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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Jun 26, 2019

My guest this week is Dr. Sanford Newmark, a clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California and Director of Clinical Services at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Newmark also serves as the Head of the Pediatric Integrative Neurodevelopmental Program at the Osher Center, specializing in the treatment of Autism, ADHD and other developmental or chronic childhood conditions. With a long-standing interest and expertise in nutrition and its impact on childhood development and health, Dr. Newmark combines conventional medicine with nutrition, behavior management, and various complementary modalities. 

He has lectured widely on both autism and ADHD and has authored 3 chapters in Integrative Medicine textbooks, as well as, writing his own book “ADHD Without Drugs, a Guide to the Natural Care of Children with ADHD”. In addition, his UCTV talk on ADHD has had over 4.6 million views. 

In this episode, Dr. Newmark and I discuss the importance of a proper ADHD diagnosis, the rising cause of misdiagnosis and non-pharmaceutical alternatives for ADHD medication. Environmental toxins, prenatal exposure, and diet can affect children's brain development. Learn more about Dr. Newmark here.


Episode Highlights

Pre-Natal Exposure, Toxins, and Diet Links to ADHD 

  • In a study of infant cord blood, an average of 200 chemicals known to cause brain issues were present 
  • High pesticide levels are associated with higher levels of ADHD
    • A study of 8-year-olds shows that those with higher than average pesticide levels had twice the amount of ADHD than those under the median


Hesitations in Prescribing ADHD Medication

  • ADHD Medication does not work well for every child
    • Medication provides short-term effects for about 70% of children 
    • For nearly 30% or more of children who take them, it does not work at all
  • Side effects are very common 
    • Children do not feel themselves, experience trouble sleeping, personality changes, eating difficulties
  • We do not really understand the long-term effects of this medicine
    • How it may or may not alter the brain over time is unknown


Misdiagnosis of ADHD

  • ADHD is very commonly misdiagnosed for a variety of reasons
    • In children who are struggling with specific learning disabilities, in children who experienced trauma, struggle with sleep apnea, or anxiety, etc… 
  • The general questionnaire used to diagnose ADHD is very minimal and can easily result in pediatricians giving a misdiagnosis


Non-Pharmaceutical Alternatives

  • Addressing nutrition first
    • No food additives such as artificial coloring
    • Avoiding too much sugar and artificial sweeteners
    • Keeping a low intake of processed carbohydrates
  • Gluten and dairy sensitivities are commonly found in children with ADHD
  • Nutritional Supplements


The Issue With Electronics

  • The common use of electronics and smartphones at a young age have increased damaging effects on children 
    • Causing a lack of quality sleep, resulting in a decline in performance at school
    • Children with ADHD can have heightened and severe negative effects to electronics
  • All children and teenagers need monitoring and limits put on these devices for their well-being.


Where to learn more about Dr. Newmark...


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