Trouble focusing? All over the map sometimes? Attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) is a condition which begins in childhood and often continues into adulthood. This condition is marked by extreme difficulty in focusing, hyperactivity, and a tendency toward impulsivity. Children with ADHD may have difficulty concentrating, following directions, and remaining still. As a result, such children often struggle in school, in relationships, and in their home. So, now what!?
Parents of attention deficit disorder children may feel overwhelmed, worn out, and bewildered. Teachers, school administrators, and family doctors often recommend that children suspected of having ADHD should be treated with stimulants like Ritalin. Many parents are rightly concerned about the use of such psychotropic drugs and question whether medicating children is the best approach. Furthermore, what do you do later in life if this persists? There are natural remedy strategies for this problem.
50% of Attention Deficit Disorder Children are Misdiagnosed
Unfortunately, there is no one specific test for diagnosing ADHD or attention deficit disorder. Instead parents, school administrators, and physicians are left with a list of criteria and if the child meets 6 of the items on the list then they are diagnosed with ADHD. These include often exhibiting the following:
• Not listening when spoken to
• Failing to follow through
• Difficulty with organization
• Difficulty with sustained focus
• Easily distracted
• Interrupting conversations
• Failing to wait for turn
• Excessive talking
• Difficulty relaxing, slowing down
• Inappropriate running, climbing, getting out of seat
NOTE: These are just some of the items used to identify ADHD. For a full description of symptoms associated with ADHD consult a trusted healthcare professional. In some cases medications may be required, but in other situations natural remedies may be very appropriate.
The Dean of the Naturopathic Medicine Program at Bastyr University, Dr. Eric Jones views this system of diagnosis as severely flawed. In fact, Dr. Jones believes that somewhere between 50% and 85% of children diagnosed with ADHD have been misdiagnosed. Other issues to consider as an explanation for ADHD-type behaviors include developmental delays, learning disorders, depleted nutrition, and toxic overload. This is the basis for natural remedy approaches.
Adult attention deficit disorder has slightly different implications and issues, but the concerns remain similiar:
Natural Remedy Approaches to ADHD
There are several natural remedy approaches for managing ADHD behaviors. Some of these work for some children and not for others. Consider trying one or a combination of the following to see which offers your child the best results. If you’re already into adulthood, well it may work for you as well.
Improved nutrition: An Australian study linked the consumption of processed foods, sugary foods, high-fat dairy products, and red meat, to higher incidence of ADHD. Some parents have found that by cutting back on these foods while focusing on complex carbohydrates like beans and whole grains, fish, lamb, and fresh produce improves their child’s attention span and ability to control impulses. Supplementing with anti-inflammatory omega 3s may also help.
Detoxification: Our increasingly toxic environment impacts a child’s smaller, developing body more profoundly than it does an adult. As a result, some find that detoxification of the liver with milk thistle or red clover may be beneficial for those who exhibit ADHD behaviors.
Chelation Therapy: Studies show that many ADHD sufferers have high levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic in their blood. Some believe this heavy metal toxicity may be a cause of ADHD. Chelation therapy or natural oral chelation supplements may help to remove these heavy metals from the body; however there are significant risks associated with chelation and therefore should not be attempted without the assistance of a medical professional.
Herbals: Herbal meds, Macuna prurens or ashwagandha may calm the hyperactive tendencies of ADHD.
Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners find that certain herbs also effectively calm the system including schisandra berries, zizyphus seed, and biota seed.
Sound Therapy: The healing qualities of music have long been recognized and studies in recent decades have found it to be helpful in treating ADHD, Autism, and more. Sound therapy can lower blood pressure, reduce muscle tension, and influence brainwave activity. Sound therapy researchers at Drake University have had success in restoring normal brain functioning in ADHD sufferers without the use of medication.
Although each of these natural remedy treatments may be effective for some, it’s recommended that you work closely with a trusted medical professional or a Certified Holistic Health Coach when implementing these natural remedy approaches.
For more on Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD/ADHD, visit the Cureology ADD Information Center.