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ADD/ ADHD: 7 Ways you can reduce symptoms - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADD/ADHD: 7 Ways you can reduce symptoms

As we all know, there seems to currently be a continuing epidemic of ADD and ADHD, with more and more adults, children and youth being diagnosed with the disorder.

The symptoms of attention deficit, impulsiveness and restlessness can severely impact everyday life, and the ability to focus and to achieve whether at work or school.

The medical profession has few answers beyond medication, so I would like to offer some simple ways in which you can help to reduce or even resolve your symptoms.

1. Increase exercise

It has been shown that incorporating exercise into your everyday routine can significantly reduce symptoms.

I remember reading many years ago about Daly Thompson. He was an Olympic medalist in the decathlon in the 1980s. He was unable to focus at school and was doing badly academically until he was sent to a special school for ‘Troubled Children”.

The school was unique in that it provided several hours of Phys-ed classes every afternoon. His grades improved dramatically, and he commented that it was such a relief to be able to MOVE instead of being tied to a desk all day.

2. Address Food Allergies and Intolerances

As a natural allergist, I see many people, especially children, who’s ADD / ADHD is being triggered, at least in part, by what they are eating.

The common allergens I see are wheat, milk, nightshade vegetables (in particular tomato, bell peppers, potato), food additives/colours. It is possible, however, to react to any food that you are eating.

I had one notable case where the mother complained that her two-year-old was sleeping only a couple of hours a night, was a nightmare to handle during the day, being aggressive and confrontational. She was exhausted. Following removal of milk products and potatoes from his diet, he started sleeping 9 hours per night and became much better behaved during the day.

3. Nutrition and Real Food

“We are what we eat” – nothing could be truer.

Changing the diet to include more fresh vegetables, fewer sugars (processed grains, fruits, potato, candies, etc.) and little-processed foods can have a significant impact on ADD / ADHD symptoms. It also helps to ensure proper nutrition.

Supplementing the diet with Vit D, Vit B12 (fish, poultry, meat, eggs) and B6 (beef, poultry, organ meats), Omega 3 oils (fish / chia/flax / hemp, etc.), and zinc (nuts, beans, red meat, seafood) can also be beneficial.

It has also been shown to be helpful to eat more protein, especially at breakfast and lunch.

Talk to your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor or holistic nutritionist about the right nutrition for you or your child.

4. Mindfulness

This is about being able to be present in the here and now.

Even small children can benefit from mindfulness. It can be as simple as asking them to describe what they hear, smell or see at that moment, or what the food they are eating tastes/feels/smells/looks like, allowing them to connect.

For older youngsters and adults yoga and developing a meditation practice can be helpful.

5. Disconnecting and Unplugging

We all spend far too much time in front of screens, whether for work, school, or gaming and staying in touch with our friends and family.

In addition to the addictive nature of these devices and the fact that it removes us from reality, every electronic device emits its frequency, whether the TV, computer screen, laptop, gaming console, etc. Even after they are turned off, they continue to emit for upwards of an hour. Reducing screen time has been shown to assist with ADD / ADHD symptoms so try to build in other activities and games that do not require screen time.

6. Chemicals and Toxins

When choosing household cleaning products, body products, dental products,shampoos, etc. select those which are natural and unscented.

Consider seeking advice from your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor regarding the possibility of heavy metal toxicity such as mercury and lead and the ways that this can be resolved.

And finally.

7. Get out in Nature

Getting regular outdoor time has been shown to be extremely beneficial to those with ADD / ADHD.

I hope these suggestions assist you in controlling your ADD / ADD symptoms.

If you have any questions or simply want to know more, please contact me today.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

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6 Things That May Impact ADHD - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

6 Things That May Help ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or (ADHD) signs include inattention, hyperactivity and acting impulsively. The condition affects 5.3% of people under-18-year-olds, and two-thirds of those diagnosed continue to endure symptoms as adults. (1) About 6 percent of American adults report ADHD symptoms.

The conventional approach for treating ADHD is to prescribe stimulant type medications such as Ritalin. These medications in the short term help to contain symptoms and have also been shown to reduce the risk of road traffic accidents and suicide in teenagers (2)

The long-term benefits and side-effects of medication, however, are in question. In a 2017 study that followed more than 500 children with ADHD into adulthood, continued use of drugs was associated with repressed adult height but not with lessened symptoms of ADHD. (3) An earlier 2016 study found that children who take medication for ADHD (ADHD) show decreased bone density. (4)

Medications have their place in controlling acute symptoms of ADHD; however, they in no way tackle the underlying root cause of the condition.

So what is the root cause of ADHD?

Like any other complex condition, the cause of ADHD is multifactorial. I see this every day in my practice, and it reflected in the most recent scientific research.

If you or one of your children have ADHD below is a summary of ways researchers have found to be helpful in the prevention and treatment of ADHD.

Exercise is Medicine

Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms. A 2016 study published by researchers at the University of Georgia found that after a single bout of exercise subjects had fewer feelings of confusion and more motivation to carry out tasks. (5)

An earlier study published in 2005 found that strenuous exercise can significantly improve problem behaviours such as restlessness, impulsivity and hyperactivity. (6)

Food is Information and Medicine

The food we eat is information for our genes. We all have genes that predispose us to develop certain conditions. If we eat food that is seen as unhealthy by our bodies, then this is going to trigger our genes.

A 2010 study published by researchers in Australia found an association between a “Western-style diet” and ADHD in teenagers. (7)

On the flip side eating a healthy diet can turn off our genes.

In a 2017 study published by researchers at the University of Barcelona children eating a “Mediterranean-style” diet were less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

A Mediterranean diet is high in omega three fats. In a 2014 study published by researchers at the Unversity of Gothenberg found omega three supplements can help children and adolescents who have ADHD. (8)

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about being present. Many children and teenagers and even adults appear to be permanently connected to technology. Recent research has highlighted both the negative effects of technology and the benefits of reducing screen time for people with ADHD.

In a 2016 study published by the University of Bergen, researchers found that young men are at risk of being addicted to video games. The addiction appears to indicate an escape from ADHD. (9)

In a 2016 study published by the University of America, researchers found that adolescents with ADHD follow a less healthy lifestyle than teens without ADHD. The researchers suggested that ADHD teens may profit from improving lifestyle choices such as increasing water consumption, decreasing screen time and getting at least one hour of physical activity per day. (10)

Nature is Medicine

Spending time in nature can make anyone feel better, and this is also true for people with ADHD.

A 2011 study published by researchers at the University of Illinois of more than 400 children diagnosed with ADHD found a link between the children’s routine play environment and the severity of their symptoms. The researchers observed that those children who regularly play in outdoor settings with lots of grass and trees have milder ADHD symptoms than those who play indoors or in built outdoor environments. (11)

Environmental Triggers

Exposure to toxic chemicals has been linked with ADHD in children.

In a 2015 study published by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers found an association between a commonly used household pesticide with ADHD in children and young teens. The association was stronger in boys than in girls. (12)

In a 2010 study published by the Association for Psychological Science researchers found an association between lead exposure and ADHD in children. (13)

Emotional Trauma

Past emotional trauma just like environmental triggers has been linked with ADHD.

In a 2016 study researchers found children who experience family and environmental stressors, and traumatic experiences, such as poverty, mental illness and exposure to violence, are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. (14)

Conclusion

Although this summary of recent research looking at the causes and treatment of ADHD is not exhaustive, it does highlight some different and exciting possibilities over and above medication. Unlike medicines, these approaches have zero side effects and are more concerned with treating the root cause of the condition.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


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ADD, ADHD or is your child escaping reality - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADD, ADHD? Or Is Your Child Escaping Reality?

Recently I treated a 13 yr old boy, who has the inner wisdom of Ghandi.

His mother was concerned about his apparent lack of focus at school, and how his self-esteem was so significantly affected by his poor marks.

He was bullied and, having a genuine sense of caring for those kids who would be blamed, and he believed that he needed to accept the responsibility of fault in the schoolyard as well as at home.

In sessions, we discussed how he saw his inner warrior. He realised that when he felt weak or powerless, his inner warrior had retreated to the ‘head in the clouds’ place, and as a result, he was left with a feeling of defeat and surrender.

Finding the Inner Warrior

When I asked him to describe his warrior, his response left me speechless.

This is indeed a moment in my practice when I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how very much I love what I do!

This young sage went on to describe a Samurai warrior. He held a golden sword with a dragon etched into the blade.

He said that when he swung the sword that it moved in an empowering way, not a destructive way, and it was in the name of justice, courage and strength.

Ultimately he said it was in the name of Love.

When I suggested that this young man might call his warrior home, to be present, he lit up with the knowledge that that is what he needed to do.

As it is with so many kids I treat, I can see the pattern of the “head in the clouds” and lack of focus as being a result of not wanting to be ‘present’ here in reality.

A place to escape

Some kids have anxiety around performance, where others want for escape from the classroom due to lack of interest or boredom.

Through my work with these children, I can see that they often, literally, make a choice to leave their bodies and connect with their ‘head in the clouds’ place of retreat.

As a result, they may appear to be daydreaming or in a fog. This can cause a sense of not belonging for these kids and can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of guilt, shame and self-blame for their lack of achievement.

By making these kids aware of the importance of breathing and other tools I share with these kids I teach them that they can make a conscious choice to be fully present, as opposed to ‘checking out’ to the cloud zone.

They soon realise that in doing so their marks improve and they find a greater sense of well-being. Ultimately they gain a sense of feeling grounded and can see that being present is a very cool place to be!

One young man was very aware of his head in the clouds place and described a sense of flying out of his body. His parents had recently separated, causing a lot of stress at home,  so it was a happier place for him to be.

When he realised he could bring this fun cloud place here in the present moment, he was more in control of his emotions and his anger reduced, and his focus and performance at school improved dramatically.

Where children, young people, and even adults are showing signs of ADD or ADHD, I always recommend looking at reasons why they might be making that choice, conscious or sub conscious to simply not be here in the present.

Finding ourselves

I believe that we are on a new pathway and each step we take, each career we move into, every relationship, every experience leads us even deeper into the understanding of who we truly are!

The steps are the building blocks of the ‘now’, and the ‘now’ is where we begin to blossom into our unique selves!

Want to know more, or discuss whether you or your child are only ‘checking out’?

Book a free meet and greet with me today.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
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