Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Alternative Treatments for ADD and ADHD

By Melanie Beingessner

If you or your child have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), there are many alternatives to Ritalin or other mind-altering drugs for you and your family to choose. Mind-altering drugs should always be the last resort, as our children's brains and nervous systems are growing and the negative influence of these drugs on brain and nervous system development are significant.

Symptoms of ADD and ADHD are: short attention spans, poor inhibitory control, restlessness, learning disabilities, disruptive behavior, hyperactivity, excessive and often inappropriate motor activity, high levels of distractibility and impulsive behavior, to name a few. The problem with ADD and ADHD are that the symptoms of these conditions can be caused by many different environmental allergies, essential fatty acid deficiencies or imbalances, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, low blood sugar or excess sugar consumption can cause the behaviors that indicate ADD or ADHD.

The simplest way to cure ADD and ADHD naturally is to look at improving the function of the nervous system and the digestive system.

Improving Nervous System Function

Chiropractic Care Makes A Big Difference

Chiropractors find that when children with ADD or ADHD are adjusted regularly, many of their symptoms will reduce in frequency and severity. Chiropractic adjustments help to optimize the function of the nervous system and allow the brain and body to be better able to communicate with each other. Children literally calm down and are able to sit and focus at the task on hand.

The reason why chiropractic care makes such a difference is that the brain is the master control of our bodies. Everything that we do is initiated by the brain, which sends nerve impulses to the body through our nerves. The vertebrae protect the spinal cord and allow movement, but they can become fixed (the chiropractic term is subluxated). These subluxated vertebrae can put pressure on the nerves as they exit the spine. This added pressure on the nerves can reduce the body's ability to function. Chiropractic adjustments improve the movement of the vertebrae and help to take the pressure off the nerves as they exit from the spine. The brain is then able to communicate with the body more efficiently and the body functions with more precision.

Chiropractic adjustments are safe and effective treatment to help the joints of the spine move in a normal pattern of motion and improve nervous system function. Adjustments help children to grow with healthy, straight spines.

Brain Gym Helps Tremendously

If you were to ask a child with ADD or ADHD to place his (or her) right hand on his (or her) left knee, and then change hands and knees in an alternating pattern, chances are that he or she wouldn't be able to do it easily. Children with ADD or ADHD typically have problems with cross patterning movements, as they do not feel comfortable crossing the midline of their bodies. This problem with crossing the body's midline of the body is because the left and right sides of the brain do not fire in synchronicity and they do not communicate well with each other.

Brain Gym is a simple, yet effective way to help a child's brain function as it should, coordinating the left and right sides of the brain. Brain Gym uses physical movements to help with right brain/left brain patterning. It helps the parts of the brain that aren't firing properly to function as a whole, rather than as disorganized parts. Brain Gym makes a huge difference to children experiencing ADD or ADHD-like symptoms.

Improving Digestive System Function

Nutrition Plays A Big Role

When anyone eats, food is processed by the stomach, the pancreas and the liver to break down into food particles. These small particles of food cross the lining of the small intestine and enter the blood stream. It is thought that children with ADD and ADHD-like symptoms have a leaky gut, which means that the cells that line the intestines have spaces between them instead of being packed together tightly like healthy cells should. People with a leaky gut are letting bigger particles of food than are normally absorbed to pass through the spaces between the cells in the small intestines and into the blood stream. The result is that larger food particles are getting through into the blood stream and the body treats these food particles as foreign substances, which results in allergic reactions to the foods that the child is eating. The most common allergies for children with ADD and ADHD are dairy products, wheat, corn, yeast, soy, citrus, egg, chocolate and peanuts. Many children have difficulties with food colorings and additives to processes and packaged foods.

We find people experiencing ADD/ADHD are able to help heal the leaky gut by taking nutritional supplements designed especially for that purpose. If they also take digestive enzymes to help break down food particles into smaller bits, they heal more quickly.

It would also be important to look at the foods that the person is eating. Excessive sugar consumption, allergies or intolerance to foods such as dairy or corn can cause ADD or ADHD symptoms. It is prudent to eliminate these foods from the diet slowly to see if they make a difference.

Putting It All Together

Healing a condition like ADD or ADHD takes time. The nervous system needs time to learn to communicate in an improved way. It takes time to be able to eliminate foods that trigger allergic reactions and to grow healthy cells to line the digestive system. You can find a chiropractor who is comfortable treating children. You can find a brain gym instructor close to you by visiting braingym.org. You can find supplements to heal a leaky gut and slowly eliminate trigger foods from the diet.

14 comments:

  1. Chiropractic treatment is one of the best methods for treating numerous health problems naturally. After years of experience being a chiropractor, I have found that it is a powerful way to solve many non-pain condition as well, such as fatigue, sleep problems, and sinus problems.
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