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Integrative Pediatrics and ADD
What are parents interested in learning about their child’s Attention Deficit Disorder? According to a small study done at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, parents want to know about sleep, diet, exercise, and managing stress for their children. To find out about these things, parents are turning to integrative pediatricians.
An integrative pediatrician uses natural remedies, often called alternative therapies or complementary medicine, along with the more established conventional Western medical practices currently used in pediatric medicine. Rather than proceeding directly to prescribing medication, an integrative pediatrician will try to treat a problem like the hyperactivity and inattention of ADD/ADHD in a more natural way.
Some children do not benefit from medication. Others might use medication as part of a total package to help them get the best possible symptom relief. An integrative pediatrician will look at the nutritional status of the child. Testing might be done to make sure that the child is not deficient in vitamins and minerals. Sleep hygiene could be explored to see if the symptoms of ADD/ADHD are being amplified by a lack of sleep. Various exercise regimens can be investigated. Some of these are yoga, martial arts or a running program. A neuro-feedback program might be recommended. Cognitive therapy could be helpful.
An integrative pediatrician might be able to help with challenges in the school setting. Behavioral interventions should be discussed. Recent research has shown that many students with Attention Deficit disorder also have struggles with reading and math in the form of learning disabilities. Testing for these problems might be recommended. Counseling could be suggested.
In addition to treating problems, integrative pediatricians strive to promote a healthy lifestyle. They have a focus on providing information on nutrition and exercise and how it relates to the overall health of the individual child. Building a healthy lifestyle for the child that continues into adulthood is a hallmark of integrative medicine.
When taking your child to an integrative pediatrician, make sure that the doctor is board certified. This lets you know that they have studied their craft and met rigorous standards of knowledge. If you are taking your child to an integrative pediatrician and other doctors, please let all of your doctors know what medications and supplements that your child is taking. Natural medications, such as herbs and supplements are “natural,” but they are also powerful medications with active elements. All medications, whether natural or made by a pharmaceutical company, have a possibility of combining to produce negative reactions when used together.
Parents want to find the best possible treatment for their child’s Attention Deficit Disorder. While some people believe that the use of medication is the first line of treatment for the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, others believe that a different method might help. Increasingly, those parents are turning to integrative pediatricians to help them put together a varied treatment package for their child.
This article was not written by a medical professional. It is provided for informational purposes, and it is not meant to replace advice from a medical practitioner.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (2012, January 24). Children with ADHD benefit from healthy lifestyle options as first-line treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2012/01/120124134425.htm
Dr. Andrew Weil is a well-known figure in integrative medicine. The Oxford University Press is publishing the Weil Integrative Medicine Library. These books, which are targeted for clinicians, contain a lot of useful information about integrative medicine. Integrative Pediatrics is recommended for readers who want an authoritative book on the subject, enjoy scientific detail and timely information. A link is provided below.
Integrative Pediatrics (Weil Integrative Medicine Library)
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