You’ve been asking me how our household is naturally treating ADHD so here is your answer.
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Ever since I decided to talk about the ADHD symptoms many of you have reached out to me and asked how we are naturally treating ADHD in our household. So I’ve comprised a list of;
A) A list of what brands I prefer.
B) Which product’s I think are the most important
C) Where you can buy them
Good news: I’ve found ALL of them on Amazon for you 🙂
Over the weeks that I have changed not just our meals but our routine. Handling mood swings, irritability, restlessness, and inability to focus on essential tasks like homework have become dramatically more comfortable. Morning’s used to be a constant battle of “I don’t want to get up, don’t make me. I hate school. I don’t want to eat this…etc. etc.”
The defiant symptoms that come with the ADHD were winning, every day.
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Since we began naturally treating ADHD with these supplements and routine changes our days are much more manageable. We still often run behind, but we are less stressed. My 8-year-old argues less, is much less defiant and doesn’t seem to struggle nearly as much to do daily tasks as in the past.
Please before changing your diet, or adding any supplements please consult your physician. You can visit my full Disclaimer here.
[I’ve now created ADHD Diet Cheat Sheets, You can find them in my Resource Library! Get Access at the Bottom of this Post.]
ADHD Natural Treatment Options for Kid’s and Adults
Here is my list of supplements and dietary/lifestyle restrictions I’ve integrated into our lives that I think are to credit for these fantastic improvements:
1. Barleans Fish Oil Omega Swirl
Like a Smoothie of healthy goodness! No Fish-Burps and it tastes delicious!! My kids personally love the Lemon Zest and beg for more.
Fish Oil-Omega 3 has long linked to heart health, but recent studies also show it benefits in brain health. Specifically ADHD Brains. You can find out more info here by Dr. Axe, one of my favorite Health Advocates to follow.
2. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Childrens Multi-Vitamin Chewables
Often ADHD children also struggle with Sensory Processing Disorder. Making eating a range of foods quite tricky. Getting in every vitamin and mineral their body needs, much less their brain can be problematic if you have a picky eater. A good multivitamin to me is a whole food vitamin, and as you will read, my favorite brand of in-store Vitamin and Dietary Supplement’s is Garden of Life. Their ingredients are superior. Their prices can be steep if you are buying from a small mom and pop shop in your hometown, but Amazon is competitive with every Garden of Life supplement.
3. Garden of Life Kids Probiotic Chewables
When it comes to Brain Health, you have to look at also what Doctors are now calling “The Second Brain.” In fact, studies have shown a link to your gut being the creator of that lovely “happy” compound, Serotonin. A good probiotic can make all the difference in your overall health. Including strengthening your Immune system, lowering Inflammation in your body, even helping different Skin disorders. Your gut flora is responsible for all that and then some. Here is an excellent article relating to Probiotics and Gut Health and why it is so important. And even some info linking these superhero bacteria to help in brain-related conditions (like ADHD).
4. Enzymedica Children’s Chewable Enzymes
Lacking enzymes is likely the link to most food intolerances. I strive to have them take them at times when they are going to eat something not “Mom-ADHD-Diet Approved.” So far, when they use these before say, Pizza Friday? I see a much less noticeable rebound in symptoms than I do when they don’t. Dr. Axe knows much more than I do about Enzymes, go here for more info.
5. Garden of Life B-12 Sublingual Spray
Why B-12? Vitamin B-12 is known to support memory and concentration. Two things that ADHD’ers struggle with tremendously. More info on this topic here.
6. Garden of Life Magnesium
Ahhh Magnesium. Nature’s original stress-reliever. Magnesium binds to GABA in the brain. GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. In other words, GABA is responsible for helping you to relax, and it cannot do it without Magnesium.
7. ADHD and Gluten, Soy, and Dairy Free Diet
When I say “My child has ADHD” The response is often someone heard that “Red Dye 40” is the culprit of an ADHD diagnosis and that removal of it will likely improve my son’s symptoms of ADHD. This statement is only half-true. There is a link between gut health and brain health as you read above. The best way to figure out what is wreaking havoc on your “second brain” is to eliminate the 7 High Inflammatory foods, as well as others that may be causing inflammation in the body. For me, the main three have been Gluten, Dairy, and Soy. (Read my post of 50 Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Recipes Here!) So I removed those from my children’s diets and had seen LARGE improvements in ways of concentration, irritability, and restlessness. It has NOT fixed all of the problems of ADHD. When naturally treating ADHD your symptoms will never be completely subsided.
This result is where the idea that an elimination diet alone can solve the ADHD “problem.” It cannot. It can undoubtedly aid it.
If Someone has ADHD…
Their symptoms come from having a brain that works differently. Not less or poor. Just different. Diet, Exercise, and behavioral modification can take them a lot of the way. If it is still impacting their daily life, I am all for prescribed medication by a Doctor with a specialty in ADHD.
Dr. Daniel Amen talks about naturally treating ADHD differently for different people, and they all include a multi-faceted approach. With health, there is no Magic Pill. People have known this for years about weight loss. But refuse to acknowledge the link to your health being a whole body, mind and spirit approach.
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Simple Mills is one of my favorite Gluten Free Brands! Their Gluten free baking items serve as a bonding experience to make with your family as well as they taste light and fluffy and are lacking in the HiFi food department. I strongly recommend them for picky eaters and non-picky eaters alike.
8. ADHD Diet and Limited Sugar Intake
Again, another common misconception is that ADHD merely is “Kid’s on Candy.”
While there is a link from Sugar to ADHD it is not in the sense of “my kid is hyper because he ate too many skittles.” You can see a study done here, combating that argument.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a real risk factor when it comes to exacerbated symptoms of ADHD. Large intakes of Sugar result in your bodies production of insulin, that can sometimes result in overproduction of insulin, quickly dropping your blood sugar. Unless it’s a drastic drop in blood sugar, you may not even notice it is occurring. Even a slight reduction in blood sugar can result in irritability, fatigue, and muscle cramping. I have hypoglycemia and have my entire life. Since I balanced my blood sugar by cutting out simple sugars, my improved concentration is enough evidence for me to keep simple sugars at an insufficient amount for my children. Another simple effective way of naturally treating ADHD.
9. Create a Specific Routine for your ADHD Child
People without ADHD I have found move by their innate clock. They know when they get home they have to do the dishes, a load of laundry, sweep the floor and then cook dinner. ADHD people structure their day around what they want to do not necessarily what needs to be done. Kids with ADHD struggle tremendously with executive functioning, and so do adults. Giving ourselves a simple timeline that can be rearranged when needed but not so much so that you have to change it ALL the time has become another way we are naturally treating ADHD. You should read my other post about Organizing Your Life When You Have ADHD.
10. ADHD means Limited Screen Time
This one was hard.
I take that back… this was a fight. You can also read my post about how I use video games to my advantage as a parent here.
It has been entirely worth it.
Dr. Daniel Amen noted in his book Healing ADD that televisions and screens, in general, can work on the brain similar to stimulant medications and even street drugs. In most ADHD brains it’s the Pre-Frontal cortex that is lacking in stimulation. Relating directly to concentration, working memory, and executive functioning; medicines that stimulate this part of the brain can become highly addictive. Television and Screens can produce the same chemical reaction in the brain as these drugs. Because of this reaction to tv/screens, the myth that ADHD kids can focus on TV and just don’t want to do their homework gets repeated often. We eliminated TV during the week. Because of this, my children are now stimulating their brains in more healthy ways. Exercise primarily. It makes it a lot less of a fight with them when it is time to do homework because their mind doesn’t have to fight so hard to “look away” from the TV/phone/tablet. Weekends come we allow TV as long as the rest of the routine has maintained. It has by far made what I feel is the most difference in my son’s ability to focus on his homework and reading.
So, If you set out this year to make your family healthier, or like I did last year: Help my child raise his grades and reading comprehension. Give some of these a try. They have worked for us with notable progress.