Natural Treatments for ADHD
Many parents whose children are diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are wary of turning to medication to help the child focus and exhibit body control. Before trying medication, you may want to explore natural treatments for ADHD. While not every child will respond to natural treatments, it may be a good first step for those concerned about giving ADHD medication to children.
Natural treatments for ADHD are alternative ways to manage a child’s focus and body control issues without resorting to using prescription medications. Some people successfully manage ADHD by changing the child’s diet. (See the link to the Feingold Diet in the Resources section.) Others find success through using homeopathic remedies, such as those sold by Native Remedies. (See the link in the Resources section.) Physical changes, such as getting more exercise and sleep, engaging in yoga and meditation and practicing the martial arts, can also serve as natural treatments for ADHD.
The only prescription medication that works effectively to treat ADHD is Ritalin, which is a Class II stimulant drug. (While Ritalin is available in many forms and under many brand names, they are all the same underlying drug.) If natural treatments will manage the ADHD behaviors, then parents can avoid medicating their children with such a powerful drug. Also, children with underlying heart conditions cannot take Ritalin, which leaves no other alternative to manage the ADHD behaviors.
Natural remedies for ADHD help a child focus and develop body control. Some homeopathic remedies successfully achieve these goals by balancing out body deficiencies through natural means. Changes in diet can eliminate food additives that have been linked to exacerbating ADHD symptoms. Making sure the child gets enough sleep and has structure throughout his day can have a similar effect. Engaging in martial arts, yoga and meditation can teach a child with ADHD the skills of developing better focus.
Some people mistakenly believe that changes such as eliminating television viewing will “cure” ADHD. ADHD is a physical condition caused by the child’s brain that processes information differently than a normal child’s brain does. Eliminating television viewing is not going to “fix” ADHD. Other people mistakenly believe that children with ADHD are just “lazy” or not trying hard enough to behave. ADHD is a real disorder, and a child with ADHD truly cannot help having trouble focusing and controlling her body.
Not all children will be able to manage ADHD effectively by using natural treatments. Some children will only be able to focus and develop body control with the help of prescription medication. While it is a good idea to try natural remedies for ADHD first, you might find that these remedies simply do not work well enough for your child to function successfully. Ultimately having to turn to medication is not a “failure”; it’s a way to meet your child’s needs.