Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a common developmental neuropsychiatric condition that affects millions of children and adults. It is diagnosed more often in males than females. While the exact cause is unknown, contributing factors include genetics, central nervous system problems and certain environmental toxins. The disorder makes it difficult to pay attention, follow instructions and organize tasks. While ADHD medications may help improve symptoms by balancing and enhancing certain brain chemicals, they can also produce potentially serious side effects. It is possible to treat ADHD naturally without the need for prescription drugs.
Diet and Nutrition
Hippocrates famously said that food should be our medicine. Diet and nutrition can play a key role in managing ADHD symptoms. A well-balanced diet containing protein, vegetables, fruits and whole grains can increase cognitive function, boost memory and improve attention spans. To improve your focus and remove toxins, your diet should include foods rich in B-complex vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and magnesium. Eliminate artificial coloring, sweeteners, flavorings and preservatives as they have been shown to cause learning disabilities and hyperactive behavior.
Exercise and Message
A 2012 study published in the journal NeuroToxicity Research indicated that regular exercise helps combat anxiety, depression and stress while improving impulse control, executive functioning and memory. The physical postures, breathing and relaxation techniques of yoga and tai chi promote discipline and calmness along with strengthening the central nervous system. In 2003, the Journal of Adolescence published a study that demonstrated that massage increases serotonin levels, which helps balance the elevated dopamine levels that occur in people suffering from ADHD. This has a positive impact on mood and behavior.
Establish a Routine
Sleep deprivation has a detrimental effect on cognition and mood. Create a calming consistent routine that ensures you get sufficient sleep. Structure and schedules help people with ADHD stay focused and on track. The routine improves efficiency and daily functioning by making activities manageable. The organized structure enhances executive functioning. The Journal of Family Psychology published a review of 50 years of research that showed predictable family routines resulted in better health and behavior in children.
The constant stimulation from television, computers and other electronic devices can worsen ADHD symptoms as it agitates the central nervous system. This can lead to sleep disturbances, headaches and dizziness as well as memory and attention problems. Reduce screen time to one hour or less per day. Electronic-free hours help boost attention and focus. Ensure that there is a calm period before bedtime.
Holistic, all-natural techniques for treating ADHD may eliminate or lessen the need for drugs that have potentially serious side effects while improving the quality of life of those who suffer from the condition.