This can come as unexpected news, but certain nutrients, minerals, and other supplements have the potential to provide benefits to individuals with ADHD. Their use is predominantly in mitigating one or more symptoms of this disorder. Here is a look at ADHD, and a list of certain supplements that could offer assistance in managing its symptoms.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health diagnoses for children, and it occurs in adults as well. Typical symptom areas include inattention (an inability to sustain attention), hyperactivity, and impulsivity of words and actions.
In children, notable symptoms of inattentiveness are usually difficulty paying attention to details, problems listening, and not completing schoolwork. Similar patterns are common daily working lives of adults with ADHD if it is unmanaged. Impulsive or hyperactive symptoms can include fidgeting, an inability to stay seated, and talking excessively.
There are two main avenues of treatment for ADHD: therapy (of which there are various kinds), and prescribed medication (including stimulants and non-stimulants). These can be helpful to varying extents in some patients when used properly, but have their limitations.
Talk therapy takes time and often serves to improve or help a person cope with ADHD, but isn’t a sure cure. Medication, alternatively, is not something all adults want for themselves or their children with ADHD.
Supplements Useful for ADHD
Certain supplements can produce positive effects on the mental state and behaviors of those with ADHD. It’s highly recommended that you consult your doctor before using a supplement to address ADHD symptoms. Some of these are useful in addressing the side-effects of ADHD medication as well.
Iron can be useful for children with ADHD for a couple of reasons. First, studies show that iron is crucial for proper brain function. Furthermore, the level of ferritin (circulating iron) is often low in children with ADHD. For this reason, supplementing with 30-40g of iron per day can be helpful in children who are deficient.
Melatonin is important for the sleep-wake cycle. Many individuals with ADHD experience problems with sleep. ADHD medications can also impair sleep. Melatonin can potentially help someone with ADHD more easily fall and stay asleep.
Omega-3 fatty acids (containing EPA and DHA) have been shown to be useful in addressing hyperactivity and inattention alike in persons with ADHD. Taking omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis can potentially reduce these symptoms.
Zinc has been measured and found in lower-than-ideal levels in some children with ADHD. Conversely, the supplementation of zinc combined with normal treatment for ADHD has been shown to lead to improvement in symptoms. Studies have linked supplementing with zinc with a drop in hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder should be addressed medically and professionally where it does occur. Still, treating ADHD often means managing ADHD. The above four supplements could be of use in reducing the disruptive behaviors and inclinations that occur from ADHD. Talk to your doctor about using one of these for you or your child’s wellbeing and reduction of ADHD tendencies.