This is a “think piece” as I am a journalist, not a scientist, and my thought process comes from reading, researching along lines of my own suspicions and my own personal experience.
When I was 35 years old, I had a test that showed I have Dyspraxia and possibly ADHD. The Ronald Davis technique I used as an intervention showed that all conditions on the Autistic Spectrum stem from the same root, which is pictorial processing rather than linear, verbal processing.
As we grow older, we all develop in different ways. We experience different parenting, teaching and responses from our peers, which all contribute to what we understand about our strengths, weaknesses and means of coping with modern society, our environment and its conditions.
Recently, I had a DNA test done out of curiosity and it showed that the DNA passed down on my mother’s side comes from a woman who came to Europe around 48,000 years ago, when there were only 4,500 Cro Magnon in Europe and Neanderthals existed for another 15,000 years or so.
Books such as The Edison Gene by Thomas Hartmann go a long way to describe the difference between the mental processing styles of the hunter gatherer and the farmer. I read it a while back, after reading Ronald Davis’ The Gift of Dyslexia and The Gift of Learning, then I found out about, and read, The Original Wisdom (An Ancient Way of Knowing) by Robert Wolff, about an indigenous people who lived in Malaysia until the 1980s called the Sng’oi.
It is interesting how these books are described and marketed for today’s readership. It’s all about difficulties, correction and managing conditions, rather than the actual contents of the book, which are just about these aspects, with the strengths as well as weaknesses described, along with possible roots of the Autistic Spectrum in human evolution. The Original Wisdom’s cover writing reads as if it is a self-help book, so much so that it has put friends I have shown my copy to off reading it totally.
Therefore, combining the findings in these books with my DNA test and lots of thinking and experimenting with my lifestyle, weight fluctuation etc, I now wonder if there are links between people who are “picture thinkers”, whose processing styles go back to before the agricultural revolution, and the amount of exercise and sugar we take in modern life.
I loved chocolate as a child and of course sweet things, but it is only now when I am aware of the effects on me when I have too much sugar, whether it is from alcohol (a hangover to me feels just like when I have had way too much sugar and I feel disorientated and gluggy) or from foods with sugar in.
Then I looked at a website about medication for ADHD and found it had links to blood sugar levels.
Therefore, my conjecture is this: People on the autistic spectrum, and that can include people with other genetic conditions such as Downs Syndrome, are getting too much sugar in the modern world and it is not helping them.
I have read that drinking coffee or preferably mateine helps the Dyspraxic brain refocus. When I did the Ronald Davis technique, I discovered why I had really swirly moments, which I ended up becoming really scared of as i would get angry very suddenly and rant at people. I was told it was “disorientation” when the world got too confusing, for example when someone said “call me at 3pm” about something important and then I was fobbed off when I called on time.
Once I discovered what disorientation was, these swirls of confusion instantly stopped being a problem. For a while, when I felt confused i said I was disorientated (when someone was really twisting me in knots on a customer service helpline for example) and waited for the moment to pass. Now, I have found ways to avoid getting disorientated altogether and it doesn’t manage to creep up on me anymore.
When I link my Dyspraxia with my DNA (haplogroup U subclade U2e2a1), and with that knowledge, observe my experiences and reactions to various substances, I draw the conclusion that my best lifestyle would be achieved if I avoided sugars and carbohydrates (as my mother’s ancestors would have not had these for their first 35,000 years in Europe) and if I walked a lot every day.
Walking gives me more energy and sugar gives me a head like a hangover. Just one MacDonald’s gives me a head rush. A hangover feels like drinking non-alcoholic beer, which contains a lot of sugar. Pasta, rice, potato and bread all make me feel gluggy as if I have had too much sugar and I find myself not ordering chips, and getting scolded by friends when I pinch one or two of theirs.
Therefore, if you are reading this and have any means of following a train of thought through to proper research and experimentation in a scientific environment, I ask you this:
Is there a link between Ritalin and other treatments for ADHD and Dyspraxia that could be replaced with a high-exercise, sugar free lifestyle?
There could be many conditions today including Bipolar, Down Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, all of which stem from the brain, as well as addictions such as alcoholism, which could be managed with a restriction on sugar intake.
There are problems for us today, however:
- So many non-sugar foods and drinks contain lots of sugar or agricultural-originated products such as glucose.
- Socialising often revolves around alcohol.
- People on a tight budget face more sugars in cheap foods than those with more spending power. (which is partly why I didn’t always experience the differences as I relied a lot on pasta when I had massive financial constraints. That created a cycle of low energy, feeling drowsy and gluggy and therefore I had less energy to think about these things).
- Products for vegans and vegetarians try to simulate meat products rather than focusing on giving these people sufficient nutritional balance in their diets.
Any thoughts on this are very welcome. Please read the books linked above if you are interested in my ideas, please get in touch as I would love to hear from you.