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Avoid the triggers for ADHD

Updated: April 7, 2013 6:01AM

Q. It seems like half the kids in my son’s fourth-grade class are diagnosed with ADHD. What’s going on? Am I imagining things?

A. Well, no, you are not imagining things. A recent report states that between 2000 and 2010 there was a 90 percent increase in the number of black girls diagnosed with ADHD, and overall diagnoses jumped 24 percent.

How does such an increase happen? One answer could be that there’s an increase in the diagnosis, not in incidence, of ADHD. Another possibility is that, at least in part, the jump is caused by kids’ cumulative exposure to triggers right around the time they’re born and as they’re growing up.

Some studies indicate that hormone disrupters, such as BPA (bisphenol A), found in plastics and household products (microwave ovenware, linings of food cans and even cellphones) may contribute to developing ADHD.

What can you do to reduce your family’s exposure to such potentially harmful chemicals?

† Avoid all paper receipts. Most have BPA or BPS (bisphenol S); they have the same effect. You don’t absorb BPA/BPS through the skin. However, if you get it on your hands and then touch your mouth or food — bingo! — you get 1,000 times the dose that you’d get from food or drink packaged in plastic.

† Opt for fresh, not prepackaged or prepared foods.

† Choose beverages in glass bottles.

† Try to reduce your use of plastics whenever possible (we know it’s difficult).

And make choices that keep your immune system strong and inflammation to a minimum: That means no trans fats and few saturated fats, no added sugar or sugar syrups, no grains that aren’t 100 percent whole and lots of physical activity. Have adults in your family take 1,000 IU of vitamin D-3 and give kids the age-appropriate dose listed on the label.

Q. So Lance Armstrong finally came clean. But he never tested positive for drugs. How did he get away with doping all those years? And can we ever trust athletes not to be dopers?

A. Armstrong had a lot of help along the way. He said he would get clean weeks before his races, and he was tipped-off ahead of time before “random” testing was going to happen. But he wouldn’t be so successful at dodging detection today. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) now uses a protocol called the Athlete Biological Passport. By Armstrong’s own admission, it would have identified him for sure.

The Athlete’s Biological Passport is a snapshot of an athlete’s base physiology. Using a set of selected biological markers, it shows screeners exactly what the athlete’s biochemistry looks like when it is unaltered. That profile is good for a few decades.

King Features Syndicate

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