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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Watching Dr Oz 10/19/11: Adult ADHD, ADHD Warning Signs, Concentration Boosters, The Next Step in Dr. Oz's Transformation Nation, Healthy Burger Challenge

The Dr. Oz Show
Air date: October 19, 2011
ADHD: The Diagnosis The Could Save Your Marriage

  • Adult ADHD: is it real or an excuse to tune out
  • 4 warning signs of ADHD in your partner
  • 3 ways to boost concentration
  • Transformation Nation: the next step
  • Healthy Burger Challenge
It's not just for kids, adults can be diagnosed with ADHD and it can effect every relationship, including the most important relationship: your marriage. Eight million adults suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Seventy-five percent of adults will go undiagnosed and untreated. Is ADHD “real” or just a way to hide behind tuning out of the relationship?

Dr Edward Hallowell, MD, director of the Hallowell Center mental health facility [and co-author of the book Positively ADD: Real Success Stories to Inspire Your Dreams], has taken his own struggles with ADHD and made a career out of helping people understand and manage the disorder.

Sue Hallowell, is a couples therapist and married to Dr. Hallowell, and has worked with her husband and their three children to help them manage their ADHD. That's right, they have three children and each of them have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Mrs. Hallowell shares that each partner brings strengths to a marriage and they each bring challenges. The key, says Dr. Hallowell, is to not take it personally. He explains that the ADHD adult mind is like a toddler on a picnic, it's not that your partner doesn't love you it's the way their brain is wired.

Dr. Oz showed images of a healthy brain along side an ADHD-diagnosed brain. The healthy brain showed lots of activity happening throughout the brain with white and pink areas sprinkled with green, red and blue. The ADHD brain does not process as much information, cannot take concepts and act on them because there are too many messages assailing the brain and nothing gets processed. This brain had less of the pink and white areas and far more of the green, red and blue areas.

Warning Signs of Possible ADHD

Warning Sign #1: Easily distracted
Examples: Wife starts talking then the husband interrupts in the middle of a sentence to talk about something else. Try talking to him about his day and he's doing ten different things and won't focus on me.
Dr. Hallowell explains that the ADHD brain is wired differently and cannot process information in the same way. Moving away from blaming and fighting and toward how to manage the “disorder”.

Warning Sign #2: Disorganized
Examples: leaves piles of clothes and things everywhere. Takes 20 minutes to leave the house because the keys or wallet is lost again.
Chronic disorganization stems from distraction and the inability to focus on a task in order to get it done.

Warning Sign #3: Time management
Examples: always late, procrastinator and cram all work in five minutes.
People with ADHD do not have a sense of progression of time like everyone else.

Warning Sign #4: Unreliable
Examples: misses appointments, forgets lists
Mrs. Hallowell shares that this is one of the biggest problems that many couples effected by ADHD face and it sets up the parent-child relationship within the marriage. One partner feels they have one more child and that is their partner.

Having one symptom on the list does not make for an ADHD diagnosis and could just be a sign of being scattered. [Stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet can all play a role in lowered mental focus and a feelting of being scattered and not being able to complete any task.] Dr. Hallowell clarifies that intensity and duration of any, or all of the warning signs is the key to differentiate between feeling scattered and potentially having ADHD.

How To Help Your Partner Focus
Change how you communicate with each other by offering helpful suggestions instead of hounding.

Set up structure such as a to do list, with no more than three items at a time, and put it in obvious place: on mirror, under the coffee cup, taped to the briefcase.

How To Get Evaluated
Find a health care provider who is experienced with ADHD.
Medications may not be required but, Dr. Hallowell urges to not be afraid of them. ADHD support medications been around over 70 years and when used properly can work wonders, but they are not for everyone. [Some people respond to drinking coffee in the morning and can go with out medications. Others turn to natural products that support brain function.]

[ADD and ADHD are controversial subjects. My opinion? Well, I think there are people who do in fact have great difficulty concentrating, focusing and remembering. Yes, I think there are many people who do have a lower or different attention span than most people. I also believe that we are seeing a rise in ADHD issues due to our culture from computers to smart phones to video games to TV - especially TV with fast paced shows, Dr. Oz included, where topics are raced through at lightening speed with little detail leaving viewers with a false sense of understanding. ADHD is a convenient excuse for some and a life-saving diagnosis for others. Structure is a great tool, communicaiton is a miraclous way to convey ideas and emtions. These things are all helpful to everyone yet go underused and undervalued.]

Three Natural Cures to Help Boost Your Concentration

Eat Breakfast – it's the most important meal of the day and can help improve focus throughout the day. Include hard boiled eggs which have choline to support brain function.

[Choline was mentioned on The Dr. Oz Show earlier this month as an antioxidant powerhouse. Choline is a B-Vitamin and supports the transmission of messages between neurons in the brain.]

Add to the eggs, a bowl of wheat bran cereal that contains zinc. Zinc supports brain function and helps reduce impulsive reactions.

Top it off with coffee, full of antioxidants and taken at the right time [preferably in the morning] can help you remember. Keep in mind that it takes 4-6 hours to burn off the caffeine buzz.

[A breakfast of protein, fiber and vitamins also provides nutritional balance and support for an even blood sugar level all of which can contribute to focus and concentration.]

Ginseng is a stimulant [think energy without the caffeine zip-zap-burn-out], supportive of an increase in concentration, and can enhance the abilities of neurotransmitters. Dr. Oz recommends taking100mg o ginseng twice a day.

Noise Canceling Earphones
The fan invited to the stage shared that she works at a night club to which Dr. Oz asked how do you concentrate? Wine, she replied hiding her face on his shoulder! Dr. Oz recommends using noise canceling earphones which can reduce, not eliminate, ambient noises.

[I don't know many businesses that would allow their employees to wear earphones at work. Then again, I've been working retail the last 11 years – certainly not a traditional office workplace. If the pay-off is an employee who can gain more focus and thereby, theoretically, increase productivity or improved accuracy, then it may be worth investigating. Or, rather, investing in. I looked up these earphones and the prices reach well into the $600 range – earbuds are available for much, much less.

Transformation Nation: Million Dollar You: Step 2

To date, more than 250,000 fans have joined Dr. Oz's Transformation Nation.

[Dr. Oz said today that step one has been completed by people signing up for Transformation Nation and now it's time for step 2 which he says is connecting with your doctor. However, on his website the seven steps are as follows:
  1. Tell a Friend
  2. Official Weigh-in/Calculate Your BMI
  3. Connect with Your Doctor
  4. Learn Your Family's Health History
  5. Get More Sleep
  6. Assess Your Stress
  7. Start New Fitness Habits
So what he is really talking about today is step 3 in the seven step program. From here on out, let's just call it “the next step”.]

The next step: see your doctor.
Dr. Oz stated that 1 in 3 American's have not seen their doctor this year. Sharecare wants to help you get in touch with health care experts – for free. was started by Dr. Oz with the founder of to provide a virtual medical team at home and for free.

Dr. Vonda Wright, Sharecare doctor and orthopedic surgeon, calls Sharecare a melding together of google and facebook – bring your searching questions together with a social network.

Sharecare helps people get real and accurate answers at any time, ask experts, hear different viewpoints and made an informed decision.

An important part of connecting with your doctor is the connection part. Dr. Oz would rather see people feeling comfortable in the patient-doctor relationship instead of just going to the doctor. A valued connection creates an environment where the patient and doctor are working together towards a goal of health.

There's a lot of fear surrounding going to the doctor, perhaps that's why we put it off so much. We fear the white lab coat. [Everyone should just tie-dye their lab coats already!]

To create a more comfortable situation in the doctor's office, Dr. Oz has some suggestions:

Write down your health questions ahead of time, make a copy and give it to your doctor so you can discuss them together.

Ask: What is my blood pressure?
Ask: What is my cholesterol?
These numbers are a key component to provide a view of health. High numbers can indicate a predisposition to stroke and a whole host of [bad] things.

Ask: Based on lifestyle and family history, what type of screenings should I have?
Know your health risks, talk about them with your doctor, and see where you stand – health-wise.

Ask: Do you think I have gained too much weight?

Ask: When should I see you again?
Dr. Oz doesn't ever see a reason not to ask this when you leave.
Doctor-patient relationship should be a partnership

Sharecare is hosting a live web cast Thursday, October 20 at 7:30EST with health care professionals from around the country to answer your questions. Click here tomorrow for the web cast.

[There is still time to sign up for Transformation Nation and now you can get a free t-shirt (while supplies last) just for signing up. Check here to sign up for Dr. Oz.'s Transformation Nation and you could be sporting a nifty shirt that may just provide a little extra umph in your triumph!]

Get the Best Care At Your Next Appointment

First thing you should say when a specialist says they don't take your insurance?
Ask: can we write to the insurance company for permission?
Write a letter, to have a paper trail. Your circumstances may be unique enough to qualify for coverage. [At least ask, they just may say yes.]

The doctor says you need new medications, what do you ask?
Ask: Can I get off another pill if I start this one?
Taking multiple medications can increase the risk for interactions that could potentially very damaging and possibly lethal. Taking three medications can increase interaction risks by 30%. Jump up to taking seven medications and the interaction risks jump up to 80%. Dr. Oz encourages taking as few medications as necessary and stay in a conversation with your doctor [and pharmacist regarding the necessity of the drugs and options for reducing them.

Generic prescriptions are a great money saving option but talk to your doctor or pharmacist to determine if they are appropriate. See yesterday's post, Healthy on the Cheap.]

The doctor says you need surgery.
Ask: for a second opinion.
[ has a nice one-page sheet with tips on how to obtain a second opinion.]

Dr. Oz's Healthy Burger Challenge

Dr. Oz is on a question to find a healthier hamburger. Today's hamburgers, be it homemade or restaurant flipped, are full of fat and calories. He's called in two top chefs to put together their own version of a healthy burger.

Chef Spike Mendelsohn of Washington, DC’s Good Stuff Eatery cooked up a Scooped Turkey Burger filled with celery, scallions, apples and lemon. To reduce the carbohydrates and calories, he scooped out some of the bread from inside the bun.
The review: lemony, light, juiciness in the texture

Chef Brett Reichler of Bill’s Bar and Burger in New York City put together a Ozified Chia Burger that's a smaller portion that what most people and restaurants would prepare, only 5oz of beef. To that he adds chia seeds and uses a tofu and acai special sauce instead of mayo and tops it off with home-cured pickles.
The review: a classic flavor with the beef, what you would expect a burger to taste like, juicier than the turkey burger.

The winner of Dr. Oz's healthier burger challenge and the winner of the Dr. Oz trophey: Chef Brett Reichler and his Ozified Chia Burger!

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