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This is working for us! Want to help someone else if this story looks similar to your child or teen

I am posting this because there has to be someone else out there this may help. I have hope right now for my teen and I want to share this. I can't tell you how happy I am right now. We still have a long road I'm sure, and we have had a tremendous number of ups and downs over the years. We tried everything, stims, non stims with stims, sensory integration therapy, speech therapy, etc., etc.

My teen has been on various ADHD medication for his confirmed ADHD since around age 9. They would work for a little while, then he'd have problems with side effects. He was on Vyvanse the longest and we took him off at the end of middle school due to severe weight loss, severe mood swings, and other side effects. He has struggled in 9th grade with both disruptive behavior and grades, so we decided to try a new stimulant (evekeo)). Worked well for first two months, got a positive email from one of his teachers instead of the usual negative ones. His grades improved. Things were looking up. After around two months, however, my son became very moody. Depressed one minute then very angry the next. Very easily irritated. Yelling profanity at the slightest thing, slamming his fists on a desk or kicking the wall. You could see the anger, the stress in his face. We walked on eggshells. Very unhappy household, breaking me down, very depressing to see him struggle so. Ready to stop the stim med and take him off for good, didn't care if grades plummeted.

My son used to take Epsom salt baths for the magnesium but had stopped months before. I decided to pick up some whole food magnesium powder (Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods, Mother's, Amazon) and bought Epsom Salt. I gave him a teaspoon of the powder in his juice every morning. I have never used the magnesium powder before. Within days, his mood improved. Ten days later, I asked him how he was feeling. He said, "Happy. I feel happy." I had to hold it together to not burst out in tears. He's not angry. He's not yelling. He's acting like he's happy...he's smiling... he seems relaxed, he's easy to be around. Please keep in mind that although it looks like I am saying the magnesium powder is a magic bullet, I am not. What I am saying is that is was the one thing he was missing--it is my understanding that the stimulant medication (bear with my layman terms descriptions of this, I don't know the correct way to put the terminology together) can deplete serotonin and dopamine. The synthesis of dopamine requires magnesium. The body needs magnesium to create neurotransmitters. ADHD is a breakdown in that neurotransmitter communication. Deficiencies need to be balanced and corrected as well in order for it all to work together to help your child be the best they can be.

Take in consideration the following. Those with ADHD and ADD all have some metabolic differences, nutritional deficiencies, oxidative stress, and neurotransmitter disruption. My son has the MTHFR gene mutation. His labs show high levels of oxidative stress, previous anemia, previously low vitamin D levels, and hypoglycemia. He takes a carnitine supplement for low carnitine and supplements to correct low glutathione. So, we still have a lot of work to do with antioxidants and balancing amino acids. He had sensory issues very early in life and in turn we battle over his desire for a refined diet. On the weekend, I barter video games with smoothies filled with greens, berries, and more. I have supplemented him since he was 2 with fish oil.

My bottom line is, if your child/teen is having mood swings or any of the behavior I described whether on a stimulant medication or not, consider magnesium. Try Epsom Salt baths, one cup a day. Or the magnesium powder. I did both. Now, just the powder. Nutritional deficiencies typically seen in ADHD/ADD need to be corrected to prevent a breakdown in the neurotransmitter communication and that means: fish oil, vitamin D3, testing for low iron, adding zinc, methylated B vitamins, specifically B6 and B12, methyl folate (not folic acid) and correcting gut microbiome. There are recommendations all over this board for methylated multi-vitamins. My son takes fish oil twice a day. DHA and EPA and Krill oil.

I hope that if some parent out there recognizes their child in my story that this will be helpful to you. I can't tell you the relief and happiness we feel right now to see my son in better spirits, and to even see him be more confident on the field in sports. We all just want them to be the best they can be. Something clicked and it appears for him, after everything I was doing, the stim med is now benefiting him as long as he is being supplemented with magnesium to keep those neurotransmitters communicating they way they should.

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Birdie7-

Thank you for letting us know what is working. When things are going good, it's almost like I don't want to talk about it becuase I fear it will shift and go bad again.

Just a long complex journey..

I will look into the powder asap.

Enjoy the good times

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Thank you. Agree. Usually, we have good days and bad days, such a roller coaster ride. Yes, very long and complex journey. There are days that have gone well and I think, what did we do differently? Conversely, when it's a bad day, I think...was it something he ate? And on and on. By the way, although there are a few to choose from, I used Garden Of Life Whole Food Magnesium powder.

Still, the magnesium is key for him, for whatever reason. I know it's a balancing act to prevent the disruption in neurotransmitters and things can change. But I'm going to stick with it in the hopes things stay 'in the good' for as long as they can.

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Nice. definitely looking into.

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Thank you for sharing. I'll be trying the magnesium. I take it myself but never thought to give it to my teenage son who also takes vyvanse.

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Thank you for your post! Our son is not yet on meds but we found similar success—recovery from suicidal depression and autism, including mood swings brought on by food dyes or flavorings—with a clean diet and prescription vitamins from Mensah Medical. They have a protocol for prescribing vitamins based on bloodwork and urinalysis. Each patient’s needs are different.

We will be looking into medication soon and while I approach this with trepidation, your post gives me more confidence. Thanks!

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Thank you, Momrocket. Yes, your experience is proof how important diet is to a child's mental and physical health and well being. Agree on getting them tested for what nutrients they may be deficient in along with allergy testing!!

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Thank you very much for the information.

I am glad things are looking on the bright side.

Where did you have the MTHFR test done?

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A Rheumatologist ran tests on me years ago and told me I had the MTHFR gene mutation (there are two types of mutations with one copy or two or combo of C677 and A1298). My son's pediatrician ran his test. An integrative/functional medicine physician will also order it. You can find one in your area by going to the website the Institute for Functional Medicine and click on find a practitioner and search by zip code, for example.

MTHFR gene mutation can be run by Quest Diagnostics or probably LabCorp. My son's double copy mutation was on a report from Quest Diagnostics called Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (you can see why it's abbreviated to MTHFR). Also, I have used True Health Labs (online) to order labs for myself. I didn't need a doctor's approval. I just ordered what I wanted, paid online, and received a lab sheet electronically to take with me to my lab of choice the website listed for me in my area. I just looked, and the MTHFR test is available on the site. So, that's another option although it is private pay and I don't think insurance is accepted but take a look at their website to see.

Also, many of these functional medicine doctors use labs like Genova diagnostics who can run all kinds of labs like oxidative damage and antioxidant markers, neurotransmitter metabolism markers, toxicants and detoxification indicators, toxic elements profile and so much more.

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Thank you so much.

I will call my son's pediatrician today.

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Thank you so much.

I will call my son's pediatrician today.

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The good news is, methylated B vitamins (specifically methyl-folate, methyl B6 and B12), the bioactive form of B vitamins is beneficial to anyone. I have two copies of the MTHFR gene mutation and wondered why I had extremely high levels of folic acid in my blood (not good, wasn't being absorbed)---now understanding I can't metabolize folic acid and therefore take methyl folate. My point is, your child can take a multi vitamin with methylated B vitamins right away. There are several mentioned by others on this board. For teens and adults, Pure Encapsulations or Life Solutions. Someone mentioned Accentrate. There's many more.

There must be a balance in nutrients as not to disrupt the neurotransmitter communication. Magnesium was the one missing link for my son...stim meds were depleting his dopamine (imo) or magnesium. And the magnesium helps keep those neurotransmitters transmitting! Diet is key it seems...and again, as we all know for ADHD zinc, vitamin d, magnesium, fish oil, antioxidants, and in some cases, iron all play a part.

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Right now my son is taking Agape which has the methyl forms of Vitamin Bs and magnesium among other things. But I am still going to have him tested.

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I have the same question: Where did you have the MTHFR test done?

We are trying the magnesium route using magnesium glycinate and P-5-P to aid with absorbtion due to stimulants not working as well with on of my ADHD kids. I got this idea from the book Finally Focused by James Greenblatt, MD. It has 13 steps to try to help with ADHD and magnesium was the first one.

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How much magnesium does a 10 year old need? I’m giving him two but not sure if that’s enough.

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This great advice. How much of the magnesium powder do you give and how are you able to convince your child to take it. I am dealing with a very defiant 10 year old who is in denial about his ADHD and anger issues and doesn’t want another supplement or medication to remind him that he has a “problem.” He is not mature enough to want to help himself!

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This is/was my son!! I know exactly what you are talking about. The container says a teaspoon of the powder in room temp water. I add it to his orange juice and stir it in. I won that battle. My son knows he won't get his cell phone until he takes his supplements. He hands his phone over at 8pm at night and gets it back before he walks out the door for school.

Here's what I can tell you. My son had sensory issues as discovered very young (as early as 6 months spit out most solid food I gave him. Gags or vomits with foods that have "too much" texture for him). I believe he loved to take baths for the sensory feel, so I had read years ago that Epsom Salt Baths were beneficial for removing toxins from the body and that the body absorb the magnesium in the skin, benefiting from the magnesium almost right away, very calming. I would put a cup in his bath. I have done this for years. I have noticed that if I run out or if he doesn't use it, a few days or a week will go by and he becomes very agitated. I make sure he adds the Epsom salt or I run a bath and dump it in. I didn't have to give him "another pill," as he put it. I saw true benefits in it helping him to be more calm. This is why I decided to try the magnesium powder in his juice in the am when he had these severe mood swings...deficient in magnesium, a mineral critical in the neurotransmitter process, a hallmark of adhd because it was being disrupted by not getting the magnesium he needed when the dopamine was depleted by the side effects of the stim.

The one I buy is lemon raspberry flavored and I've tried it myself. I personally like it, a little tangy. It's not another pill. Also, there are liquid multi-vitamins out there (think I saw a post someone said they used Agape for example) or multi-vitamins that have all of it in there (I just ordered pure encapsulations One for myself and my son. I didn't know about it. Was giving my son pure encapsulations liquid B complex). There are so many more out there that are formulated with methyl B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, CoQ10 (which is important to take if they take a stim) and fish oil. My son has done well with fish oil (proven to help neurotransmitters) so I will continue to give him additional fish oil.

Also, maybe more info than you asked for, because of my son's sensory issues, a big battle we have had is over healthy food choices. If I only had salad in the house with healthy veggies on it, he'd choose to starve to death. His favorite foods are refined white carbs like burgers and fries and pasta, etc. All these foods, by the way, lake magnesium. Like most kids, he loves his electronics. He doesn't get tv or video games during the week, so on the weekend when he wants more game time, I bargain with a smoothie for example. I load glutamine powder, greens, berries, whole food protein powder, organic MCT oil and more.

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Defiance and anger might also stem from Pyroluria. Getting our son tested and treated for this was transformative. Our son does take magnesium but for him zinc and b6 really made the difference. Treating at Mensah Medical was extremely valuable, as not everyone with adhd has the same needs.

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Thanks for all the info. I will look into magnesium. I never thought of blood work to see his levels I will ask his pediatrician. Glad you found something working and have hope.

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I wanted to add another comment. I have given my son just about every supplement known to benefit those with ADHD for years from research, etc. He was getting some magnesium but the dosage and form were wrong. I was using a liquid magnesium and even knew to give it with his Thorne Vitamin D3 liquid because vitamin D helps to absorb magnesium better. But only gave a few drops of the liquid magnesium. I wasn't measuring and didn't want to give him another pill. It wasn't enough! The stimulation/ADHD med was depleting it and only when I gave it to him in powder form the deficiency was corrected.

I just read an article by a Dr. James Greenblatt, called "Magnesium, the Missing Link in Mental Health," on a website called Integrative Medicine for Mental Health. He says detecting a deficiency in laboratory testing is difficult. He prescribes it to ALL his patients with depression, anxiety, and ADHD along with other appropriate treatments. He states that magnesium deficiency afflicts 90% of all people with ADHD. And, that Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 325 enzymatic reactions in DNA, neurotransmitters, heart and brain! It's the science that backs up our personal experience. You can read the article at immh.org and search his name or the title of the article. There are other scientific articles out there, of course.

Picking up my son from school today, he's once again calm and easy going.

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That is awesome that it is working for you! I've been thinking of giving magnesium another try at home. :)

Though I do want to caution anyone who hasn't started it yet - magnesium can have side effects and even potentially overdose, so it's best to start low & build up to the levels listed here (go to the Side Effects tab.) Most likely side effects are diarrhea or stomach upset, especially when you are first starting.

webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingre...

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One will not overdose or even come close with 1 teaspoon of whole foods magnesium powder a day, which is the amount I stated my son is taking per the instructions on the container. Too much of ANY supplement or medication is never a good thing.

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My caution was not to you, as you obviously have already found an appropriate amount that is working great for you & your son. :)

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For those considering a magnesium supplement like the whole foods powder we are using and having much success with, please be sure to add vitamin D3 with it as Magnesium is needed for the activation of Vitamin D. We use Thorne D3 with K liquid. Also note that at least 50% of the population (Dr. Mercola) are deficient and another stat I read that it's estimated 90% of those with ADHD, anxiety, and depression are deficient. Magnesium levels can't be detected in a blood test as only 1 percent is in your blood and the rest stored in your bones and muscle.

Vitamin D is critical for immune health and has proven benefits for those with ADHD. My son has his iron and D levels checked with blood work as they have been very low. My entire family takes the Vitamin D supplement, and after seeing the positive turn around my son has had with the magnesium, my husband and I are using it, too. Anti-stress? Yes, please.

Here's one government study that demonstrated Vitamin D improved cognitive function in those with ADHD. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/294...

Simple protocol:

Water or juice with 1 to 2 drops Vitamin D3 (we use Thorne D3 with K)

Add whole food Magnesium powder with the Vitamin D

Multi vitamin with methylated B vitamins

Fish oil/DHA and EPA (we use ProEFA or Krill). He takes twice a day

My son takes his vitamins with orange juice and 20 minutes later, takes his ADHD medication separately with water.

Hope this information helps someone out there.

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Thanks for sharing with us!!!💕

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Sure! Just know that the more I read and read, nutrition has a huge impact on brain health. And that's true for everyone, not just those with ADHD (just more so). It's not just magnesium, it's the right balance of amino acids, antioxidants, vitamin D3, zinc, methylated B vitamins and fatty acids and in some cases, iron. Blood work can detect low iron, vitamin D, and oxidative stress to name a few, to help understand how we can balance the metabolic pathways and prevent disruptions in neurotransmitter communication.

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The tricky thing here that most people don’t realize is we are not all the same. Those who are undermethylated, for example, can’t handle a lot of folic acid, but those overmethylated need lots of it. Testing by a doctor trained in nutritional supplementation for mental health issues like those at Mensah medical.com will tell you what you need. I know I sound like an advertisement for them but I swear I am not compensated by them, just impressed with results!

Love the info about magnesium and will ask my son’s doctor about this.

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Momrocket, you are absolutely right. Every individual with ADHD (any neurodevelopmental disorder) is different. There are main themes that tend to arise such as many with ADHD benefit from zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron, etc. But there is no one size fits all. I've read that there are 4 types of ADHD (low or high dopamine, low or high serotonin, different, specific disruptions in the neurotransmitter process). And if they are lacking in certain nutrients or getting too much of something, it will throw off the balance. It's very tricky. I agree, seeking out the help of a nutritionist, a naturopath, or integrative functional medicine doctor (if your pediatrician is not on board) to discover allergies, deficiencies, oxidative stress, and so much more to help our kids be the best they can be otherwise medication will only help temporarily. Nutrition is key, working with someone trained in this is key. Getting food allergies tested is key.

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HI Birdie7 - I'm late in replying but a big thank you for your advice about the magnesium and how to work with a ODD child! I will look for it at our local health store. I figured that if I can get others in the family to take it as a supplement (beneficial to all of us I've been told), maybe my son will think it's no big deal and just consider it "brain food."

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Hello all reading or following this post. Just want to emphasize there is no one size fits all. Magnesium alone will not help your child unless other issues or deficiencies are corrected. I believe most people, ADHD or not benefit from magnesium supplementation based on research (http://www.immh.org/article-source/2016/11/17/magnesium-the-missing-link-in-mental-health) but it's not the only link. Because I believe nutrition is key (for everyone), I am looking into Nutrigenomics, which is the scientific study of nutrition and genes. My son and I are going to get some testing done, and if I have any helpful information to share, I will certainly post it.

I am going to work with a clinical nutritionist as well. Don't forget the little things you can do that all add up. Years ago, I eliminated all laundry detergents and cleaning supplies of fragrance. I use laundry detergent that is "Free and Clear," along with as natural products for cleaning, etc. that I can find. Made a difference for my whole family, otherwise we get headaches and brain fog, especially my son.

Don't make it a guessing game, consider finding a doctor who practices integrative functional medicine. Here's how to search for one in your area:

ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/ And read up on different tests available to educate yourself so that you can be the best health advocate for your child. For example, have their iron, carnitine levels, amino acid profile, and vitamin D levels checked (LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics). Great Plains laboratory is another one. Genova Diagnostics can run IgG and IgE food allergy panels, fatty acid profile, neurotransmitter metabolism markers, oxidative damage and antioxidant markers, toxic elements in blood (like lead and mercury), nutrient elements profile (like potassium, zinc and copper), carnitine, gut microbiome, and glutathione. My son's tests revealed, for example, that has high 8-OHdG, a biomarker for oxidative stress which needs to be corrected with antioxidants. It will vary from person to person what imbalances they have and how to correct it.

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