Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Natural Ways to Deal with ADD or ADHD

Back to School 2012 - U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, South Korea - 27 August 2012
 

"Attention deficit disorder or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a condition characterized by inattentiveness, restlessness and difficulty concentrating" source
and "affects between 3-7% of American children." source While the exact cause is unknown, it may "include adverse responses to food additives, intolerances to foods, sensitivities to environmental chemicals, molds, and fungi, and exposures to neurodevelopmental toxins, such as heavy metals and organohalide pollutants." source

ADD/ADHD can be a sensitive topic among parents because there are so many opinions on how to treat it. While some children may end up needed stronger intervention, it's always a good idea to take the natural route first as much as possible. That way you don't have the effects of medication to counter with as well.

Since I prefer to start with a natural approach to anything that comes up in our life, essential oils, food and chiropractic care would be the three areas I would pursue initially to help our child manage his ADD/ADHD.


Essential Oils

Essential Oils have become a big part of our everyday life and help with numerous ailments. The oils that doTERRA recommends for dealing with ADD/ADHD are In Tune, Serenity, vetiver, basil and lavender. These oils may be used topically or aromatically. The best way to use them aromatically is with a diffuser, but you can also inhale the oils directly from the bottle or apply them to a tissue or cotton ball. The nice thing about a diffuser though is that you can get more even distribution and use it in a child's room over night or during the day.

The body absorbs oils fastest through inhalation and second fastest through application to the feet or ears. One option is to combine equal parts lavender and basil. You can diffuse these or apply 1-3 drops on the crown of the head. Or, you may apply these oils by simply putting 1-3 drops on the bottoms of the feet and/or the spine.


Food

Food affects us in so many ways that it is worth pursuing as a natural treatment for ADD/ADHD. I never knew how much a particular food could affect someone until I had two babies who reacted to dairy in my diet while breastfeeding and having one child live with peanut and tree nut allergies. While choosing a whole foods diet may be challenging at first, it is certainly worth pursuing for the health of your entire family. I personally know of a mom who chose a whole foods/fermented foods diet for her family and was able to radically reverse her child's autism. Her son's transformation story is incredible!

"Nutrient deficiencies are common in ADD/ADHD. Supplementation with minerals, B vitamin complex, flavonoids, and the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids have shown promising results." source "A Purdue University study showed that kids low in Omega-3 essential fatty acids are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, have learning disorders, and to display behavioral problems." source  Personally, our family absolutely loves Barlean's Fish Oil and we try to take it on a daily basis.

According to a study published in the 2011 Lancet Journal, "a diet free of processed foods significantly reduces the symptoms of ADHD in 78% of 4-8 year old children. This 5-week study involving 100 subjects found that 63% of them experienced a relapse in ADHD symptoms upon re-introduction of problem foods into the diet." It has also been found that some children react adversely to food additives that are common in so many of our processed foods. (For further study, please click here.)


Chiropractic Care

While the case may not be as strong for chiropractic care in helping with ADD/ADHD, it is still a broad spectrum wellness option worth pursuing. Our family has benefited from chiropractic care over the past couple of years and can certainly be one of the key factors in overall good health. Click here for several case studies on the benefits of chiropractic care in treating ADD/ADHD.

Have you had success in helping your child deal with ADD/ADHD by pursuing any of these natural options?


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