Whether you are an adult who has been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD or a parent who has a child who has it, you definitely know and understand that Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD) can be a challenging condition. However, that doesn’t mean that a person with such condition is incapable of living a normal life. The truth is that most people who have such condition do not have a problem at all growing through adolescence, getting married, having kids, and having successful careers. In this article, we’re going to talk about ADHD/ADD, the possible causes of the condition, and most importantly, how we could manage it using natural methods. But, first let’s take a look at the difference between ADHD and ADD.
What’s The Difference Between ADHD and ADD?
What Causes ADHD/ADD?
A number of studies on ADHD/ADD conclude that the condition runs in families. In short, it has a genetic link. About 33% to 50% of parents with ADHD/ADD will usually have a child who will have it, too. It seems that there are genetic characteristics passed down from one generation to another. Aside from genetics, another possible root cause of the condition is pregnancy-related. Children who are born premature, born with low birth weight, or whose mothers had pregnancy problems have a higher risk of having it. Now, contrary to popular belief, and even though it’s been debated a lot, there is no solid proof that ADHD/ADD is associated with eating too much sweets as has been concluded in this study.
How Do I Know That I Have ADHD/ADD?
- Gets distracted easily
- Gets bored easily
- Finds concentrating a bit difficult
- Has difficulty in organizing and completing tasks
- Is prone to losing stuff
- Has difficulty following instructions
- Does not listen
- Can be very impatient
- Has extreme difficulty being still or quiet
- Has a habit of fidgeting and squirming
An adult with ADHD/ADD, on the other, may show one or more of these symptoms:
- Finds it difficult to concentrate during a conversation
- Finds it difficult to focus and concentrate on a project
- Has a hot temper and is prone to anger
- Has frequent mood swings
- Is disorganized
- Has low tolerance of surroundings, situations, and people
- Has an increased risk for addiction
- Has unstable relationships
Famous People Who Have ADHD/ADD
As mentioned earlier, ADHD/ADD does not necessarily stop a person to live a normal life. In fact, people who have this condition are typically full of positive energy, are very intuitive, original, and creative. Sometimes, they can be very persistent to the point of also being very stubborn, but they are also sensitive and actually have big hearts and love to give. With proper guidance, people with the condition can become very successful in life. Take these celebrities, for example:
- Jamie Oliver
- Justin Timberlake
- Justin Bieber
- Will Smith
- Jim Carrey
- Michael Phelps
- Sir Richard Branson
- Paris Hilton
- Howie Mandel
- Michelle Rodriguez
- David Blane
- Ryan Gosling
- Adam Levine
- Channing Tatum
Natural Remedies for ADHD/ADD
Instead of citing a list of possible natural remedies, we’ve listed here three major categories that you can focus on, as well as lifestyle changes you can follow if you want to treat ADHD/ADD naturally.
Food is first on the list because it plays a huge role in making sure the nervous system works properly. For people with ADHD/ADD, the top foods to eat should be additive-free. Processed foods can be toxic in nature and include a lot of preservatives and artificial sweeteners that may be problematic. They should be replaced with whole, unprocessed foods. Foods that are rich in B-vitamins should also be on top of the list as they help maintain a healthy nervous system. Be sure to include lots of green and leafy vegetables, as well as organic wild animal products to your diet. Vitamin B-6, in particular, has been proven to be one of the essential substances needed by the brain to produce norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are associated with the mood and feelings centers of the brain. You can get vitamin B-6 from foods like wild salmon, bananas, wild tuna, and dried fruits. Speaking of salmon and tuna, these two are also very rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for learning and behavior. A study reported by the University of Maryland Medical Center showed that boys with low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies had more behavioral and learning problems.
Again, nutrients play an important role in the management of ADHD/ADD symptoms. Studies suggest that there’s a relationship between the condition and certain food consumed by the person who has it. For this reason, supplementation should be a major part of your plan for managing it naturally. The following are the top 5 supplements to consider:
Fish Oil – Fish oil contains EPA/DHA, which are not only anti-inflammatory, but also very critical for healthy brain function. Studies show that taking 50mg of fish oil daily reduces symptoms and improves learning at the same time.
B-Complex – We’ve already mentioned the importance of vitamin B, particularly vitamin B-6, as it helps in the formation of serotonin. 50mg of B-complex a day should be enough to reduce symptoms among children.
Probiotics – Experts suggest that there may be a connection between digestive issues and ADHD/ADD. 25-50 billion units of probiotics daily may help maintain intestinal health.
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid – GABA is an important neurotransmitter that involves regulating communication between cells in the brain. Its main role is to inhibit the activity of neurons. You can take this 250 mg of this supplement twice a day, but since it may interact with other medications, be sure to seek advice from your doctor first.
Multi-Mineral Supplement – A multi-mineral supplement that contains calcium (500 mg), magnesium (250 mg), and zinc (5 mg) should help relax the nervous system. Take it twice a day or as your doctor prescribes.
We’ve written a good number of articles about essential oils and their health benefits, and indeed, these botanical extracts can be used to treat various illnesses and conditions, including ADHD/ADD. According to a study reported by the American Medical Association Journal, cedar wood and vetiver essentials oil are particularly very effective in calming down children who have the condition, as well as improving their focus. Peppermint and rosemary oils, on the other hand, have been found to be able to improve alertness and enhance memory and concentration. The same is true with Ylang Ylang, lavender, and frankincense essential oils, all of which can promote a calming effect and can bring increased cognitive function and emotional wellness at the same time.
Lifestyle Changes for People With ADHD/ADD
For most parents with children who have ADHD/ADD, the challenge is to create an environment that helps support their creativity and encourage their learning. If you’re not already observing them, here are lifestyle changes you can apply to help your kids.
Give Them Time for Regular Exercise
Just as diet plays an important role in improving the life of a person with ADHD/ADD, so does exercise. Provide for your child ample time to play outdoors and burn some of their excess energy. Regular exercise and playtime will help balance their hormone levels and provide them healthy muscles and bones.
Create For Them A Child-Friendly Methods for Organization
Getting organized can be a bit of a challenge for a child with ADHD/ADD, but not if you provide them with a child-friendly organizational system. This may include a simple chart on the wall or to do lists that they can access in their notebook. Teach them how to choose tasks they should prioritize, such as schoolwork, home chores, and exercise.
Teach Them About Food
Since ADHD/ADD is said to be linked to a person’s diet, it’s important to teach your child at an early age what types of food to opt for and which ones to never include in their diet. One way you can help them love healthy food and healthy eating is by teaching them how to cook. You’ll also be able to spend more time and bond with them by doing this.
Be Generous With Your Affection
Speaking of bonding, every child needs affection from his or her parents. This is doubly important for children with ADHD/ADD. Be generous with giving praise and affection to your child and always reaffirm and reassure him, reminding him that he is not a bad child at all.
Children may or may not overcome their ADHD/ADD, so if you’re an adult who has the condition, here are recommended lifestyle changes for you:
Stay Active And Fit
Exercising regularly will not only help you stay fit and confident about yourself but will also lower your stress levels significantly. Aside from running or going to the gym, you might also want to try some varieties in the form of martial arts, Zumba and similar dance routines, or even hiking. The key is to keep your calories burning and hormones in the balance.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
Most adults with ADHD/ADD complain about difficulty falling asleep. Make sure you practice good sleep habits such as turning off the television an hour before bedtime, dimming out the lights, and turning your bedroom into an environment that is sleep inducing. Of course, proper diet and regular exercise should also be part of your routine.
Create Your Own Organizational System
Finally, find an organizational system that works for you. Don’t compare yourself with everybody else because what works for another might not be the best for you. Take advantage of technology if you have to. There are a number of apps available today that can help you stay focused and increase your productivity.
ADHD/ADD is a condition that you shouldn’t be ashamed of. While these natural methods mentioned above may not be a cure-all, and while there is no substitute for behavioral therapy and medication, non-medical treatments like the ones we’ve shared can definitely make a big difference. However, as always, we strongly recommend that you talk to your physician and seek professional advice before trying out any of these methods.
Good Books on ADHD
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