Finding Balance: Natural Remedies for ADHD Management

Natural remedies for adhd
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Many parents would say that having a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is like living in a wild world. An ADHD child's brain always bustles with thoughts and impulses, and their focus is rarely there. Just imagine what chaos that brings to your child’s everyday life.

ADHD isn't merely the occasional hyperactivity that many kids exhibit. It's akin to a perpetual mental state, where the focus seems elusive, and impulse regulation can be problematic. Every parent should know that ADHD isn't restricted to childhood. It can persist into adolescence and even journey into adulthood.

The symptoms of ADHD can be diverse and scattered. Remember those instances of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity? That’s ADHD. But then, it's also important to understand that ADHD isn't a curse, nor does it indicate that your child is flawed or broken. ADHD children have unique neural wiring, with their thoughts operating at a pace distinct from the norm.

The Importance of a Holistic Approach in Managing ADHD

Now that we've stepped into the world of ADHD, it's time to talk strategy. Let’s discuss a holistic game plan for managing ADHD. However, know that managing ADHD isn't a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It’s important to create a treatment plan that perfectly suits your child. 

Parents must know that their child's mental health condition, behavior, and overall well-being are interconnected. Focusing solely on medication might address one piece but leaves others in the dust. The holistic approach to ADHD is all about synergy. It entails creating a comprehensive support system that combines strategies like natural remedies, lifestyle adjustments, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Remember that your child is more than just their ADHD. They're a vibrant mosaic of thoughts, feelings, and potential. A holistic approach recognizes and celebrates that diversity. It embraces different strategies and tailors them to fit your child's needs. 

Magnesium and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for ADHD

Magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids are the dynamic duos you've been searching for to help manage ADHD symptoms naturally. Magnesium is the ultimate natural solution for the overactive mind. It has been known to keep stress hormones like cortisol in check, which can help dial down emotional meltdowns. Lower cortisol levels mean a calmer internal atmosphere,  which is helpful when dealing with ADHD's ups and downs.

On the other hand, Omega-3 fatty acids are the brain's version of comfort food. These little wonders are known to support cognitive function and mood. They support your child's brain as it navigates the stormy seas of ADHD.

Research suggests that incorporating magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids into your child's diet could potentially be beneficial (Agostoni et al., 2017). However, a sudden diet overhaul is not advised. Consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes as they're the navigators on this journey.

In the grand scheme of things, magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids are among the foundations of a healthy brain. While they can’t magically solve every challenge, they could provide a stable base for your child to build upon. 

Impact of Processed Food and Food Additives on ADHD Symptoms

When it comes to ADHD, parents should monitor all the stuff that finds its way onto their kid’s plates. Processed foods and those sneaky food additives are harmful. These culprits may contribute to the ADHD symptoms both of you are trying to manage.

Processed foods, particularly the convenient delights that line grocery store aisles can sometimes be a bit problematic for kids with ADHD. These foods often come with lots of added sugars, unhealthy fats, and refined flour. While they might be a quick fix for busy days, they can also lead to rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, making those mood swings even more intense.

Food additives are the unpronounceable ingredients that extend shelf life and enhance color. Recent studies suggest that certain artificial food colorings and preservatives might amp up ADHD symptoms in some children (Stevenson et al., 2010). 

The connection between processed foods and ADHD isn't entirely straightforward, though. While some studies point towards a link, it's important to remember that not every child's brain reacts the same way. The things that might trigger one child might not have the same effect on another.

A simple strategy is to prioritize whole foods – fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins – you know, the stuff that doesn't come with those long, cryptic, and confusing ingredient lists. 

Try to eliminate every processed treat or food additive and find a balance that works for your child's unique situation. 

Natural Remedies for ADHD: Lifestyle Changes to Reduce ADHD Symptoms

ADHD is best managed with some good old lifestyle changes. Sometimes, all your kids need is a healthy dose of commitment to healthy living. Let's break down the key players: exercise, sleep, and stress management.

1. Exercise

Think of it as a brain workout. Regular physical activity can help manage ADHD symptoms. It's not about training for a marathon; it's about encouraging movement – whether it's a dance party in the living room or a walk in the park. Exercise gives your child's brain a chance to stretch out and take a breather from the constant whirlwind of thoughts.

2. Sleep

Picture sleep as the magical potion your child's brain needs to conquer the day. Quality sleep can be a game-changer for managing ADHD symptoms. Create a bedtime routine that helps wind down the brain – no screens or excessive playing. Just calming activities, and a regular sleep schedule. Give your child's mind a much-needed break before the next exciting day.

3. Stress Management

Stress isn't just for adults. Kids deal with it too. Teaching stress management skills early is giving your child a toolbox for life. Simple techniques like taking deep breaths, trying mindfulness meditation, or engaging in creative activities can make a big difference. Imagine these strategies as shields against the stress ADHD can sometimes bring.

Herbs and Essential Oils as Natural Remedies for ADHD

Think of herbs as nature's little helpers and essential oils as tiny drops of calm. Incorporating them into your child's is adding balance to their day, and you’ll likely notice a subtle shift in their mood. They can help tremendously with ADHD management.

Herbs that can be used as natural remedies for ADHD

 

Essential oils that can be used as natural remedies for ADHD

 

The Power of Behavioral Therapy in Managing ADHD

Behavioral therapy is a game-changer in ADHD management. This approach is all about arming your child with practical tools to navigate the twists and turns of ADHD with ease. It trains your child’s brain without changing who they are. 

It involves a wide range of strategies, from time management techniques to improving organizational skills. But while it gives your child the tools they need to sail through their daily routine, it also integrates social support, starting with parents and caregivers.

Research suggests that behavioral interventions can lead to significant improvements in managing ADHD symptoms (Safren et al.). While this isn’t a quick fix, it offers a journey of growth and skill-building to effectively empower your child.

ADHD Medications vs Behavioral Therapy

Navigating the landscape of ADHD management often involves choosing between two primary strategies: ADHD medications and behavioral therapy. It's like comparing different tools in your parenting toolbox – each with its advantages and potential drawbacks. Let's break down the comparison to help you make an informed decision for your child.

ADHD Medications vs Behavioral Therapy Part 1

 

ADHD Medications vs Behavioral Therapy Part 2

 

The advantages of behavioral therapy and natural treatments outweigh ADHD medications. Choose alternative treatments that hinge on your child's unique needs, your family's values, and the advice of healthcare professionals. 

Consult with your child's healthcare provider, explore the options, and consider what aligns best with your child's personality and your family's circumstances. It's important to craft a tailored plan that supports your child's journey toward managing ADHD and allows them to thrive in their unique way.

Potential Side Effects of Prescription Medications

Alright, let's pull back the curtain and talk about a crucial aspect of managing ADHD with medications – the potential side effects. It is important for parents to know that medications can harm the brain.

  1. Appetite Suppression
  2. Sleep Disturbances
  3. Mood Fluctuations

The good news is that there are alternatives that are natural, safe and effective.

Empowering Children with ADHD to Thrive

To further help your child navigate ADHD, get started with the BrainBehaviorResetTM Program. It’s more than a comprehensive toolkit designed with your child’s unique needs in mind. It blends evidence-based strategies, cutting-edge research, and a holistic approach to empower your child to overcome ADHD's challenges and embrace their strengths. 

This program, which also integrates neurofeedback therapy, is what greatly helped Mary and her family in her never-ending quest for the most effective treatment for ADHD. At eight years old, Mary’s life was an exhilarating adventure. Her mind never seemed to rest and her heart is full of boundless curiosity. 

Even from an early age, Mary’s parents recognized that their child's focus and impulse control were a struggle. The chaos of everyday life was both enchanting and challenging, as Mary’s thoughts and emotions swirled uncontrollably.

After trying stimulant medications that had side effects, they delved into the realm of natural remedies and behavioral therapy. With the support of their healthcare provider, they explored incorporating magnesium into Mary’s diet to support her brain function.

Her parents also eliminated processed foods and additives that could exacerbate symptoms. Whole foods became the anchors of their diet, providing nourishment and stability to Mary’s evolving world.

Lifestyle changes became another crucial aspect of their strategy. Mary’s journey wasn't easy, but it was a journey of balance and empowerment. Her journey was soon filled with brilliance and boundless potential.              

Remember that your child isn't defined by their ADHD. Think of them as stars navigating a particularly challenging constellation. Natural remedies and behavioral treatments are useful tools to help your child shine even brighter. It's about finding balance in this ADHD journey and celebrating every victory along the way.

Parent Action Steps

☐ Educate yourself about ADHD as a unique neural wiring.
☐ Embrace your child's diverse thoughts, feelings, and potential.
☐ Combine natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and behavioral therapy to treat ADHD.
☐ Gradually incorporate magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids into your child's diet.
☐ Minimize processed foods and food additives for better symptom management.
☐ Encourage regular physical activities that focus on movement.
☐ Establish a consistent bedtime routine that promotes quality sleep.
☐ Teach stress management techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, and creativity. 
☐ Incorporate calming herbs and stress-relieving essential oils into your child's routine.
☐ Explore behavioral therapy options that suit your child's personality and needs.
☐ Engage with professionals to equip your child with practical tools for managing ADHD.
☐ Be aware of the potential impact of ADHD medications.
☐ Acknowledge and celebrate your child's good behavior and successes.
☐ Empower your child to embrace their ADHD journey and thrive in their unique way.
☐ Advocate for your child's needs in school, social environments, and healthcare settings.
☐ Watch this webinar to learn about the 3 Natural Solutions for ADHD, Anxiety and Mood
☐ Take our Solutions Matcher to get personalized help for your child’s behavioral issues and mental health problems.

Citations

Agostoni, C., Nobile, M., Ciappolino, V., Delvecchio, G., Tesei, A., Turolo, S., Crippa, A., Mazzocchi, A., Altamura, C. A., & Brambilla, P. (2017). The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Developmental Psychopathology: A Systematic Review on Early Psychosis, Autism, and ADHD. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(12). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122608

Safren, S. A., Otto, M. W., Sprich, S., Winett, C. L., Wilens, T. E., & Biederman, J. (2005). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for ADHD in medication-treated adults with continued symptoms. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43(7), 831–842. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2004.07.001

Stevenson, J., Sonuga-Barke, E., McCann, D., Grimshaw, K., Parker, K. M., Rose-Zerilli, M. J., Holloway, J. W., & Warner, J. O. (2010). The Role of Histamine Degradation Gene Polymorphisms in Moderating the Effects of Food Additives on Children’s ADHD Symptoms. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(9), 1108–1115. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.09101529

 

Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

Are you looking for SOLUTIONS for your struggling child or teen?

Dr. Roseann and her team are all about science-backed solutions, so you are in the right place!

You can get her books for parents and professionals, including: It’s Gonna Be OK™: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health, Teletherapy Toolkit™ and Brain Under Attack: A Resource For Parents and Caregivers of Children With PANS, PANDAS, and Autoimmune Encephalopathy.

If you are a business or organization that needs proactive guidance to support employee mental health or an organization looking for a brand representative, check out Dr. Roseann’s professional speaking page to see how we can work together.


Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of  media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.” 

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional (CIMHP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2023

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