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ADHD Causes: Magnesium Deficiency

Around 5% of American schoolchildren today are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.  This alarmingly large number makes skeptics wonder whether ADHD truly does exist, considering that children a hundred years ago didn't seem to experience this problem.  Why is ADHD afflicting so many children today? What has changed?

Despite what doctors might say about ADHD's biological cause, the disorder is in fact triggered by many environmental factors.  One of the leading triggers is the unhealthy dietary habits of today's children.   Due to the easy availability of processed food and junk food, most American children fail to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance for certain common minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium.  In fact, the standard American diet is the very cause of magnesium deficiency in children.  Did you know that when sugar cane is refined to white sugar, it loses 99% of its magnesium? Wheat is also a rich source of magnesium, but 80-96% of it is lost when refined to white flour. Refined salt has practically no magnesium at all.  The consumption of Coke and other soft drinks further decreases the body's ability to absorb magnesium.  The typical high-fat, high-dairy American diet also contains four times more calcium than magnesium, and this unbalanced ratio hinders magnesium absorption as well.  Processed food and poor dietary choices are the real culprits behind magnesium deficiencies and many other health problems of today..

So what is the relationship between magnesium deficiency and ADHD?  Magnesium plays a crucial role in literally hundreds of electrical and chemical processes in the body. These include the regulation of essential proteins and enzymes, as well as the maintenance of  energy levels.  Symptoms of magnesium deficiencies are often mistaken for other health conditions, such as asthma, allergies, and depression.  Recently, scientists have discovered that low magnesium levels are related to childhood ADHD.  A study of 119 children with ADHD revealed that 95% of them had magnesium deficiencies.  In another study that explored using magnesium as a treatment to the disorder, 75 children were divided into two groups – one that was treated with magnesium supplements and ADHD medication while the other received medication only.  The children who received the magnesium supplements showed a remarkable improvement in terms of concentration, irritability, and overall behavior, compared to the medication-only group.

If you suspect that your child may have a magnesium imbalance, you can easily correct this by making dietary adjustments.  Eliminate all junk food and soda in your child's diet, and minimize his or her dairy intake.  Instead of using refined flour, salt, and sugar in your cooking and baking, replace these with ground flax flour, sea salt, and natural sweeteners like molasses or organically dried fruit.  You can also have your child tested to see whether he or she has other deficiencies that need to be addressed.  In the UnRitalin Solution, comprehensive testing for nutrient deficiencies is one of the first things we do to identify the possible triggers of ADHD in the child.  Since there are many environmental triggers that cause ADHD, we like keeping all our bases covered so we can come up with the right drug-free treatment plan,  giving your child a chance to overcome ADHD naturally.