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5 Overlooked Causes of Child Behavior Problems

by Jaime A. Heidel
See all TBYIL articles by Jaime A. Heidel

(The Best Years in Life) Millions of children are placed on psychotropic drugs to "correct" their behavior with little regard to how their ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc. might have developed in the first place. Instead of looking for a root cause, these children are simply doped up to be less of a disruption.  With more reports of school shootings being linked to children taking psychotropic drugs or weaning off of them, a more critical-thinking approach is needed...and fast.

5 Overlooked Causes of Child Behavior Problems

1.      Malnutrition

Even if your child is fed three meals a day plus snacks, he may still be severely malnourished. This can be caused by several factors:

·         Poor Diet

Most parents who feed their children fast food, canned food, microwavable meals, and sugary drinks are completely unaware of negative health effects associated with them. They were served these foods as children and are simply continuing with the status quo. 

Food additives such as aspartame, MSG, and certain food dyes have all been shown to be neurotoxic to both children and adults. The insidious brain cell destruction caused by these additives can lead to bad behavior.

·         Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies often occur as the result of a poor diet and/or malabsorption of nutrients due to a digestive disorder such as celiac or crohn's disease. The most common deficiencies associated with child behavior problems are vitamin D3, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and omega 3 fatty acids.

·         Gluten Intolerance 

Gluten sensitivity is a real condition often overlooked as a source of behavior problems in children. If it's not full-blown, diagnosable celiac disease, many physicians pass it over as the culprit. In his book, "Grain Brain", Dr. David Perlmutter outlines the devastating effects gluten can have on your child's developing nervous system (even if digestive problems are absent).

 

2.      Bullying

Is your child being bullied at school? She may be too embarrassed to tell you. According to studies, even occasional verbal abuse from peers may cause significant neurocognitive damage that lasts well into adulthood.

Those who reported being bullied in their younger years had observable abnormalities in a part of their brains called the corpus callosum, a thick bundle of fibers connecting the right and left hemispheres of the brain. When this area is damaged, it creates difficulty with visual processing, memory formation and retention, social function, and sleep.

Furthermore, the high stress of bullying causes a malfunction in cortisol production. In boys, this stress hormone seems to be over-produced and in girls, there is a reduction. In either instance, this results in withdrawn, anti-social, or violent behavior depending on individual temperament and circumstance. 

3.      Misophonia

Misophonia is a sound sensitivity disorder that affects the way the sensory system responds to certain "trigger sounds". The sounds of chewing, swallowing, throat-clearing or even loud breathing are intolerable to the listener, causing meltdowns, irrational emotional response, and even violent behavior directed at the one making the noises. This condition often surfaces as the child is entering his or her "tween" years but it can develop earlier. 

4.      Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

If you have a child that is into sports or rough play, he or she may have taken a few knocks on the head you never heard about. Mild traumatic brain injury occurs when there a forceful movement of the head or a blow to the head that causes internal damage. Sometimes, the child simply gets up and keeps going, only to present with observable behavior problems weeks or months later.

5.      Pyrrole Disorder (Pyroluria)

Pyrrole disorder (pyroluria) is a rare genetic disorder that causes an extreme deficiency in zinc, vitamin B6, and magnesium. It can also interfere with the proper absorption of a long-chain omega-6 fat called arachidonic acid. This condition causes children to become extremely emotionally sensitive and unable to tolerate disruption in their routine. They often tire easily and may fly into fits of rage-filled hysteria over the slightest provocation.

Unlike the nutritional deficiencies caused by poor diet or digestive disorders, pyroluria cannot easily be corrected with a nourishing diet alone. They first need to be evaluated for the disorder by a specific urine screen that checks for a called  a metabolite called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL). If the condition is found, the child should experience complete remission of symptoms when placed on prescription-strength nutritional supplements.

If your child is presenting with behavior problems and your doctor is pushing drugs, seek a second opinion. A chiropractic neurologist can evaluate your child for neurological abnormalities and offer drug-free approaches to correct them. A certified dietician can also be of help in the case of poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, and food sensitivities.

Your child's bad behavior is not necessarily a reflection of your parenting style. In this modern world, you're up against a lot. Trust your instincts, do your own research, and hang in there.

The best is yet to come.

See also:

Beat and Treat ADD and ADHD without Drugs

ADD misdiagnosis and the ineffectiveness and dangers of commonly prescribed Ritalin

How to Build Self Confidence in Your Children

Unwarranted Off-label Psych Drug Prescriptions are Dooming Millions of Children's Lives

Teaching Children Gardening Boosts Their Development and Health

For more information:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1474447/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8085168
http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/petition-food-dyes.pdf
http://www.anchoragepress.com/news/the-gluten-made-her-do-it-how-going-gluten-free/article_39e2478e-4585-11e2-a80c-0019bb2963f4.html
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/11/28/inside_the_bullied_brain/
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/03/19/living-with-extreme-sound-sensitivity/

About the author:

Jaime is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health and wellness. Her website, I Told You I Was Sick, was created to help those living with chronic pain and illness find natural ways to heal.

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