If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, you know that treatment options look a bit different for each person.
Each person is unique. So, we all have our own journey with ADHD. What works for one person may not work for another. Depending on your age, your body’s reaction to medication and your symptoms, you may choose to skip standard medication and opt for less harmful and natural treatments. Fortunately, we can access several promising natural alternatives for treating the disorder in both children and adults.
If you are planning to make any changes to your current treatment plan, just remember to consult your doctor first. Although some home remedies might prove efficient, that does not mean they can be a replacement for a doctor-prescribed course of treatment. For those planning on going au naturale, here you can find a few drug-free ways to treat ADHD.
ADHD is not just a childhood disorder
When you first hear of people dealing with ADHD, is your first thought of a child struggling to sit still in the classroom? Very likely. But while hyperactivity usually moderates, impulsiveness and inattentiveness will most probably persist in adulthood. The fact that ADHD occurs only during childhood and does not affect individuals after adolescence is a common misconception.
Adults are oftentimes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, as many physicians are not sufficiently trained to recognise the disorder in adults. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD is reported to occur in about 4.4 per cent of the adult population in the U.S, even though this figure is believed to be underreported, as almost 85% of children with ADHD are at risks of having this disorder as they grow up, and only 10.9% of adults with ADHD receive treatment. Moreover, about 25% of the time, when a child has ADHD, there is a parent that has ADHD too.
As research has shown following a diet low in chemicals and processed foods, with an emphasis on avoiding food allergens, can help reduce symptoms of ADHD in people of all ages.
In case you have never paid too much attention to your body’s reaction to various kinds of foods, you should consider an elimination diet to sort out what is causing you a sensitive reaction.
If you don’t plan to reduce specific food any time soon, consider a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and low in sugar and artificial sweeteners. For instance, a good place to start if you are looking to change your diet for the better would be the Mediterranean diet which highlights whole, colourful, fresh foods and a lot of fish.
Pretty much like zinc supplements, magnesium supplements work wonders for those experiencing magnesium deficiency. A 2017 study found that about 70& of children with ADHD experienced magnesium deficiency, and therefore, they benefited from taking magnesium supplements.
For young children, whose behaviours and brains are particularly malleable, behavioural therapy can help reduce disruptive tendencies.
This kind of therapy can be done with assistance from a licensed therapist, specialised in behavioural therapy, and usually involves both parents and kids. A behavioural therapist will guide you on how to reinforce positive behaviours and build up a structure which will help your little one stay calm and productive.
Meanwhile, adults struggling with ADHD can also benefit from behavioural therapy, but here the situation looks slightly different.
CBT or cognitive-behavioural therapy is one mental health treatment that helps people to focus on the present moment. It’s typically used to treat depression and anxiety, which are some of the side-effects of ADHD in adults.
Does your circadian rhythm work accordingly? Bear in mind that exposing your body to darkness during the night and light during the day is vital for keeping your circadian rhythms in check, which in turn it can help us ward off the side effects of poor sleep.
An open trial with ADHD patients found that the bright light therapy in the morning improved their moods and reduced their main ADHD symptoms.
When you find yourself working in an environment without access to sunlight, maybe you could benefit from adding light therapy to your morning routine.
Light therapy boxes are typically used for treating Major Depressive Disorders with a Seasonal Pattern. How does it work? They give your body a sunlight boost in the morning, allowing you to fall asleep way easier at night. If you fall asleep, and there is still light outside, consider an eye mask to stimulate darkness and help you relax.
Often found in legumes, meat, seeds, nuts and other sorts of foods, Zinc is an excellent mineral that boosts your immune system and helps your body produce proteins to sustain cell membrane growth.
As a matter of fact, zinc deficiency brings similar symptoms to ADHD: impaired cognitive development, rushed behaviour, and inattention. However, zinc deficiency isn’t directly linked with ADHD symptoms. If your zinc levels look normal, there is no reason to try this treatment as probably won’t do too much for you. However, if you or your little one is Zinc deficient, taking zinc supplements could reduce your hyperactivity symptoms.
It goes without saying that probiotics come along with a ton of health benefits, from digestion to allergies. Now, probiotics are pointed out as an incredible aid for various mental health conditions.
Even though the research linking probiotics to ADHD treatment is still in the early stages, various studies showed promising effects, that being said, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome ensures a vibrant and high-functioning brain.
While ADHD is not curable, the abundance of treatment options and medication proved that there is a way we can hinder its symptoms. But medications and treatments alone aren’t efficient as long as they don’t avoid its triggers. Thus, by changing your lifestyle, you can improve your mental and physical health altogether.