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lgliser

multivitamin for adhd

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I've been reading a lot about vitamins/supplements a kid can take to help with ADHD. There are quite a few and I could get them separately but does anyone know of a multivitamin that might have the things she needs so she just has to take one or two pills?

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What are you seeing? I've never looked for a multi-vitamin labeled for ADHD. The idea almost seems preposterous to me. The ADHD is related to dopamine levels, which means you'd want l-tyrosine. There are some studies on that. There is some research behind phosphatidylcholine for other reasons that I don't think are particularly ADHD. But that's like a totally different process in the body. Your ADHD meds are affecting dopamine uptake and l-tyrosine is in that dopamine production process. That's the only thing that is legit and tight, with research showing some results of l-tyrosine as effective as Vyvnase. Everything else is speculation or tangential. (anxiety, general calming, sometimes even a sedative effect like gaba or chamomile)

My concern in giving a kid something is that you aggravate something else you don't realize is there. I have one kid with COMT defects who becomes really unpleasant (I'm understating it here) with methyls and another with MTHFR defects whose energy tanks with even a normal b vitamin supplement. 

So what product are you looking at? Have you run genetics to know if you're going to have interactions or unwanted side effects? It's cheap now, maybe $69 on sale with 23andme. 

Edited by PeterPan

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36 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

What are you seeing? I've never looked for a multi-vitamin labeled for ADHD. The idea almost seems preposterous to me. The ADHD is related to dopamine levels, which means you'd want l-tyrosine. There are some studies on that. There is some research behind phosphatidylcholine for other reasons that I don't think are particularly ADHD. But that's like a totally different process in the body. Your ADHD meds are affecting dopamine uptake and l-tyrosine is in that dopamine production process. That's the only thing that is legit and tight, with research showing some results of l-tyrosine as effective as Vyvnase. Everything else is speculation or tangential. (anxiety, general calming, sometimes even a sedative effect like gaba or chamomile)

My concern in giving a kid something is that you aggravate something else you don't realize is there. I have one kid with COMT defects who becomes really unpleasant (I'm understating it here) with methyls and another with MTHFR defects whose energy tanks with even a normal b vitamin supplement. 

So what product are you looking at? Have you run genetics to know if you're going to have interactions or unwanted side effects? It's cheap now, maybe $69 on sale with 23andme. 

I don't really feel like I"m talking about something preposterous. I read articles like: 

https://draxe.com/natural-remedies-adhd/?fbclid=IwAR0OBE4shioKPu1BUbgOcWMDoMtitfBqLK-GbfTSKoOZh5bgf1bdWi84NJo

It talks about vitamin B, calcium, magnesium... things like that. So I just wondered if anyone on here knew of a multivitamin that had things that are commonly recommended for kids with ADHD. Not like some ADHD miracle vitamin or something.

She hasn't ever done a genetics test, nor has she been diagnosed with anything other than ADHD. I guess I'd assume that if I start giving her a vitamin and it has a negative effect, she would stop using it.

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Well that's why I asked what particular product you were looking at. I'm with you, stuff like calcium and magnesium are going to be universally fine, not likely to cause problems. I give my ds calcium and magnesium, so go for it.

The fish oil doesn't work for everyone. Some people do better on an inulin product instead of probiotics. The vitamin B can have issues if the kid has methylation defects.

The GABA is the most astonishing one on that list, because it's STRONG STUFF. 

So here's the challenge to me, and I use a lot of supplements. My ds takes supplements, but one they don't cure ADHD and two he struggles to self-advocate and say how they're making him feel. This is true with prescription meds too, where parents give stuff, symptoms or side-effects start, and the parents can't tell if it's the kid or the supplement.

So look up GABA, but that's astonishing to me as an option. It's wicked strong with side effects. The rest won't reverse ADHD symptoms.

Research l-tyrosine. Take the other stuff if you want, but l-tyrosine actually has research behind it with dosings that, if you hit them, are working as well as Vyvanse, the $$$$ med my dd takes. Nothing else on that list will do that.

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The other thing I do, and you may think this is crazy, but I take stuff myself if I'm giving it to my ds. Obviously our kids are 50% our genes, more or less, so if there are going to be reactions they're probably going to line up with one of the parents. So like calcium, sure, fine, that's safe. But GABA? I have an adult friend who took it and her reaction was so strong (and it was prescribed by a doctor mind you) that my eyebrows go sky high every time I see it on lists for children, for people who are non-verbal, for anyone who can't self-advocate. That's just my opinion. But you know give the product to yourself and your dh first and see how you feel on it... It's not foolproof, but it's a way.

The parent test would not have caught my dd's reaction to b vitamins. It's so subtle at first that I just thought it was personality. Like a B vitamin multivitamin (what I was giving her) should be universally fine, right? But I have COMT and MTHFR defects while my dd only has the MTHFR. So mine sort of neutralize out, making the issues with Bs less obvious than hers. 

So it's not like guaranteed, but it's another way. 

Here, this may have been the study. There have probably been more. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3035600/ I'm just scanning that again and I didn't realize or remember it mentioned 5HTP. We started that based on genetics and it's great stuff when you need it. My dd FINALLY started it. She's using the l-tyrosine on top of her Vyvanse and likes that, and she's slowly working up the 5HTP. That's a trick with her MTHFR defects, because it drops your methyl levels. I think she's drinking orange juice and just doing things to keep them up. She's also old enough to self-advocate.

Some of these reactions are really not quite as obvious as you'd think. It's really easy to think they're having a bad day or being bad or this or that. At least for me, I find that part challenging. 

So again, I have my ds on supplements in pretty stiff doses every day:

calcium, magnesium, flax oil (he reacts to fish oil), 5HTP, niacin, and a dab of vitamin C, occasional fiber (inulin) and occasional probiotics. None of those make squat difference on his ADHD. If somebody is selling a product with a bunch of nice, otherwise healthful things and one thing that is basically gonna sedate the kid, well no joke the kid is gonna seem more calm. I use Calm Child on him on occasion, and I've seen in print people suggesting to use it daily for ADHD. That really blows my mind. Doesn't address the dopamine and brain chemicals AT ALL but now the kid is sedated and easier to work with.

Whatever. That's just how I process it. There's a lot out there now about the brain chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, etc.)and you can sort through it. 

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The other thing I do, and you may think this is crazy, but I take stuff myself if I'm giving it to my ds. Obviously our kids are 50% our genes, more or less, so if there are going to be reactions they're probably going to line up with one of the parents.

That doesn't sound crazy at all. I never thought of it but I like the idea. 

Quote

My ds takes supplements, but one they don't cure ADHD and two he struggles to self-advocate and say how they're making him feel.

I mean, nothing CURES it, right? I guess the hope is it help with the symptoms. One of dd's big things is impulse control, which results in outbursts. Also anxiety. So if some supplements can help calm her down, then hooray. She hates it when she loses control.

You definitely have me extremely leery about GABA though!

I don't know. It's always so overwhelming trying to figure out how to help her. Meds, therapy, supplements, testing..... I never know if I'm doing the right thing.

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48 minutes ago, lgliser said:

One of dd's big things is impulse control, which results in outbursts. Also anxiety. So if some supplements can help calm her down, then hooray. She hates it when she loses control.

So now you've moved on to the better question, which is what actually would help. :biggrin:

Yes, there's evidence that magnesium improves anxiety, and it's actually part of the cycle on the methylation charts. So taking an age-appropriate, recommended dose of a calcium/magnesium product (not just what is in the multi but the appropriate dose) would make sense, yes. It was the first thing a nutritionist told me to do when my ds started showing signs of anxiety. Does it HELP? Who knows. I use an inexpensive product                                             Nature's Way Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D, 250 Capsules                                       My ds gets 9 of those a day divided over B/L/S. He also gets 2 of a Nature's Way magnesium a day, usually 1 at Breakfast and one at Supper. Oh, and I should caveat that my ds gets almost no cow milk and refuses alternative milks most of the time, which is why I'm pretty obsessive about making sure he's actually getting his proper dose.

On the anxiety, if you run the 23andme test and put the raw data (easy to download) through the engine at KnowYourGenetics.com you'll see quickly if she has any major issues you should know about like with her vitamin D (a mood stabilizer), or methylation which would affect her B vitamins. So the 23andme testing will go on sale for $69 and running the data through that other site is free. Then you can run the data through promethease, which will cost you a little more ($10) but be searchable. You can look for the TPH2 gene to see if any of her SNPs (allele pairs) have defects. If they do, then she can take 5HTP.

So at that point you have two things to stabilize mood that are dealing with root causes. So like if you go take theanine, GABA, whatever, they work, yeah, but I like that idea that I could actually go in and find the exact glitch that was causing the anxiety. And it's literally that easy. 

There's more you can do with that data once you have it. It's pretty interesting actually. I started my ds on a stiff dose of vitamin D (along with K2 to make it work better) and 5HTP after running genetics on him. We got RADICAL behavior changes. Vitamin D will function as a mood stabilizer and the 5HTP will improve serotonin and melatonin levels. So anything in the realm of anxiety, depression, and sleep problems may improve within those.

Then we get to the anxiety, sigh. I don't have a great option. She's on stimulant meds for the ADHD? They're the only thing I know of that is evidence-based. Your other option is some cognitive therapy, something based on mindfulness and improving her self-awareness and self-regulation. Using meds and using these strategies are not mutually exclusive. Zones of Regulation is enough for some kids. You can google and get a good sense of it. For some kids that's literally all it takes to pick up the clue phone. Some kids need a lot more, so you'd back up to Interoception or connect her with a psychologist or counselor who is trained in mindfulness and CBT strategies.

Which child is this having the self-regulation issues? Age? That's really hard, because you're sorting out whether you can find an underlying cause and treat it (you might) or whether working on self-regulation would help (yes) or what. If the dc is eligible for ADHD stimulant meds, I would do them and be done with it. Reality is that paired with behavioral interventions they can be highly effective. It sounds like she is wanting options, so then maybe put EVERYTHING on the table. I wouldn't do just one thing. Like I'm not saying only meds. But in a situation like that meds plus some vitamins plus the behavioral supports can be really strong!

If it makes you feel any better or gives you the nudge, I put my dd on meds around 15, in her 2nd year of high school. She didn't regret waiting overall but wished she had had them a bit before, like by 9th. And I got her counseling with psychs, etc. specializing in ADHD. People don't talk about this a lot, so it's not something that people are like oh yeah. I'm just telling you it's super common to need to bring in cognitive strategies and stuff for awareness and problem solving in these highly capable kids. It's not a statement of failure but the opposite, that they have such HIGH POTENTIAL that we're going to bring in the BEST TOOLS.

The Zones of Regulation: A Concept to Foster Self-Regulation ...www.zonesofregulation.com/

What is Interoception?

So as far as calming herself down, well you can look for patterns in when the behaviors are occurring. I would data log and look for antecedents, what the behavior was including duration, and how her attempts at various strategies went. Has she had an OT eval? If you can get an OT who specializes in this, you might make some progress. If no, the Interoception curriculum is easy enough to do yourself. The assessment is $25 and easy to administer. Ooo, they're on sale for $15 with free shipping!!!                                   Interoception Assessment Forms                              What's interesting about the assessment is that you see where the breakdown is occurring. The dc may realize what they're feeling but not have noticed their triggers or not have developed effective strategies. So the assessment will hit all those components.

I'd love to be able to say take that pill and the impulsivity poofs, lol. And maybe if some kid isn't on any vitamins, is deficient, and he takes those, for a while comparatively he seems better. So take vitamins, sure, but you're probably going to need ALL the tools on the table. Have you seen this article? https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=Social Thinking Social Communication Profile

Edited by PeterPan

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49 minutes ago, lgliser said:

I never know if I'm doing the right thing.

I don't think it's about the right thing, honest. I think it's that we had solutions that were enough to meet the level of need and then the level of demand and the support needed increased and it's time for more tools. So you could have made the right choices before and now you just are seeing the need for more tools. She may be more ready now to use those tools. 

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Just a total aside, but a few more things that help anxiety that are not in the realm of no longer needs medications or supplements but just more like helpful... oatmeal, split pea soup, and halibut. Like if you do oatmeal every day, split pea soup every day, within a week or two you might notice a small difference. Halibut is expensive, so like 3-4 days a week, alternating with your other proteins (chicken, tofu, eggs, whatever). They're things I do myself based on the advice of a nutritionist I used for years, and they help, yes. I think maybe she felt like they were filling in some of the other pieces nutritionally that get deficient. Split pea soup especially is such a marvel. It's very noticeable the effect, at least for me. My friends laugh about it, like oh you're really agitated/anxious/nervous, you should go eat some split pea soup, lol. 

Edited by PeterPan

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Unfortunately, the amounts needed would probably make for horse pills.  And there are probably too many manifestations of adhd for a single multivitamin.  

my Ds takes a chewable for teen boys (Source of Life Power Teen for him —. They make for her too... don’t know if they have little kids ones, but maybe a younger child would be okay with teen one...I think it’s package marketing more than anything)  currently because it has cool packaging and is ... chewable, 2 per day.  Plus he takes Bone Solid which has minerals, K, and D, etc.   plus B vitamins (sometimes) and C (sometimes), and fish oil (sometimes).    On any particular day his chewable (s), plus maybe 4 or so capsules that get swallowed.   It’s a sort of compromise between too many pills and getting in the stuff to sort of rotate through things.  He decides what he feels most needed.

 

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We tried all of the things...

high quality fish oil

FocusFactor

high mineral blends (magnesium, b-spectrum, etc.)

l-tyrosine and l-theanine

GFCF diet with no sugars, dyes, preservatives, nightshades, etc.--heavy on salmon and other Omega3s

 

We spun our wheels at it for a few years and you know what works for my kid? Vyvanse + methylphenidate (Ritalin).   Like, it WORKS.  (And we had to fail Intuniv/Guanfacine, and three or four other meds to get there.)  Looking back, I regret that we spent so much time spinning our wheels. My kid lost out on a lot of social experiences, a lot of instruction, and a lot of interpersonal family dynamics because we were stuck on behaviors.  I really wish someone would've just been blunt and said, "Meds are amazing. It gives the brain a chance to work on learning better behaviors."  So, I'm being vulnerable and out there and tossing that out there....

(Also, fwiw, there is NO comparison between l-tyrosine and Vyvanse 30 mg for my kid.)

 

Edited by prairiewindmomma
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Thanks, everyone. She's 12 and has tried Vyvanse and Focalin. They upset her stomach. But it's been about a year. I'd be willing to try again. Right now she's on Strattera and Clonidine. It's been a little over a month and I don't think it's making much of a difference. 

I'm not against meds, but I hate all the trial and error that comes with it. Different amounts, different combos. It's all just so frustrating. 

I was hoping vitamins could be magical and more natural. LOL

Peter Pan, you've given me a lot to think about with genetics and all that!

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this is the one I give my daughter. It was recomended by my dietician. I only give her one a day and I take the other one. It has methlyated B vitamins but not in high quantities. 

Thorne Research - Basic Nutrients 2 / Day - Complete Multivitamin/Mineral Formula

look into Broccoli sprouts. They are easy to grow and I have had great success in having a jar on the counter. Everyone in the family eats them and they are outstanding for the brain.  I do it for Breast cancer but my whole family loves them and I noticed improvement. search youtube and nutritionfacts.org

lots of good info: have you tried just taking her off dairy? my daughter calmed down significantly just by doing that and adding greens to her diet ( she does not have adhd but is in those preteen years and acts like a ferral cat"

 

 

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4 hours ago, lgliser said:

has tried Vyvanse and Focalin. They upset her stomach. But it's been about a year. I'd be willing to try again. Right now she's on Strattera and Clonidine. It's been a little over a month and I don't think it's making much of a difference. 

Maybe what you could do is see a pediatric p-doc (psychiatrist), get the medications sorted out till you have a mix that is really working for her, then go back to your ped just to maintain things. 

4 hours ago, lgliser said:

Peter Pan, you've given me a lot to think about with genetics and all that!

Yup, look into it! It's inexpensive and it's getting easier to dig in and get actionable info. My dd is now, on her own, beginning to add in supplements based on the genetics. For her, she likes the Vyvanse plus a little l-tyrosine and a little 5HTP. The TPH2 gene is what you look for on saying you'd need the 5HTP. It's literally so easy, like run the test, go to promethease, upload your raw data, search the data promethease kicks out, and there it will be. Ok, I make it sound easy, but really it's not that bad. :biggrin:

As far as non-medication options, you're wanting CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), mindfulness for the anxiety, etc. You might look into Interoception and just see if it's an issue for her. Between the impulsivity of the ADHD and the anxiety she's got a lot there she could be self-monitoring and using strategies for. Like you say, it's not like meds are the ONLY option. And everything works better when you're more aware and using strategies. Meds do not make things go away.

Edited by PeterPan

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Btw, I knew I was thinking of Mightier for someone and couldn't remember who! Your dd might be a really good candidate for Mightier. It would just be a quick and dirty way to get her to start attending to her body and her body signals. It's not EVERYTHING, but it's a start. Like the full Interoception program is going to have them attending not only to heartbeat but everything (hands, skin, eyes, stomach, etc.) and building them into affective and hypostatic emotions and then realizing how those are showing up not only in ourselves but others. For some people, going through that full process is really helpful! You can see if she needs that by doing the quick assessment Under $25 with free shipping https://www.aapcpublishing.net/interoception-assessment-forms.html  

So Mightier is software with a heartrate monitor. It has a small start cost, but we did it and got an awareness bump. It's in the might help, won't hurt category. Cogmed software is totally different and will hit your EF and working memory issues, which can bump function in some kids. Zones of Regulation is your overall self-regulation option, and it's going to have 4 zones (red, yellow, green, blue) and makes the assumption the dc is connected to how he feels and can self-monitor. If she has trouble with self-awareness, even with prompts, then I would back up and doing the Interoception work. Learning how to do the body scans and doing them regularly is an EVIDENCE-BASED STRATEGY for the anxiety. When you're saying you want her off meds or want to decrease meds, then she needs to increase those self-monitoring strategies so she can understand what is going on and learn how to make choices. With the Interoception curriculum, they're going to make body scan folders in an age-appropriate way and develop feel good strategies to help themselves deal with what they're feeling. The Zones of Reg is a bit more quick and dirty, making more assumptions, but really some kids with ADHD are super stellar with it, like it's just enough and the lightbulbs go off.

So anyways, those are more non-med things to look into. I'm an all of the above, lets have all our tools and choose the tools that help us kinda person. Going to a pdoc you should be able to get CBT, and again that's going to bring in mindfulness, being more aware of her body, making intentional choices. A 12 yo is so, so ready for that shift. As long as she's developmentally typical, she's probably ready to start taking ownership for some of this with good intervention. It would be one of the perks with finding the right pdoc. Sometimes there are psychs (psychologists) who specialize in CBT who will do that counseling. It just gives you options.

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