5 things to take for ADHD and 5 things to avoid

Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder appears to be on the rise around the world. Is it really, or have lifestyles changed enough that people are just more aware of those who have a hard time sitting still and focusing? Whether it is truly on the rise or people are just better at recognizing it, figuring out how to deal with ADHD is the real issue.
Medications, which are mainly stimulants, are available to help children focus and control themselves; but these often come with nasty side effects. Fortunately, you can control a lot of ADHD behavior without having to use medication by taking time to educate yourself. Consult with your doctor to get guidance along the way, but consider adding and eliminating the following items.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids. According to Medical News Today, essential fatty acids appear to help with heart health and speech in those who suffer from ADHD. Dr. Axe recommends adding 1000 mg of Omega-3 into the diet every day. Some can be gotten by eating foods rich in Omega-3, but taking supplements will ensure you get the right amount.
2. Minerals. Dr. Axe also says that zinc, calcium and magnesium help "relax the nervous system," so increasing the amounts for someone with ADHD may help him cope with stressful situations better and focus better. Dr. Axe recommends taking 5 mg of zinc, 500 mg of calcium and 250 mg of magnesium twice daily.
3. Caffeine. Research and doctors are split on using caffeine for ADHD. Healthline shares that stimulants are regularly used to treat ADHD sufferers as they have the opposite effect on ADHD people than everyone else. Stimulants tend to calm and focus those with ADHD. The toughest part about using caffeine is regulating how much you get. Experiment with it first. Some will find that they don't get the desired calming and focusing effect. If that's the case, stop using it. If it works for you, great! Be sure to use sugar-free forms of caffeine: diet soda, unsweetened tea and black coffee.
4. Time-out. No, this doesn't mean punishment. Healthline is referring to actually taking time to go outside. A study done in 2011 shows evidence that spending 20 minutes outside every day helps reduce the symptoms of ADHD. It's an easy, inexpensive, side-effect-free way to help get a handle on ADHD.
5. "Behavioral Therapy." Another way to treat ADHD that doesn't have side-effects is called "behavioral therapy." According to Healthline, this entails work and discipline from the parents. Generally, ADHD children do better with rules and structure. Knowing the boundaries, what's expected of them and having follow-through when the they don't obey is actually very beneficial for those who suffer from ADHD.
Simply adding things to your diet and lifestyle may not be enough to fully take control of ADHD. You probably need to eliminate a few things as well.
1. Sugar. Amen Clinics states that refined sugars or a diet heavy in sugar is counterproductive to the ADHD sufferer. He or she already has plenty of energy and doesn't need the immediate highs and low that refined sugar pumps into the system. When lots of the sugar is removed, children and adults tend to do better at focusing with their ADHD.
2. Artificial Colors. Amen Clinics states that artificial colors added to food appear to stimulate the hyperactivity of ADHD sufferers, so reading labels and eliminating artificial coloring from your diet would be wise.
3. Preservatives. Healthline points out that many of the artificial preservatives tend to cause those who suffer from ADHD to have increased forgetfulness and more trouble paying attention.
4. Allergens. The Mayo Clinic shares that common food allergens can exacerbate ADHD. Common allergens include eggs, milk, and wheat. You can be tested by an allergist to see if these are a problem, or you can try eliminating them one by one and see if you have any improvement.
5. Difficult situations. The Mayo Clinic also recommends thinking ahead and trying to avoid difficult situations. If you or your child suffers from ADHD, try to avoid long shopping trips or seminars that require sitting quietly. If attendance at a function like that is required, be sure that adequate rest is gotten ahead of time and bring something like a fidget spinner which can be done quietly in your seat without disrupting those around you.
Learning what works for you or your child may take time, but the results will be worth it if you can avoid the side effects of medication. ADHD doesn't have to rule your life. You just have to be willing to work hard to control the ADHD.
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