How to Treat Symptoms of ADHD in Children Naturally
Symptoms of ADHD in children can vary widely from child to child. Typically, they are broken down into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. A child may have just one, or a combination of the three. Within each category, there are also many individual symptoms. A list of common ADHD symptoms in children can be found at WebMD. The good news is that many of these symptoms can be controlled or eliminated naturally, without medication.
ADHD in children is diagnosed by using a number of subjective methods with specific criteria. The child must have exhibited symptoms before age 7 and for more than 6 months, symptoms must be beyond the extent normal for the child’s age and they must persist in more than one setting, and other possible causes for the behaviors must be ruled out. To determine if all criteria are present, a professional will collect information from parents, teachers, and other involved parties, and observe the child in a number of settings. If, after observation and evaluation all criteria are met, a diagnosis of ADHD is made.
Once the diagnosis is made, typical treatment options include medication, behavioral therapy, and counseling. Symptoms of ADHD can be controlled with medication to make a child better able to behave and concentrate in school, but this is far from a cure. All medications have side effects, and some can be serious. First, the doctor will have to try a particular medication and play with the dosage to see what works. It is common to have to try more than one medication before the right one is found. This process can take weeks, if not months. ADHD medications are stimulants and side effects may include reduced appetite, sleep difficulties, depression, anxiety, and psychosis. It is common practice to treat these symptoms with sleep aids and anti-depressants, which create more side effects. Another effect of ADHD medications in children is that the child becomes calmer, sometimes to the point of becoming ‘spaced out’. While this may be great for the adults who don’t want to deal with unwanted behaviors, changing a child’s personality with drugs so he will conform is not the only answer.
If you are a parent of a child with ADHD and are looking for an alternative, look to your child’s diet. Your doctor will probably not be able to help you much in this area because, unfortunately, there is very little teaching on the subject of nutrition in medical school. He or she may even dismiss the topic and say there is no merit to it. Doctors are trained on illness and disease, and how to minimize them with drugs. They are simply doing the best they can with what they know.
There are many other causes for symptoms of ADHD in children. There are thousands of chemicals added to our foods, and many can cause behavior changes in a child. In The NDD Book, How Nutrition Deficit Disorder Affects Your Child’s Learning, Behavior, and Health, and What You Can Do About It – Without Drugs, by the well known and respected doctor William Sears, Dr. Sears says “You put junk food into a child’s brain, you get back junk behavior, junk learning, and junk mood.” Dr. Sears believes nutritional deficits are causing children to be widely diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. The symptoms of this Nutritional Deficit Disorder are mood swings, temper tantrums, restless sleep, poor attention span, impulsive outbursts, behavior problems, learning difficulties, hyperactivity, frequent infections, intestinal problems, vision problems, allergies, and more.
Chemical food additives in our foods can be a cause of all these symptoms. Many of these chemicals have not had proper testing. Many have been determined to be safe because we ingest them in such small amounts. The problem with this thinking is that these small amounts have a cumulative effect over time. As our children gradually accumulate these toxins, we sometimes start seeing negative affects in behavior and learning. These disorders have been on the rise at alarming rates for decades and all the medications are not making the problem go away. There is another way. Click here for part 2 on how to treat symptoms of ADHD in children naturally.
To find out more about what’s in your food and how it may be affecting your child, click here to buy the book, Processed Kids: The Real Mom’s Guide to Raising Natural Kids in a Processed World, by Lisa Greene.
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About the Author
My name is Lisa Greene and I have struggled for years with my child's food sensitivities that have manifested in behavior issues, hyperactivity, impulsivity, cavities, facial tics, and much more. Years of research has taught me what works, what children need in their diet, and what to avoid.
Follow my blog and read my book and I will show how you can treat your child's symptoms naturally.
Have a question about your child's symptoms or behaviors? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help.