ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) that affects about 10% of school going kids does not have a permanent cure but demands regular treatment to control the symptoms. The causes of ADHD are yet to be established, but genetic factor is often considered a prime contributor.
Conventional treatments involve drugs and behavioral therapies but there is also a need for effective alternative treatments to minimize the usage of drugs as side effects are no less harmful.Can dietary modification improve the symptoms? How about Chiropractic treatment? Or are there any holistic approaches to treat ADHD? These are few less explored and lesser known treatment modes which need to be considered seriously to avoid drug usage.
Natural Remedies of ADHD
- Things to add/eliminate in diet
One can give a serious thought in kid’s diet. What to add and what to eliminate? Chemicals, preservatives and colorings are to be eliminated totally even if they are approved. Mayoclinic is of the opinion that sodium benzoate and other approved colors may heighten the hyperactivity of children. Similarly, over consumption of refined sugar may aggravate the situation though a direct correlation between sugar consumption and ADHD is yet to be proved. Since sugar causes a spike in energy levels, it may increase hyperactivity in kids.
- Avoid allergy causing foods
Milk, eggs and chocolates can be allergy causing to a kid suffering from ADHD. Eliminating these foods may bring the symptoms under control. Naturally occurring salicylates in foods like berries, apples, citrus fruits, tomatoes, plums and peaches can also trigger ADHD symptoms.
EEG feedback is a promising neurotherapy that improves the concentration levels of a child automatically reducing his/her hyperactivity. The child can also overcome his/her learning difficulty through this treatment. Kids love games, and this neurotherapy involves them in concentration-enhancing video games which they enjoy without considering it as a part of treatment.
- Massage therapy
A hyperactive kid’s nerves are never relaxed and thus results in poor concentration and learning disorder. Massaging enhances overall blood circulation and relaxes the brain. Report published in the Adolescent journal in 2003 highlights improved mood and classroom behavior in ADHD kids given biweekly massage sessions.
- Yoga sessions
Yoga involves full mind and body coordination which are helpful in controlling the hyperactivity. It enhances the concentration and learning power. Regular yoga sessions will no doubt keep the ADHD symptoms in check.
- Tai Chi
The energy diverting oriental treatment can also be very helpful in controlling ADHD symptoms. The treatment channelizes energy through specific energy points of the body. It has been observed that kids participating in Tai Chi sessions twice a week continuously for 6-8 weeks displayed better emotion control, less daydreaming and anxiety and were in a better mood.
- Intake of supplements:
Low levels of omega-3-fatty acids can be a contributor of ADHD. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may reduce ADHD symptoms. Supplements of Zinc, Vitamin B 6, Magnesium and L-Carnitine can be helpful in treating ADHD but these should be taken with due medical consultation.
Lifestyle changes at home
Whatever treatment you adopt, certain lifestyle regulations practiced at home will provide best results in ADHD treatments. Parents no doubt, have a great role to play. Family and extended support in social circle are great factors in improving the kid’s condition. Some crucial tips to follow:
- Maintaining a definite eating, playing and sleeping time
- Showering love and care.
- Teaching discipline in simple words in a friendly manner maintaining eye contact with the kid.
- Encouraging siblings to support the ADHD affected child.
- No criticism or confidence-lowering comments.
- Assigning stress less work like watering the plant, arranging dinner plates and filling water glasses. This will help the kid to focus on a particular activity and will boost his confidence in handling things independently.
- No scolding if the kid makes a mess in his activity.
- Following behavioral therapy with utmost patience as results may not be instant.
- Encouraging the kid towards sports and other extra-curricular activities to improve his self esteem.
- Keeping away the kid from TV and cellphones to avoid distraction.
Conventional drug usage to treat ADHD in kids may have long term unhealthy consequences. Alternative therapies involve natural procedures enabling better long term cure to the suffering kid.