The production of medicines used for treating ADHD has increased significantly in the past few decades. The CDC has stated that ADHD diagnosis for children has increased by approximately 41% between the years of 2003 and 2011 alone. It was also estimated that up to 11% of children between the ages of four and 17 had been diagnosed with this condition.
As you can see, ADHD is a condition that affects millions of children and the numbers continue to grow. However, if you are not comfortable treating this condition with the modern medications that available, you may want to consider some of the more natural options that are available. Some of these are found below.
Avoid Preservatives and Food Colorings
There are some situations where alternative treatments will be beneficial in managing the symptoms that are associated with ADHD. These symptoms that may be treatable with other methods, besides medications, include:
Issues paying attention
Problems getting and staying organized
There are some food preservatives and colorings that can increase hyperactive behavior in certain children. It is a good idea to avoid any foods that include the following preservatives or colorings:
Red No. 40 – this is commonly found in ice cream, gelatin desserts, children’s medications, and soft drinks
Yellow No. 5 – found in foods like yogurt, granola bars, cereal, and pickles
Yellow No. 10 – found in smoked haddock, sorbets, and juices
Yellow No. 6 – commonly found in soft drinks, icing, candy, cereal, and breadcrumbs
Sodium benzoate – this is found in fruit juice products, salad dressings, and carbonated beverages.
Avoid Possible Allergens
Following a diet that restricts potential allergens will help to improve the behavior of some children who are dealing with ADHD. It is a good idea to consult with an allergy doctor if you believe your child is dealing with allergies.
However, you can also experiment and see what works by avoiding some of the following foods:
Eggs and milk
Foods with salicylates, such as tomatoes, prunes, berries, plums, chili powder, peaches, cider or apples, oranges, and grapes
Chemical preservatives and additives like BHA and BHT that are found in products to keep them from going bad
Consider EEG Biofeedback
Electroencephalographic or EEG biofeedback is neurotherapy that will measure your brain waves. According to a study conducted in 2011, EEG training is considered a promising treatment for children with ADHD.
During the session, the child may participate in a video game. They will be given a specific task, such as to keep a plane flying. If the child becomes distracted, the plane will fly off to the side or the screen will turn dark. Over time, the game will teach the child new and effective focusing techniques. Eventually, they will begin to see and change these issues.
Consider Tai Chi or Yoga Class
There are some studies that have indicated that yoga is beneficial for those who are dealing with ADHD. In fact, there have been studies that showed significant improvements for individuals who practiced yoga with some ADHD symptoms, such as social problems, anxiety, and hyperactivity.
Tai Chi may also help to improve your ADHD symptoms. Teenagers dealing with ADHD who began participating in tai chi were not as hyperactive or anxious than those who did not. Also, they did not daydream as often and did not display as many inappropriate emotions when participating in these classes.
Children who are dealing with ADHD will find spending time outside beneficial. There is strong evidence that by spending just 20 minutes outside, you can help improve your child’s concentration. Nature settings and greenery are some of the most beneficial elements to these children.
In fact, there are several studies that have proven that regular exposure to green space and the outside world can help those with ADHD. At one of the clinics, the staff found a company that does home Christmas lighting that was willing to come in and teach a few of the patients the art of decorating and light hanging. Much of this was on the outside of the building. It was apparent the patients reacted very well to this, partly because it got them more involved in the improvement of the space and partly due to the interaction with non-staff people. They also got to learn valuable skills. The clinic is looking into additional activities where professionals are willing to offer their expertise to the patients.
For any child who is dealing with a more severe case of ADHD, going to behavioral therapy can be extremely beneficial. In fact, according to information from the American Academy of Pediatrics, behavioral therapy is the first step in the treatment of ADHD for young children.
In some situations, this is referred to as behavioral modification and the approach is designed to help resolve specific problematic behaviors and provides solutions to help prevent them. This will involve setting up rules and goals for the child in question. Since medication and behavioral therapy are considered most effective when they are used together, it is considered a powerful aid for helping your child with ADHD.
Parental therapy will help to provide parents the needed tools to help their child who is dealing with ADHD succeed. By equipping parents with strategies and techniques for how to work around certain behavioral issues, it will be beneficial for the child and the parent in the long term.
Some of the supplement treatments that can help improve ADHD symptoms include:
While these may be beneficial, the actual results are mixed. Some herbs, such as passionflower, ginseng, and ginkgo may also help with calming cases of hyperactivity.
If you try to use supplements without being monitored by a doctor, the situation may be dangerous. This is especially true for children. It is best to speak to your child’s doctor if you want to try one of these alternative or natural therapies. The doctor can order a blood test to measure the latest levels of a certain nutrient that your child requires before they begin taking a supplement.
Understanding and Dealing with ADHD
When it comes to ADHD, there are an array of treatment options to consider. You are going to have to find the option that works for you and your child to achieve the results desired. Being informed is the best way to ensure that you benefit from what treatment options are available for the situation or condition that your child is dealing with, regardless of how long they have had it or the treatments you have tried in the past.