Help for the Hyperactive Child.

Help for the Hyperactive Child. – book reviews

Across the nation, under various sponsorships, organizations are mustering in an effort to deal with the growing numbers of cases affecting children. Several decades ago, Dr. Ben Feingold, a California physician specializing in children’s allergies, wrote a book implicating diet and food additives. He was especially critical of several drugs prescribed to “quiet” hyperactive children. Dr. Feingold believed that eliminating sugars and dyes, the principal culprits, could bring relief. In most cases, he was proven correct.

With less emphasis and little publicity for the Feingold diet among pediatricians and a greater emphasis on drugs — essentially “tranquilizers” in their effect — hyperactivity among children seems to be on the rise again. Enter William G. Crook, M.D.

Dr. Crook lives in Jackson, Tennessee, and has achieved some renown by the success of his book that defined the problem of yeast infection and its relationship to a host of debilitating symptoms. The book, The Yeast Connection, spawned a sequel, The Yeast Connection Cookbook, which has brought him more fame and some fortune.

William Crook’s new book, Help for the Hyperactive Child, is worthy in many respects. First, it is probably the first book of its kind that follows the format of a primer for very young children. It is copiously illustrated in an A-B-C manner in large type and clearly spells out its elementary approach to a complex subject. But Dr. Crook succeeds in being scientific while he maintains his simple, primary grade school teaching manual.

The preface is also remarkable. Without attempting to cover himself with the usual disclaimers that the contents of the book are not intended to be taken as advice, Dr. Crook dives right into the subject with the following advice: he advocates a careful examination by one or more physicians if the child shows disturbing symptoms. Then, he suggests that treatment program outlined in the book as a possible regimen.

Dr. Crook believes that many hyperactive children reveal signs of future distress if there is a history of colic, respiratory, digestive or skin disorders during infancy.

He is especially concerned whether such a child has been given a prolonged dosage of antibiotic drugs, particularly for ear infections. Dr. Crook continues to be influenced by the part that yeast infections play in an individual’s life. Antibiotics also destroy benevolent bacteria and create a condition in which yeast can flourish. Yeast can overrun the organs of the body and will be responsible for secondary infections, Crook believes. “This imbalance,” he writes, can lead to an overgrowth of the usually benign yeast. Candida albicans.

Dr. Crook does not come down as critically on the drug Ritalin as did Dr. Feingold. He writes: “I’ve found that Ritalin and/or other related medications (including Cyclert, Benzedrine, Tofranil, Tegretol and Mellari) are rarely needed if and when . . .

1 The child is given a better diet — less sugar and less junk food including packaged food which contain colors, flavors and additives . . .

2 The environment is “cleaned up.” This means avoiding tobacco smoke, formaldehyde, insecticides, lead, cadmium and other toxic environmental substances.

3 Foods the child is sensitive to and are identified using a carefully designed elimination diet.

4 Anticandida therapy is prescribed for the child who gives a history of repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotic drugs for ear/and or other infections.

The book outlines additional criteria consisting of the need for psychological considerations that will strengthen self-confidence and self-esteem.

A proper emphasis is placed upon the value of nutritional supplements to fortify a well-balanced diet. Vitamin C complex, magnesium, calcium, and zinc, selenium, and essential fatty acids rate highly in the Crook regimen.

Accompanied by simple illustrations created by Cynthia Crook, the author’s daughter, questions and answers are posed. “Our child is a real terror — so ‘hyper.’ Some days he just bounces off the walls. We’d like to find help without using drugs. Is this possible?”

“You bet,” says Dr. Crook. “Many hyperactive and inattentive children show remarkable improvement with no drugs at all. Most inattentive children are bothered by food sensitivities and nutritional deficiencies.” The illustrations show boxes of supermarket cereals, sugar-shock pop, red dye included in a product, milk, corn chips and the usually sugar-coated cakes.

Dr. Crook is very effective in implicating the Candida (yeast) organism and how its spread of toxins (or poisons) weakens the immune system and irritates the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract.

Great emphasis is placed upon the need to avoid many “staples” of the typical American diet, such as foods containing artificial sweeteners (Aspartame, etc.,) and processed foods containing coconut oil and/or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Dr. Crook should have been more specific in referring to the latter by warning against monosodium glutamate (MSG) in its various disguises. Imitation bacon chips, frankfurters, dairy-free coffee whitener, bubble gum, and confections such as flavored ice-on-a-stick and artificial wheat nuts are given prominence in Cynthia Crook’s litany of horrors.

High on Dr. Crook’s list of approved foods considered beneficial to reduce hyperactivity are potatoes, peas, beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots onions, celery, asparagus, beets, broccoli brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, radishes, squash, and turnips.

The author recommends whole grain cereals, corn, fruits and vegetable oils. He urges varying whole wheat products with barley, rolled oats, amaranth and buckwheat.

The book has encyclopedia qualities. It is abundantly informative and can be taken seriously by parents of hyperactive children — and by those who cherish a tranquil nature without stimulants.

COPYRIGHT 1991 Vegetus Publications

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group