ADHD & CAM
January 2001

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that seems to be growing. Between two and three million children (primarily boys) are affected by this disorder. Conventional treatment includes the use of some very powerful stimulants such as the most common drug, Ritalin. The May 2002 issue of Choices in Health and Medicine discusses a Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) approach for treating ADHD. Some of the highlights in this article on ADHD are:
  • ADHD is treatable and not curable.
  • Many parents of ADHD children have tried CAM treatments.
  • CAM treatments include dietary changes; vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplementation; neurofeedback; and homeopathy.
Cited studies used the following CAM approaches for ADHD:
  • Dietary changes that included a strict 7-day diet consisting of two meats, two carbohydrates, two vegetables, and two fruits every day along with the elimination of preservatives, additives, and food dyes.
  • Supplementation with essential fatty acids including omega-3 from flaxseed oil and omega-6 fatty acids from evening primrose oil. Other studies found that amino acids from high-quality protein foods and iron supplementation may benefit children with ADHD.
  • Neurofeedback techniques helped children show a significant improvement in attentiveness and impulse control.
  • A study that used homeopathy demonstrated an improvement in over half the children with ADHD.
While this was an excellent summary article, further reading is suggested. Here is a recommended reading list for parents and family members of children with ADHD:
  • Bruce, AW and Oakland, TD. Alternative Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Does Evidence Support Their Use? Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. January 2002.
  • Romm, A and Romm, T. ADHD Alternatives: A Natural Approach to Treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Storey Books. 2000.
  • Stengler, Mark and Stengler, Angela. Your Vital Child. Rodale Press. 2001.
  • Weintraub, S. Natural Treatments for ADD and Hyperactivity. Pleasant Grove, Utah:Woodland Publishing. 1997.
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