Mental Health

Lead and ADHD

Let me be honest, we are exposed to more chemicals at sub-lethal doses than any generation in the history of the planet.  We are not receiving acute, high-level doses, like soldiers of World War I did with mustard gas, but this slow accumulation of metals, flame retardants and other chemicals is negatively effecting our health.  One reaction that I commonly see among my patients is to be afraid of the toxicity present in the environment.  I definitely am not a Doctor who believes that we should live in fear and be paralyzed in this world because everything is so "TOXIC".  What I do hope to achieve is to inspire people to take reasonable steps toward reducing their total body burden, as well as inspire those with the dream to take political action to create stricter regulations and laws for the use of these chemicals.  

Heavy metals are associated with a magnitude of diseases.  One disease that has risen quite dramatically in the past 20 years but appears to be stabilizing in its prevalence is ADHD.  ADHD displays a hyper-active type, an in-attentive type, and an impulsive type.   

Children are more susceptible to heavy metals as their ability to eliminate toxins is reduced.  This paper by huang et al. assessed blood lead levels in over 500 Mexican children.  The mean blood level for these children was 3.4 micrograms/deci-liter.  It's important to know that no blood level of lead is safe and any level of exposure can cause neurological symptoms like fatigue, sluggishness, learning delays, and more.  The research team showed that levels less than 5 micrograms/deci-Liter were positively associated with hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.    

This study was not an RCT and must be taken with a grain of salt.  Therefore we can't say that lead causes ADHD.  In reality it will be very hard to create such a study to prove this as it would be unethical to give lead to one group of children and no-lead to another and assess ADHD outcomes.  What we do have though is a tragedy that can provide us with insight.  The children of Flint, Michigan.   There are literally hundreds of stories to select from but the results all cluster around leads effects on the brain.

It's important to remember that lead is not meant to stay in the blood, but would be sequestered predominantly in the bones and other tissues to protect the body.  One thing that mobilizes lead from the body is sweat making exercise and sauna extremely effective solutions for reducing total body burden for the more chronic patient, however if a patient has much higher levels, specific treatment is indicated, including finding the exposure and stopping it.

If you have a loved one who you are concerned about regarding their neurological health, from ADHD to dementia, consider having them ask their doctor to check their blood lead levels as a simple heavy metal screen could be life-saving.  


The Background of Anxiety Part 4

I hope you have enjoyed our series on Anxiety thus far.  We've been talking a lot about CO2, breathing, and there relationship to anxiety.  I'd like to dive deeper now into the breath.  On average we breathe 20k to 24k times.  The question to ask then is how are you breathing these breaths? 

Several lines of research aswell as my own clinical observation through working with real patients demonstrates to me that many people are breathing too quickly.  An optimal breath rate s generally between 4.5 and 7 BPM.  

Now this doesn't mean you need to be breathing 6 BPM when you're out running.  Just breathe the rate thats meets the demand of your activity.  

Want to dive deeper into your breath?  Schedule a first office call now.  

The Background of Anxiety Part 3

Your CO2 Thermostat.  

Your thermostat maintains the temperature of your house around 68-70degrees, almost year round.  But what would you do if you invited 100 of your closest friends and colleagues for a summer party?  You would probably turn the AC thermostat either down to 60 or cooler or just totally off.  Then your friends leave, after having had a great party, AND you DON'T reset the thermostat.  You are now living in a house that is 60 instead of 70.  How would that affect your body?   

CO2 is no different than "temperature in our thermostat analogy.  A stressor occurs, either acutely or chronically, we react by changing our breath, (WE NEED TO SURVIVE REMEMBER), but when the stressor is over, we don't RESET our Co2, because you might not even have noticed it changed.  

Changing the breath changes the background of anxiety.  If your interested in integrative treatment for anxiety then schedule an appointment online or call CIM.  Please share, tweet,  and like the video.  

How do you want your healthcare?

The Background of Anxiety Part 2

Is Anxiety a Carbon Dioxide deficiency?  

A few of the symptoms that occur from hypocapnia include

  1. anxiety
  2. Chest Pain
  3. Feeling tense
  4. Dizzy Spells
  5. Feeling Confused
  6. Faster or deeper breathing
  7. Shortness of  breath 
  8. Tingling fingers
  9. Unable to breeathe deeply
  10. Stiff fingers or arms
  11. Tight feelings round mouth
  12. Cold hands and feet 
  13. Palpitations
  14. Bloating in stomach
  15. Blurred vision

These are a few of the Medically Unexplained symptoms that can occur if your medical doctor can't find anything wrong.   

Carbon Dioxide is an extremely important gas in the body and is actually the main regulator of respiration in the brain.  To prove this point when you workout, your CO2 increases, which increases your respiration.  BUT if we are involved in acute or Chronic stress our CO2 levels can shift.  This can then cause a diminished amount of blood flow to the brain and prevent RBCs from Releasing oxygen.  

Both of which can contribute to and cause anxiety.  

Is there a medication you can take to fix your Co2? Unfortunately not, but Dr. Woodall can teach you to retrain your breath to tolerate MORE CO2.  It might feel a little awkward and anxiety provoking at first but it can greatly enhance your ability to stay more balanced.  

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Disclaimer- This is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice.  You're an individual so you need to be INDIVIDUALLY evaluated by a Doctor. 

The Background of Anxiety Part 1

Conventional Medicine Tx for Anxiety-

  • Anti-depressants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Psychotherapy

My perspective-  Anxiety is like a Portrait-  There is a foreground and a background

Focusing on Anxiety and just anxiety is addressing the foreground without addressing the background.  Which is JUST as important?  


What do I mean by the background?  I mean this:

How's your breathing? 

Are you holding your breath? 

How much tension is in your body?  

How many breaths per minute are you breathing? 

Your breath, HR, BP are autonomically controlled, meaning automatically controlled, but when you shift from something being unconsciously controlled to consciously controlled you switch the background, which CHANGES the FOREGROUND, and the WHOLE PICTURE

If you're interested in addressing the Background and foreground of Anxiety then set up an appointment with my office either by phone or online.  Thank you for listening and please share on twitter and facebook.  #AnxietyPortrait