ADD/ADHD and caffeine
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I saw one mom on here mention giving her son a Coke as caffeine has the opposite effect on someone with ADD/ADHD. Any other Momma's out there know of this to be true. We are at the end of our rope. I have exacerbated all of the alternate treatments (IMO, I've researched and we've tried elimination diets, regular exercise, strict schedules, reward charts, time outs...). I DO NOT want my child to rely on medication, as my family has a history of addiction. If it comes down to it, then I am not completely closed minded on the option but as a completely last resort.

    Also, those who have chose to medicate, what do you tell your children the medication is for? Are you honest, or do you just throw it in there with daily vitamins and call it a day?
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I'm the Coke mommy. I only mentioned the Coke as a once in a while thing and a simple way to get an idea of whether her son could have adhd. I was told about it by a professor of a teaching children with special needs class I was taking to earn my BS in education. I have 2 kids with ADHD and the Coke thing does work. I would certainly not recommend it though as any form of ongoing alternative therapy. Coke isn't exactly good for any kid in mass quanities, but every once in a while isn't so bad.

    To answer your other question...my 2 kids with ADHD are both medicated. They know what the meds are for. I told them from the beginning that the meds will help their brains slow down so that they can make better choices and control themselves better. They're both old enough (9 and 11 yo) though to understand. In younger kids I would definitely still recommend being honest, but giving an age appropriate explanation.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I fostered a boy with ADHD. He liked the Ritalin as it gave him some control over his condition. At 18 he grew out of it almost overnight. Now he is very focussed and works hard, holds down a good job and runs his own business. It is sad he didn't get an education because of the ADHD, but it no longer defines him.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    My son is 8 and knows he has to take his pill every day. He's asked what it's for and I told him, "This pill helps your brain communicate better with your body so you aren't so fidgety. It keeps your brain on track better." He hates being distracted when he's really into something he enjoys and knows he has to pay attention in school. we've talked about drugs vs medication. He know some people need medication to help their bodies work with less pain and swelling, some people need it for making their body process sugar, some people need it to keep their brain on track.
    One of my first clues that he might have ADHD was when I gave him Benadryl for allergies. Instead of getting rid of his runny nose and making him sleepy (like it does to me, my husband, his sister, etc), it stopped the runny nose and RAMPED him up. He was tearing around the house, in tears. He didn't understand why he couldn't stop moving. I ended up being up with him most of the night, just rocking him.
    My mother and husband will give him coffee with milk (cafe au late) once in a while. He really digs the mocha flavor. I'm not certain it calms him down, because he gets his medication everyday. It doesn't make him drowsy but it doesn't hype him up, either, if that makes sense.
    I knew a lady who diagnosed her son with ADD and her "treatment" was to give him two cans of Coke a day: one before school and one in his lunch. She swore up and down it worked and didn't understand why I didn't jump right in and do it, too. Caffeine is a drug, a stimulant, but I haven't read any research that leads me to believe it works in the same manner as traditional ADD medicines. Then again, I'm not a doctor or pharmacist, so I can't say for certain. JMHO
    OP, you don't say how old your son is. Many kids benefit from behavioral therapy, but they have to be old enough to understand the situation. You might also try talking with your doctor about "micro dosing". It's using the smallest dosage of a medication to test the waters, so to speak. We started my son on 2.5 or 5 mg I believe. When we saw he responded positively to the medication, we worked to figure out the lowest does we could give him while still having it be effective. Just like you don't want to take 1000 mg of Tylenol when your headache is minor, you don't need to give your kid a high dosage, especially if they are young and don't weigh very much. He ended up being on 5 mg for about a year, and we have had to adjust it based on his growth every year since. After one really big growth spurt, we had to go from 20 to 30 and he's currently taking 30 mg a day.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    He's 4 1/2 We have an appointment with psychologist next week again so in bringing any info I can get with me. I was thinking about trying tea with truvia as opposed to a soda as we don't allow him to have sodas on a regular basis.

    The main things is, I wnt my son to enjoy his life to the fullest. I have the ability to be able to take him places and put him into sports or extra curricular activities but he cannot do these things due to his behavior problems. It makes me so sad for him.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I was just like the OP. vehemently antimedication. Even anti label. Society just needed to learn how to deal with energetic kids. I also tried fish oil and other non dangerous products.

    Except now in 4th grade my child's ego and confidence have been ripped to shreds by a horrid teacher who daily humiliated him for every wiggle and forgotten paper. Other kids are noticing his weaknesses, broken confidence and the teachers propensity to make him a public display and the other students have started to pick on him. I've watched my highly intelligent, straight A , fun, friendly kid get reduced to a sobbing self conscious heart broken anxious wall flower.

    If he has been properly diagnosed and the ADHD is affecting the quality of his life, get the medicine. Coca cola is NOT the answer unless you want him to be hyper, fat and have a mouth full of cavities.

    There is a drug called Strattera. It is not a stimulant. Investigate it.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    actually, yes. my sister was diagnosed as a teen with ADD and she had adverse reactions to just  about anything. sedatives made her wired, and she would drink coffee to help her go to sleep at night. of course, she's in her late 30's now, at the time (when she was a kid) not THAT much was known about it. she still has adverse reactions to things,
  • ImWendyImWendy
    Posts: 6,529Member
    I give Noah coffee in the morning, and sometimes before homework. It helps him a lot. Sometimes I don't know if he's tired, and that's why it helps, or if he has ADD. I did it regularly for a couple months and things were going really well. Then I slacked off and things are getting out of control again. So whatever the reason, I think it helps.
    deus ex machina
  • InsanityandChaosInsanityandChaos
    Posts: 1,924Member
    I was told by my family doc to give my son half a can of coke when I expressed concerns about adhd. He won't recommend testing until he is 6 he says, but that if I just need to know, the coke theory is usually correct. I never did it though. I just don't agree with giving a kid soda. Even just once in a while.
  • InsanityandChaosInsanityandChaos
    Posts: 1,924Member
    Oh- and that's not to say I think parents who let their older kids drink pop once in a while are horrible people either, I'm totally addicted to coca cola and my husband iv's mountain dew so that's why. I'm just trying to save his teeth while I can, lol!
  • etherieletheriel
    Posts: 790Member
    I'm the original Coke mommy...back when I hadn't signed up yet. I totally agree with you @InsanityandChaos about not giving young kids soda. I fight myself on it every time. I don't want my son's teeth to rot and I don't want him to have the raging Dr Pepper addiction that I have. My son is 9 and has ADHD and if he doesn't have a can of caffeinated soda before his late baseball games after his meds have worn off, he'll be "that kid" rolling around in the outfield that no other boy wants to be on the same team with. He even hates it when he does that. If I give him the soda, he's able to focus and pay attention and is able to play 2nd base very well. I do end up giving him about 1 Coke/week only during baseball season and I make sure he brushes his teeth really well after. He's never had any cavities, thank goodness.
    If I'm not supposed to do it, how come I can?
  • InsanityandChaosInsanityandChaos
    Posts: 1,924Member
    @etheriel, That's good though. A can of pop for a 9 year old once in a while isn't going to hurt them at all. I think I tend to imagine every conversation is about my age group or something, lol. My son is 4, and I've struggled with the pop debate since he was , no freaking kidding, a year old. When my MIL thought it was ok to give him pop in his sippy cup. I've also had experience with other people I know in real life who gave their kids pepsi in their bottle. One girl has a son about 6 months older than Ethan. He has had root canals done as well as having had to get rotted baby teeth pulled. That is unfortunately the image I get when I think of kids drinking pop and it clouds a rational opinion. If things turn out the way I fully expect they will, that my son is adhd ( so far his behavior is leading us down that road)  just like his dad and several other family members on both sides, I would have no problem giving him a pop in situations like you described. I guess I do kind of think its wrong to substitute pop over medication and I've heard a lot of people in real life talk about how they don't want to medicate. Then they pump their kid full of caffiene all day long. I don't really agree with that, but as I have no medical degree or first hand experience in having to choose as of yet, my opinions don't really count for shit, lol!
  • ImWendyImWendy
    Posts: 6,529Member
    @insanityandchaos The reason I prefer caffeine over meds is the potential side effects. In Noah's case, it's pretty mild so a little caffeine is enough. The reason I give him coffee over soda is I know the caffeine is natural. I put a lot of milk in it, BTW. It's probably half coffee, half milk. I've heard too many people talk about how meds left them feeling like zombies.
    deus ex machina
  • etherieletheriel
    Posts: 790Member

    @ImWendy If meds make someone feel like a zombie, they are on the wrong meds and need to talk to their doctor to get them changed. When my son was first diagnosed with ADHD, we had to play the trial and error game with meds and that's pretty typical. The first med made him tired all the time. The 2nd made him angry and aggressive and caused him to not eat or sleep. The 3rd one (Strattera) was a miracle...he can do his homework, isn't rolling around on the floor in class, isn't distracting his classmates, homework and chores are no longer a struggle...and he's still the highly intelligent, creative, empathetic, emotional boy that he's always been. I also have DD 11 diagnosed with ADHD as well. She's more inattentive where DS is more active. With DD we hit on the right meds the first time (Concerta) and she's still the intelligent, outgoing little social butterfly she's always been.

    No zombies in my house. :)

    If I'm not supposed to do it, how come I can?
  • NoMoreMonkeysNoMoreMonkeys
    Posts: 533Member
    Girls tend to have ADD more than ADHD. My DD is very spacey....she isn't on meds because we tried all the non stimulant meds and she is too skinny for the stimulant ones. The theory behind the caffeine is that out can stimulate the brain in a similar manner to the meds. If it works for you, go for it.
  • InsanityandChaosInsanityandChaos
    Posts: 1,924Member
    @ImWendy, Please don't feel offended by what I said!!! I didn't mean in any way that people should or shouldn't choose what works for them. I'm not really even talking about people who have tried different approaches and found what worked for their child. I'm all for doing whatever is best for your kids. If that means giving them a soda once in a while or whenever then that is that. I guess I'm being an ass because I've developed an opinion based on 2 people I know in real life. One is my MIL, who I complain about a lot on here, lol. She thinks that it's ok to give a kid full access to a case of mountain dew. I have pretty hard feelings over it with her. I had specifically told her to please not let ds drink pop. He stayed the night with her and the next day he was so sick. He had horrible stomach cramps, the runs really bad, and just felt awful. I called her and asked if he had eaten something that might be bad, I was really worried. She lied to me. I found out the truth because my niece who also stayed over and is 3 years older than ds, busted her out. She said "He's probably sick from all that pop he drank, he had like five or six cans of mountain dew, and I told him he shouldn't drink that much that it would make his belly hurt". Yeah, I have pretty hard feelings. Especially since I was so worried I took him to the er worried he might have food poisoning or something. It cost me $750. I also have issues with a friend of ours. She has a 9 year old son who has been diagnosed as pretty severe adhd. He is so bad he has been kicked out of 2 local elementary schools for bullying and destroying property, and he has temper outbursts that I can say from personal experience can get really bad. Like, scared he's going to hurt someone or himself scary. His Mother doesn't believe in adhd. She says it's a "made up disease for doctors and drug companies to make money", and blames all her son's behavior issues and inattentiveness on her ex husband, who is in the military and can't really do anything about it. I think I've heard her say almost every time I've been around them, "Go get a pop and chill out". It seriously bothers me that this poor little boy is so lost and really, these things have absolutely nothing to do with pop or caffeine, lol!
  • ImWendyImWendy
    Posts: 6,529Member
    @etherial Noah sounds more like your DD. Just easily distracted and unable to focus. I know meds help a lot of people, so I'm not against them, I just think Noah's still pretty mild so it works. For now. Lol.

    @insanityandchaos no worries! Sounds like mil and your friend are real pieces of work. I can understand where you're coming from. It took a while for me to get my mom off the soda wagon. And I mean soda like water, not for the caffeine. Lol
    deus ex machina
  • Bobcat
    Posts: 1Member
    My son has not officially been diagnosed with ADHD, his testing is next month after the turns 6. But the Phychologist recommended trying caffeine. I have asked around about this and a friend over the weekend told me that a family she knows gives their child Mountain Dew every morning before school and that it does help him stay focused in school. I still have not decided if I am going to try this or not.
    I am totally against the medications and have not found any good reviews on the All Natural meds that you can buy at Natural Food/Vitamin stores.

    Is there anybody out there that can give me some info on the Caffeine. My son would just need it during the school day, We are starting Behavior Therapy with him and giving him reminders to think about while in school. Maybe the caffeine would help??
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    I can only say what works for me. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was in 3rd grade. I took ritalin (sp?) yea I still can't spell worth a flip ! Or do math ! Lol. I took the pills through high school , no zombie issues for me. I was on a low dosage thoug. Now as an adult I drink caffeine ! When I was pregnant and cut it almost all the way out I was seriously in a fog ! It sometimes makes it hard to sleep , bug sometimes not. I'm not sure , I tend just not to sleep well. That being said I was raised drinking Coke with almost every meal. Mom was not real big on health food , I didn't even taste many vegetables till I moved out. Nothing green ( except grapes and the occasional pea) no spices either !! Sorry I dont agree with many of the things my mom decided to with me.
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
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  • faery74faery74
    Posts: 110Member
    I have 2 kids with ADHD and they are on Adderall, but we do not give it to them on the weekends.  Once in a while I will give them a little bit of my Coke and it helps.
  • bluemom
    Posts: 176Member
    My son had ADHD, the most classic case I've ever seen. But, we did a lot of behavior modification instead of medication. I'm not really against meds, but with his birth mother's family history of drug abuse, we felt it was best not to go there. But, on days I really needed him to be able to focus, and maintain good behavior, I would give him a Mountain Dew. It made a noticable difference. I wouldn't give my kid that every day, though, that stuff is terrible for you;)
  • cassie77775
    Posts: 58Member
    My son is 7, we tried the caffeine with no effect on him.  His is medicated and has been since he was 6.  He knows he has ADHD, he knows that the pill is for that.  With regard to addiction, you want to really be careful about your child self medicating as he gets older, bc it does happen.  A kid isn't medicated properly, he may turn to illegal drugs. 
  • Mommyof485
    Posts: 51Member
    Dd7 has ADHD and is medicated she know what her medicine is for and not to take anything from someone else if me or her dad give it to her.
  • PenguinsMommaPenguinsMomma
    Posts: 1,876Member
    My mom is a teacher with a degree in special education. On testing days she' ll give her students one or two coffee nips (the little candies) to help them focus
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    Tell y'all what, if it acts like a sedative on kids, I'm about willing to try it on my 3.9 yo!  SHE'S DRIVING ME BATSHIT CRAZY!
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • peach27
    Posts: 126Member
    We chose not to medicate our 6 year old. She has autism. We use therapy, fish oil, and vitamins. I don't let her have caffeine because it is not good for 6 year olds, but maybe it will help her when she is older. 
  • km.mamma
    Posts: 131Member
    My son has adhd ,dylexia,anxiety he is 14 now meds didnt agree and we tried all sorts of things .diet for him is real important anything wth colors cornsyrup frutose additives makes him off the wall twitching, tapping,unable to focus he knows now if he chooses to eat something like tht wht will happen and he doesnt like it and also recomended from a doc we started giving him coffee before school no sugar in 3rd grade it helps him , it stimulates the brain!every one is different you just have to keep trying till something works for the indivisual
  • justmeamycjustmeamyc
    Posts: 17Member
    I have heard this so many times before. My DS was diagnosed with ADHD this summer and while it was definitely not a shock, the variety of medicenes we have tried and have given up are astounding! I have given him some caffiene here and there and it does seem to help a little but it wears off really fast.
    Amy, mama to two wild men, living the newly single life in the ATL. Woot.

    Find me @foulmouthedmama
  • brennangirls
    Posts: 1Member
    My daughter has been on Adderall for a while, but she told me lately she feels depressed when she takes it, so I immediately took her off. Now her grades are dropping. I was so excited to read some of the posts here. We're going to try Mountain Dew tomorrow. I know soda is not healthy, but it can't compare to a teen feeling depressed from meds. Also, my two cents - I believe children should absolutely be told what they're taking; not just "another vitamin." If parents hide it, when the child finds out, he/she will think it's something to be ashamed of. Learning disabilities, like mental illnesses, have gotten a bad rap. As a teacher I think people need to get rid of the negative stigmas and treat ADHD students the same way we would treat a kid with glasses. I'm sorry for those of you who have had bad experiences with teachers. If your child has an IEP I would recommend going over the teacher's head. One bad teacher can scar a kid for years.