ADHD is the most common childhood psychiatric disorder in Canada. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder affects approximately 5% of school-aged children. The rate of diagnosis in adults is also increasing with better awareness of how this condition can affect an individual. Patients with ADHD may present with either inattentive or hyperactive ADHD, or a combination of both. ADHD can result in difficulty focusing, trouble with emotional regulation, difficulty multi-tasking, learning difficulties, and behavioral issues.
Stimulant Medication for ADHD
Stimulant medications are the first line treatment for the treatment of ADHD. Common stimulant medications are Ritalin, Concerta, and Biphentin. Although these medications are effective many parents have concerns about potential side effects including loss of appetite, insomnia, weight loss, headaches, stomachaches, liver injury, and aggression.
Alternative Treatment Options for ADHD
A study published in the journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (2011) showed that amino acid precursors for dopamine and serotonin in the forms of 5-HTP and Mucuna pruriens, in combination with co-factors such as Vitamin C and B6, significantly improved the symptoms of ADHD in children. Of the 85 patients in the trial 77% achieved a significant improvement using only the amino acid protocol. An additional 10% of patients who had previously taken stimulant medications reported complete relief of symptoms when starting the amino acid protocol. These supplements are natural and have a significantly lower risk of side effects than stimulant medications.
A Naturopathic Holistic Approach
Naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic care, so in addition to using amino acid supplements and vitamins to support brain health, it is important to use tools that can help to train the brain to form new pathways. Neurotracker is a cognitive training program that uses 3D visual exercises. This training program helps to improve focus, working memory, attention and processing speed. Studies show that Neurotracker can significantly help children with these areas of learning and improve symptoms of ADHD.
To learn more about a naturopathic approach to treating ADHD contact us.