My Q Health | 5 Natural Remedies for ADHD
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5 Natural Remedies for ADHD

5 Natural Remedies for ADHD

ADHD is regularly combatted with medication, but natural treatments such as biofeedback, massage, and supplements may be better options.

Overprescribed? There Are Other Options

Production of the medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has skyrocketed since 1990. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that ADHD diagnoses in children increased by about 42 percent between 2003 and 2011.

If you’re not comfortable with treating this disorder with drugs, there are other, more natural options.

Medications May Cause Side Effects

ADHD drugs can help improve symptoms by enhancing and balancing neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry signals between neurons in your brain and body.

However, they can also cause some serious potential side effects. Side effects include:

  • sleep problems
  • mood swings
  • loss of appetite
  • heart problems
  • suicidal thoughts or actions

Not many studies have looked at the long-term effects of these medications. But some research has been done, and it raises red flags. A study published in 2010 found no significant improvement in behavior and attention problems in children who took medications for their ADHD between the ages of 5 and 14. Their self-perception and social functioning didn’t improve either.

Instead, the medicated group tended to have higher levels of diastolic blood pressure. They also had slightly lower self-esteem than the non-medicated group and performed below age level. The authors of the study emphasized that the sample size and statistical differences were too small to draw causative conclusions.

1. Forgo Food Colorings and Preservatives

Alternative treatments may help manage some symptoms associated with ADHD, including:

  • difficulty paying attention
  • organizational problems
  • forgetfulness
  • frequently interrupting

The Mayo Clinic notes that certain food colorings and preservatives may increase hyperactive behavior in some children. Avoid foods with these colorings and preservatives:

  • sodium benzoate
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6 (sunset yellow)
  • D&C Yellow No. 10 (quinoline yellow)
  • FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine)
  • FD&C Red No. 40 (allura red)

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