Often overlooked by ADHD sufferers or parents of children with ADHD are alternatives to perception medication. Many perception ADHD medications are amphetamines, methylphenidates, dextroamphetamines and lisdexamfetaminsof which the long-term health effects are unknown. We examine some popular and not-so-popular alternatives.
Lemon Balm (aka Balm Mint, Melissa, Garden Balm, Bee Balm) is an herb native to Europe traditionally used to treat minor anxiety and sleep disorders. Since ADHD sufferers often lack focus, the subtly sedative properties of Lemon Balm have been said to have a soothing effect on concentration. Beware however, as Lemon Balm carries a risk of respiratory symptoms.
Magnesium can be found commonly in over-the-counter vitamin supplements as well as foods like nuts, greens, and whole grains. Magnesium is beneficial to neurological and musculosekeletal health and can also regulate blood sugar levels.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fatty in a good way! Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentanoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA) have been found deficient in individuals prone to ADHD symptoms. They also possess anti-inflammatory benefits.
While not as traditionally healthy as some other options, caffeine can be a love it/hate it treatment for ADHD sufferers. Large amounts of caffeine are not recommended for children, but in an individual with self-control, 200mg of caffeine can significantly assist with alertness and allow an individual to focus on a single task for longer periods.
Protein, found in foods like eggs and fish, can trigger neurotransmitters which make an individual more alert. On the other hand, a high-carbohydrate diet can trigger a lack of concentration.
Light, Frequent Daily Exercise
Perhaps the most important alternative ADHD treatment because of how much it benefits all-around health, exercise is the great balancer of the human body; from blood sugar to dopamine and serotonin, nearly all chemical balances directly affecting mood (and thus concentration) are dependent on moderate exercise. Hiking, running, swimming, punching bags and other workouts which target overall stamina rather than specified muscle groups are ideal.