Friday, August 26, 2011

Treating ADHD Naturally

ADD, ADID, and ADHD are growing problems in the United States.  Although Colorado remains to have one of the lowest incidence rates in the nation for these disorders, the overall growth of these disorders are growing at an alarming rate. Being a developmental, psychiatric disorder in children, and now adults, it affects about 5% of children world wide.
Diagnosing these disorders may be difficult as the symptoms may mimic other disorders, such as PTSD, OCD, ODD, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression, among others.  Symptoms may be masked, overlooked, and even unrecognized if other disorders are present.  Caretakers, clinicians, teachers, or counselors who are not properly trained may also have difficulty differentiating the symptoms of these disorders from other disorders.  Often times, diagnosing males is often easier than females, however there is some argument as why this phenomenon occurs.  
In the U.S. medications are commonly used for behavior modifications.  Some children receive counseling and may undergo lifestyle changes as well to cope with the disorder.  In families where these disorders are not recognized, severe punishments, ridicule, and even abuse can be found.
The exact cause for these disorders is unknown, and actually may be a combination of factors which produce the symptoms of these disorders.  It is found, however, that there is a genetic component in most cases; where dopamine transmitters and receptors are less active.  One theory suggests that these genes played a part in human evolution where a nomadic lifestyle, hunting and gathering were an essential part of life.  Studies have recently concluded that the genes responsible for ADHD have been found in some nomadic tribes in Africa and offer an advantage over other more stationary tribes.
Treating ADD, ADID, and  ADHD naturally is under debate.  Although allopathic treatments, such as methylphenidates offer noticeable results, academic performance is not necessarily enhanced and often side-effects of the medication prohibits a normal lifestyle.  Addiction to medication is common.  Counseling may or may not help, but can't hurt in most cases.
Hypersensitivity to chemicals may be another cause to some of the symptoms.  Residues of cleaning agents, pesticides, and synthetic chemicals may enhance or aggravate these disorders.  Chemicals put in foods, bath and body products, and cosmetics also may aggravate or heighten symptoms.  Sodium Hyperchloride, for example, used in over 95% of American households as a cleaning agent, has been shown to disrupt brain functioning and aggravate pulmonary-respiratory diseases.
Common natural treatments for ADD, ADID, and ADHD, include diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.  Limiting food dyes, preservatives, sugars, and synthetic chemicals helps tremendously.  Stabilizing blood sugar throughout the day makes a noticeable difference in attitude, focus, and hyperactivity. Eliminating poisons and toxic chemicals  from the environment by switching to naturally derived cleaners and detergents also may help.  By increasing the amount of exercise/activity throughout the day makes a difference in most individuals; enrolling in sports, martial arts, dance, improv theatre, clubs, or other activities promotes camaraderie and allows for hyperstimulation which has a calming effect on many individuals with the disorders.
Treating ADD, ADID, and ADHD with supplements is another effective route.  Super-absorbent vitamins and phytonutrients provides the brain with supportive nutrients.  Proanthocyanidin, found in some plants including grapes, is an essential bioflavonoid necessary for eslastin and collagen production as well as proper blood vessel elasticity, and has been linked to more efficient brain functioning, including memory and mental focus.  Omega-3 fatty acids also help with cognitive brain function, as well as stabilizes mood patterns.  Valerian root has a calming effect on most with the disorders.  Ginkgo biloba has been shown to maximize cerebral circulation and enhance focus.
Other lifestyle changes, such as behavioral modification and discipline help.  "1. 2. 3. Magic" (http://www.parentmagic.com/)  and "ADDitude" (http://www.additudemag.com/topic/parenting-adhd-children/parenting-tips.html) are fantastic disciplinary programs geared toward troubled and difficult children.  Other programs, such as "Love & Logic" (http://www.loveandlogic.com/) and other traditional parenting strategies may or may not be as effective on impulsive and defiant behaviors.  Trial by error may be in order to find the perfect balance of discipline response and self preservation.
Maintaining health and happiness is best for any child, but it is extremely important for one with ADD, ADID, or ADHD.  Just remember, every moment counts.  Keeping a positive attitude is essential.  Moreover, love and respect can defy all possibilities.     

             

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