Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or AHDH is a condition that affects both children and adults. The symptoms of ADHD include difficulty focusing and organizing, forgetfulness, impulsivity, and the inability to finish tasks. Adults may develop additional symptoms such as addiction, difficulties at work, and anxiety or depression. The cause of ADHD is not fully understood. There are many medications available that vary in effectiveness, but as they have various side effects, close monitoring by a physician is vital. Also, many natural remedies for ADHD can greatly improve quality of life.
ADHD is a life-long condition that must usually be maintained through multiple approaches rather than quick fixes. Experts suggest consistent counseling can be very useful in learning new skills, managing anxiety, and identifying and treating underlying emotional factors. A therapist can help an individual learn techniques for better organization and handling routines.
People with ADHD often have a lot of energy and creativity but may not be able to focus those skills in a meaningful way. Increased exercise can help direct energy and calm the nervous system. Activities such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi can have a calming and focusing effect, as well. Limiting TV, large crowds, high-sensory events, and electronic devices can help, as these stimulating activities can make symptoms worse. Taking time away to be quiet and still helps people with ADHD maintain focus and a sense of self-control.
Some experts suggest limiting sugar, preservatives, caffeine, and other stimulating foods may help alleviate symptoms of ADHD. Also, a nutrient-rich diet can keep the body and mind relaxed and more receptive to activities that require focus. Eating more protein helps keep the blood sugar stable, which has been shown to improve symptoms of ADHD.
Some vitamin supplements may improve symptoms of ADHD by enhancing the production and functioning of neurotransmitters. When these brain chemicals are out of balance or not functioning correctly, this can cause symptoms of ADHD. Omega-3s, found naturally in fish, can be taken in pill form. People can also take magnesium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B6 and C as supplements. A deficiency in these vitamins can also cause symptoms similar to ADHD. All of these vitamins help produce and regulate neurotransmitters.
Along with vitamins, herbal remedies can help calm the brain and body and enhance focus. Keep in mind that though these supplements can ease symptoms of make them more tolerable, they are not intended to be curative. Herbal products with some good anecdotal support include gingko, ginseng, passionflower, pine bark, and Rhodiola. These herbs mimic the effects of medications often prescribed for ADHD, but are milder and cause fewer side effects. No one should switch to herbal remedies in lieu of their medications, however, unless expressly instructed by a doctor.
Learning New Skills
People with ADHD struggle with stress management, organization, and following through on tasks. Life coaches, therapists, and other services can help these individuals adapt, learn, and manage their lives. Some skills-training that can help with ADHD are social skills and behavior modification. Also, organizational strategies such as timetables, reminders, and lists are beneficial. Lastly, many home storage systems can organize kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom items, making it easier to sort through and find belongings quickly.
Testing for Allergies and Intolerances
Some food and chemical allergies and intolerances can cause ADHD symptoms or make them worse. Research suggests allergies to gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy can increase symptoms. Allergies or intolerance to preservatives, sugar, and certain chemicals may have a similar adverse effect. Many people find following an elimination diet to determine food allergies or intolerances ultimately relieves some symptoms. A nutritionist or other dietary specialist can help determine the best course of action.
Biofeedback is a neurofeedback system aimed at training the brain to respond differently to what is happening in the environment. Electrodes attached to the body identify tensions and communicate them to the patient through sound or flashing lights. The person then has to focus on calming the tensions to reduce the noise or lights. Through this process, the brain learns to be less reactive, and more focused and adaptive. Research shows biofeedback decreases ADHD symptoms and enhances skills that can help people manage the condition longterm.
Sleep Hygiene for ADHD
Sleep hygiene refers to the routines and activities a person employs before and during bedtime to ensure a deep and restful sleep. Experts suggest people with ADHD struggle with getting good sleep or may need more sleep than others. First, a sleep study should be undertaken to determine if a person struggles with this vital activity. If they do, sleep hygiene techniques such as a consistent bedtime, decreased stimulation before bed, consistent pre-sleep routine, avoiding heavy meals before sleep, and eliminating daytime naps can help.
Spending Time in Nature
Research shows ADHD symptoms decrease when people with the condition spend time in nature. Spaces that have a lot of green trees and plants are particularly effective. These spaces can be found in parks, backyards, empty fields, or indoor greenhouses. The exact reason for the beneficial effects aren’t apparent, but studies suggest 20 minutes per day spent in nature helps calm the nervous system, decrease stimulation, and remove toxic energy.