It’s a disorder that’s probably more common than you realize. It affects children and adults alike, and it has no certain cause and no known cure. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a condition that causes hyperactivity, inattention and impulsive behavior, affects up to 9% of American children and can drastically impact a child’s ability to learn, along with his quality of life, well into adulthood. Treatment for ADHD often involves medication in the form of a stimulant, or a type of chemical agent that artificially boosts physiological activity to enhance the ADHD sufferer’s focus and help him control impulsive and/or hyperactive behavior. However, like most medications, stimulants come with a myriad of possible side effects, such as: suppressed appetite, headaches, abdominal pain, sleep disturbances and, in some cases, suppressed growth in children, nervous “tics” or other movements, and heightened anxiety or apathy.
Fortunately, a number of safe and natural supplements have also been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms. Before turning to a prescription stimulant or other form of medication for help, consider these natural supplements as a safe, alternative treatment for ADHD:
Zinc: Zinc is a mineral in your body that plays a vital role in your immune system function. Some studies have found that children suffering from ADHD have low levels of zinc, and that zinc supplements can help reduce the symptoms and improve the behavior of patients with the disorder.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids: Some studies suggest that omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, or unsaturated fats, can improve the overall mental function of children suffering from ADHD, as well as help enhance their attentiveness and ability to focus.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral and electrolyte that influences your muscle control, heart health, protein production, mood and more. Studies indicate that many children diagnosed with ADHD also have a magnesium deficiency, and that many symptoms of ADHD, such as confusion, irritability and inattentiveness, can be alleviated with magnesium supplements.
Vitamin B6: Studies suggest that abnormal levels of certain brain chemicals, such as norepinephrine and dopamine (both of which play a role in your ability to focus), may be linked to ADHD. Vitamin B6 helps produce and maintain proper levels of these chemicals, and may reduce ADHD symptoms.
L-carnitine: Daily intake of L-carnitine, a type of compound used in energy production in cells, has been linked to a decrease in ADHD symptoms. One study showed a 54 percent improvement in a group of boys with ADHD who were given L-carnitine supplements.
Certain supplements can be harmful in high doses, so take care to limit your supplement intake to the recommended daily amount. Maintaining proper levels of these vitamins and minerals will not only help keep your mind and body healthy, it may also help you safely and naturally ease ADHD symptoms in yourself or a loved one.
- http://www.utmb.edu/pedi_ed/GENPEDS/ADHD/page_16.htm (side effects of stimulants)
- http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder (vitamins and minerals-alternative treatment)
- http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/June/Diet-and-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder (vitamins and minerals-alternative treatment)
Originally posted 2013-11-06 09:59:22.