What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is an increasingly common disorder afflicting both children and adults around the world. ADHD is a psychiatric disorder that can cause a sufferer to exhibit short attention span, concentration problems, hyperactivity and mild learning disorders. Traditionally prescription medication such as Ritalin has been used to calm the effects of ADHD but many people often opt for more natural remedies for adhd. This includes natural supplements, many of which are believed to have a positive effect on ADHD symptoms. While medically there is little evidence to show that natural vitamins can measure up to prescription drugs there are those who swear by the results and are happy to avoid chemicals and medications. When looking at natural vitamins to use as alternative ADHD treatments there are three main ones thought to be most successful.
Fish oil pills are a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are considered vital for metabolism and everyday healthy but are not typically found in most regular meals and therefore not obtained in sufficient levels with a normal diet. Fish oil supplements help balance this out and are found in most stores and pharmacies. Many healthy people take fish oil supplements as part of their daily vitamin regimen and recently those suffering from ADHD have begun to look to omega-3 fatty acids as a natural remedy for the disorder.
According to a study in the “Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry” there is evidence that omega-3 fatty acids help repair brain circuitry and improve brain function. The evidence suggests that children with ADHD are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids which bring on some of the symptoms of the disorder (Bloch and Qawasmi, 2011, p. 50). These symptoms are thought to be calmed by a regular supplement. Since fish oil is the cheapest and most easily found source of omega-3 it is considered an extremely helpful natural medication for ADHD sufferers.
Studies have also found that magnesium deficiency is a common problem in children with ADHD and could be linked to the symptoms of the disorder (Konikowska, Regulska-Ilow and Rózańska, 2012). This is concerning as magnesium is one of the essential minerals for good health, helping in everything from immune system functions to the muscular system. Low levels of magnesium have been shown to cause irritability and restlessness which are also common symptoms of ADHD. For this reason those treating ADHD naturally will turn to magnesium supplements to help calm the symptoms. Fortunately magnesium, unlike omega-3 fatty acids, can be found naturally in many foods including grains and green vegetables. If those aren’t present in the diet you can also get magnesium in almost any store-bought daily vitamin supplement.
One of the most common vitamins in the everyday diet is also one of the most recommended for helping treat ADHD. Vitamin B is an essential vitamin for helping brain functions as well as calming the nervous system. ADHD is a disorder that directly affects and lessens certain brain functions. Common thought is that a vitamin B supplement can help restore some of those functions or at least reduce ADHD’s negative effects on them. Unlike omega-3 fatty acids or magnesium ADHD sufferers don’t typically have a deficiency of vitamin B so it is not as highly relied on as a natural treatment. However there are many who still swear by its effects on brain function. Vitamin B is easily found in both standalone supplements and in almost all daily multi-vitamins.