ADHD is the abbreviation used for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a mental disorder and happens to be the most commonly diagnosed one in children. While it typically affects children and teens, it can continue to be a factor for these individuals into adulthood.
Children suffering from ADHD are often hyperactive and are not capable of controlling their impulses. They may also have attention difficulties and as a result experience problems with both school and home life. Interestingly, ADHD is more common in boys than girls. You might like our article on Parenting: 10 Ways To Be In Sync With Your Kids
Adults suffering from ADHD have very different issues than children. Adults may have problems with keeping a job due to the fact that they have difficulties in managing time, setting goals and staying organized. Adults with ADHD may also have addition, self-esteem and relationship issues.
Symptoms Of ADHD In Children
The many symptoms that children with ADHD may have fall under three specific categories: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Signs Of Inattention Include:
- Easily distracted
- Does not finish tasks or follow directions
- Does not appear to be listening or paying attention
- Makes careless mistakes
- Daily activities are forgotten
- Cannot organizing daily tasks
- Has difficulty with sitting still for any reason
- Losing track of things
- Daydreams frequently
Signs Of Hyperactivity Include:
- When seated, cannot sit still
- Will often not stay seated
- Finds playing quietly difficult to do
- In constant motion
- Talks all the time
Signs Of Impulsivity Include:
- Blurts out answers
- Constantly interrupts activities
- Finds waiting his or her turn difficult to do
Symptoms Of ADHD In Adults
Adults have very different symptoms of ADHD than those that appear in children. Also, for adults the symptoms may change as a person ages. They include the following:
- Frustrates easily
- Lateness and forgetfulness
- Low self-esteem
- Mood swings
- Problems in the workplace
- Problems in relationships
- Substance addition or abuse
- Trouble with anger control
- Trouble with concentration
Can ADHD Be Treated With Supplementation?
Any form of alternative treatment can have a level of risk. The use of vitamins and dietary supplements for ADHD is not new, nor has it received much in the way of scientific proof.
However, some supplementation may produce positive results in certain people.
To be sure that choosing an alternative treatment is appropriate for the person trying it, consult with your family doctor.
Some supplements may not mix well with certain medications used for ADHD and you need to review this before attempting any kind of natural treatment.
Supplements Used To Treat ADHD
Remember where we told you that supplements work best to ‘top up’ the nutrient and vitamin levels that are low in your body? Studies have indicated that children with ADHD may have a zinc deficiency. See where we are going with this? Zinc supplementation has been proven to be helpful in these situations. There’s even scientific proof to back that one up.
That’s not the only good thing about zinc. It has been shown to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity however, the same studies show it has little effect on inattentiveness. Plus, a study conducted in 2005 (Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology) did put a link between zinc levels and inattention in children as rated by parents and teachers.
Children aged 8 to 12 years with ADHD may experience improved mental skills thanks to fish oil supplementation. Research has shown that this results from the fact that fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. The mental skill noted as showing improvement most were the organizing of daily activities. The FDA has even approved an omega-3 compound to treat ADHD.
Fish Oil/Evening Primrose Oil Combination
One interesting study was conducted with a supplement of fish oil and evening primrose oil. Children with ADHD between the ages of 7 and 12 years of age were the test subjects. The results of the study revealed that improvements were recorded on several symptoms including overall behavior, inattentiveness, hyperactivity and the ability to think more clearly.
St. John’s Wort
Long known as a supplement used to improve brain function, St. John’s Wort is the common herbal treatment for such conditions as anxiety, depression and a variety of sleep issues. However, research has determined that it is not effective in treating ADHD. A recent study went as far as to say that St. John’s Wort “has no effect on the symptoms of the disorder.”
Based on study results, there are a number of other possible treatments for ADHD through the use of supplements. Children aged 3 to 17 showed improvements when using a combination of Ginkgo leaf and American ginseng. Melatonin, which is a hormone, has shown to assist sleep disorders in children taking certain ADHD medications. It does not improve other symptoms.
There clearly has been some evidence pointing to how certain supplements may provide improvements to ADHD symptoms. However, you must do your homework and learn more about what natural treatments can or cannot do to improve the health of someone with ADHD. Not every supplement will work for each person but there is enough proof to verify that turning to supplementation as some form of relief is well worth exploring.