In today’s greener world where people search for the most natural options to everything from the soap they use to the medications they put in their body, it’s no surprise that natural ADHD treatments have become popular.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a common disorder that can affect both children and adults. There are more than one million children in United States alone with ADHD and many more that have not been diagnosed yet. Originally, children with this disorder were automatically put on medications such as Ritalin. Today, parents have more knowledge and research available to them and they want natural options for treating their children.
In the past, the medications that were commonly prescribed for treating ADHD were stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine. The theory being that when a stimulant drug interacts with an overly stimulated brain, it is similar to two trains colliding, they both slow down. The stimulant medication slows the ADHD child down. However, these stimulants have side effects that can range from hallucinations, psychotic episodes and depression. Some stimulants cause loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach aches, and insomnia, not to mention the possibility of addiction. These are the main reasons parents have begun to seek more natural treatment options rather than fill their child’s body with these harsh chemicals.
Natural ADHD Treatment Options
Natural ADHD treatment is possible with the help of a family doctor who is willing to work with the family to ensure that the treatments choses help create a balanced life with structure and organization. Overtime, it is possible that natural treatment options can lead to ADHD symptoms becoming practically nil. It may take time and effort to develop a treatment plan that works and it may also involve trial and error to find the combination that works. The following are some of the natural steps that can be tried.
This is the first thing any doctor will advise when opting for an all natural treatment plan. There are many foods and additibes that have been linked to ADHD. These foods should be eliminated from the diet completely and include:
- Junk foods such as candy, potato chips and other non-nutritious fillers that are part of the average young person’s diet.
- Processed foods
- Food colorings
- Fried foods
- Fruit juice
- Artificial sweeteners
These should be eliminated for a trial period and then slowly, one at a time, reintroduced. During this period, the parent should be keeping a journal of foods added back in and any changed in behavior that is noted.
An overall healthy diet should be followed, including ensuring that all vitamin and mineral requirements are being met. Fish oil supplements or foods hight in omega-3 fatty acids should be added. This supplement has shown to improve cognitive function. Vitamins C and Niacin have also been shown to be helpful in controlling ADHD symptoms. This can also be taken as a supplement. An overall reduction of sugar should also be emphasized. Sugar increases sensory stimulation and hyperactivity.
Herbal remedies have become more popular in recent years and yet date back hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years. There are herbs that can be used to help control ADHD symptoms such as mood swings, forgetfulness and other symptoms. These herbs also have the added benefit of not having side effects associated with prescription medications such as sedation. Some of the herbs that can be used with ADHD are:
- Evening Primrose
- Lemon Balm
- Gotu Kola
Parents should talk to their family doctor and work with them to develop a treatment plan and also have the doctor help monitor the treatment.
Parents of ADHD children and even adults with ADHD should make sure that exercise is part of the daily routine. Exercise helps the body produce natural chemicals that are effective in negating the symptoms associated with ADHD. Exercise helps the body relax and distress, it can help improve mood and create an overall sense of well-being.
The reason for exercise being so helpful is mainly due to the chemicals released during exercise such as endorphins. These endorphins are used by the body to regulate mood. The other chemicals that are released by the brain during exercise help to increase the brain’s ability to focus and pay attention. This is necessary in order to help combat the symptoms associated with ADHD.
One final aspect that exercise and activities such as yoga and aerobics can bring children with ADHD is structure in the form of repetition. The repetition and having to learn to follow the structured routine help with focus and attention that are lacking in children with ADHD.
Natural ADHD treatments are viable options to prescription medication that can and do work when continually monitored to ensure that the treatment options are working and that the symptoms are subsiding.