On that note...here we go.
Many people have asked for my advice on how to treat ADHD naturally to avoid medications such as Ritalin or Adderall for their children.
In the past decade, the diagnosis for ADHD/ADD for school-aged children has risen tremendously. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, child prescriptions for ADHD drugs jumped 50% from 2002 to 2012.
If you're a parent or relative of a child that has been diagnosed by a doctor to have ADHD, let me give you some good news: there are natural alternatives rather than drugging them up.
Once upon a time, kids that were hyper and wanted to go outside and play were considered normal. In the present time, they live in an overstimulated environment with technology flaring at every turn. With gaming, smartphones, television, computers, apps, Internet, music and social media clamoring for their attention, how can we possibly expect them to stay still in class or in a boring setting when there is much more going on elsewhere?
If they are not being stimulated in school, they will act up. They're kids!
Here's a great quote from Dr. Jerome Groopman, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the author of "How Doctors Think":
“There’s a tremendous push where if the kid’s behavior is thought to be quote-unquote abnormal — if they’re not sitting quietly at their desk — that’s pathological, instead of just childhood.”Take this amazing TED Talks video by Sir Ken Robinson (FYI: He's my absolute favorite speaker on education) and note what he discusses about the educational epidemic that affects our children.
Ready for a little shock???
Many studies have shown that ADHD is actually stemmed from a nutritional deficiency rather than a psychological disorder.Children typically diagnosed with autism or ADHD/ADD usually are pretty brilliant (if you haven't already noticed). They also have a difficult time absorbing the B-Complex which helps stimulate their neurological system.
Bradley West, N.D., a research advisor for Nordic Naturals, discussed an interesting point when studying ADHD in young children. He noted that:
"Boys diagnosed with ADHD were found to have lower levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and other studies have shown magnesium and zinc deficiencies in children with ADHD."The nutrient found in the Omega-3 fatty acid that is imperative for children is DHA. This helps with the function of the brain at all ages, but especially in children with a tendency to perform more actively.
On that note, I'm going to give you a rundown of what I used to recommend to customers looking for natural alternatives to treating ADHD for their young children.
- Multivitamin (I really like Hero Nutritionals, Nordic Naturals Nordic Berries and Garden of Life Vitamin Code Kids
- Omega Fish Oils - this is really important to get those Omega 3 oils into your child's system. Many won't like the taste of a regular one, but companies make some for children that they will readily accept. (A few good options include Carlson's Kids Fish Oil, Health From the Sun's Kids Omega chewables, and Country Life's Dolphin Pals DHA)
- B-Complex - When it comes to the B-Complex there is one brand that goes above the rest and I have received the most positive reviews from parents. That is Buried Treasure's Added Attention. This includes DHA, GABA, DMAE and B Vitamins. It is a liquid and has amazing ingredients.
*The links shown above all go to Vitacost.com and specific items I recommended. They are my favorite supplier of supplements because they have the best prices. If you click on this link to purchase, put my email (email@example.com) and get $10 off your purchase (they give me $10 off as well, so it's a win-win =)).Diet changes
Now onto one of the most important factors: diet. Try to avoid the following foods if your child has a tendency to be overactive or has been diagnosed as ADHD/ADD as this only aggresses their behavior:
- Artificial flavors
- Artificial colors (Red, Yellow and Blue food colorings)
- Sugar (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, aspartame, sorbitol, Splenda)
- Processed foods (anything white, bleached, enriched, fried or fast food)
- Preservatives (BHT, TBHQ, BHA)
- Nitrates (found in hotdogs, sausages, sandwich meats)
Try to go organic as much as possible. This can make such a huge difference in both your family and your child's life.
Bottom line, there are alternatives to treating ADHD in a natural manner that doesn't include medications with terrible side effects. As a result of changing your child's diet, it will have a positive effect on them and you.
Please let me know what natural supplements you use for your children! I'd love to hear about them.