Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic behavior-related condition that causes problems such as difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. ADHD normally begins in childhood and can continue into adulthood. It is more common among boys than girls. Children with this disorder may suffer from low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school. Treatment usually cannot cure ADHD, but it can help a great deal with symptoms. Treatment typically involves medications and behavioral therapy.
Scientists have not yet identified the specific causes of ADHD. It can run in families, and studies indicate that genetics may play a role. Other causes that possibly contribute to the development of ADHD include being born prematurely, low birthweight, brain damage and the mother smoking, using drugs or alcohol or having extreme stress during pregnancy. Certain environmental factors, such as exposure to high levels of toxic lead at a young age, may also increase risk.
ADHD symptoms are inattention (not being able to pay attention), hyperactivity (too much of movement and restlessness) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought). A few people have problems only with inattentiveness, but not with hyperactivity or impulsiveness. This form of ADHD is also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD).
The seriousness of symptoms can differ greatly from person to person, depending on environment, diet and other factors. For children, these can include:
- Easily distracted. Inability to pay attention to class
- Difficulty in following instructions
- Difficulty completing assignments
- Do not seem to listen
- Easily bored and distracted
- Have trouble playing quietly
- Frustrated by waiting to take a turn
- Fidgety behavior, squirming in seat
- Interrupt games and play activities
- Frequently lose things needed for assignments
As children grow up, their ADHD symptoms usually begin to moderate and change. Symptoms of adult ADHD include:
- Difficulty focusing and concentrating on a task, project, or conversation
- Overwhelming emotional and physical restlessness
- Frequent mood swings
- Prone to anger and a hot temper
- Frequently talking too much
- Forgetful and disorganized
- Low tolerance of people, situations, and surroundings
- Unstable relationships
- Increased risk of addiction
Natural treatments for ADHD
The goal of treatment is to help improve concentration and learning. Use of stimulant medications is currently the most effective treatment for ADHD. While these drugs can improve concentration, they may also cause some serious side effects. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that are both effective and without the scary side effects of medications. Here are a few of them:
Behavior therapy is most effective when used in combination with medication. It is a type of psychotherapy. It usually involves behavior management, which uses a system of rewards to encourage your child to try to control their ADHD.
You can identify types of behavior you want to encourage your child, such as sitting at the table to eat. Your child is then given some sort of small reward for good behavior and removal of a privilege for poor behavior. For teachers, behavior management involves learning how to structure and plan activities, and to encourage and praise children for even very small amounts of progress.
Psychotherapy can also help adults with ADHD cope with the challenges of the condition. Therapists can recommend lifestyle changes, address negative habits and thoughts, and help with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions that may accompany ADHD.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Children with ADHD are more likely to have allergies and food sensitivities. When children eat food that does not make them feel good, it can affect their behavior and worsen their ADHD symptoms.
Foods to eat:
- High protein foods
- Iron-rich foods
- Foods high in B-vitamins, especially B-6
- Foods loaded with probiotics
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Multi-mineral supplements such as zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
Foods to avoid:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Food colorings and preservatives
- Foods that contain gluten, including bread, pasta, cereals and processed foods
- Dairy like cow’s milk
- Monosodium glutamate and nitrites
- Personal Food Sensitivities/Allergens
Insomnia and restless sleep are common ADHD side effects. Research shows that only an extra half-hour of sleep can help with restlessness and impulsivity. Moreover, it is important that both children and adults start practicing good sleep habits that allow them to relax at the end of the day. These habits include having a consistent bedtime, keeping the bedroom cool and dark, and creating a calming winding-down ritual.
Regular exercise not only strengthens muscles and bones but also helps to relieve stress. Exercise releases hormones that can improve mood and boost attention, which may help relieve ADHD symptoms. These brain chemicals that exercise induces include dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and GABA. Children with ADHD are often low in these brain chemicals. Jumping jacks, running up and down the stairs, a brisk walk or dance are all fun and great ways to burn calories, balance hormones and reduce stress.
Spending time outside
Studies suggest that time spent outside can help children with ADHD recharge their attention and focus. Spending even 20 minutes outdoors can benefit them by improving their concentration. Greenery and nature settings are the most beneficial.
Yoga or meditation
Studying yoga, particularly its breathing, focusing, and relaxation components can help to relieve certain symptoms of ADHD. Mindfulness is a meditation practice that encourages focusing on the present moment. Children learn different techniques to stay in the moment, such as deep breathing. Mindfulness exercises may help children and adults with ADHD gain cognitive control, manage impulses and maintain focus.
Symptoms of ADHD can be reduced with diet, therapy and recommended lifestyle changes. Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in trying these alternative remedies.
ADHD, it’s not a disability. It’s a different ability!
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.