In this article we are focusing on ADHD and related attention troubles. ADHD has become better recognised and understood in the last few years. We now know that it is not only children that struggle with it, but for many the struggle persists into adulthood. This disorder makes it difficult to concentrate and maintain focus at school and often this then becomes a difficult reality when entering the workplace. ADHD is characterised by quite a spectrum of symptoms: not limited to merely short attention spans, but also it makes one more prone to being easily distracted, struggling to follow instructions, finding it difficult to complete assignments, impatience, inability to sit still, and emotional and behavioural issues. In this article we are looking at some options for supplementation. As always please consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner, whom is aware of your medical history before commencing any supplementation.
There have been some studies on children with ADHD, which have detected a possible zinc deficiency, as ADHD sufferer’s blood levels of zinc were lower than the norm. Zinc is an essential mineral, best known for its immune boosting properties. What fewer realise is that zinc plays a crucial role in neurotransmitter function and brain health. Therefore it is now thought that zinc may help improve ADHD symptoms.
Omega 3, essential fatty acids, particularly DHA is one of the most essential supplements for ADHD. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for human health. Omega 3’s can help with depression; help improve focus, thinking and behaviour in people with ADHD. Generally we do not eat enough fish to get enough of essential fatty acids through diet alone, and supplements are then the next best option. Interesting in studies of people with ADHD they have been found to typically have lower levels of DHA when compared to those without the condition. This essential acid is fundamental for optimum brain health at any age, so whether you have kids who struggle with ADHD or you do yourself, make sure you are getting your Omega 3’s!
Iron is next on the list. We all know the common symptoms of iron deficiency, but deficiencies have also been linked to increased irritability, cognitive impairment, and learning disabilities. In a study conducted by researchers to determine the brain iron levels in children and adults with ADHD, it was concluded that those who took iron, versus the control group who didn’t, had higher brain iron levels. Therefore some researchers now believe that there may be a connection between ADHD symptoms and low iron levels.
Magnesium is an important mineral in the body, which helps regulates over 300 biochemical reactions. We all know the normal reasons for magnesium supplementation, but interesting the deficiency symptoms sound almost identical to those of ADHD. Magnesium deficiency can prompt irritability, short attention spans, and mental confusion. More studies need to be done, but many researchers are beginning to see a possible link between magnesium deficiency and ADHD.
There are a multitude of herbal remedies that have been used for years to calm the mind and relax the nervous system. We will look specifically at a few herbs shown to reduce irritability, stress, and nervousness.
One of my ultimate favourite for calming is lemon balm. In either the tea form or in tincture form lemon balm helps reduce anxiety, depression, nervousness, irritability, pain and depression. I have also found it helpful for aiding relaxation and easing insomnia in people with ADHD.
The best herb for focus is Ginkgo Biloba. Ginkgo Biloba increases blood flow to the brain. Gingko Biloba is thought to possibly improve memory, focus, and cognitive fuzziness in people with ADHD, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. More research on ginkgo is required to support these findings.
One of the best supplements with which I have had clients see an improvement with is a combination of various minerals, herbs and neurotransmitters. It is marketed as a natural brain food formula and a natural neurotransmitter precursor. It is also considered one of the best natural stress management formulas, and has been approved by the Hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder Support group for use on children with these problems.
It is a combination of: Chromium Polynicotinate, the most bioavailable form of chromium and is used to balance blood sugar by linking with insulin. Calcium Powder, included for its alkalizing effect, which aids absorption of other ingredients. GABA (Gamma Amino butyric Acid), an amino acid neurotransmitter, which provides a natural calming effect. The amino acids L-Glutamine and L-Tyrosine, the building blocks of the body. One of the B vitamin family, Niacinamide, which helps maintain the nervous system. Valerian Root, known for its calming and sedative effect. And zinc, which plays a crucial role in neurotransmitter function and brain health.
Whatever your age ADHD is a difficult disorder to cope with and many have found that supplementing with minerals, vitamins and herbs can make a marked difference to several of the symptoms experienced by ADHD sufferers. As always please consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner, whom is aware of your medical history before commencing any supplementation.
About The Author:
After eight years in the retail side of the health industry, much accumulation of knowledge and information I changed industries completely and gone back to my graphic design roots. I still wish to help inform people on natural alternatives, as well as help people when they are choosing to use natural alternatives to treat disorders, diseases and distresses.
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