Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

ADHD; Coffee, Tea or Me.

July 3, 2012

Coffee, Tea or Me was a book about Stewardesses who offered themselves up to serve customers in the airline business in the sixties. Seems the author thought no one was appreciating their efforts to serve patrons and all their customers thought about was their sexual fantasies.  It  is not like I believe anyone should have sexual fantasies about a sixty-seven year old man, I just feel under appreciated for describing  the future of the 11 million children diagnosed with ADHD or ADD.

I never predict a bleak future for those with ADD/ADHD. As a matter of fact I consider my 67 years on earth as fun with an adoring wife who died too young, two lovely successful children and three grandchildren that I adore. The only thing which prompts me to explore the issue at this time is that at least two of the three grandchildren have full blown ADD/ADHD as does my son-in-law. I am not trying to solve the world’s problems nor sell supplements, I am just trying to leave a legacy of information that would allow my family to live drug free and cope in a world dominated by office jobs.

So far, I have my family and a half dozen other followers who want to know the future of a lifetime of unmedicated ADD/ADHD and 10,999,990 who are ignoring their future and twice that number of parents who remain uninformed about the future of their children. Oh well, I still feel compelled to seek the solutions and document the path of ADD/ADHD just for my granddaughters alone as it has been a heck of a roller coaster ride for me dominated by love, romance and a sense of adventure. Some of it has been troublesome, some has been good, some unique but all has been one heck of an adventure.


ADHD, Obesity, and Chronic Pain, Correlations and Causation!

July 2, 2012


Subjective Pain Measurement Scale

I apologize for the length and complexity of this discussion, but there is very little in the scientific Literature that studied ADD/ADHD and Chronic Pain. All I could find was one technical article, yet if you go to the bulletin boards and forums, there are many individuals begging for help. Just as obesity programs fail for those with ADD/ADHD, I suspect that Chronic Pain Treatments will be difficult for this unique subgroup with out working to resolve all three issues, ADHD, Obesity, and Chronic Pain.

Science Daily reported “A clear association between obesity and pain — with higher rates of pain identified in the heaviest individuals — was found in a study of more than one million Americans published January 19 in the online edition of Obesity. In “Obesity and Pain Are Associated in the United States,” Stony Brook University researchers Arthur A. Stone, Ph.D., and Joan E. Broderick, Ph.D. report this finding based on their analysis of 1,010,762 respondents surveyed via telephone interview by the Gallop Organization between 2008 and 2010.

Now from a marketing perspective, telephone surveys have the greatest incidence of error and this may account for the lower National rate of obesity reported in the study with only 28% claiming a height and weight indicating obesity.  Now without interviewing people in person or providing extensive education on the happy face pain scale, I am not certain how they reached the conclusion that “finding suggests that obesity alone may cause pain, aside from the presence of painful diseases [associated with obesity]”

“Interestingly, the pain that obese individuals reported was not driven exclusively by musculoskeletal pain, a type of pain that individuals carrying excess weight might typically experience.”

“Drs. Broderick and Stone also suggest that there could be several plausible explanations for the close obesity/pain relationship. These include the possibility that having excess fat in the body triggers complex physiological processes that result in inflammation and pain; depression, often experienced by obese individuals, is also linked to pain; and medical conditions that cause pain, such as arthritis, might result in reduced levels of exercise thereby resulting in weight gain. The researchers also indicated that the study showed as people get older, excess weight is associated with even more pain, which suggests a developmental process.”

Now the implication is clear, lose weight, grow younger and all your aches and pains will disappear. But the underlying assumption, the so called jump from conjecture to conclusion, is that obesity causes pain in some yet to be discovered but currently unknown ” complex physiological processes.” That does not sound like a true scientific explanation but more like junk science at it’s worse.

In a very well researched paper by E. Amy Janke, PhD;Allison Collins, PhD;and Andrea T. Kozak, PhD entitled “Overview of the relationship between pain and obesity: What do we know? Where do we go next?” the authors point out that there are many different types of pain including lower back pain, lower joint pain and generalized pain and their is no simple direct relationship between weight loss and reduced pain.

They summarize dozens of studies and a sample is presented below and represents both a lack of improvement for some pain and for others dramatic and lasting improvement especially for pain in the lower limbs.

In general, “Few studies examine both pain and weight as primary outcomes, and variability in measurement makes comparisons and conclusions difficult… Methodological differences among studies make conclusions about the influence of weight loss treatment on pain tentative at best. One issue relates to the samples used in the research. Samples in the reviewed studies represented potentially very different populations, thus making comparisons across studies difficult. Whereas some  researchers recruited based on overweight/obesity status, others selected individuals based on type or severity of pain condition in addition to weight.

They mention one, “early review of seven studies, found no evidence to support the recommendation of weight loss to treat Lower Back Pain [LBP.]

They ask, “How can we know so much about overweight/obesity and LBP and still know so little?  One answer to this question is that perhaps the relationship between the two is much weaker than previously hypothesized. A direct causal relationship between weight and LBP may or may not exist; indeed Leboeuf-Yde et al.’s meta-analysis certainly suggests that the relationship, if present, is weak

On the other hand, “Being overweight is a risk factor for development and progression of Osteoarthritis [OA] in the knee and hip, and possibly development of OA in the hand.  Weight loss is recommended for overweight persons with OA. Even being slightly overweight may increase your risk for developing knee OA.”

“However, other studies that have examined lifestyle interventions, such as enrollment in Weight Watchers and increased physical activity, traditional aerobic activity versus lifestyle physical activity, and diet and exercise treatment versus control,found no significant effect on bodily pain sub-scale scores despite significant improvements in physical functioning.”

In still another study, “Although the diet only group experienced greater weight loss compared with the healthy lifestyle group, no pain-related improvement was evident. In the exercise-only group, the only significant improvement was in mobility. However, the diet and exercise group had significant improvement in physical functioning, self-reported pain, mobility, and weight.”

Similarly another study “found that without exercise, weight loss alone did not lead to significant improvement in pain or mobility among overweight/obese individuals with knee OA”

In a different cited study, “the treatment group evidenced improvement in several aspects of Quality of Life and maintained an average weight loss of 13.9 percent of baseline weight. Improvement in bodily pain was only temporary and no longer evident at 4-month follow-up.”

Clearly the results bounce all over the place between some improvement and no improvement at all. In a very unique manner, there is no discussion of ADHD in any of the studies despite the fact that one third of Obese people suffer from ADHD and the greater the obesity, the greater the chance that the person also has ADD/ADHD.

But some times practitioners and researchers really do get it right. In a 2006, paper by Michael S. Kaplan and Leah R. Kaplan, entitled Why Do Chronic Pain Patients Have Multiple Accidents?, the authors explored the relationship between ADHD and Chronic Pain. The underlying assumption is that people with more physical trauma events have more chronic pain.

According to their paper, “A retrospective review of 460 random patients during a 6-month period included new and existing chronic pain patients. Our results preliminarily identified a trend in patient’s histories, characterized by anxiety problems and depressive symptoms, coupled with a family history of ADHD… The preliminary data support the hypothesis that chronic pain patients have a greater incidence of ADHD than might be expected and more importantly. We do not believe there are any previously published reports suggesting a correlation of ADHD with chronic pain resulting from increase incidence of accidents.”

There is ample evidence linking ADHD to obesity by people self medicating with food to elevate their dopamine levels and have their minds work in a normal manner and trauma links ADHD to chronic pain. but there is more to the relationship than that.

Recent research has documented the devastating effect that Chronic Pain has on the brain of a healthy person. For those suffering Chronic pain which had lasted six months or more, “researchers found abnormal brain activity during an attention-demanding cognitive task. They also found one region of the brain, was thinner in those with chronic pain compared to the healthy patients. This area of the brain plays a key role in mood, social judgment, short-term memory and higher-order thinking.

After the patients had corrective surgery for their medical conditions, the group of pain researchers from McGill University and the McGill University Health Center found that relieving pain actually causes physical brain changes they can see on a brain scan. During the cognitive test, the differences that the researchers had observed in brain activation in the first round of tests disappeared for eleven people in the group who had successful surgery. . Three of the 14 treated patients after treatment reported worse back pain or disability six months later. When researchers looked at their brain scans, their gray matter had not regenerated itself at all.

“Our results imply that [successfully] treating chronic back pain can restore normal brain function,” the authors conclude in their study, which appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.

In an article on Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain in the Wall Street Journal,  Sean Mackey, chief of the division of pain management at Stanford, and his colleagues were just awarded a $9 million grant to study mind-based therapies for chronic low back pain from the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine  Some 116 million American adults—one-third of the population—struggle with chronic pain, and many are inadequately treated, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine in July.

According to the article, “one of Dr. Mackey’s favorite pain-relieving techniques is love. He and colleagues recruited 15 Stanford undergraduates and had them bring in photos of their beloved and another friend. Then he scanned their brains while applying pain stimuli from a hot probe. On average, the subject reported feeling 44% less pain while focusing on their loved one than on their friend. Brain images showed they had strong activity in the nucleus accumbens, an area deep in the brain involved with dopamine and reward circuits.

So research has finally come full circle and linked ADHD, Obesity and Chronic Pain. The same rewards that ADD/ADHD sufferers developed to stimulate dopamine production when self-medicating to think normally and function in our modern world are the same rewards that can be used to self medicate and mitigate the damaging effects of Chronic Pain.  Somehow, that result doesn’t surprise me.

The Original Fat savage

June 11, 2012

The Fat Savage Fishing and Drinking Beer

The Fat Savage Logo

Actually, the original blog under the “Fat Savage” title was started in 2006, and is now off-line. It was a very angry diet blog. My wife had created a fantastic business with 22 employes who were robbing her blind. of cash, time, hours and even parallel production for their friends and family.  In the midst of this she changed physiologists and the new one blamed me for her lifetime of depression. She also stopped mediating so she could continue smoking even though she  already had emphysema. After 40 years of marriage, our life together was on the edge.  She was no longer interested in sex and all I dreamed of was food, sex, alcohol and driving my sports car too fast.  I was 61 and still pretending that ADHD was a kids problem and a joke in adults.

Of course we were both wrong, and fortunately, we were both bright enough to understand that everything had to stop especially her screaming at me when she blacked out from oxygen deprivation and didn’t know what she was doing. When the kids got involved on both sides with a debate over who had failed the most, it became ugly and I told her it had to stop before the grandchildren got involved or I would divorce her and drag us both into financial ruin as her business really needed the both of us.

Through love, she regained control and our marriage survived. She became a little more discreet  with her smoking and I became a little more discrete with my girlfriend. We settled into a life of love for the next three years and the whole family healed from our very bad year and then she died and the business failed without her. I am not really ashamed about the rudeness of  that rather truthful blog describing the disgusting effects that obesity has on bodily functions including the ability to breath, control your bowls and even successfully make love;  I am just no longer angry enough to be that rude.

The most amazing thing is that I have recovered in all three areas and it is just the ability to control my mouth and focus on work that needs a little recovery. The top picture is the second one I used on my blog as I began to mellow a little after that angry year.  The first ones were  a bunch of naked pictures of me on my home page in my full glory between 250 pounds and 265. Naturally a diet motivated by anger and my lust for sex was not likely to succeed in the long run and it didn’t.

Beat the Fat Savage

My new picture is the “stamp out” symbol over my Fat Savage logo.  I am now ready to transform into a mellow Poppa John, if I can just resolve a few of the lingering ADHD symptoms.

Oh well, “It’s a goal!” 

The Autism & ADHD Diet

June 10, 2012

I’m having a little trouble with the clustering of ADHD and Autism as a family of diseases to be treated in the same manner. My problem with this as a scientist is if you keep seeking erroneous solutions to a problem you will never solve it. Some recent work on DNA suggested that there might be overlapping genetic abnormalities that link the two diereses and it didn’t really seem plausible to me. I have a lifetime of experience with ADHD and have also closely observed Autistic children. I decided to check the original work and found one of the quickest jumps from conjecture to conclusion that I have seen in years.

In a study of 248 children with ADHD there were 22 (or 9%) with a specific type of abnormal gene that matched an abnormal gene in a few Autistic Children. With 91% of the group, there was no relationship at all.

The same study included 348 Autistic Children and there were only 9 with the same Gene. That means that 97% of the Autistic Children had no genetic overlap with ADHD. If there is a genetic link, scientists better keep on looking because the reality is exactly the opposite of the results.

In an auditorium of 600 children, about 60 will have severe ADHD and perhaps another 30 will have a milder form of ADHD or perhaps ADD which is definitely a part of ADHD. Of those 90 children with ADHD only one will be Autistic. There will be one other autistic child in the room. Now my problem is that there is a cult following of the Autism and ADHD Diets being used as part of a treatment program for both diseases and there are many books and websites devoted to the topic without much scientific study. If the Diet really works for the 89 kids who have ADHD alone, there is no reason to believe it will work for the two autistic children but they probably won’t or can’t complain.

If the diet doesn’t work for all 89 of the ADHD children, they probably won’t complain but learn to cope the same way ADHD people have been coping for generations. The easiest choice would be to eat more, get fat or obese by eating more of what they are served and then get a calming effect that goes with the food obsession. They may also seek cigarettes, sex, love, alcohol and marijuana to increase their dopamine so they can get the focus they need to survive in school.

In high school and college I did everything on that list and the only thing that saved me was organized sports. I loved the adulation from being good and the exercise also increases dopamine. I could also eat everything in sight and not get fat because of the high energy burn in sports. You could also take risks with your body and get a real adrenalin rush.

When my daughter, who is somewhat normal, asked about how to handle her ADHD kids, she knew she came to the real family expert. I told her they needed lots of love including hugs and verbal praise. They needed to be physically active to a point others might consider it excessive. As to foods, feed the brain. Fish and almost anything they like in the way of protein, whole grains, fresh or gently cooked vegetables and just observe adverse reactions and eliminate. Lots of fresh fruits and raw vegetables like in salads. The oldest is 12 and doing excellent in sports and school with only occasional symptoms that someone might question. The younger girl has not yet fallen into a pattern and still bounces off walls. Only God knows the future on her treatment but we are hoping that we all find the path without medication.

At my house, I have an artificial rock wall that leads to the roof and is exited by a fire pole. There is also a real cliff with a repelling rope and a 70 foot zip slide across a gully. There are plenty of ways to take risks and feed their adrenaline needs. In the morning, I also walk them for a swim and back after an hour or two in the sea. The walk down and back is three miles. Mid day is quiet time with structured school work and no one complains about the break. About 4 pm, I drive them back to the pool for a swim while I have my glass or two of wine. I do this for about 3 weeks each summer and have for the past four years. There is rarely a meltdown because the loss is too great. A meltdown means they need more rest so they lose all privileges and are sent to bed for a two-hour nap. If they scream, I request that they do it louder as it is music to an old mans ears. They will never know I can’t stand it. So keep my secret.

I know that this is close to the way I was raised and it worked for me and seems to be working for my granddaughters and Son-in -law. I don’t have any idea if this will work for anyone else but there is a certain element of science in raising their dopamine levels in a natural way so they avoid uncontrolled risks and stimulants.

Focus is a Funny Word!

June 9, 2012

I need to focus right now on a new business that I hope will earn me a decent living. As of today, I am broke and “Land Poor.” I sort of intentionally invested in land on the Island of St. Croix which is where I live.  I have made a decent amount of money buying low and selling high and was unconcerned about my retirement funds as I would sell land as needed. I have no carrying costs as local land taxes are very low and all of the properties are paid for.  Then one of the largest refineries in the world shut down and destroyed the local economy. It is not that land prices have dropped, nothing is selling at any price so now I am temporarily broke. To solve my financial problems I have to focus which is a very funny word.

I mean focus describes a problem but to solve a problem you have to know the cause and in my case I have three cause that are impacting my ability to focus.

First, I have chronic pain but when I am really stoked, I can pretty much ignore it.

Next, today is the day I must pay bills but because I am broke, I am procrastinating instead of just doing it and moving on to planning my business. Since I will still be poor unless I win the lottery, I may as well take the time to go buy my lottery tickets.

Finely, my very active ADHD has kicked in since I lost 100 pounds and no longer use food to feed my brain. I use wine at night and it relaxes me but it puts me to sleep.  The other things which can increase dopamine other  than pescribed stimulnts make a petty dangerous list and I have done most of it except drink a lot of water or use cocaine.  Sex, eating, taking risks, exercising, achieving goals, or drinking water, all increase dopamine. Alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and other addictive substances have a remarkable ability to elevate levels of dopamine. Falling in love, buying lottery tickets, eating chocolate also increase dopamine. We get a much bigger blast of dopamine eating high-calorie foods than we do low-calorie foods. Ok so the only thing which might really help without a lot of dangerous side effects seems to be falling in love and regular sex.

When you are flat broke and can’t afford to take a woman on a date, finding someone who is half your age or less is a very improbable event.  I either lower my expectations or continue with fuzzy thinking.  Guess I’ll take a break and go buy some lottery tickets.

False Hope to solve my problems is better than no hope at all.