By Danielle, Contributing Writer
5.9 million children ages 3-17 in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, totaling 9.5% of the total population. More boys (13.5%) are diagnosed than girls (5.4%), and the disorder is steadily on the rise. Per the CDC, ADHD is “inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsiveness that interferes with functioning and development.”
Surely doctors who over-diagnose, schools which force more sitting and testing, the over-use of technology and over-scheduling of our kids are all factors in the rise of this issue. The line between chronic behavioral and physical illness is blurring as we realize that our bodies are a balanced organism, and one does not occur without the other.
Find out what the likely culprits of ADHD are and ways to treat ADHD naturally.
How To Treat ADHD Naturally
#1 Refined Sugars and Starches
The pesticides in our processed flours and sugars, and high-gluten content in our processed flours today contributes to destruction of our intestinal walls, a condition dubbed “leaky gut.” The foods we would normally have no issues digesting are then able to penetrate through our intestines into our blood streams, causing havoc.
Many believe that this is how allergens in our foods cause eczema on our skin — the eczema is the toxins leaving your body from your gut. We are then left malnourished, because we cannot absorb the nutrients in our foods properly. Cut out all gluten and starches, and use only natural sugars (organic, local, raw honey or raw maple syrup) to treat ADHD naturally.
#2 Chemical Food Dyes
Food dyes have been named one of the top agitators in behavioral issues across the board. Opt for natural food dyes, and eliminate any foods which contain unnatural coloring.
#3 Heavy Metal Toxicity
Heavy metals are found in our water, vaccines, dental fillings and toothpaste, and even sprayed in the form of pesticides on our foods. Consider that one flu vaccine contains more than 250 times the amount of mercury deemed hazardous waste in a liquid, and you may wonderful why a child who receives 70 vaccines by the age of 18 has poisonous blood.
Detoxing heavy metals can be a tedious, difficult process, but it’s entirely necessary to seek good health. A hair follicle heavy metal test will tell you what metals you are harboring, and a biomedical doctor or naturopath will be able to spell out a proper detox program.
Cilantro and chlorella are the best overall heavy metal detoxers, so if you can’t afford testing, juicing and supplementing these two heavy hitters are your best bet.
#4 Candida (Yeast) Overgrowth
Many doctors believe that and hyperactivity are tell tale symptoms of a candida overgrowth in the body’s bacterial biome. Use an organic acids test to test if this is the case for your child, and if so, cut out refined starches and sugars (as you probably should, anyway). Find a candida detox that works for your family. Build up your child’s good bacteria with pre and probiotics, do not use antibiotics, and ensure your home is not lending to a bacterial issue.
#5 Lack of Sleep
Sounds simple, but not getting enough sleep, especially as an active child or during a detox, can lead to more behavioral issues.
Allergies can lend to ADHD symptoms, including the most likely protein allergens: milk, soy, peanut, and egg. Consider eliminating all dairy, soy, and peanut food sources for one month, and slowly introduce these proteins back into the diet to see if a clear allergen is at play. If you cannot nail down an allergy, get a full allergen profile for your child. By eliminating allergies, you can treat ADHD naturally.
Supplementing the immune system and gut with probiotics, cod liver oil, vitamin D and C is critical. Other supplements that have been used specifically for ADHD include: zinc, magnesium, L-carnitine, and vitamin B6 (because it’s a great precursor to good bacteria in the gut).
A combination of genetic testing, organic acids testing (for candida), and hair follicle heavy metal testing can provide you with the answers of how to continue to treat. You will likely need to locate a biomedical doctor or naturopath to monitor supplementation and determine if your current regimen is not working.
A general detox is a great idea before starting any major changes, because a detox is likely to occur once the body and immune system come into balance and start eliminating the toxins built up.
Remember that your body is a system — so combine physical changes by nutrition with emotional and spiritual healing techniques to bring the entire child into balance. Physical activity can help the healing move along faster, such as yoga, tai chi and massage.