Natural Interventions for ADD

Natural Interventions for ADD
When you examine the literature for helping folks with Attention Deficit Disorder, the reported gold standard is an effective medication regimen, behavioral therapy, and counseling in organizational strategies and making positive life choices. What happens when medication isn't effective? How do you deal with Attention Deficit Disorder when you cannot afford medication and counseling or your doctor won't prescribe it? Here are some natural ways to deal with the negative effects of ADD.

Supplements, including vitamins, minerals, and oils have anecdotal evidence that they help Attention Deficit Disorder. However, there are not a lot of scientific studies on the subject. Children with zinc deficiency and ADD show improvement after taking zinc supplements, according to one study. Fish oil helps the brain function better and improves the symptoms of ADD in some children according to a study reported in the journal Pediatrics. One study of 94 children showed that fish oil and primrose oil, when taken together, helped the children show improvement in restlessness, aggressiveness, completing work, and academic performance. These were children with ADD who had not benefitted from Ritalin and behavioral therapy. If you are going to use supplements, it is important that you find a medical practitioner who is familiar with them. It is also imperative that people use high-quality supplements.

Exercise bathes the brain in oxygen. It also releases a cascade of natural chemicals that helps the brain function better. Get moving! Do exercise that you enjoy. Exercise as a family or with friends. You get an additional benefit if you do your exercises out in green spaces.

Meditation helps to build focus. It also helps to calm intrusive thoughts. People who meditate are able to better avoid distractions. They come out of the meditative state with a calmness, but also with more focused energy.

One of the best resources that I have found for alternative treatments of Attention Deficit Disorder is Tess Messer's book called Commanding Attention. Several years ago, she sent me a copy to review. I have posted a link to the review in the Related Links. It is an amazing book that is filled with great ideas for working with the negative symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Try to get your hands on a copy. She did a lot of research for this book.

When using supplements or starting an exercise program, you should consult with a healthcare professional to find out if the program is right for you. If the interventions that your healthcare professional uses are not helping, ask for changes. If the professional is unable or unwilling to make the necessary changes, seek help from a different medical professional who has experience with ADD.

I have a lot of experience with Attention Deficit Disorder, as a person with symptoms of ADD and as a parent of children with Attention Deficit Disorder diagnoses. I am also a teacher with a Master's Degree in Special Education who has worked extensively with students with ADD. I am not a medical professional and my articles are for your information only. I am not giving medical advice.


The University of Maryland Medical School created an overview of ADD/ADHD symptoms and treatments.

An in-depth survey of diagnosis and treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that is more technical. If you enjoy science, and have a science background, you might like this technical ADD/ADHD article.

A small study reported some improvement in the negative symptoms of ADD by supplementing the diets of children who had a zinc deficiency. This study was reported in BioMed Central. "Zinc Supplements Could Help Treat ADHD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2004 carried a short recap of the study.

Ninety-four children who had not responded to Ritalin and behavioral therapy were enrolled in a study to see if their ADD/ADHD was affected by a combination of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and omega-6s from primrose oil. The results were published in the Journal of Child Neurology, 2012 June; 27(6), 747-53. The link below is to a full copy of the study.

The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder was published in the journal Pediatrics on February 2012, in Volume 129, Issue 2. It examined several dietary interventions for Attention Deficit Disorder, including supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids. The link below is to a full copy of the study.

Related links: The Related Links below this article may be of interest to you.

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You Should Also Read:
Commanding Attention Book Review
Green Time and ADD
Meditation Can Help ADD

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