Environmental Factors

"Over-activity, fatigue, bed-wetting, inappropriate behavior, and even epilepsy, in some children, may be due to allergies. Allergic infants can be so hyperactive that they rock their cribs about the room or bounce them off the walls and begin to walk earlier than normal."

Dr. Doris Rapp
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
State University of New York
Author of the New York Times Best Seller,
Is This Your Child?

In a study of 803 New York public schools and nine juvenile correction facilities, researchers increased fruits and vegetables and whole grains and decreased fats and sugars over a couple of years. No other changes were made in the schools or correctional facilities. Consequently, the academic performance of 1.1 million children rose 16% and learning disabilities fell 40%. In the juvenile correction facilities violent and non-violent antisocial behavior fell 48%.70

The Washington D.C. based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) cited 17 controlled studies in a 1999 report that found diet adversely affects some children's behavior, sometimes dramatically. Most of the studies focused on artificial colors, while some also examined the effects of milk, corn and other common foods. The percentage of children who were affected by diet and the magnitude of the effect varied widely among the studies.71

The following list shows a few of the things that can look like symptoms of "ADHD" but which are actually either "allergic" reactions or the result of a lack of vitamins (nutrition) in the body:

  • High levels of lead from the environment can place children at risk of both school failure and delinquent (bad) behavior.

  • High mercury (chemical) levels in the body may cause agitation; mercury amalgam dental fillings can affect a small but significant number of people, causing mercury sensitivity leading to headaches, restless behavior, and irritability.

  • Pesticides (like those used to kill insects such as fly spray or ant-killer) can create nervousness, poor concentration, irritability, memory problems, and depression.

  • Iron-deficiency anemia can lead to despondency, fatigue and often aggression and irritability.

  • Too much sugar can make a person "too active" or "hyper." Our modern-day fast food, which can lack nutritional value, can also make you feel terrible.

  • Temporal lobe seizures, sometimes almost continuous and often too subtle to be detected by the eye, can cause violent outbursts, restless movements, and bizarre behavior.

  • Hyperthyroidism can manifest the symptoms of "hyperactivity."

  • Special medical doctors can do tests to determine if a person is having an allergic reaction to something.

Previous page: Other Causes for Behaviour
Next page: Lack of Interest