Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) occurs in millions of children and adults. It is a chronic condition that affects a person’s ability to focus and causes higher levels of energy than normal. People with ADHD are also prone to displaying impulsive behavior. Traditional methods of treatment include medications and counseling. Those who have not been able to successfully treat their condition through conventional methods might benefit from certain alternative treatments.
1. Special Diets
Diets that include foods with processed sugars and carbs can lead to increased blood glucose levels in children, which causes higher activity levels. However, research findings haven’t proven that eating these foods on a regular basis causes ADHD. Dietitians recommend including foods high in fiber, such as whole grains and berries, to help stabilize glucose levels. Limiting or eliminating other ingredients, such as additives and artificial food colorings, is also suggested although there haven’t been consistent research findings that dietary changes lead to improved symptoms.
2. Neurofeedback Intervention
Neurofeedback training is used to teach people with ADHD how to control the beta wave activity that goes on in the front part of the brain. This can help improve ADHD symptoms. This technique is based on the observation that people with this condition have fewer beta waves and more theta waves than normal. Neurofeedback training isn‘t used regularly to treat ADHD because more research is required to prove its effectiveness. It is also expensive and must be done over several sessions by specialists with the right training.
3. Interactive Metronome Training
Interactive metronome training has been successful at reducing symptoms of ADHD in some studies. It has been shown to improve subjects’ motor control and attention span. In this technique, people hear a computerized rhythm and tap their hand or foot to repeat it. They are also made aware of how successful they are at tapping out the rhythm. The theory behind this method of treatment is that ADHD results from poor timing and motor planning. Interactive metronome training corrects this by teaching people to focus on a task longer without getting distracted.
Taking vitamin or mineral supplements has not been shown to reduce symptoms of ADHD. It’s also important to note that having excessive amounts of certain vitamins in the body can be dangerous. The effectiveness of herbal remedies that are often suggested for ADHD, such as gingko biloba, green oats and Siberian ginseng, has not been proven in research studies. People who are interested in trying herbal supplements should talk to their doctor first to see if they’re safe to use.
Although some alternative treatment methods have shown promise in reducing symptoms of ADHD, people with this condition should use them with caution. Some nontraditional treatments can cause harm under certain conditions. Those who want to try one of these methods should check with their doctor first. They should also keep in mind that alternative treatments for ADHD are still considered experimental and not officially endorsed by medical professionals.
Haley George writes for medical blogs and journals. She writes for www.adultadhd.net where you can find useful information on medications used to treat adult adhd.