Over the past decade, Attention Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD/ADD) cases have risen five-fold. It has been reported that 3-7% of American children suffer from the diagnosis. ADHD/ADD symptoms are characterized by poor concentration, failure to focus, impulsive behaviors, and hyperactivity. Currently, there are no specific protocols for diagnosing the conditions. Often they are strictly observational, without any diagnostic imaging or laboratory studies to confirm these conditions.
Many parents are second guessing themselves over the course of treatment, and some are growing quite pessimistic about the drugs and their side effects on their children. The United States alone consumes a whopping 90% of the world’s pharmaceuticals for ADHD/ADD. The good news is that there are alternatives. Natural management programs include change in diet, whole food supplementation, chiropractic care, lifestyle planning, and daily athletic and stimulatory activities. Let’s briefly review each alternative:
Poor Nutrition and improper diet is a major culprit in ADHD/ADD symptoms. According to an article published in the Journal of Pediatric Child Health, it found that there is a direct relationship between diet and symptoms in children with ADHD, including sleep problems, physical symptoms and mood changes. The removal of foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, hydrogenated oils, food colorings and flavor enhancers (MSG), and other baked goods and processed foods is a great step. Returning to a diet full of whole food fruits and vegetables, some whole grains, legumes, and fish for a minimum of 12 weeks should yield many desirable results in children, and subsequently better behaviors.
The addition of nutritional supplementation often helps, and should include omega 3 fatty acids, DHA, ginger root, magnesium, zinc, and iron along with whole food fruit and vegetable capsules. These are not intended to be a “substitute”, but rather a “supplement” to diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for brain growth, function, and cognitive development. Many studies have shown depletion in the above named supplements in ADHD children versus a random control group.
There is a documented correlation between cervical kyphosis (reverse neck curvature) and subluxation of the cervical (neck) spine to an increase in ADHD/ADD. In my practice alone, most of my children who have been diagnosed with these conditions have noticed remarkable improvement in their symptoms by simply by restoring the proper curve and straightening the spine through gentle chiropractic adjustments and traction. We are seeing a sharp rise in children seeking spinal correction as a means of proactive health care. As a result, many parents are able to reduce the amounts of drug intake for their children if not completely.
Exercise also has shown to greatly help children suffering with attention span issues. Exercise helps to increase blood flow and oxygenation to the various muscles and organs of their bodies. According to John J. Ratey, MD, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “Exercise improves the learner. Their senses are heightened, their focus and mood are improved, they’re less fidgety and tense, and they feel more motivated and invigorated. Exercise creates the environment for our brain cells to wire together, which is the basic building block of learning.” Video games, television watching, and other stagnant activities can impede children’s behaviors and bodies due to the lack of learning and activity.
Rules of the house and active parenting will also greatly improve behaviors. Set rules, always be positive, set proper sleep times, decreasing television, computer time, and video games, and becoming more active in reading and homework with your child will help them with their concentration and moods. Above all, consistency and taking an active role in your child’s life will yield many desired results for improving your children.
By taking these measures in total or individually, you and make significant changes in your child’s health and potentially eliminate the need for long-term pharmaceutical care. The choice is clear and easy to implement.