Non-pharma Approach to ADHD Management
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a very common diagnosis in both adults and children. There is some question of wether it is more common now than in the past, or if we are just identifying more people with the condition that always had it yet were never diagnosed. Much like many other developmental and behavioral diagnoses, we have both expanded the definition of ADHD over time and increased our acceptance and awareness of the disorder. Simply acknowledging that adults can have it, and that many people have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) without the requirement of hyperactivity, dramatically increased the number people considered affected.
With the rise in ADD/ADHD diagnosis has come a marked increase in the number of patients seeking treatment, and a limited number of medical treatment options has led to shortages on available medications. Fortunately, there are natural options to improve a person's control of their restless mind and body. Many are able to avoid medications all-together, or at least minimize the amount of medications needed to control symptoms.
Dietary changes that avoid simple carbohydrates, food dyes and additives while focusing on high protein, quality fats, and complex carbs can dramatically improve symptoms in many patients, and are certainly good for your overall health. The fresher and cleaner the better.
Supplements to support brain health including Zinc, Omega 3, Probiotics, Vitamin B6 and B12, Magnesium, Ginseng, Ginkgo, Ashwagandha, MCT oil, and CBD oil have proven to be safe and effective for patients of all ages. Doses vary by age and can interact with other meds, so please consult with a knowledgeable provider for recommendations.
Mental health therapy and counseling approaches including behavioral, cognitive, family, sensory processing, and developmental can improve function and quality of life for people with ADHD/ADD.
Regular exercise, especially types that focus on mind and body control, are important components to naturally controlling ADHD symptoms. Consider things like yoga, tai chi, karate and taekwondo.
Finally, maintaining good hydration, getting adequate sleep and at least 30-minutes of sunshine daily, practicing meditation, and avoiding excess stimulation (video games/cell phones) all play important roles in approaching ADHD control naturally.
~Dr. Lawrence Hutchison, MD