Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

alleged "alternatives" for ADHD

alleged "alternatives" for ADHD2010-06-08T15:24:52+00:00

The Forums Forums Tools, Techniques & Treatments alleged "alternatives" for ADHD

Viewing 0 posts
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
  • Author
  • #88412

    Post count: 14413

    I have to vent about this, so bear with me.

    One Ontario doctor, who’s name I will not mention, is marketing online a $97 two cd set discussing “alternatives” for ADHD.

    Some of what I would consider sham treatments discussed are:

    -Homeopathy, which has been totally discredited by evidence based medicine.

    -Neurofeedback, a course of therapy that has been shown to be of little use for ADHD.

    -Herbal treatments, which have little to no proof of efficacy in ADHD

    -Diet changes and food additives, which sounds a lot like orthomolecular medicine, another approach totally discredited by evidence based medicine.

    How does someone with a medical license get away with marketing such nonsense?

    I’m sorry, but this is bullshit, and we should be righteously angered by the fact that this doctor is preying upon people who are genuinely looking for help for their medical condition. This looks like nothing but a callous and cynical cash grab to me.

    I’d love to hear what others think of this.


    Post count: 71

    I wish I knew what a good alternative to medications would be. I do think there is something to diet. There is a blood test c alled the ALCAT blood test. This blood test actually tests your own blood for foods and chemicals that you are intolerant to. The put the food cells into your live blood and actually see how they react with your blood work. About two years ago I went through thius process and basically did not eat the fooods I was intolerant to. I lost 30 lbs and kept ot off by mostly following the diet and excedrcise.

    Since then I have strayed from the program, put soem weight back on and was diagnosed with ADD about six months ago. I am not saying it is a cure, but just like there appear to be links tpo Gluten and Autisim – I do believe that food is a drug in the sens of how it interacts with your body and could be benfical in controlling symptoms.

    I’m going back on teh program – whuch really is to stay way from the foods I am intolerant to. I do knoiw that I felt very good and clear headed when I was on the program. Why did I stop? STress, bad habits, wanted to consumes the foods that were not good for me, a baby along the way…. Hopefully I can gbet back on the straigt and narrow


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    ***Rant Warning***

    How do they get away with such blatant quackery? Because they know that people are desperate to cling onto any scrap of hope, no matter how slim, if that hope is presented slickly, and as some sort of “secret that THEY don’t want you to know about”. Kevin Trudeau is a master of this sort of con, and has done jail time for it.

    They also get away with it because they know that the regulatory bodies (governmental or medical) won’t step in unless there are formal complaints or a big disaster, and even when they DO step in, it takes months, if not years, for them to complete their investigation and take any action. During that time, the quacks can make obscene amounts of cash from all those desperate people, and spend it or stash it offshore where the officials and victims can’t get hold of it.

    Two outrageous examples, which have me furious that they weren’t ordered off the market years ago, are the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet (now called simply “Q-Ray”, because the “ionized” claim has been completely discredited), and the process of “detoxification” through the soles of the feet.

    The Q-Ray is still being sold, but the infomercials have been cleverly re-edited so as not to make any ACTUAL medical claims. They just have testimonials from an athlete who claims it helped her win gold medals (but I’m pretty sure that it was her genetics and all those hours of training that did it) and from people who claim it made their lives better. The original claim was that the “ions” in the bracelet “energized” them, but that was scientifically proven to be false. The bracelet is just a hunk of metal with a metal bead on each end. No ions present at all, so there’s no way it could “energize” anyone or anything.

    The commercials also claim that the product is “so unique, it was granted a design patent”. This was another change that the company was ordered to make. The original claim was, “…so unique, it’s patented”, which suggested that the process was patented because it actually did energize people. In fact, only the DESIGN was patented, which just means that nobody can make another bracelet that looks like it.

    Another bit of quackery that’s been totally disproven, but is still being sold: technology that claims to suck the toxins out of your body, through the soles of your feet. This involves two methods: Foot pads, or spa baths.

    The pads (sold as “Kinoki” or other “Japanese” names) are stuck to the soles of your feet at night, and in the morning, are damp and full of foul-smelling brown sludge, which the makers claim is “heavy metal toxins” pulled from your body. Actually, the patches work like teabags, and the sludge is just the dried mushroom vinegar powder that was in the pads, mixed with the sweat from your feet.

    The other method of through-the-feet detoxification involves soaking the feet in a bath of water, into which an envelope of the “detox minerals” has been emptied. A mild electric current is run through the bath, and, in a few minutes, lo and behold, the water is brown with all those nasty toxins that were allegedly pulled out through your feet. The REAL reason the water is brown is that those magic “detox minerals” are actually iron salts, and when you mix iron with water, the iron will rust and turn the water brown. This process can be greatly accelerated by the addition of the electric current.

    The most public test of both methods was on “20/20”, which used them on people who had been thoroughly tested for the presence of heavy metals in their bodies. One group had no heavy metals whatsoever in their bodies. The other group had significant heavy metals. The results for both groups were identical, and the brown substances in the foot pads and in the baths were thoroughly analyzed and found to contain NOTHING but the original chemicals present in the pads or baths before the treatments.

    And yet, these phony detox treatments are still openly sold, all over the place. The pads are still on the shelves at Showcase stores, and many spas still charge $50 or more for the “detox foot baths”.

    One more thing: It’s not enough that questionable products and methods are discredited and ordered off the market. Every few years, another company will come out with a “new” device, which is just a re-branded or slightly re-designed version of the discredited one. The most recent example was those abdominal reducing belts which claimed to take off weight through passive exercise—either electric muscle stimulation, or vibrating massage. They were banned, and companies were ordered to recall them and issue refunds to consumers, and the devices disappeared for a few years. Then, last year, the redesigned devices were back on the market and new commercials were back on the air…for a few months, until regulators enforced the earlier ban. But in those few months, think of how much money the companies made! And then there’s “Integrated Listening”, which was banned by the FDA, and caused one doctor who was selling the treatments to lose her license, but is now being sold in a slightly different form (with the patient listening to the sounds on an iPod, instead of on the banned device), to try to skirt the ban.

    If you are the victim of a medical scam, take the time to file formal complaints with the appropriate government regulators (both those which govern medical devices & drugs, and those which govern consumer & marketplace matters) and medical regulators (especially if a doctor is offering or promoting the questionable therapy). The more complaints there are, the more impetus there is for the regulators to step in and take action. And don’t discount the power of getting the media involved too.

    ***Here endeth the rant***


    Post count: 14413

    I’m sorry BAM, but ALCAT testing is not supported by evidence based medicine and is not a reliable diagnostic in any way.

    From the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy:

    “Cytotoxic testing (also known as Bryans’ or ALCAT testing)

    Use: Diagnosis of food sensitivity / allergy.

    Method: A suspension of patient white cells is incubated with dried food extracts on a microscope slide. Changes in the appearance and movement of cells are interpreted as representing a sensitivity or “allergy” to that food. The ALCAT test is a variation, whereby a mixture of blood and food extracts is analysed in an automated Coulter counter.

    Evidence Level: Level II

    Comment: These results have been shown to not be reproducible, give different results when duplicate samples are analysed blindly, don’t correlate with those from conventional testing, and “diagnose” food hypersensitivity in subjects with conditions where food allergy is not considered to play a pathogenic role. “


    ALCAT is not supported or deemed effective by any governing body of immunology/allergy medicine anywhere on the planet.

    More here from respected allergy doctor Adrian Morris in London:

    “The Leucocytotoxic Test (Bryan’s Test)

    Bryan’s Leukocytotoxic test was originally developed in 1956 by Black, and further elucidated by Bryan in 1960. The basis of the test is that if the patient’s white blood cells are mixed with the offending allergen, they swell. The test then measures any swelling of the leukocytes and if a certain threshold of swelling is measured, using a Coulter Counter – a Positive result is recorded. Studies to date have shown poor correlation between this test and clinical allergy. The marketers, who rely on anecdotal evidence of efficacy, do not mention these disappointing clinical studies. A large number of allergens are tested for and patients are usually positive to a number of foods, additives and other agents. Personal communication with Katelaris in Australia and Steinman in South Africa plus Lieberman’s study in USA (9) confirm that preliminary studies on the ALCAT test found no diagnostic accuracy. At present the test is also marketed under the name “Nutron”. Despite claims to the contrary, no large studies have ever shown the test to be accurate despite it being available for over 50 years!

    The original protagonists of the ALCAT test (which includes the Leucocytotoxic test and Nutron Test) could only site a few non-peer reviewed congress abstracts as evidence that it worked. While the antagonists (personal communication with the leading opinion leaders in the field of food allergy such as Bindslev-Jensen, Potter and Katelaris) have substantial data on record to show a poor diagnostic accuracy. The lack of mainstream acceptance of these tests is often blamed on “a conspiracy” by the larger multinational diagnostic companies to try and remove the defenceless opposition from the market. This perception is not a true reflection of the situation.”


    I’m sorry but ALCAT is a fraud and a scam. I have no easy way of saying that, and I don’t want to hurt your feelings or anger you. Whoever sold you on ALCAT is deluded and clearly not a follower of evidence based medicine.


    Post count: 71

    Have you taken the blood test and sen your food intolerances and followed the advice?

    I can only speak from experience and the experience of family members and friends that have have taken the test..

    It was close to a miraculous out come for me and many of my friends, that’s not anecdotal, that is a fact.

    I excercise regularly and over the past 10 years have not been able to mlose any weight. Tried many diet approaches. I suffered from low energy, in attentiveness, lethargic, trouble sleeping, poor pale complexion, bloating and restlessness.

    When I discovered what my body was intolerant two and removed those items from my diet and kept my regular excercise routine, my health and energy sky rocketed. I lost 30 pounds when I couldn’t lose 10 pounds over the last 10 years. I felt great viirtually all of my symptoms went away and my energy went through the roof.

    Additionally, I have referred at least 10 people to the program and 9 of them have seen just as many benefits. The 10th, not so much but she admitted she really did not follow the program that well. It does take discipline and is based on a six month abstinence from intolerant foods and the slowly rotating them back into your diet to see how it affects you.

    I am not offended. It just seems you have a lot of research and hours of home work into alternatives and don’t have anything much to say. It seems you have a habit of researching alternatives but never take the plunge. You seem to speak with great authority, but have zero personal experience.

    I have seen it work wonders for many people personally, including myself. It worked wonders for me, fact not fiction or opinion. So where is the scam?

    As far as it being a scam, I can say it worked for me and did wonders. So I acheived my weight goals and improved virtually all of my symptoms in the REAL WORD – not the CYBER/ PSEUDO-HYPOTHETICAL world. It worked extremely well for me and others, but becasue you say it is a scam – I guess you must be right. All the benefits I have derived from it as well as friends must be an illusion a figment of our imaginations.

    Because a report you read says it is BS – it must be B S? There have been a lot of studies that say ADD is B S – maybe they are right too?

    If you haven’t personally experinced either failure or sucess with it, you really don’t knoiw what you are talking about it. Maybe you should considering trying SOMETHING – anything, it might work for you – rather than sniping from the sidelines.

    My brother lost 40 pounds, clleared up rashes and cured his insomina he had for several years and (actually got him off meds) , got him of nexium as well

    My mother in law – lost 30 lbs, energy went through the roof and it totally cured her bricitis – she had gotten to the point wherte she could not lift her arm above hger head.

    A friend got of medication for stomach problems and cleared up a persitent cough he had for over 10 years

    For me personally – I’ll take a scam like that any day.


    Post count: 14413

    Anecdotal evidence means nothing.


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    The danger with dubious medical tests & treatments is that some people are so convinced that something worked for them, that they cannot accept overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    Which should we trust: The anecdotal evidence of people claiming to have been helped by this testing and treatment, OR the actual scientific proof provided by legitimate medical organizations made up of legitimate medical specialists who have conducted thorough scientific studies?

    First of all, the primary argument against ALCAT testing is the fact that blood-testing is NOT a reliable method of testing for allergies. It produces far too many false positives and other anomalies, which are not supported by subsequent skin tests (which are highly reliable, and, therefore, the approved method of allergy testing).

    Second, the argument in favour of ALCAT is entirely anecdotal. BAM claims it was “miraculous” for them, and then provides further anecdotal evidence involving friends and relatives. These anecdotes cover a wide range of medical conditions, including rashes, insomnia, obesity, bursitis, indigestion, and bronchitis. Maybe those people did see some improvement, but there’s no way of actually proving whether they did or not, or of measuring that improvement. (N.B. – The onus of proof is on those making the claims, not on those disputing them.)

    Also, a hallmark of quack medical cures is that they claim to be miracle cures for a wide range of medical conditions. Such claims are a very effective way to attract a wide range of customers. (I’m just saying.)

    Unfortunately, the anecdotal claims cannot be scientifically proven. The subjects of the “successful cases” cited, did not get tested by legitimate allergists, so there are no legitimate test results to compare to those of the ALCAT. “Real world” testing is not a reliable indicator, as it lacks the proper scientific controls. The arguments cited by Walt are not “CYBER/ PSEUDO-HYPOTHETICAL”. They are the ACTUAL findings of legitimate scientists and medical specialists, from around the world, who conducted extensive testing and investigation. The fact that ALCAT is not covered by any country’s medicare plans, and is even banned in some countries, supports those findings.

    It is not “sniping from the sidelines” to question something, particularly if one can provide substantiating evidence of whether or not the thing is legitimate. But I can understand the feeling behind this. You’re sure it worked for you, and here are all these people saying, “It couldn’t possibly have worked. It’s a scam.”

    Suggesting that people should “try SOMETHING – anything, it might work for you” is playing right into the hands of scammers. If people didn’t have that mentality, then nobody would buy those dubious medical treatments and cures that the quacks are selling. It’s bad enough that the treatments & cures don’t work, but many of them are downright dangerous—not least, because so many people will abandon legitimate medical treatments and put all their faith into the quackery, only to die soon after. If they’d stayed with the legitimate treatments, their chances of survival would have been much higher. This makes the anecdotal evidence which claims that people were able to get off medications by following the ALCAT program, very dangerous, as this could encourage others to abandon their legitimate medications in favour of the questionable “alternative” therapy.

    The statement, “There have been a lot of studies that say ADD is B S – maybe they are right too?” is offensive to this community. But, again, I can understand the feeling behind it.

    As for the statement that we need to “personally experience either failure or success with it”, in order to “know what you are talking about”, well, I don’t need to personally experience sticking my hand into a jar of hydrochloric acid to know that it’s going to result in serious chemical burns. Many others have scientifically proven that, and I trust their findings.

    So I’ll take science, any day.


    Post count: 71

    Did I use the word Allergies once? Maybe you should read a little more carefully and pay attention.

    I’ll take scinece and results for $1,000 Alex.

    The test is for food INTOLERANCES, which is a completely different matter than an Allergy.

    Science can in fact test your blood against food groups to see how they react with your blood work and whitre blood cells. Based on the reactioin it indicates foods that inflame your system or that you are Strongly moderately or mildly intolereant to.

    In science you change one varaible at a time and measure how it effects the experiment. So when I removed the intolerant food groups my condition improved. AT the end of six months I slowly added the intolernat food groups back in one at a time and observed if there were any changes in my condition. When I found symptoms returning, I removed that food group and my condition improved again. It is not a labratory study but does follow a methodology.

    That ‘s all the blood work tests simply indicates things that irritate your system and keeps it from working optimally.

    When I removed the intolerant food groups from my diet, my symptoms went a way, I lost the weight I could not after many previious attempts andI felt great. As did the majority of my friends and relatives. Call it anecodtal, but I don’t have the capability of doing a double blind study with 10,000 participants.

    I just know when I shifted away from the intolernat foods it did what I could never accomplish by any other means of diet and excercise I have tried. When I strayed it went the other way.Food can efffect your body in much the same way medications

    But you know what you have convinced me. My results are scientifically unsound and I’m going to forget about the 30 lbs I lost – with no calorie restrictions and how great I feel when I follow the nutrional advice.

    I’m going back to the old way I used to approach nutrion – I feel so silly. I didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to work and should embrace feeling crappy and being a fat slob. Thanks again, the future seems brighter now and I feel so much better.


    Post count: 71

    P S – it is pretty amazing that the responses can be so negative with out any personal experience. In the sea of alternative options, I agree there are many scams and it sucks and isn’t right and I feel the same as everyone along those lines. Taking advantage of someone who is looking for hope, symptom releif and trying to find a treatment is extremly low behavior and they should be sought ought and prosecuted.

    I do not happen to feel ALCAT falls into the category of a scam or trying to take advantage,

    But also in the sea of alternatives and new methods could lay the key to unlock answers. Some of those new methods will work for some and not for others.

    Look at the posts on neuro feedback – the consensus is that it doesn’t work, but there are people that claim that it worked wonderfully.

    Many people argue the lacebo efffect – who cares? If it worked what is the difference – aside from the costs of capital invested and emotional expectations.

    So – one can say “There is no science to prove it” ( I personally don’t agree) – medcial science has only recently fully embraced the diagnosis of ADD. If you have ADD you know it – but 20 years ago a good portion of the medical community said it didn’t exist. Oh –

    O K – so I thought I had ADD – but my MD says it doesn’t exist – thanks I feel so much better now.

    I’m not saying the ALCAT blood test is for everyone – I’m just saying I had success with it and others I know did to . That is not anecdotal to me, that is real life. If you are looking for a nutritioinal program that MAY help with symptoms – it might be something to look in to.


    Look at adderal – medical worls doesn’t really truly kniw why it helps with ADD – you could argue that is you gave anyone speed they would be more focus and attentive

    Incidently my nutrionist has the following credentials: Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Chemistry and Education, Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition, Diploma in Classical Homeopathy (DSH) from the School of Homeopathy and is currently finishing up her doctorate (PHD)

    I hardly thing this places her in the category of a scam artist. I don’t think that she went through that level of experience and education so she could hock snake oil. Incidently what are your qualifications on the subject, Walt, Larrynxa?

    Additionally, toward the positive what alternative treatments have you found to be effective?


    Post count: 14413

    Diploma in Classical Homeopathy?

    Great. There’s a credential worth having. The “I have a piece of paper saying I can give advice on giving out pills and potions that don’t do a darned thing” diploma.

    Homeopathy is a joke, fraud, and completely discredited by science.

    I’m sorry, but you saying ALCAT working for you and others you know is completely anecdotal – we have to go on your saying so – and the exact opposite of what you are saying. Give me one peer-reviewed article that says ALCAT’s worth more than a bucket of spit, please.

    Do you have any sort of connection to complementary/alternative medicine we should know about?


    Post count: 71

    I have never been treated by a homeopath for any medical condition. This nutrionist happens to have a dilpoma as a homeoptah and is on her way to a traditionlal PHD in nutrition – look I don’t care if you think it works or not. I had a posituve experience and I am sharing that, others can decide if they might benefit or not based on your input, mny input and there own sense of how they work.

    My initial thread was to start a conversation on an alternative that benefited me personally, not to pick a fight. May be this alternative rings true with someone and they would like to try it, maybe it might even help them signifcantly – but your arrogance to flat out discredit it, when you have no personal experience with it – is well arrogant.

    I can undertsand someones apprehension about trying an alternative as I have them myself — and for someone to say “I have heard mixed things or negative things about this alternative – or approach with cautiion and her is why.” – but to call it an outright scam and a fraud with out any personal or physcial knowledge of it is – well is arrogant and closed minded. Is it possible that you don’t actually know everything there is to know about everything?

    I do have an open mind and like the idea that health care professionals examine all alternative options, including homepathic and nutritional options – wasn’t your original conversation about alternatives?

    So if you look it up on line and see a peer review it is now all of a sudden true? Everyone has their patch of real estate they want to protect. I’m sure the medical and pharmaceutical community are stampeding to do unbiased studies about how nutrition may be able to do what medication does.

    I’m sure those peer studies on Prozac and the other horor stories you hear about anti- depressants screwing people up permanently

    really make those people feel better. After all the RX “Independent” company study says it is good for you, so sign on.

    It worked for me and esentially everyone else I know who followed the nutritional advice – and you say it didn’t work. I just don’t know how you can support that – because you don’t know whether it worked or not. Is that anecdotal? Who cares? I feel great when I apply it and all is right with the world. Call it what you like, you just seem incredibly closed minded. Maybe it does work for a ceratin part of the population or even the majority of the population if there was a main stream “peer study” . Most MD no very little about nutritin and the effects on health – they still use the governtment food pyramid for ctying out loud.

    So far the only traditional medical teatment I have received for ADD was a questionnaire and a littany of medication to try, by trial and error. Nothing about increasing excercise, changing diet, mediation, mental excercises – just “Here try this pill and see me in a month.”

    Out of curiousity have you found ANY alternative treatments that you have personally tried that have been successful? Have yoiu actually tried any alternative treatments to see how they effect you in your real life?… or do you prefer to rely on studies to draw that conclusion for you.

    I have no link to ALCAT or homeopathy – what is your relationship to the traditional medical and pharmaceutical community.


    Post count: 14413

    None whatsoever.

    I happen to be rational, and skeptical of pseudo-medical woo-woo, that’s all.


    Post count: 14413

    And oh, you didn’t fully answer the question. I know you have no link to ALCAT or homeopathy, but do you have any links to complementary/alternative medicine?


    Post count: 71

    Over all I am pretty healthy and have only utilized traditional medical doctors and treatment here in the U S for annual examines and regular medcial ailmnets and normal medical RX for antibiotics etc.

    Accept for recent diagnosis at age 45 of ADD and recnt RX for Adderal XR – I have never taken any medication, had a surgery or spent a night in the hospital, thanks to God.

    and oh, you did not fully answer my question – I am assuming “None what so ever.” – was referrring to the fact you had no connections with traditional medcial or Pharma –

    What about my question: “Out of curiousity have you found ANY alternative treatments that you have personally tried that have been successful? Have yoiu actually tried any alternative treatments to see how they effect you in your real life?…

    If not why not? If so, what worked.

    Lastly, assuming traditional medicine is working well for you, why are you interested in pursuing alternatives.


    Post count: 14413

    No. I’m entirely a layperson. I was a teacher, I now work in car and property insurance. Don’t have a single doctor, nurse, pharmaceutical rep, or pharmacist in my family either.

    Once I did something “alternative”. Some idiot told me st. john’s wort was helpful for depression. Worst 6 months of my life. It didn’t do a damned thing for me. Waste of money and time, and because I was so damned miserable, I ended up not speaking to my sister for three years because I said something stupid to her while depressed and she cut me out of her life. We reconciled, thank goodness.

    One of my best friends from childhood was treated for depression successfully for about 10 years going on from the start of high school. Then some quack told her she didn’t need therapy or pharmaceuticals, she needing “healing” and some herbal remedies.

    She killed herself about 6 months after discontinuing her normal medication. There are real-world consequences to people pitching woo-woo nonsense. I might still have my friend if she had known then what I know about complementary/alternative medicine.

    I AM NOT interested in pursuing alternatives. If you paid close attention I was giving that doctor in Ontario hell for peddling CD’s discussing “alternate” therapies. You’ll notice both in the original post and here “alternate” is in quotes, because I think that’s just a nice cover word for “crap that doesn’t work”.

    What this thread was originally about is how does an Ontario licensed medical doctor justify making money off discussing “alternative” therapies that according to the normal medical community are completely worthless and worse, may even do harm?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)