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Treatments for Children's Conditions including Behaviour Disorders

Conventional treatments for autism are based on behavioural techniques and intensive treatments such as ‘portering’. Many parents feel relatively unsupported as a lot of these techniques are under funded and they often have to find and pay for these treatments themselves.

ADHD relies very heavily on drug treatments involving the use of powerful stimulatory drugs such as methylphenidate (‘Ritalin’). Interestingly these actually work homeopathically as they use the concept of ‘treating like with like’. The drugs have significant side effects and many people are concerned about this and the fact that the drugs need to be taken for a long time.
Alternative approaches involve identifying foods which may mean using an elimination diet and, after the initial ‘washout’ period, introducing foods one at a time and observing the reaction (if any). This is a laborious and difficult procedure for both the child and the parents.

A more practical approach is to use food testing, either with an intradermal technique, or one of the variety of testing methods used by complementary therapists.  These methods are reasonably effective in practice and can often help to identify the key foods to be eliminated in order to improve symptoms.   It appears that the avoidance of trigger foods will clear hyperactive symptoms in approximately two thirds of cases. This dietary approach is very safe. In dairy intolerance, a diet high in green vegetables, nuts and soya milk with added calcium may also be necessary.  Diets will begin to show behavioural changes within 2 to 3 months and should not be used, particularly in children, without proper medical and nutritional supervision. Hyperactive children have been shown to be zinc deficient and zinc is lost following consumption of foods to which they are intolerant, particularly sugar, cola drinks and chocolate. Hyperactive children are more likely to have low birth weight children and are more likely to be zinc deficient, which, in turn, leads to growth retardation. Food colouring tartrazine reduces serum zinc. Zinc supplements should be taken at night and absorption is increased by the addition of B vitamins.

Evening primrose oil can also improve hyperactive behaviour; this is particularly important in allergic children. Chromium supplements which help to activate insulin can also help in some cases.

One more approach is enzyme-potentiated desensitisation. This involves mixtures of small quantities of food antigens mixed with an immune-modifying enzyme, beta-glucuronidase. This is given by intradermal injection at two-monthly intervals. This can enable hyperactive children to tolerate moderate amounts of foods to which they were previously sensitive.

There are, therefore, a number of complementary techniques available, which may produce real benefit and have no major reported adverse reactions. The Natural Practice will use a lot of different techniques to help this group of conditions. The whole of the benefit of an integrated medical approach is that a number of different approaches are brought together to support the patient. We should stress that each treatment plan is designed individually and it may consist of one or more interventions mentioned above and others that are not detailed here.