Natural ADHD Treatments

Natural ADHD TreatmentsA Natural World

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.

Traditional Treatment

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.

Diet

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.
  • Chocolate
  • 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.

Natural Herbs

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:

  • Chamomile
  • 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.

Exercise

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.

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Adult ADHD Signs and Treatments

Adult ADHD Signs and TreatmentsADHD in Adults

Identifying ADHD in adults is a little more difficult than it is in children. Part of the reason stems from the belief that only children have the disorder; however, doctors have in recent years discovered that adults can have this disorder as well. Understanding adult ADHD signs and knowing what treatments are available is the first step in determining if the problem with concentration is simply lack of concern or really a disorder that needs treatment.

First Things First

Many people who have not dealt with ADHD in children think that anyone who has the disorder simply has no self control. This train of thought is not uncommon, particularly of adults who have the symptoms of the disorder but don’t want to face it. The first thing that must be understood is that ADHD is a chemical imbalance that cannot be controlled by sheer willpower.

While it is true that will power and determination can be great tools in the overall treatment of ADHD, they are usually not able to be the only treatment option.

Symptoms in Adults

Many of the symptoms that are exhibited by children with ADHD are also the same symptoms that are exhibited by adults only in slightly different ways. For instance, multitasking; this may seem like a great trait to have; however, if the tasks aren’t completed and are filling up a to-do list, this could be a sign of ADHD. Other symptoms that adults may show include:

  • Boredom: Adults with ADHD become quickly bored and move from one thing to another.
  • Concentration: Trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks.
  • Zoning out and daydreaming.
  • Inability to complete the minutest tasks, skipping steps, leaving work incomplete.
  • Memory Issues: Forgetfulness, unable to remember simple conversations, partially due to poor listening.
  • Hyperfocus: Overly focusing, becoming absorbed in the task at hand to the point of seeming to zone out. This is known as hyperfocusing and is in reality a form of tuning out surroundings so that distraction does not occur. However, people who hyperfocus lose track of time and been so absorbed that they forget other things, such as other tasks or even friends and family.
  • Disorganization: In adults with ADHD, disorganization can be a huge factor. Staying organized at home and work is important in being successful and yet the inability to do so can lead to missed appointments, unfinished tasks and constantly misplacing things. Procrastination and lateness are also common in ADHD adults.
  • Emotional Issues: Adults with ADHD often suffer more emotional disorders than children with ADHD. This may be due in part to the importance of success in relationships and work and yet failure due to ADHD symptoms causes frustration and a lack of self worth. Other emotional symptoms include short tempers, mood swings, lack of motivation and stress.
  • Restlessness: Like children with ADHD, restlessness may look like super energy; however, the person who is suffering with ADHD might not feel energized. This hyperactivity might also exhibit itself in excess talking, constant fidgeting, racing thoughts and boredom.

These are some of the symptoms that can be seen in adults with ADHD. However, there are many more symptoms that are possible and that will ultimately affect the person’s life, from relationships and finances to work difficulties and physical health problems. If these symptoms exist and are causing problems with everyday life, treatment options should be discussed with the family doctor.

Treatment

There are many treatment options for adult with ADHD. Some people choose to try and control their symptoms using self-help options such as therapy, exercise, diet and sleep. Many therapists are available that can help with organization, time management and focus.

Most of the skills needed to manage ADHD revolve around organization, time management and communication. There are online sites that can provide steps to learning to do these things without the need for a professional. On the other hand, it takes time and concentration to use these and so it might be best to have a professional coach who can keep the process of these things moving along rather than being distracted and forgetting what the point of the subject is.

Medication may also be used in adults with ADHD. The same types of medications that are used in children can be used with adults. The good news is that these medicines don’t have to cause sedation, in fact, most medication for ADHD today does not cause sedation; however, when first starting on the medicine it may seem odd to be calm and focused. It may even take time for people to become accustomed to a calmer, more organized adult.

Ultimately, adult ADHD signs and the treatment options available are very much like those found in children. The biggest difference is the way the symptoms affect daily life and the degree that each symptom is exhibited.

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ADHD Treatment for Adults and Children

ADHD Treatment for Adults and ChildrenTreatment for ADHD

Many people mistakenly think that the only options for ADHD treatment for adults and children is keeping them medicated. While it is true that medication can be a therapeutic option, it doesn’t mean that sedating medications are the complete answer. In fact, there are many new medications on the market that are sedating and simply work on the chemical imbalance that causes the ADHD symptoms to proliferate.

Treatment Options

Doctors and medications are just the beginning of successfully treating ADHD; in fact, some adults choose not to use medications. This does not mean that parents should forego doctors and their advice; it simply means that there are other options that can be used in addition to medication. There are many lifestyle changes and habits that can be formed such as learning strategies, time management, therapy and others that can be beneficial in treating ADHD. Some of these options are explained below.

Exercise: It may seem that exercise is the treatment option for practically everything and in many aspects it is. Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and especially so in people with ADHD. Exercise causes the body to release hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These hormones all play a role in attention spans and focusing.

Exercise also helps to fight stress, reduce hyperactivity, and improve concentration. Adults and children who exercise regularly sleep better, have better memory function, more motivations and are generally in a better mood.

Sleep and rest are important in people with ADHD and at the same time are often difficult to obtain. In order to facilitate sleep, children and adults should both have a regular, set bedtime and make it a routine. Caffeine and sugar should be avoided in the latter part of the day and activity should be quiet and relaxing an hour or more before bedtime. If sleep is difficult, naps should be limited. Natural remedies for sleep can be used such as warm milk and honey before bed.

Along with exercise and sleeping right, diet should be considered and important part of a treatment plan. Food can play a large role on how a person feels, how much energy they have and many of the other symptoms that are associated with ADHD. Some foods that should be included are omega-3 rich foods such as salmon, tuna, eggs and milk products. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to be effective in improving mental focus. Fish oil supplements may be used in place of the seafood.

These are simple, easy to implement lifestyle changes that are part of a healthy, well-balanced life and even more important for people who have ADHD.

Therapy

Many people, both children and adults, have found that therapy is one way to treat their ADHD. Therapists can teach skills necessary in coping with some of the symptoms and make it possible to learn to handle them, often without medication. Some examples include:

Behavioral Coaches and Therapists: These are specialists who can teach adults and older children how to manage time and become better organized. Behavioral therapy for children can be useful in decreasing problem behavior through reinforcement of positive behavior. This isn’t an overnight program and takes time and patience; however, the results can be successful and improve some of the symptoms.

Talk Therapy: This is simply therapy that allows the person with ADHD a chance to deal with the emotional overload that can be the result of having ADHD. Many people, particularly children and young adults, feel embarrassed by ADHD. It can affect their school work, social life and even employment in young adults. Many feel they are failures and can’t do anything right, they are often social outcasts and ridiculed by their peers. Talk Therapy gives them the chance to talk about this and get feedback from the therapist.

Professional Organizers: Adults with ADHD may feel the need to hire a professional organizer to get their home life organized. These people help to reduce clutter in the home, organize the house and create a plan for staying organized.

These are some of the professionals that are available to help manage ADHD and the symptoms that come with the disorder. There are many resources on the Internet that can help find these and more.

Home Treatment

There are some treatment options that can be followed at home that will have an impact on ADHD. Some things that can be done include:

  • Keep a schedule and routine.
  • Keep schedules as simple as possible.
  • Create a quiet place for studying and homework.
  • Be an example for organization and time management.

These simple steps, combined with therapy and medications if necessary can keep the symptoms associated with ADHD under control. The amount of medication needed can be reduced and possibly eliminated over time through learning new behaviors and some self monitoring.

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