Natural Remedies

adult adhd self help

By Tammy Preston, MS

Once you have been diagnosed with adult ADHD, almost all doctors prescribe medications. The most commonly prescribed medications are stimulant medications, such as Adderall, Focalin and Ritalin. However, these medications have been known to cause a variety of medical issues and side effects.

Less serious side effects of include headaches, trouble sleeping, uncontrollable shaking and weight loss. More severe side effects can include chest pain, problems speaking, dizziness, seizures, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, problems with vision and paranoia. Clearly, these side effects, even the common ones, can be severe and nothing anyone would want. While medications are a first line of action against adult ADHD, it makes sense to minimize your reliance on them by looking for alternative ways of treating your symptoms.

What are Natural Remedies Adult ADHD?
Studies have found that there are a wide variety of natural remedies that can affect the way that people behave, and lessen adult ADHD behaviors. The many option open to you without ever going to a pharmacy are described below.

Diet and Nutrition
Diet changes can have a huge effect on the way that one acts, so eliminating certain foods and adding others can make a huge difference for adult ADHD.

Foods to Avoid
One of the most obvious foods to cut out of the diet is sugar. Sugar makes hyperactivity and impulse control issues worse. Additionally, if your blood sugar spikes and then drops, it can make you cranky. By moderating the amount of sugar you eat, you can go a long way in moderating your symptoms of adult ADHD. You should be on the look out for “hidden” sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup.

Similarly, caffeine is another chemical that can lead to hyperactivity. Most people are not aware of how many beverages it is found in. Caffeine is found in tea, most sodas, chocolate, and even some pain killers.

People with ADHD should also avoid foods that are filled with artificial colors and flavors. These additives have no nutritious value and tend to throw chemicals in the body off balance, something that needs to be monitored closely if you have problems paying attention and staying still.

Good Foods for Adults with ADHD
Omega 3 fatty acids are key to allowing the brain to work efficiently. Studies have shown that people can benefit from eating more foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish, Omega 3 enriched eggs, flaxseed, walnuts, and Brazil nuts) and probably taking supplements as well.

Protein rich foods are also excellent for adults with ADHD. Protein is a source of energy that does not have a crash like sugar does, and it also helps you stay full and keep your blood sugar on an even keel. In addition to helping prevent a sugar high, protein rich foods can also keep you from becoming cranky from hunger.

Finally, calcium is an excellent way to keep your bones and teeth strong, but calcium also helps the nervous system. Several studies have been done showing that people with hyperactive disorders respond well to calcium. Additionally, calcium produces a calming effect on the brain, and it is even used as a sleep aid to help people relax. Dairy products, along with green vegetables, are an excellent addition to any diet but especially for if you need help staying calm.

Supplements
There are a lot of supplements out their with bogus claims of helping ADHD, but one showing some promise is Pycnogenol. There have been indications that this supplement causes a reduction of hyperactivity, as well as an improvement in attention, visual-motor coordination and concentration.

Meditation
Behavior modification can have a substantial effect on adult ADHD. One of the most promising, and easiest to learn, techniques is meditation. Studies have shown that after being trained in meditation, people with ADHD were better able to focus, even when attempts were made to distract them.

Light Therapy
Sitting in front of a light box for 30 mintues per day has been shown to have a powerful influence on adult ADHD. These are special devices that emit a high intensity spectrum of light that you can’t get through normal household lighting.

Coaching
ADHD coaches help by offering practical and customized solutions to the problem you may be facing when dealing with adult ADHD.

Self Help
Last but not least, self help is important for all individuals with adult ADHD. Comprehensive treatment includes education, adding structure and routines to your life, and finding support among friends or professionals.

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