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Natural remedies for ADD/ ADHD?

By December 5, 2008 - 10:56am
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I have attention deficit disorder (ADD), and while I was just diagnosed a few years ago (as an adult), I can look back at my childhood, school years and early work years and see its patterns throughout my life.

I was surprised to learn I had ADD. I had the wrong idea of what it was. I have always been a bookworm and I can focus intently on things I'm interested in, so I would never have thought I was a candidate. But I've learned that one of the hallmarks of ADD is just that -- the ability to focus when we are interested, and an almost mammoth-like inability to focus when we are not.

I take Adderall, and it makes a huge difference. Solutions come more easily to me, I am not as distractible (though it's still a factor), and I can buckle down and finish more tasks. When I go without Adderall for a day or two (maybe a weekend), I almost feel fuzzy and Twilight-Zone-ish. So I know the drug has a powerful effect. I hate to think that I will need to take it all my life.

My question is, what can I try in terms of natural remedies to help my ADD? Are there vitamins and supplements that will "turn on" my brain chemicals more naturally than prescription medicine? I have read about some diets and some supplements, but it's very hard to know where to start.

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you Diane for sharing your story and thanks to Susan for the information.

My neighbor has ADHD and has been pretty bad lately with his disease. His wife told me that he runs around the house making so much noise and banging on things. He got worse since the weather has changed. He does not take any medication for his disorder and may be open to the idea of a more natural approach.

I am going to share this information with her in hopes that it will help with her husband. Thanks for the information.

December 7, 2008 - 3:24pm
HERWriter Guide

In researching this for you, I mostly seem to find 'natural' remedy websites that are looking to sell bottles of supplements. Since I don't know much about these supplements (the information is given by the companies selling the products so not very objective information there!) I'll take a different route.

Instead, I can give you a little information about diet and nutrition - a topic that I know for sure is instrumental in the treatment of ADD and ADHD.

Sugar needs to be avoided as much as possible, as well as processed foods. It's not practical to advise an all-raw foods diet (and the concept may not be appealing to you anyway!) but eat as many fruits and veggies as possible, as well as whole grains.

Plenty of protein is needed for someone with ADD. Do you get enough protein in your diet?

Dairy, MSG and all those artificial colors and preservatives we see in foods and candy should be limited.

Our diet is absolutely linked to ADD!

Oils like lavender and a Christmas favorite - Frankincense - are considered helpful because both act as a natural relaxer.

Physical exercise is also crucial. While it can help to calm anyone, those with ADD can implement other specific exercises like yoga, meditation and visualization to help with concentration and focus.

A book called Attention Deficit Disorder : A Different Perception by the author Thom Hartmann has been very well reviewed. Have you read it?

I hope this little bit helps.

December 5, 2008 - 3:42pm
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