What Makes the Medicine Go Down?

For years I’ve subscribed to the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter: The Newsletter of Nutrition, Fitness, and Self-Care. It’s been rated No. 1 by journals such as U.S. News & World Report and the Washington Post. In the September 2006 issue (volume 22, Issue 12), they have a bit on taking meds. I’ve copied it here.

What Makes the Medicine Go Down?

If you have trouble swallowing pills, especially large ones, the following suggestions may help. Try different techniques to see what works for you.

  • Before you begin, take a deep breath and exhale. This may help relax you and possibly even help inhibit your gag reflex.
  • Take a swallow of water before you put the pill in your mouth, especially if you have a dry mouth.
  • Put the pill as far back on your tongue as possible, and swallow with another sip. Using a thicker fluid, like milk, may help.
  • Don’t throw your head back; this stretches the esophagus and makes it harder to swallow. You might even try tilting your head forward toward your chest when y Continue reading “What Makes the Medicine Go Down?”

How to Find an ADHD Savvy Doctor

Perhaps surprisingly, a lot of people are unhappy with their doctor, or are having trouble finding a doctor who knows anything about ADHD. Even though ADHD is the most common DSM-IV diagnosis in children, most doctors have received scant training in diagnosing and treating this disorder. They can open the DMS-IV and follow the guidelines, but they aren’t by any means experts.

So, how do you find a doctor that is both experienced and skilled in working with ADHD? You should start with this guideline from the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA). If you have a list of doctors from you health insurance in-service program, you can use the guideline to vet which ones really do know about ADHD. You can also contact your local CHADD chapter. Ask for their local resources directory. It may be a member-only benefit, but family membership in CHADD is inexpensive and definitely worth having. Or you can contact a local ADHD Coach. Coaches often have a list of doctors they recommend or refer to.

You can also use the online resources directories at ADDA, CHADD, ADD Resources, or the ADHD Physician Directory (sponsored by WebMD.com and Shire Pharmaceuticals). Note that professionals typically pay to be in these directories. That means only that they specialize in ADHD. It doesn’t say anything about how good they are. Just be sure to ask any doctor specific questions about their expertise with ADHD before you entrust them with your or your child’s care.

Do You Believe In Meds?

One ADHD-related topic in which perspective is important, is meds. I’m not for meds or against them, but I am against making life-effecting decisions base on bad information.

I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t consider meds, but they would take a “natural” stimulant to help with their ADHD symptoms. I’ve heard people say they won’t take meds because no drug is 100% safe. I’ve heard people say that the drugs commonly used to treat the symptoms of ADHD are not well studied. I’ve heard people say they won’t give their child meds because of fear of drug abuse. I’ve heard people say they don’t want treatment because they want to “handle it spiritually.”

What I hear in each of these positions is a tightly held belief, a single perspective.

Continue reading “Do You Believe In Meds?”