Attention deficit disorder (ADD )is characterised by inappropriately short attention spans and impulsivity which may or may not be also associated with hyperactivity (ADHD).
Natural treatments traditionally have revolved around removing all additives, sugars and refined foods from the diet, using antioxidants to help remove any pollutants from the body, supplementing with B Vitamins and extra minerals, taking Evening Primrose Oil and using calming herbals such as Valerian, Chamomile and Passiflora.
All have proved beneficial to varying degrees.
Evening Primrose oil in the form of Efalex is the only ‘proven’ natural alternative to Ritalin that studies have been carried out on. Efalex has also proven to be an effective treatment for Dyslexia.
Including more oily fish in the diet or supplementing with fish oils, such as halibut, has brought about beneficial changes in many children. Especially when dealing with poor concentration.
Spirulina at times has been reported to help ADD sufferers. I would presume that this works through it imparting a higher level of nutrition and proteins to the brain.
Diet is worth looking at first of all, as many parents just do not realise the implications of a diet high in sugars and refined foods.
Studies have shown conclusively that poor diets relate directly to aggressive,
anti-social behaviour and to mood changes. Many times I have seen wonderful
changes in children’s behaviour when given an improved diet.
See page on ‘Diet & Healthy eating’
One of the major minerals involved in treating ADD is magnesium, as this mineral has been shown to reduce neuronal excitability, and therefore reduces nervous and muscular tension. Personally I feel that all mineral levels need to be addressed, as all work together in order for the body to function normally.
Zinc, for example has a lot to do with appetite as well as keeping moods well balanced. Colloidal mineral supplements used daily, are a wonderful way of getting a full spectrum of minerals.
They are also very easy to give to children, as they can be diluted with water or dilute fruit juice.
See pages on ‘Minerals-Facts’ and ‘Minerals-Why we need to supplement’
Ginkgo and Saint John’s Wort are two other possibly beneficial herbals to use as they both function as monoamine inhibitors. That means that they enhance the effect of neurotransmitters like Dopamine and it is possible that they may improve the brain function of ADD sufferers.
To find information on increasing Dopamine in the body you usually have to look towards studies and information on Parkinson’s disease as this is where this type of treatment has been focussed.
There is a co-enzyme called Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, known
as NADH, that has been used successfully to increase the Dopamine levels in the brain of people with Parkinson’s and Alzheimers diseases. I personally have seen improvement in patients with Parkinsons using this co-enzyme, but have not tried it on children with ADD, so cannot comment on this course of treatment, however I feel that it certainly would be worth trying.
The results obtained in Parkinsons patients tends to be dose dependent (the effectiveness depending on the amount given and the severity of the condition) so I imagine that it could be the same with ADD patients. Also, as NADH is a co-enzyme in a chain reaction that involves Tyrosine you also often need to supplement with Tyrosine to make sure that all components are present.
Go to the On-line shop to order ENADA