In Dr. Michael Platt's book, "The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones", he devotes a chapter and makes additional mention throughout his book of the relationship of hormone balance and ADD and ADHD. He offers the case of an adult patient, but also addresses children. Platt is not the first doctor whose works I have read, or talked to, that have made an association between these behavioral issues and hormones.
ADD and ADHD share the trait of hypoglycemic, which means sugar is taken from the brain and causes one not to focus. In ADD the over production of insulin (a hormone) is the root of the problem, and low sugar levels in the brain cause a constant craving for sugar (such as juice, soda, candy, etc.). Kids with ADD often have a weight problem, the sugar adds fuel to insulin production, and as I learned earlier in Platt’s book, insulin stores fat.
In addition to insulin over production, kids with ADHD also produce an abundance of adrenalin. This hormone is like natural “speed”. Hyper-activity burns the sugar before it is stored in fat, thus ADHD patients are typically thin.
A symptom of ADD is often fatigue and sleepiness around 3-4 pm , or while driving, caused by low progesterone. If a person gets tired when starting on progesterone it usually means they were over producing adrenalin (ADHD). When the body starts producing the same amount of adrenalin as would be considered normal operating adrenalin flow, it takes a bit for the body to adjust. (Like coming off of speed.).
It is common for people with ADHD to develop type 2 diabetes (a younger friend of mine has ADHD and is being watched for diabetes), and perhaps fibromyalgia. Adults with ADHD, fibromyalgia and RLS are all associated with over production of adrenalin. Platt treats with progesterone cream applied 3x daily, and the patient MUST cut back on carbs to reduce sugar and insulin levels.
Both ADD and ADHD are rooted in estrogen dominance/progesterone deficiency, and per Platt, if a mother is estrogen dominant/progesterone deficient it is usually passed to the kids. In previously reading Dr. Lee’s books, he also surmised that women that are estrogen dominant while pregnant can pass their dominance and deficiencies onto the fetus, and studies are showing that children who are progesterone deficient are apt to develop what is coined as a behavioral disorder, when in reality it is hormone dysfunction. I have learned much from both Platt and Lee on the correlation between ADD/ADHD and hormone imbalances. I know several European studies are being done to look further into this link.
Personally I was curious about something, and googled “hormones passed through breastfeeding”, and found a number of cases... For instance, in a forum was a mom who had posted about her 5 mo. old developing breast buds. Her doctor said hormones were passing through her milk and she should stop breastfeeding. She asked this in a forum and of course all the breastfeeding advocates said she should keep doing it and the baby will return to normal when done. Unfortunately I saw no place to comment, but if one is going to breastfeed I feel it would be well for doctors to advise use of progesterone to get a grip on excess estrogen, and other hormones that may be out of balance. As estrogen does affect the brain, per Platt, I personally, would not want to risk the effects of excess estrogen on my baby. Unfortunately, so few women, and doctors for that matter, are versed on hormone imbalances.
If I were young enough to be having children again, and knowing now what I did not know then – I would cease use of all skincare products that use petro chemicals, such as mineral oil. I would be very careful of the foods I eat, approach bug control in a totally organic matter, and never set foot in a nail salon while pregnant or nursing. AND I would use progesterone cream. They don’t teach expecting mothers about what can be passed through breastmilk that might be negative, unless it is something obvious, like prescription drugs. I am an advocate of breastfeeding as well, but I feel proper education of how we must be responsible for what we are truly feeding our children, is lacking.
If an estrogen dominant women (and double if father has ADHD or ADD, or estrogen dominance of any sort) can pass the trait through to the fetus, then it seems logical that breastfeeding can do the same. I have read about this from several sources now, books and doctor's newsletters.
I recently met a woman who looked at the check list of estrogen dominant/progesterone deficient symptoms –and said she could check all of them. I had noted that her 5 mo. old baby looked like a little grown up in a small body. I also learned that her baby was starting to form pubic hair, which I looked up - it is called premature adrenarche. An endocrinologist on line, in answer to another mother whose infant had formed pubic hair, was on top of things enough to note that it was likely caused by hormones, and recommended seeing a family endocrinologist. Of course, one has to hope an endocrinologist knows enough about hormones to instruct the mother to cut back on her own use of estrogen-producing products and foods, and check on prescriptions she may be taking, such as birth control. I pray a medical professional would never put an infant on synthetic hormones (which are linked to cancer) to reverse symptoms of hormone dominance such as early forming breast buds, etc. One Arbonne consultant discovered when her own baby started going through puberty at 10 months of age from estrogen based baby products. Ceasing the use of popular brands, like Johnson & Johnson baby oil, caused the breast buds to reabsorb. In my opinion, that's scary stuff!
From all that I have been reading, it seems there is a good chance of an infant exposed to too much estrogen, whether it be invitro, through nursing, or by use of unsafe products used directly on baby's skin, may develop estrogen dominant symptoms as well. These hormonal dysfunctions seemed to have reached an epidemic proportion in the U.S., which totally coincides with the industrial/chemically laden nation that we have become.
Can we clean up our act for the sake of our children? I sure hope so! We can’t change the world alone, but if we refuse to buy products with mineral oil, foods with artificial dyes, and stop hiring “pretty lawn" people to kill our dandelions – our children would be healthier for it. We also need to be our own best advocate, and that for our children, and say no to prescription hormones, aka synthetic, which are not in our best interest, but in the financial best interest of the drug companies who produces such drugs.
To your health!