Drug-Free Treatment for ADD and ADHD: Great News for Health-Conscious Parents
Is your child among the more than 22 million children who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Most of them are treated by being placed on activity-modifying drugs such as Ritalin. What has received little public attention is the detective work being performed by Functional Medicine practitioners to track down the cause of a child’s ADD/ADHD and to relieve the condition without drugs.
What Causes ADD/ADHD?
Symptoms of ADD/ADHD are manifestations of central nervous system dysfunctions whose causes include diet, allergens in the food or water supply, air pollution, lifestyle factors and deficiencies in minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids or neurotransmitters.
What’s Wrong With Drugging Kids?
From several perspectives, drugs should be a last resort for treatment, not the first.
First, very little research has been performed on the long-term effects of drugs commonly used to treat ADD/ADHD. Why gamble with your child’s future health if another approach is available?
Second, we do know that many ADD/ADHD drugs come with a long list of possible side effects. These include reduced appetite, headaches, jitters, difficulty sleeping, irritability, anxiety, tics and seizures.
The safer, more conservative course of action is to attempt to identify the cause of a disorder and eliminate exposure to it. In some cases, Functional Medicine practitioners can identify the cause of your child’s hyperactive symptoms and eliminate those symptoms in less than a week. Advanced laboratory tests and a thorough medical history are key to diagnosis.
What Natural Treatments Help With ADD/ADHD?
When deficiencies are diagnosed through scientific laboratory testing, they can often be corrected nutritionally or by removing the source of the problem. For example, studies show that by eliminating a food your child is allergic to, ADD symptoms can improve within 3-7 days.
If tests indicated exposure to lead, then treatment would consist of eliminating your child’s exposure to lead paint or other sources of lead in the environment.
If tests indicated a deficiency in the chemical makeup of the brain, this can be corrected nutritionally. For example, both B6 and tryptophan are needed in certain amounts in order for the body to manufacture serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. After remedying the deficiency, your child’s ability to learn and function in an orderly manner can dramatically improve.
If your child is already taking ADD/ADHD activity-modifying drugs, stop them only with the supervision of a health care professional. A natural approach to treatment requires all health care practitioners to work together cooperatively to assist your child.
Extended holidays or summer breaks are an excellent time to consider transitioning your child from conventional to natural treatment because the challenge of a structured school day is removed.
Does This Approach Work for Adult ADD/ADHD Too?
Increasingly, adults are discovering that certain difficulties and challenges they’ve experienced for decades are attributable to ADD or ADHD. If you’ve been diagnosed with adult ADD/ADHD, the insights and remedies described in this article apply to you as well.
Where to Find Help
To find a directory of credentialed Functional Medicine practitioners around the world, go to .