Treating Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) Naturally

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Has your child been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD)? If so, your son or daughter may have been prescribed a medication to treat it. These medications can cause unwanted side effects. Look into natural solutions first.

 

What Are the Symptoms?

 

ADHD and ADD are very similar in their symptoms. Children with ADD will often misplace items, forget homework, stare off into space, blurt out inappropriate comments, interrupt others, become easily confused, and have difficulty learning in a structured environment.

 

 

Children with ADHD will exhibit the above symptoms and will also tend to also be fidgety, anxious, talk non-stop, run as though powered by a motor, and hardly ever sit still.

 

What Causes It?

 

The exact cause of ADHD and ADD is not known. However, there are several leading theories that attempt to explain the rise in the incidents of these disorders.

 

 

They include:

 

  • Lack of Adequate Nutrition – For the last fifty years, the nutritional content of food has dropped considerably as fast, convenience, and highly-processed foods have replaced nourishing home-cooked meals.
  • Pesticides/Environmental Toxins – Pesticides in our food have been shown to have a link to the rise in cases of ADD and ADHD. Manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies pump gallons of toxic chemicals into our air and water supply each day, making even breathing and drinking risky.
  • Vaccines – Thimerosal, a preservative found in most vaccines, has also been linked to the staggering rise of ADD, ADHD and autism cases.

 

Is the Diagnosis Accurate?

 

It is estimated that out of the 4.5 million children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, 20 percent are misdiagnosed. Other physical and mental health problems may mimic certain symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

 

These include:

 

  • Autism – Children on the autistic spectrum are often first diagnosed with ADD or ADHD because the symptoms are so similar. Children on the spectrum often have problems relating to others in social settings because they find it difficult, if not impossible, to read facial expressions and body language. This makes it hard for them to bond with others and leaves them open to social rejection. It is important to have children evaluated for this developmental disorder before they are given prescription medication for ADHD.
  • Food/Environmental Allergies – Wheat, gluten, and food dyes are common causes of behavioral problems in children that could be easily mistaken for ADD or ADHD. Trade highly-processed foods and gluten-based grains for more wholesome fare such as organic fruits and vegetables, organic meat, poultry, wild-caught fish, nuts, natural nut butters, seeds, eggs, and healthy fats such as butter, coconut oil, and avocado. Do this for at least one month to see if your child’s symptoms improve.

Also, environmental allergies can affect children and cause the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. Use laundry detergents, household cleaners, and soaps that are free of artificial fragrances and dyes for the better mental and physical health of the whole family.

 

Beware of antibacterial products containing triclosan too. Triclosan is a highly potent synthetic antibacterial agent that has been linked to immune disorders, neurological dysfunction, hormone imbalance, mental and behavioral problems, and a weakening of muscle function.

 

 

Personally, I use castile soap for just about everything except for washing dishes. It just isn’t powerful enough to cut through tough grease on its own.

 

 

 

  • Intestinal Parasites – Though intestinal parasites are sometimes thought of as an infection that can only be contracted by traveling abroad, it is estimated that 50 percent of the United States population is infected with some type of parasite. Your child could be one of them. Intestinal parasites cause a host of physical and mental symptoms that may mimic ADD and ADHD. To learn more, click here.
  • Thyroid Problems – An undiagnosed thyroid condition such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can cause irritability, anxiety, depression, and mood swings that may be attributed to ADD.
  • Sleep Disorders – If children do not get adequate sleep, they may be inattentive, irritable, anxious, and confused.
  • Seizure Disorders – Some children experience seizures that last only a few seconds to a minute. These unnoticed seizures can cause brain damage and may present as the symptoms of attention deficit disorder.
  • Lead Toxicity – Lead poisoning can cause difficulty in concentration, poor academic performance, decreased cognitive function, and poor memory.
  • Sensory Processing Disorders – Children who have sensory disorders often require a lot of stimulation and may act out on impulse. They are usually clumsy and accident-prone and their symptoms worsen with overstimulation.

 

Conventional Treatments for ADHD

 

Children with ADHD are often prescribed stimulant or antipsychotic drugs. Though they may dull the symptoms and help your child pay better attention, they do not get to the root of the problem or “cure” the disorder at all. It’s still there. It’s just being temporarily suppressed.

 

These medications may also cause dangerous side effects including anxiety, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, stomach pain, allergic reactions, hallucinations, heart problems, abnormal weight gain, violent mood swings, swelling, hives, and many more.

 

treat_ADHD_naturally

 

Natural Treatments for ADHD

 

The most important natural treatment for attention deficit disorder is eliminating any possible food and/or environmental causes.

 

 

  1. Eliminate Junk Foods – Junk foods contain high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, food dyes, and other dangerous additives that can cause a host of physical and mental symptoms, including those similar to ADHD.
  1. Cut Out Gluten – Limit your child’s intake of wheat/gluten products. In an intolerant child, gluten can wreck havoc on both physical and mental health.
  1. Krill Oil – Omega-3 fatty acids are of great importance to your child’s developing brain. In an ideal world, we would get all the healthy omega-3 fatty acids we need from fish. However, our oceans have become highly contaminated with mercury, which is toxic to the brain and nervous system. Krill oil has been proven to be one of the best natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids as it contains little to no mercury. This is because it comes from the smallest creature on the food chain and therefore absorbs the least amount of toxins.

 

 

  1. Get Outside – According to research, children with ADHD benefit from spending more time in nature.

 

Attention deficit disorder can be difficult to manage and diagnose. These tips should help you get to the bottom of your child’s behavior and help them to live a happier, healthier, more focused life.

 

Sources:

http://helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_signs_symptoms.htm

http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/related-conditions-40570-5.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/20/omega3-fat-useful-to-improve-adhd.aspx

http://www.adhdnews.com/adhd-drug-side-effects.htm

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/complete-index.shtml

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/08/16/80-percent-of-schools-are-applying-pesticides.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=”Journal+of+health+economics”%5BJour%5D+AND+2010%5Bpdat%5D+AND+Elder%5Bauthor%5D&cmd=detailssearch

About Author: Jaime A. Heidel
  • bred

    Is this type of medicine increases alertness and is often used for people who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

    hormone
    antibiotic
    stimulant
    antacid

  • i equal it Treating Attention Deficit indispositio i derange (ADHD) Naturally « I Told You I Was Sick now im your rss reader

  • Wow. There are a lot of possible causes for ADHD and ADD. A parent would really have to do some research into all the possible causes that you have mentioned and then determine which one to experiment with first. I think you hit the nail on the head with your advisement of eating more wholesome foods and avoiding the toxins. That is probably the major remedy.

  • Gee

    My son was diagnosed with ADHD yesterday and the first thing that his paediatrician recommended was stimulants. My gut was telling me this just felt soooo wrong. My mind kept repeating “NO NO NO NO” like it was stuck on playback.

    It is so true that ADHD masks the true problem. I’ve seen a naturopath and we’re looking into his diet and getting more fish oil in there. And check that the fish oil you buy has the right amount of nutrients. I’m implementing strategies at home and will work closely with the school. I am also getting a second, and if I have to, a third opinion. I’m not taking any risks.

    I know I will be called a negligent mother for not medicating him but I just feel treating the symptoms without finding the problem is wrong. I hope people read this article. It is so important.

  • admin

    Hi Gee,

    You’re not a negligent mother. You’re just trying to get a second opinion for your son. If diet and supplements work, why not? Thank you for your readership and comments. I wish you and your son the best!

    Jaime

  • sonia

    Hi Gee
    Your story is very much like mine, but i dont feel that im a neglecting mother to my 10 yo son, and neither should you. I also am going to see a naturopath as alarm bells rang loud when the doctor suggested medication. I feel confused but confident that a natural approach is a healthier and better way to go. I just hope my son will respond well once we start. How has your child responded and what other advice can you give from your experience.wishing you and your child all the best 🙂
    Sonia

  • Frances

    I am so grateful to have this post. I am very sick by doctors’
    recommand – medicine treatment for my 10-years kid. I refused the
    medicine but ADD – NO foucs still be there. Hope this natural wholesome foods and outdoor activities can fix this problem.
    In my case , I think this ADD was cause by Seizure – once -fever 38 degree in 2-years old for my kid. I still concern this is main point. Would you mind give more details for the ourdoors activities recommands.

    Thank you very much.

    Frances