Parents and teachers alike can find it frustrating to be with kids who have ADHD, and all too often, medications are used to help control it. More than often, the children diagnosed themselves find it frustrating not being able to control in a way that works for them- the patient. It’s good for the public to know that there are natural alternatives that can make a real difference in your child’s ADHD.
What are the Symptoms of ADHD?
It’s normal for kids to be hyper and fidgety sometimes, but when it becomes a problem for parents, teachers and the child themselves, it might be time to look into things. The official criteria for having ADHD include two categories: inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Your child may have symptoms from one or both of these categories, and a naturopathic doctor can help decide if an official diagnosis of ADHD is appropriate for your child.
We all get inattentive and bored with things sometimes but if the inability to pay attention, and the what-look-like-signs have been there for at least six months, your Doctor will look for symptom signs like:
- Making mistakes or not paying attention to detail
- Not listening when spoken to
- Doesn’t complete tasks like homework or chores
- Trouble staying organized
- Losing things required to complete tasks (like pens, pencils, homework assignments, glasses)
- Easily distracted or forgetful
Hyperactivity & Impulsivity
Hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms also need to have been there for six months to the degree that it becomes disruptive and not appropriate for your child’s age. These include:
- Fidgeting, tapping hands or feet, and squirming
- Getting up from their seat, running when it’s not appropriate
- Can’t play quietly
- Excessive talking and blurting out answers
- Trouble waiting their turn
- Frequent interrupting
Conventional Treatment of ADHD
The guidelines for very young children have been changed to suggest behavioral therapy before medications, which is great, but the most common treatment for ADHD is still medication first. ADHD medications are stimulants, which work to stimulate parts of the brain that help control focus and decrease hyperactivity.
More and more parents are looking for alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs for their children. Although they can be very effective at controlling symptoms, many parents, as well as children, don’t want to use drugs to treat it. The good news is there are many alternatives to medications, and many children get better without conventional pharmaceuticals.
Naturopathic Approaches to ADHD Management
Naturopathic doctors are trained to look for the root cause of any medical condition. With ADHD, diet plays an enormous role in your child’s brain function. An ADHD assessment and treatment plan will likely include food sensitivity testing so you can help your child avoid those foods that are contributing to hyperactivity and distraction.
Sometimes an elimination diet is the first step, where common allergens and foods containing artificial dyes and high levels of salicylates are removed from the diet for a period of time. Other strategies can include making sure blood sugar levels stay regular and bring in the good veggies for a healthy brain.
Supplementation with things like magnesium, B-vitamins, and fish oils may be appropriate. Herbal medicine can be used to help calm restless energy, and acupressure (in younger kids) and acupuncture (in older ones) can help release pent-up energy and balance the body. Collaborating with behavioural therapists can help as well. We aren’t all perfect, so it’s great to help with weaknesses and develop for the future!
Book an appointment now for loads of more info on naturopathic medicine and ADHD!