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The Chemistry of Sleep: Successful Strategies for Sleep Optimization

Scott Theirl DC

October 28, 2020


Quality sleep is always the starting point for quality health. Falling asleep, staying asleep, duration and daytime energy are all important questions for an integrative approach to health. For those patients experiencing sleep challenges, neurotransmitter, cortisol, and melatonin testing and optimization can help significantly. Join us and learn how and when to test your patients, and how to support them using nutritional supplements. Case studies will be utilized for real-world approaches to sleep optimization.


Wellness Wednesday Webinar

Advanced Neuroendocrine Foundations

Lylen Ferris, ND

November 4, 2020

Familiarize yourself with neurotransmitter imbalance symptoms. Discuss the importance of a total, comprehensive, integrative approach to patient care. Explore various obstacles to cure (blood sugar imbalance, stress, gluten sensitivity, dysbiosis, inflammation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, etc.) that will be different for each patient. Gain insight into neuroendocrine interactions (adrenal, hormonal and neurotransmitter) which can influence a patient’s symptom presentation. Consider the complexities of supplementation protocols for patients with numerous imbalances.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD);

Toxic Element Exposure and Status of Essential Elements and Fatty Acids


By Julia Malkowski ND, DC | October 13, 2020

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is increasing in prevalence among children and adults across all geographic and socioeconomic groups. Difficulty focusing and completing simple tasks compounded by hyperactivity can make life and livelihood difficult. ADHD is a multifactorial condition that may be associated with certain potentially toxic metals, and poor status and balance of essential elements and fatty acids. Clinicians might consider objective assessment of potential underlying factors for ADHD patients in effort to improve prognosis.   

Neurological development and ADHD symptom severity may be impacted by heavy metal exposure. Lead, cadmium, antimony and mercury have all been associated with ADHD. Lead exposure has been associated with cognitive and motor deficits, as well as distractibility and other characteristics of ADHD. Prenatal exposure to methylmercury has been correlated with severity of neurological deficits in infants and children. Preventive measures might include assessment of ongoing and recent exposure to toxic elements via analysis of blood, hair or urine. In developing children, it is crucial to identify and abate exposures to cadmium, antimony and particularly lead. The same pertains to older children diagnosed with ADHD.  

Poor status of essential elements, such as iron, zinc and magnesium has been associated with ADHD. Prenatal anemia, diagnosed early in pregnancy, has been associated with ADHD. Iron deficiency has been correlated with ADHD symptom severity in elementary aged children. Iron may play a neuro-protective role, while deficiency compounded with lead exposure is associated with more severe ADHD symptoms than either factor alone. In addition to iron, zinc and magnesium deficiency has been associated with ADHD. Supplementation with the elements iron, zinc and magnesium based on laboratory values may be warranted. Circulating erythrocytes are good surrogate cells for inclusive assessment iron, zinc and magnesium status, and exposure to lead and methylmercury.   

“Western diets” commonly provide excess omega-6 fatty acids and lower omega-3 fatty acids [Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexanoic (DHA)]. This prevalent fatty acid imbalance leads to a depleted omega-3 fatty acid status. Strong evidence links omega-3 fatty acid deficiency and ADHD, such that targeted supplementation may be a viable treatment approach in a pediatric population. EPA and DHA supplementation has specifically been shown to improve attention, and restlessness and impulsive behaviors. A systematic review has found that symptom improvement appears to be dose dependent. Erythrocyte fatty acid analysis provides a good assessment of essential fatty acid status and facilitates individualized supplementation strategies. 

Influences pertaining to ADHD may include, but is not limited to exposure to toxic elements, and compromised status of essential elements and fatty acids. Clinical focus would include prenatal and pediatric screenings for heavy metal exposure, and objective assessment of nutritional status. Specifically, analysis of erythrocytes for iron, zinc and magnesium, as well as fatty acids is useful. Such objective testing facilitates highly focused individualized treatment protocols. With incidence of ADHD on the rise, it would be prudent for clinicians to consider all potential underlying factors that may disrupt normal neurological development and function as related to ADHD. 


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Boucher O, Jacobson SW, Plusquellec P, Dewailly E, Ayotte P, Forget-Dubois N, Jacobson JL, Muckle G. Prenatal methylmercury, postnatal lead exposure, and evidence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder among Inuit children in Arctic Québec. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Oct;120(10):1456-61. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1204976. Epub 2012 Sep 21. PMID: 23008274; PMCID: PMC3491943. 

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Last 20 Years Saw Increase in Prevalence of ADHD in Children, September 6, 2018. Psychiatry Advisor. 

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Villagomez A, Ramtekkar U. Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Zinc Deficiencies in Children Presenting with Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Children (Basel). 2014 Sep 29;1(3):261-79. doi: 10.3390/children1030261. PMID: 27417479; PMCID: PMC4928738. 

Wiegersma AM, Dalman C, Lee BK, Karlsson H, Gardner RM. Association of Prenatal Maternal Anemia With Neurodevelopmental Disorders. JAMA Psychiatry. 2019 Sep 18;76(12):1-12. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.2309. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31532497; PMCID: PMC6751782. 

Disclaimer: All information given about health conditions, treatment, products, and dosages are for educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.