Natural Treatment for ADHD in Sterling, VA
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disability. While known for its traits of inattention and hyperactivity, common ADHD traits include distractibility, disorganization, and impulsivity. Stimulant medications are commonly prescribed to help patients with ADHD better function in society, but some patients suffer side effects like insomnia, stomach aches, and dizziness.
Almost all ADHD patients can benefit from natural remedies for ADHD, even if medication is effective. If you are interested in consulting with a healthcare practitioner in Sterling who specializes in treating ADHD naturally, call (703) 822-5003 or contact Dr. Lynese Lawson online.
Causes of ADHD
ADHD has no known causes, although preliminary research indicates that the condition may be hereditary. Recent research also suggests that epigenetics, or changes to DNA structure that change how genes affect people, may play a role in the development of ADHD. A few other contributing factors may include exposure to lead and other heavy metal toxins, being born prematurely, or suffering fetal exposure to alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs.
ADHD traits can vary wildly from person to person, especially depending on their type of ADHD. ADHD traits are typically noticeable before age 12, sometimes as early as age 3. ADHD may be less immediately apparent in women and young girls because they have been socialized to internalize restless or hyperactive behavior.
ADHD traits and characteristics often include:
- Difficulty paying attention at school or work
- Hyper-focusing on specific topics of interest
- Having trouble with social cues
- Struggling to meet deadlines
- Feeling irrationally rejected in response to perceived slights (rejection-sensitive dysphoria)
Many ADHD patients also experience executive dysfunction, or difficulty accomplishing routine tasks.
Types of ADHD
The fifth axis of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists three types of ADHD:
ADHD Inattentive Type, formerly known as ADD, is characterized by:
- Careless mistakes
- Difficulty sustaining attention in both work/school-related tasks and leisure activities
- Becoming easily distracted by outside stimuli or unrelated thoughts
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Poor sense of time
- Frequently losing objects like homework, writing utensils, wallets, or mobile phones
ADHD Hyperactive-Impulsive Type is characterized by:
- Fidgeting or difficulty sitting/holding still
- Movement like running, jumping, or climbing in inappropriate settings (more likely to manifest as restlessness in adults)
- Extreme talkativeness
- Often interrupting or intrudeing on others’ activities
- ADHD Combined Type is characterized by multiple traits of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD.
ADHD Natural Treatment
Stimulant medications are commonly prescribed to ADHD patients. However, these medications are not universally effective, and may cause side effects such as:
- Stomach upset
- Raised blood pressure
- Decreased appetite
- Addiction (if abused)
ADHD natural treatment may be helpful for patients who have had limited success with medication, but may also help augment a medication regimen. Certain types of therapy and strategies that ADHD patients can utilize have been shown to help with focus and executive function. These strategies may include:
- Diet modification
- Natural supplements
- Talk therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Development of coping mechanisms
- A combination of the above four
There is no clinical evidence to support that a healthy diet or supplements can be used as natural alternatives for ADHD medication. However, the right nutrients may have a positive effect on cognition and emotional regulation in ADHD patients.
Diet for ADHD
Treatment for ADHD can include diet modification. Some foods have been shown to have a positive effect on cognition in ADHD patients, while others have been shown to exacerbate the disabling traits of ADHD.
The following foods and beverages may be helpful for ADHD patients:
- Water to avoid dehydration; dehydration can impair judgment
- Protein-rich foods like fish, poultry, beans, and nuts
- High-fiber foods like blueberries, apples, and broccoli
- Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, avocados, and walnuts
- Garlic and oregano, which may boost blood flow to the brain
- Cinnamon, which may help improve one’s attention span
- Rosemary, thyme, and sage, which may help improve memory
- A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fiber-rich carbohydrates
Some ADHD experts also recommend avoiding preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and artificial dyes. Despite many claims, no there is no clinical evidence to support sugar being a potential cause for hyperactivity.
Natural Supplements for ADHD
Natural ADHD remedies can also include dietary supplements. Many supplements are thought to boost cognition and regulate moods, including:
- Saffron extract
- Vitamins like multivitamins or B vitamins
- Minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Gingko biloba
- Pycnogenol, which is isolated from pine bark
- Rhadiola root
Coping Strategies and Other Treatments for ADHD
While almost anyone can benefit from exercise and sufficient sleep, these strategies may be a key component of natural treatment for ADHD. Exercise can help ease hyperactivity and restlessness, and sufficient sleep can contribute to improving attention and promote learning.
Other coping strategies and techniques that may be helpful to ADHD patients may include:
- Planners or bullet journals to schedule and manage time
- Reminder systems like sticky notes or smartphone applications to prevent forgetfulness
- Fidget tools to help with focus
- Minimizing commitments during times of stress to make scheduling easier
- Listening to familiar or instrumental music to help with focus
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help manage moods and rejection-sensitive dysphoria
- Taking frequent breaks during long tasks in order to not overwork the brain
- Meditation to help curb restlessness
Used alongside stimulant medication, a method of altering brainwave patterns called biofeedback has been shown to be helpful in increasing attention and decreasing impulsivity. More research is required to determine whether or not biofeedback is helpful without medication.
Request Your Appointment Today
The symptoms of ADHD can not only affect one’s ability to concentrate, but it can also have a negative impact on an individual’s mood, sleep, and overall health. Natural treatment for ADHD may be able to provide a safe and gentle approach to help patients with focus and organization. To speak to a healthcare practitioner in Sterling who specializes in natural ways to treat ADHD, call (703) 822-5003 or contact Dr. Lynese Lawson online.
Proactive Wellness Center
Address8229 Boone Blvd
Vienna, VA 22182
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm