Treating Attention Deficit Disorder with Nature

 By: Lac Tran
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is an issue that more and more parents are dealing with every year. Thousands of children are being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder every year, a major behavioral disorder that strains family relationships, hinders learning abilities and future productivity.

Attention Deficit Disorder causes forgetfulness and difficulty in managing problems or tasks for many children, and adults, as well as learning disabilities that result from an inability to focus. The exact causes of attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, have been studied for years, though only recently has the disorder been linked to allergies and the disturbances of cell membranes. Other factors have been linked to the condition as well, including smoking during pregnancy, exposure to lead and other heavy metals. Diet is another key factor.

Scientists have studied the link between the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symtpotms and found:

- Animals deprived of Omega-3 fatty acids become hyperactive
- Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to brain growth
- Children who are breast fed experience lower rates of ADD/ADHD (Breast milk contains Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Omega-3 fatty acids impact hormones and chemicals in the brain

In many cases, properly balanced and nutritious diets improve attention deficit disorder symptoms in children, as do Omega-3 fatty acid supplements. In addition, children suffering from iron deficiencies show an increased risk of acquiring Attention Deficit Disorder. Iron, a coenzyme, is necessary for immunity and thyroid development in children, and it is believed that iron deficiency may increase hyperactive behavior and other attention deficit disorder symptoms.

Vitamins, especially the B family complex (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Pyridoxine) are very useful in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Many B complex vitamins must be taken together in order to work properly in the body. Vitamin B is vital to the development of brain chemicals that synthesize serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine for normal brain development. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that megavitamins taken in excess of the daily recommended allowance could enhance learning and reduce hyperactivity in those suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder.

Vitamin B6 has been used in the treatment of ADD symptoms to reduce the more common attention deficit disorder symptoms, including impulsiveness, lack of concentration and excessive physical activity combined with an extremely limited attention span.

It has long been believed that nutritional supplements, in addition to the reduction of simple sugars in the diets of affected children, are beneficial to the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Doctors and physicians are attempting to shy away from immediately prescribing chemicals and medications to hyperactive children and are encouraging parents to first try a change of diet and increasing the amount of vitamins and minerals in the child's diet before more drastic measures are taken.

Living with Attention Deficit Disorder is not easy, and neither is trying to find the best way to deal with each individual case. What works for some may not work for others, however perhaps it is wise to first try a natural approach to attention deficit disorder treatment before pumping our children full of medications and chemicals that may have adverse affects later on.
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