When diagnosed with ADHD, many people’s first inclination is to seek a prescription for medication to address the problem. While that treatment path works for many people, it does not work for everyone. Some of these medications are successful, but these drugs often have side effects that must be tolerated while taking the medication. Sometimes the side effects of the medication can outweigh the benefits of taking it. Many people do not know that many of the same results can be achieved without taking medication. There are alternatives to ADHD drugs that can help patients to avoid having to take medication should they so choose. Some of these alternatives are natural, while others involve some sort of therapy to achieve results. Here are some healthy treatment alternatives for those who wish to avoid taking ADHD medication.
Changes in Diet
Certain foods as well as ingredients contained in food are known to exacerbate ADHD symptoms. For example, foods with preservatives have been known to cause hyperactivity in people who do not even have ADHD. It follows that their effects on those with ADHD are even more pronounced. This means that foods with these additives should be avoided. At the same time, foods with sugar also have a negative effect on this with ADHD. Sugars should largely be avoided as well, which includes fruit juices and certain cereals.
There are foods that have a positive effect on those who suffer from ADHD. Since these foods act naturally to increase concentration and reduce hyperactivity, those with ADHD should seek to increase their intake of these foods. For example, foods that are high in Omega-3 help increase brain function that would be otherwise impaired by ADHD. These fatty acids are found predominantly in fish and can be found in certain types of milk as well. Accordingly, a diet rich in fish can reach some of the same outcomes as ADHD medications.
As opposed to eating foods that are rich in certain helpful substances, patients can take these in supplement form. These can be pills, drops of any other convenient way of ingesting these substances. For example, ginseng has been shown to act as a cognitive activator. Ginseng comes in tablets, or it can even be found in tea. The same Omega-3 that is found in fish and improves brain function also can be taken as a vitamin. One particularly helpful supplement that has been shown to have helpful effects is a Vitamin B formula. This formula can have some of the same positive effects of ADHD without some of the unhealthy side effects.
Some people with ADHD will opt to receive behavior modification treatment to accomplish the same aims as medication. This therapy can teach patients the proper skills to manage their ADHD by changing their behavior. This behavior therapy teaches patients the proper way to focus. By using goals and strategies, patients can learn how to stay focused and accomplish things. Behavioral therapy can be instituted with a plan and reasonable and achievable goals. Finding the right therapist can help a patient achieve progress. In addition, patients can also rely upon the services of an ADHD coach to help their advance their behavioral therapy aims.
Patients that begin a consistent exercise routine may gain some of the same benefits that they would by taking medication. Physical activity will have several benefits for those who suffer from ADHD. First, time for exercise is time when patients can shut their mind down and focus on exercise. Second, when patients exercise, certain chemicals are produced that aid the brain. Although the effects of exercise on the brain are temporary, daily exercise can at least help patients for several hours each day. Exercises do not have to be vigorous in order to achieve these effects. Calming exercises can release similar chemicals that aid the brain. Yoga programs can also help those with ADHD. Yoga can help people achieve a state of mindfulness where they are conscious of and able to impose control over their thoughts. Yoga can be practiced either as part of a class or at any time of the day.
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