Many parents have tried nutritional methods, such as taking sugar out of the child's diet, before they seek medical attention. A small body of research has suggested that some children may benefit from nutritional treatments, but there are no well-established methods that have consistently shown to be helpful to most children with ADD/ADHD.
Monitoring a child's diet gets more difficult as a child gets older and more independent, making the research difficult. Also, delaying the use of proven, effective treatments, while trying things with unknown effects may be harmful to children.
[The ADD/ADHD information above is based on source material from the National Institute on Mental Health entitled "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Questions and s," published in March 2000.]
An appropriate diet, when combined with supplements, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, and a structured lifestyle, with a system of rewards, and punishments, such as removal of privileges, helps a great deal.
An increased incidence of abuse of cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth, and other amphetamines has been reported among users of Ritalin, and other amphetamine related medications, which may well predispose them to later abuse street drugs, with all the adverse consequence it entails.
Take at least 4 Omega 3 fish oil supplements, daily: (certified free of mercury) it is best if consumed with an antioxidant, such as an orange, or its FRESHLY SQUEEZED juice. If vitamin E is added, it should be certified as being 100% from natural sources, or if it is synthetic, avoid it.
Eliminate, or minimize sugar use, replacing with xylitol, or stevia which you can get from the health food stores. Avoid artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and monosodium glutamate.
Minimize highly processed grains, and use of alcohol .
Suggested books for reference:
1. "The A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. Diet! A Comprehensive Look at Contributing Factors and Natural Treatments for Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity" by Rachel Bell,
2. "Ritalin Is Not The : A Drug-Free, Practical Program for Children Diagnosed with ADD or ADHD" by David B. Stein.
3. "HOW TO BEAT HYPERACTIVITY WITHOUT DRUGS Reversing ADD and ADHD in 20 days" Michael Sichel & Greta Sichel. 2001. Bookbound Publishing.
http://www.adhdchildparenting.com/adhd-child-diet-therapy.php offers some advice for diets for ADHD patients. http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-diets also offers some great help when it comes to a diet for ADHD patients. It is also advised to check with your doctor about some diet ideas for those dealing with ADHD.
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