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Attention Deficit Disorder is on the rise in schools and communities across the nation, making it extremely difficult for children—and even many adults—to function at their optimum level. Surveys conducted by the Center for Disease Control concluded that 7.8% of children in the United States were diagnosed with ADHD in 2003, and that percentage jumped to 11% in 2011. This drastic increase has led to a great deal of hypothesis and research into what could be causing ADHD to become so prevalent, and what can be done about it.
Removing Food Dyes and Preservatives from the Diet
The exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood, but it is believed to be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. While there may be some causative factors that cannot be changed, there are some environmental influences that you can eliminate to help reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder.
There is a strong correlation between kids who suffer from allergies and the diagnosis of ADHD. Those who have severe allergies may be more sensitive to the effects of food additives, which only exacerbate their ADHD symptoms. Eliminating certain foods from the diet could prove to be extremely beneficial. After much research on this topic, the American Academy of Pediatric's journal concluded that excluding foods with color additives and preservatives will help reduce hyperactivity in those diagnosed with ADHD. The color additives red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6; and the preservative, sodium benzoate appear to be the most problematic, and should thus be avoided in the diet as much as possible.
Treating ADHD without the Nasty Side Effects
Many of the medications used to treat ADHD have adverse effects that are just as bad as the original symptoms, and sometimes even worse. ADHD is typically treated with a stimulant that may drastically change the child's personality. Common side effects of these medications may include a flat affect or appearing to have little to no emotion, a decrease in appetite, and difficulty sleeping. As a parent, you want to help your child, but you still want them to keep a sense of who they are. You may want to consider trying dietary supplements before resorting to prescription drugs.
Increasing Omega 3
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for brain health. You can either increase omega-3 fatty acids in your diet or take it as a supplement. Foods that are rich in omega-3 include fish and other seafood (salmon), nuts (walnuts and almonds), and leafy green vegetables (kale and spinach).
Maintaining Proper Magnesium Levels
Insufficient amounts of certain vitamins and minerals in the diet can increase hyperactivity and difficulty focusing. The average person requires 200 mg of magnesium daily; when magnesium levels are too low, it can lead to a decreased attention span. Taking too much magnesium can negatively affect your blood pressure, so it is essential to not take more than the daily recommended dose.
Bulking Up on B6
Vitamin B-6 is a precursor for many neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine that are essential for appropriate emotional/mental health. Decreased dopamine levels have been noted in those with ADHD. Taking a B-6 supplement could prove to be very beneficial in the treatment of ADHD.
Keeping Calm with Herbal Supplements
Some herbs may also be useful in the management of ADHD. Herbs with a calming effect, such as valerian or chamomile, have proven to be very valuable for some. You can find these in herbal teas or take them as a supplement from Corner Drugs.
Staying Focused with Supplements for Brain Function
Other supplements such as gingko and ginseng increase brain function and memory, helping ADHD sufferers to stay more focused. However, you should always speak with your physician before adding any supplements, especially in the case of children.
No matter what method you chose to treat ADHD, it is important to let your child know that you are there to help and support them. This is a common disorder, and treatment can make a vast difference in your child's outlook and productivity in daily activities. A natural treatment for ADHD may be the most beneficial treatment for your child, with the fewest negative side effects.Share