Are There Natural Treatments for ADD?

I hate labels. Whether it be ones we put on ourselves or ones that we let other people define us by, they are ridiculous.   The diagnosis of ADD / ADHD is just another label that is being put on our children at alarming rates.  Conservatively, CDC estimates about 3.5 million or 9% of our school-aged children are being prescribed some form of medication for ADD/ADHD.  This is a terrifying epidemic bordering on the pandemic, especially when you consider the French only diagnose and label about .5% of their school-aged children.  The main reason for this difference is the criteria for diagnosis.  It’s not that the French have ridiculously restrictive symptoms with complex tests to be diagnosed, they just look at the cause of the disease.

What is ADD / ADHD?Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder in the US are classified as a neurological disorder where the patient or child has learning, focus, and attention problems with no underlying pathological cause.  In the hyperactive label, there is a marked decrease in impulse control.  The medical theory is that the brain chemistry is running rampant leading to all of the symptoms.  Those symptoms are just all lumped into the diagnosis of ADD.Instead of just looking at the symptoms, the French model looks at the underlying cause of the improper firing in the brain.  They consider ADD more a psychosocial issue and address it through counseling and proper social support.  On the other hand, the American medical doctors consider it biological/pathological process in the brain chemistry that must be controlled with medications.

Although the French model is better, there's still an issue in that neither of these models is addressing the true cause of the dysfunction in the child or adult.

Using Applied Kinesiology and Acupuncture principles, there are a few leading causes of ADD or ADHD.  Today I am going to focus on the adrenal portion of the potential causes

The primary underlying cause is usually an imbalance in the functioning of the adrenal gland; this usually occurs from a form of hypoglycemia.  The adrenal gland has so many functions in the body, but it is your stress gland.  When anyone, especially a child, eats a heavy carbohydrate meal, which includes, bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, candies, rice, potatoes, soda, cereals and any other thing made from grains or contains sugar, their blood sugar spikes.  This sharp rise stimulates the body to increase insulin production to push the sugar from the blood into the cells, which then causes the blood sugar to drop quickly.  The faster the blood sugar goes up more insulin is produced and consequently, the faster the blood sugar falls.  These quick fluctuations are potentially the cause of the child or adult to lose focus and become hyperactive.  Also, when this insulin does its job properly, it produces a state of relative hypoglycemia.  Surprisingly enough the symptoms of hypoglycemia sound a lot like ADD.

Hypoglycemia symptoms:
Irritability or impatience
Loss of attention to details
Confusion, including delirium
Lack of Focus
Difficulty following instructions
Weakness or fatigue
Anger, stubbornness, or sadness
Lack of coordination
ADD symptoms:
Doesn’t pay attention to details
Makes careless mistakes
Has trouble staying focused; is easily distracted
Appears not to listen when spoken to
Has difficulty remembering things and following instructions
Trouble staying organized, planning, and finishing projects
Gets bored with a task before it’s completed
Frequently loses or misplaces homework, books, toys, or other items

It's been my clinical experience that there is no way to naturally treat ADD without first balancing blood sugar and diet.  Other dietary stressors that need to be considered are chemical dyes and preservatives and should be removed from the diet of anyone that potentially has attention deficit disorder.

Let's be honest, changing a child’s diet away from the sugar and grains isn't going to be easy.   You can probably look forward to pushing back and potential fights, along with social pressure and misunderstanding from children who don't have to restrict their diet.  However, I can promise you it will be well worth the effort not only for the child but also for the parents.  Once the diet is balanced it usually only takes a few chiropractic/Applied Kinesiology treatments to calm and balance the nervous system.  So yes, the great news is that there are several natural treatments for ADD.  Granted, they might not be as easy as popping a pill, but they have the potential to be extremely useful.

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