Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) gets a lot of attention in the news these days, and it seems to be getting more and more common. I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at ADHD and assess at least a little bit of the information about it. While ADHD can exist in people of any age, it most commonly starts in childhood, which is the focus of this newsletter.
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Volume 8, Issue 5

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)


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Understanding ADHD

ADHD is believed to affect 5-10% of children - estimates vary depending on the criteria used for diagnosis. While a greater percentage of children are currently treated for ADHD than in the past, this is likely due to greater awareness of the condition and increasing treatment options.
Signs and symptoms of ADHD
Some difficulty in focusing and paying attention is normal but, in children with ADHD, these symptoms are severe enough to cause difficulty at home, at school, and with friends. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behaviour, and hyperactivity (over-activity). These symptoms make it difficult for a child to succeed in school, get along with other children or adults, and finish tasks.
Diagnosis is complex, and there is no single test for ADHD. A medical exam is necessary to rule out other problems with similar symptoms. A checklist may be used for rating ADHD symptoms and taking a history of the child. Click here for an example of a downloadable pdf checklist.
What causes ADHD?
There are a lot of theories regarding the cause(s) of ADHD but the fact is, the causes are not known with any degree of precision.
It has been reported that in identical twins, there is a 72-83% probability that both will have ADHD. But in non-identical, same-sex twins the probability is 21-45%. This makes it clear that ADHD is not solely a genetic condition but very likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Environmental factors that have been associated with ADHD include:
  • the mother's smoking during pregnancy
  • significant head injuries (in a small percentage of cases)
  • exposure to lead at a young age
  • exposure to insecticides
  • low birth weight


How can symptoms be alleviated?

While prescription medications for ADHD benefit some people, they do not have the same effect on everyone, and there is always the possibility of adverse effects, especially with long term use. I would suggest a cautious approach to using them, and offer a number of other possibilities that may help either in combination with, or instead of, prescription medications.
Research shows that behaviour therapy is an important part of treatment of ADHD. Children with ADHD often show behaviours that can be very disruptive to others. Behaviour therapy can help reduce these behaviours, and involves both the parents and the child.
  • In parent training in behaviour therapy, parents learn new skills to teach and guide their children to manage their behaviour. This has been shown to strengthen the relationship between the parent and child, and to decrease the child's negative or problem behaviours.
  • In behaviour therapy with children, a therapist works with the child to learn new behaviours to replace those that don't work or cause problems. The therapist may also help the child learn to express feelings in ways that do not create problems for the child or other people.
Exercise has been described as an 'ADHD medication’. A study published in 2014 found that a 12-week exercise program improved math and reading test scores in all kids but especially in those with signs of ADHD. This would be because executive functioning is impaired in ADHD, and is related to performance in math and reading, but exercise improves it. Another study found that just 26 minutes of daily physical activity for 8 weeks significantly allayed ADHD symptoms in grade-school children.
Diet may affect the severity of ADHD symptoms, and it's important to eliminate food sensitivities, as well as to eat healthy food.
  • Food sensitivities are often an important factor in ADHD. In particular, children are often sensitive to sugar and dairy products, and also crave them. If you know anyone who could benefit from identifying and correcting their food sensitivities (with or without ADHD), please contact me for an appointment at 613.829.0427.
  • Food dyes and additives affect many people with ADHD. It can help to eliminate or at least reduce consumption of food dyes and additives (i.e. processed foods). Again, we can test (in a non-invasive way) to find out exactly what a person's sensitivities are - please call for an appointment and eliminate the guess work.
  • Levels of omega-3 tend to be low in people with ADHD, and supplementation may be helpful.
  • Vitamin supplementation can be beneficial, and may have greater benefits for malnourished people.
  • Mineral deficiencies have been demonstrated in studies of hair and blood of people with ADHD; namely, low magnesium, zinc and iron.
  • Studies have also revealed toxic mineral burden in people with ADHD, notably of manganese, cadmium and aluminum.


What is one to do?

A diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and good sources of protein is sure to benefit those with ADHD, as well as everybody else. Avoid trans fats, added sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. A healthy diet may reduce symptoms of ADHD by reducing exposure to artificial colours and additives. It will certainly improve overall health and nutrition. Exercise is a very important part of treatment of ADHD, and behaviour therapy training for both children and parents can make a major difference to the quality of life of both.


Supplements for Success

Passion FlowerThere are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that clients find very helpful for alleviating symptoms of ADHD.


You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Passion flower
  • Omega-3
  • Focus ATN

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Visit our website where you can see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.



  1. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder Accessed August 8, 2016.
  2. Causes of ADHD. medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/spring14/articles/spring14pg15-16.html Accessed August 11, 2016. 
  3. Facts about ADHD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html Accessed  August 8, 2016. 
  4. What causes ADHD? netdoctor.co.uk/conditions/adhd/a5225/what-causes-adhd/ Updated January 23, 2014.
  5. Causes of ADHD: What we know today. healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/adhd/Pages/Causes-of-ADHD.aspx Updated November 21, 2015. 
  6. Hamblin J. Exercise is ADHD medication. The Atlantic. theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/exercise-seems-to-be-beneficial-to-children/380844/ Accessed August 9, 2016. 
  7. Mercola J. Exercise can be an ADHD medication. fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/10/17/exercise-adhd-medication.aspx October 17, 2014. 
  8. Dye JM. Nutritional and dietary treatments for ADHD. healing-arts.org/children/ADHD/nutritional.htm#return Accessed August 11, 2016. 
  9. Diet and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Harvard Mental Health Letter. health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Diet-and-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder Accessed  August 9, 2016.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.


Amazing... I’m feel better already!! I’ve been experiencing adrenal exhaustion, not being able to sleep and daily headache from dehydration, so now am taking some herbal supplements, a tonic and vitamins to get my groove back!! After 3 days I’m already sleeping better and headaches are just about gone.
- Tracey S, Ottawa

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