Conventional medical doctors often overlook the important role played by essential fatty acids in the human body, and rarely suggest that fatty acid deficiencies are related to certain chronic disorders. However, there is mounting evidence that supports the role played by essential fatty acid deficiencies in the pathology of various chronic disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Essential fatty acids are special types of fat our body cannot make. We therefore need to get them in our diet. Unfortunately, the typical Western diet, which is made up of processed food, transfats, and empty calories, is highly deficient in essential fatty acids. It is not surprising that children and adults with ADHD are typically found to have low levels of essential fatty acids. Research also suggests that children with the lowest levels of essential fatty acids have more pronounced behavioral, learning, and health problems.
Symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiencies include learning difficulties, frequent urination, excessive thirst, dry skin and hair, and hyperactivity disorders. If any of these symptoms are present, then it's best to have your child go through an essential fatty acid analysis. Since a fatty acid deficiency among children with ADHD is very common, it is important that your child go through this test so we can ascertain with precision which type of essential fatty acids your child will require as part of his comprehensive natural approach to overcoming ADHD.
A fatty acid analysis is a non-invasive procedure done in many laboratories; it requires a blood sample. Since fatty acids reside in cell membranes, one of the best ways to measure fatty acid levels is to examine the membranes of red blood cells. The blood test will require an overnight fast of at least 12 hours, followed by a collection of the blood sample.
A stool sample may also be used for essential fatty acid analysis, but if you are to take this route, then you might as well have a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CSDA) done. A CSDA is a very thorough test made up of 25 procedures designed to investigate gastrointestinal health. Using specific markers, a CSDA can identify how well your child is absorbing essential nutrients, fatty acids, proteins, and carbohydrates. More importantly, however, a CSDA can also identify specific gastrointestinal problems that may be preventing proper absorption of nutrients. Among these are intestinal permeability (leaky gut), bacterial infections, gut flora imbalances, or yeast infections.
Poor nutrition is not the only cause of an essential fatty acid deficiency. Your child may have gastrointestinal problems we don't know about. All the omega-3 fatty acid supplements in the world cannot correct the condition if the gut cannot absorb these nutrients properly. Once the root cause of the deficiency is clear, it will be easier for us to formulate the right treatment plan that will address your child's unique needs.
Ask your holistic health care practitioner to consider doing an essential fatty acid test on your child. If you want more information on how to improve your child's diet so that he or she can get more essential fatty acids in his or her meals, please check out our UnRitalin Solution.