ADHD affects more children in the US than you would believe. And about 4% of all children put together take drugs to help them with the way they pay attention in class and with hyperactivity in general. Of course, these medicines are not free of troublesome side effects. So troublesome and so frequent are these effects that two out of three children with ADHD have parents looking for an alternative to conventional treatment for ADHD. One of the first things that parents try in their mission to help a child with ADHD, is a change in the diet – a change for the better. Often, keeping children away from processed sugar-hopped foods and food additives helps quite a bit. Lots of parents, about one in five, have tried herbal products. Supplements like vitamins and alternative treatments such as yoga and biofeedback aren’t exactly unpopular either. The problem is, as with every other kind of alternative treatment, these have precious little scientific research to hold them up.It isn’t as if parents always have a choice in standard psychiatric drugs for ADHD treatment anyway; some children are completely intolerant to them. For these children, an alternative treatment for ADHD isn’t an alternative at all – it is the only way. And even in the children whose bodies do tolerate the drugs, one time out of three, there are problems – a terrible loss of weight, stomach ache, sleep loss, a complete change of personality. The FDA has been paying attention too – and for a few years now has stamped warnings on popular drugs like Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall. Those messages warned of possible heart attacks, hallucinations and death. So if a parent does want to explore the options in alternative treatment for ADHD, what kind of choices that they have?The initial results are not encouraging; there has been a major study done on the effects of a herb that has been much in the news for its effects in all kinds of psychiatric conditions, including depression; it is called St. John’s Wort and it has been tested on dozens of children; the study found that the herb worked no better than sugar pills. But the study only tested for its effects over an eight-week course; some prescription drugs can take 12 weeks to show any kind of effect. An eight-week study isn’t exactly fair. The thing is, in any course of complementary medicine, no one method ever works by itself. It is always groups of mutually complementary treatments that get picked. Ginkgo biloba, ginseng and echinacea are among the other herbs that are known to have an effect – in preliminary studies. If you are looking for an alternative treatment for ADHD, you do need to keep searching.But you could help a child gain many of the effects of a good alternative treatment for ADHD, just by avoiding some of the foods that are known to aggravate the problem. There was a study done in the respected medical journal The Lancet three years ago, that looked into how children with ADHD, whose diet included foods with artificial colors and preservatives, only make their problem much worse. They were put on an additive- and color-free diet for a month and a half; and their condition improved a whole lot. The moment they were given a can of soda at the end of that period though, it drove them up a wall. So an additive-free diet is great for ADHD; and while it might be intuitive to think that a high sugar diet can be really bad for ADHD too (especially since sugar is known to get even normal people ll agitated), that connection doesn’t work really as well.Here is an interesting alternative treatment for ADHD; it’s called biofeedback. It’s kind of high-tech; children are made to put on electrodes on their foreheads; when they have specific kinds of thoughts or thoughts of intent, the electrical energy generated by the brain is caught by the electrodes, and is used to control events on a video game. It is so entertaining to children to see that they can control things with their mind that they keep at it; and in the process, gain valuable experience in the control of their minds.They say that this works just as well as most drugs. You could go to the Integrativepeds website to find out more about doctors who might be willing to explore alternative treatments with children.
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