Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or being overly active.
Symptoms in children and teenagers
Inattentiveness (difficulty concentrating and focusing)
- Having a short attention span and being easily distracted;
- Making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork;
- Appearing forgetful or losing things;
- Being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming;
- Appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions;
- Constantly changing activity or task;
- Having difficulty organizing tasks.
Hyperactivity and impulsiveness
- Being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings;
- Constantly fidgeting;
- Being unable to concentrate on tasks;
- Excessive physical movement;
- Excessive talking;
- Being unable to wait their turn;
- Acting without thinking;
- Interrupting conversations;
- Little or no sense of danger.
These symptoms can cause significant problems in a child's life, such as underachievement at school, poor social interaction with other children and adults, and problems with discipline.
How to manage the condition?
- Medication – stimulants or non-stimulants.
- Behavior therapy – This includes children, parents, and individuals.
- Lifestyle and diet changes – Functional therapies to treat ADHD naturally.
Giving the natural way without medications a try before going to a psychiatrist is strongly recommended. When we visit a surgeon, the problem will be solved with surgery, because this is the technique surgeons study. Same thing applies to psychiatrists, they are experts in med treatments.
How to address the condition naturally?
A well-balanced diet, exercise, and meditation are all good to reduce ADHD symptoms. We can start by fixing vitamin deficiencies. A deficiency in vitamin D or B12 for example could lead to the same exact syndromes. Iron, magnesium, all the vitamins, and anemia are what require attention in a blood test.
Then we make a major change in our diet! showing results will appear only when the diet is followed strictly. Cutting foods like sugar and caffeine (chocolate, tea, coffee…) can make impressive progress in sleeping disorders that will lead eventually to restlessness and lack of focus. Foods like fish and raw nuts are rich in omega 3 and 6 which will nourish the brain. Fruits and vegetables to increase vitamins and fibers intake. And let’s not forget to stay hydrated.
Third step would be to dive into a physical exercise routine. Along with a good night sleep, preferably without naps. Exercise is a top nonpharmaceutical ADHD treatment, as it can promote dopamine release, improve executive function, and alter BDNF signaling. In children with ADHD, it has been shown to improve attention and decrease aggression and impulsiveness.
Last advice would be to meditate! Meditation thickens your prefrontal cortex, a part of your brain that's involved in focus, planning, and impulse control. It also raises your brain's level of dopamine, which is in short supply in ADHD brains. Learning how to calm down using the breath and practicing 10 to 15 min of daily meditation would help win the battle.
It should take around three months for the real change to happen. Be strong and determined!