Attention deficit disorders with or without hyperactivity are ubiquitous and diagnoses are constantly increasing. Children are the most affected and their condition makes their school career difficult and complex. While the medical world swears by medication, even though in some cases it is essential, there are many natural solutions and supports that are worth knowing.
Here are 10 natural alternatives to medication.
1. The importance of omega 3
It is proven that omega 3 improve the functions and the cognitive performances in a significant way. They improve cerebral blood circulation while optimally fluidizing the blood. In fact, the brain should be made up of more than 60% of omega 3. Unfortunately, our diet is deficient in them. Their near absence considerably hinders the proper functioning of their brain capacity.
Several studies have shown that people with ADHD have lower blood levels of omega 3. In the diet, plant-based omega-3s are found in flaxseed, hempseed, chia seeds and walnuts, all of which can be included in a healthy daily diet. On the animal side, oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, etc.) contain omega 3, which is why it is important to eat them 2 to 3 times a week.
However, the best results at the cerebral level are obtained following a supplementation of fatty fish oil in which the omega 3 are complete and ready to be used by the body. Their assimilation is much easier and a good omega 3 supplement can in some cases be more effective than medication. In addition to the neurological benefits, they also support heart function, reduce inflammation and protect the skin while leaving it well hydrated. It is important to choose high quality supplements made from small unheated fish and free of heavy metals.
It also promotes a state of relaxation without causing drowsiness or side effects. Moreover, L-theanine supports the brain’s functions in terms of concentration. Therefore, this amino acid is indicated in cases of ADHD. In short, it promotes a balanced mental and emotional state since it calms while predisposing to a state of alertness.
Skullcap is a wonderful complement to this trio of ingredients. It is an outstanding plant for nourishing and supporting the nervous system. It is indicated for nervous people weakened by stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, agitation, impulsivity, as well as for sleep problems. Finally, LTO3 provides the first positive effects rather quickly, that is to say from 24 hours to a few weeks from the beginning of the treatment. It has no contraindications or side effects.
According to several studies, nearly 95% of ADHD children have a significant magnesium deficiency. This is not surprising, since it is the key mineral of the nervous system that regulates more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
Magnesium excels at relaxation. It is mostly found in green vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Unfortunately, soils are increasingly depleted of magnesium and dietary deficiency has become common.
In addition, the consumption of processed foods, refined sugar and white flour increases this deficiency, since these foods waste magnesium reserves by using it for their digestion. Magnesium deficiency causes many disorders including symptoms of hyperactivity, hyperemotionality, stress, anxiety, insomnia, aggressiveness, impulsivity, confusion, irritability, attention deficit and concentration. Several forms of magnesium are available in supplements. In stores, you will find capsules, powder and liquids. Find out which form is best for you or your child.
4. B vitamins
Just as magnesium is the mineral, group B vitamins are the vitamins of the nervous system. They are found in complex form, since they are several. They are essential to the synthesis process of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Their deficiency may therefore lead to anxiety, nervousness, concentration problems and hyperactivity.
They are also essential to the process of converting sugar (glucose) into energy and therefore stabilize blood sugar levels. This prevents a sudden drop in energy in children, making them potentially irritable, impatient and unfocused. It is advisable to take a B-complex supplement (liquid or capsule), but also for some people the addition of a B6 is very beneficial.
The latter works as a team with the magnesium and allows it to perform optimally. Ask a naturopath in a store for advice on what is best for you.
5. The iron
Some studies have shown that many children with ADHD are iron deficient. Hyperactivity is characterized by a lack of dopamine in the brain. To produce this neurotransmitter, iron is essential in the process of its synthesis. Blood evaluation of iron reserves is therefore strongly recommended.
Indeed, an iron supplement will work miracles! We recommend Floradix Iron & Herbs, a vegetable-based iron that does not cause digestive problems and is optimally absorbed. However, only a blood test can confirm whether you are deficient or not. You should never supplement iron if there is no blood test to prove that you are truly deficient.
6. The Flowers of Bach
In Dr. Edward Bach’s range, there are 38 flowers with different properties that allow for a healthy management of emotions. The Bach flowers are an excellent accompaniment to natural or medical treatments, since they are not contraindicated with medication.
They support them by taking into consideration the unique emotions experienced by the child or adult suffering from attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity. It is possible to have a personalized blend prepared according to the emotions to be improved or supported. Among the many emotions that can be experienced by people with ADHD, here are those that can be improved with Bach flowers: low self-esteem, anxiety, fears, increased need for attention and recognition, impulsivity, insecurity, frustration, anger, loneliness, apathy, lack of motivation, discouragement, impatience, nervousness, agitation, exhaustion, etc. Ask at the boutique for a naturopath to prepare a specialized formula for you!
Essential oils also provide natural treatment and support for people with attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity. It is, however, essential to choose only quality and organic oils.
Some oils such as basil and ravintsara increase alertness and attention. Others such as True Lavender, Sweet Orange and Tangerine Leaf harmonize the nervous system while reducing stress, anxiety and hyperactivity levels. Since each oil is unique, it is best to find out how it is best used (diffused and/or topical) and whether it is suitable for children.
Nutrition is a parameter that could be the sole subject of a complete article, as it is of crucial importance in attention disorders. However, since it is not the main topic, here is an overview of some ideas to consider.
In naturopathy, diet is the basis of a private consultation and recommendation plan. First of all, a healthy and balanced diet is to be preferred. That is to say, rich in healthy nutrients within whole foods and free of food additives such as dyes known to be harmful to the nervous system and concentration.
Avoiding all food and meals prepared by the food industry and choosing to cook at home with an abundance of fruits and vegetables is very important. Secondly, avoid sugar at all costs. The ingestion of refined sugar (white sugar, glucose-fructose syrup, brown sugar, etc.) acts like a poison in the body. It impairs the proper functioning of the nervous system and does not help with concentration and hyperactivity problems.
Moreover, unstable blood sugar levels have a direct negative impact on attention levels and encourage aggressive and hyperactive behavior. Therefore, sweets, candies, soft drinks, pastries, commercial breakfast cereals are some examples to be absolutely proscribed. Another important consideration is that food intolerances are a recognized cause of attentional dysfunction. A naturopathic consultation is beneficial to target potentially harmful food groups and build an appropriate personalized menu, since no two people are alike!
9. Physical activity
Of course, regular physical activity is essential to ensure a good balance of the nervous system. It also provides the child with some release of energy in a healthy way. The more a hyperactive person stays active, the more it will help them stay calm and focused, via, among other things, the release of dopamine. For these people, remaining static behind a desk for several hours is an impossible mission. However, taking a 5 to 10 minute break to get rid of their excess energy offers positive and amazing results!
Secondly, being active allows for optimal blood circulation and oxygenation of the brain. It also allows the neurons to use sugar in the best possible way and to ensure glycemic stability. Cognitive abilities are therefore significantly improved.
A special note regarding the practice of yoga. It is a discipline that is increasingly recognized to reduce hyperactivity, impulsivity and conflicts between peers. It also promotes a state of calm, zenitude, relaxation, concentration and self-esteem. In short, the importance of physical activity has been proven and should never be neglected!