Alternative Approaches for ADHD/ADD
Apr 10, 2011 11:48PM
Some of the drugs traditionally used to hide one or more symptoms of ADD and ADHD include Ritalin, Adderall, Focalin, Methylin, Metadate, and Concerta. Side effects of all the drugs include headache, stomach pain, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, nervousness, tics, allergic reactions, increased blood pressure, psychosis, arrhythmia, stroke and sudden death. As an alternative here are some recommendations.
Consider an Environment Change
When children need to read or concentrate, have them work away from the sounds of television, radio, or others talking.
When your child needs to concentrate, try having low-level background sound such as white noise or instrumental music.
Encourage your child to do tasks in short blocks of time with breaks in between.
Help your child to follow a very structured daily routine.
If your child has trouble slowing down at bedtime, a planned quiet time before bedtime and background music when falling asleep are often helpful.
Encourage your child to exercise regularly.
Help your child to get enough sleep.
Consider a Diet Change
Many children with ADD/ADHD react to preservatives, dyes, and sugar. Plus food allergies to chocolate, eggs, milk, peanuts and over 3,000 additives are believed to worsen ADD/ADHD symptoms. Try the following changes for two weeks.
1) No Dairy Products. Especially cow’s milk. This is the single most important restriction. Instead try Almond milk, Rice milk, or Better Than Milk. Drink water instead of milk. In fact, drink lots of water. The brain is about 80% water, and increasing your water intake to 7 to 10 glasses per day might be helpful all by itself. Sodas, Gatorade, teas, etc., do not count as water. Water counts as water.
2) No Yellow Foods. Especially Corn or Squash. By the way, bananas are white. Just don’t eat the peel.
3) No Junk Foods. If it comes in a cellophane wrapper, don’t eat it.
4) No Fruit Juices. They have too much sugar content. One small glass of apple juice has the sugar content of eight apples. You may introduce juice later, but even then dilute it with water 50/50.
5) Cut Sugar Intake by 90%. If you can, cut it down to zero. Sugar is in just about everything, but give it a try. Do your best without going crazy.
6) Cut Chocolate by 90%. No more than a single piece, once a week.
7) No Nutrasweet. None. Period.
8) No Processed Meats and No MSG. Only get meats with labels that say, "Turkey and Water," etc. If the meat has chemicals listed that you can’t pronounce, don’t buy it.
9) Cut Fried Foods by 90%.
10) Avoid Food Colorings Whenever Possible. See if your child is sensitive to any particular colors, such as Reds, Yellows, etc. For now, though, avoid all if possible.
After Two Weeks
Begin adding these foods back into your diet, one food every other day. Eat a lot of that food every day for four days. If you have a problem with one of the foods, you will see some kind of a "reaction" within four days. The reaction can vary from big red splotches on the body to ears turning bright red to explosive temper outbursts. If there’s a problem, you’ll know. If there’s no problem, enjoy the food.
Nutritional Supplement Recommendations:
A good multivitamin and mineral complex: 1 x daily
Vitamin B6 – 50 mg daily
Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oils: as directed on label
Dr. Kevin Kilday, PhD is a certified nutritional counselor. He is a member of the American Holistic Health Association and he is the founder of Life Recovery Center specializing in spiritual and nutritional counseling for addictions, depression, anxiety, relationships, attention deficit and anger management. For more information contact him at 321-704-0602.