According to recent statistics, there are over 6 million children in the United States that suffer from ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a common medical condition that affects the brain and behavior. Common ADHD symptoms include an inability to sit still, lack of focus, and a lack of impulse control. The exact causes of ADHD are unknown but some experts believe that it can be caused by genes, premature birth, and exposure to certain environmental toxins during pregnancy.
Luckly, in addition to doctor-prescribed medications and therapies, there are certain lifestyle changes and natural therapies that can help manage and soothe the symptoms of ADHD:
1. ADHD diet
Some children who have ADHD eat a special diet to help them soothe the symptoms of their disease. Some foods can help children remain calmer. Some of the best foods for children with ADHD to eat include lean beef, poultry, fish, pork, eggs, beans, nuts, and other foods that are very high in protein. These high protein foods have beneficial effects on ADHD and many parents are implementing these foods into their households every day. Foods that children should avoid if they have ADHD include foods high in sugar, artificial flavors, and allergens. While many children may not want to eat these foods they can start to see the results after only about a week.
Children who have ADHD can use meditation to help reduce their symptoms. Using this strategy can actually thicken your prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for helping a person focus and control their impulses. When people, especially children, use meditation they can teach themselves to control their impulses all while helping to change their brain chemistry.
3. Support groups
As children get older they may see and understand how ADHD impacts their lives. Children with ADHD may struggle to have friends, succeed in school, and have positive social relationships. When children see that they are different from others it can have negative side effects. If children are able to attend support groups frequently they will be able to share stories, learn from one another, and make positive relationships.
4. Cognitive behavioral therapy
Therapy can help children change the ways in which they think. Trained therapists can work with children to help them understand their disease, how it impacts their lives, and how they can change their patterns of thinking and feeling. They can help children create goals for their future and help them create plans to achieve their goals.
5. Regular exercise
Exercising regularly can increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. Children who have ADHD often have low levels of dopamine and exercising can help to increase these levels. When there are increased levels of dopamine in the brain it can improve attention span and a person’s ability to focus. Exercise can help children get rid of some of their pent up energy and help them rest afterward.
All people, especially developing children, need to get an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep can help reduce symptoms of ADHD and help children develop healthier brains. All children should get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.