Helping Children Manage ADD / ADHD Naturally

The purpose of this blog is to shed some light on possible causes of ADD and ADHD symptoms in children, as well as to offer some natural alternatives to western medical drug therapies.

 

 

 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADD/ADHD is a condition that affects one in fourteen school age children.  It is a diagnosis that strikes fear and confusion in the hearts of parents, and for good reason.  The behaviors and symptoms that lead doctors to make these diagnoses are numerous and broad in scope, and are not always easy to attribute to one cause or to treat effectively using conventional methods.   

The purpose of this blog is to shed some light on possible causes of ADD and ADHD symptoms in children, as well as to offer some natural alternatives to western medical drug therapies.

Common contributors to ADD and ADHD symptoms in children include food sensitivities, environmental contaminants (such as pesticides and other chemicals), inadequate sleep, and, believe it or not… stress.  While we don’t tend to link stress with childhood, in fact children today are bombarded with physical stressors as a result of the aforementioned contaminants and pollutants, and perhaps also as a result of faster paced lifestyles than ever before.  Any stress on the body can cause an imbalance of brain neurotransmitters which, in turn, can lead to poor attention and focus. 

While we can’t necessarily remove the causal factors such as environmental contaminants from our children’s lives, we can increase their young body’s ability to handle the stressors. 

The following lifestyle adjustments can make a significant difference in the behaviors and attitudes of children suffering from ADD / ADHD symptoms.

Diet:  Adding extra dietary protein and fiber can help to regulate blood sugar and modulate mood and behavior.  Children (and adults) with ADD / ADHD should always eat a protein rich breakfast, as well as protein rich snacks between breakfast and lunch, and again between lunch and dinner.  Some good protein rich foods which are also convenient to take along: boiled eggs, lean (hormone-free) meats, trail mixes, sunflower seeds, hummus and carrots, apple and sunflower seed or nut butter, cheese sticks.

Sleep:  For children and adults alike, sound sleep depends upon adequate preparation prior to climbing into bed.  All media (televisions, computers, game devices) should be turned off and put away at least one hour before bedtime. Likewise, children should be finished with homework at least an hour before bed.  This allows time for the body to relax and settle into sleep mode.  Helpful tips:  For children, who find it difficult to settle down, try introducing some basic yoga stretches, or a simple meditation.  A warm cup of relaxing herb tea may also be helpful, prior to settling in.  

As with any health challenge, it’s all about making the subtle life changes that bring about balance and this can take some time. Be patient and loving with yourself and your child and remember, we are all in process. 

Best of health,

~Dr. Tanya Hudson, ND

 

 

 

 

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