All children can be rowdy and hyperenergetic from time to time. And they all have times when it’s difficult for them to sit still and concentrate. But if these behaviors reach chronic levels, or measurably interfere with their ability to learn and cope with their lives, then it’s possible the child has attention deficit disorder (ADD), most recently referred to as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD starts in childhood and affects approximately 12% of children under 16 and is on the rise. Around 60% of children with ADHD will still have symptoms by the time they reach adulthood. Many sources go on and on about the types of behaviors that are symptomatic of ADHD, but they mostly boil down to the following:
- Hyperactivity (inability to calm down)
- Impulsive behavior (extremely low impulse control)
- Inattention and lack of ability to concentrate
- Learning disabilities (largely due to the above symptoms)
- Defiant or disruptive behavior, angry outbursts
What Causes ADD/ADHD?
ADHD is considered to be a neurological disorder or, more specifically, a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning that it is a problem with brain development. However, scientists and healers are divided on the subject and many natural healers believe that ADD and ADHD is just the pharmaceutical industry’s label for a range of symptoms that largely come from poor nutrition, specifically from the Standard American Diet (SAD). Other natural health practitioners believe that ADHD is a set of symptoms that come from dysfunctional environments (home, school, church, etc.). Following is a summary of the most accepted theories:
- Genetic predisposition
- Brain injury during pregnancy, at birth, or in early childhood
- Environmental toxins during pregnancy and in early childhood
- Lack of nutrition combined with excess of bad foods
- Dysfunction in a child’s key environment
- Mercury toxicity from vaccines
Treatments for ADD/ADHD
Most medical experts say that there is no cure for ADD/ADHD, only treatments that help keep ADD related behaviors in check and improve cognitive functioning. Whether or not that’s true depends on your definition of what, exactly, ADD/ADHD is. There’s a good chance that one or more of these natural cures will help or even cure the problem. Therefore, the best therapy involves a combination of cognitive, nutritional, and psychological treatments, including the following:
- Replace sugary, fatty foods like cheese, candy, sodas, and fried foods with nutrientrich, health forming foods like green leafy vegetables, Spirulina, kelp, bee pollen, and maca. Studies prove that children with better diets are able to concentrate and relax more, and have higher achievement levels.
- Increase omega fatty acids in the diet and through supplements.
- Add vitamin C and E supplements and start an antioxidantrich diet.
- Avoid food additives and foods known to cause allergies, including wheat, dairy products, and processed meats.
- Reduce stress at home and in school and implement relaxation and calming practices.
- Reduce dysfunction at home through emotional support treatments for the entire family.
The herb skullcap has been shown to help children with ADHD symptoms, and a daily dose of 500 mg of magnesium relieves symptoms by promoting a calm feeling. If you have trouble getting your child off a sugarand junkfooddependent diet, try getting away from the source of the temptation. Take a healthy, goodfoods vacation for the entire family.