Managing ADHD symptoms naturally
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions by pediatricians in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 9.5% of school aged children have ADHD and two thirds of them are treated with medication. But many wonder, is medication really the answer to managing ADHD? More on understanding and living with ADHD family members.
Make small changes
As the ADHD epidemic continues to rise, new scientific research is pointing toward nutrition and lifestyle choices as being a major contributor to effectively managing ADHD. Of course, for many, medication is still needed, but Dr. Sears also recommends making positive Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition choices to assist in managing ADHD.
One lifestyle choice that is very important for managing ADHD is get plenty of rest. Those with ADHD often have trouble getting to sleep at night because they toss and turn, and start a cycle of worrying late into the night. Children with ADHD sleep on average 30 minutes less than other children. It is important to have a set bedtime and stick to it.
Exercising is one of the most effective ways of managing ADHD. Physical activity boosts the brain’s neurotransmitters: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. One study showed 20 min/day improved ADHD behavior and allowed boys to sit still and concentrate. The boys also required less medication.
Maintaining a positive attitude is also important. When children are in a good frame of mind, they are more likely to be able to connect with their own needs and the needs of others. Spending time outside is a good way to help them relax the mind and invigorate the body.
Good nutrition is one of the most important choices for those with ADHD. Food, for better or worse has a direct effect on mood, energy levels, and symptoms of ADHD. Eating a quality, nutritious breakfast with fresh fruits and/or veggies, whole grains, and protein is important to help focus the brain and enable the child to concentrate and learn.