of citizens who are disturbed by the increasingly failing health of those in our society,” focusing on various issues related to the failing mainstream medical system, environmental concerns like pollution, and parental rights.

Here is a quote from their site:

“If anything was to be done about the epidemic levels of childhood chronic illness in the US, it would have to be a result of real political pressure to clean up the corruption in the medical establishment that was allowing bad pharmaceuticals, bad medical practices and bad public health policy to assault human health on such a wide scale. It was time to stop asking the medical establishment to pay attention to the epidemic of illness, and demand that they do, or replace them with their betters who would.”

The whole world is going to hell in a hand basket in so many different ways, but I can try to effect change for something that will directly impact my family. This was reaffirmed for me when I read the article about ADHD occurring in 1 in 10 children. Those rates are appalling. Autism rates of 1 in 91 are absolutely unacceptable. We need to do something to stop the trend of failing health and increasing disability and disease. We need to regain some control for the sake of the next generation.        


Accidental Expert said...

I'm right there with you. ALL childhood illnesses are up in dramatic numbers. What gives?

We've got both autism and ADHD in our family. We have cut out most artificial ingredients (flavors, colors, stabilizers, etc.) We can't afford to go all organic, but try to where we can. But I fear the damage has already been done.

Hmm, the Canary Party...I'll have to look into that one.

Cari said...

Fantastic post as usual Angela! It is alarming! And out of hand. What is worse is that our government surely knows about all this and is keeping it all hush, hush.

The fact that the study recently released, where the FDA concurred some artificial food colorings are directly attibuted to ADD/ADHD and nothing has been done is mind blowing. Naturally, we already knew this, but it has been swept under the carpet, and/or people refuse to believe it so they don't have to change their lifestyle.

It seems all of the increases in Autism and ADHD would be a huge wake-up call for society. Makes me sad. I guess it's going to take people like us, and the Canary Party to open eyes. {I follow them on Twitter:)}

marisa said...

Great post..and I love the comic clip!

Alexandra Merlino said...

Yes, I am alarmed! Thank you for your informative blog.

Have you read the recent research by Dr. Martha Herbert on Environmental Triggers and Autism?

Caffeinated Autism Mom said...

Thanks for your great comments, everyone! Alexandra, I am not familiar with Dr. Herbert. If you have the time, please feel free to send me a link to a specific site, a PDF of an article, etc. I would be interested to learn more. My email is caffeinatedautismmom (at) gmail (dot) com.

myra said...

Yes, the numbers are shocking. It's hard to believe almost nobody is talking about it.

And I certainly agree with your theory about why. I also have no chemical-laden food at home.

Anonymous said...

The statistics are what is out of control. How is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder being measured? Any chance merely very fidgety kids are included? Perhaps Being a Kid is itself a form of mental illness?

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