ADD, or attention deficit disorder, is defined by the symptoms of hyperactivity and the inability to concentrate for long periods of time on a single subject. Natural and alternative treatments for ADD are popular among individuals seeking a drug-free option in order to minimize the risks and side effects of conventional treatment. Certain treatments, such as improving diet and nutrition, spending more time in nature and reducing pesticide exposure, are popular lifestyle modifications that have been studied by researchers. Sometimes, meditation and hypnosis is advised by physicians, instead of drugs, and herbal supplements can also be used in some cases along with conventional medical care.
Some research has suggested that nutritional deficiencies can lead to disorders such as ADD, and can affect certain areas of the brain associated with concentration. Research into alternative treatments for ADD have shown that omega-3 fats, which are primarily found in fish, are helpful in stabilizing some hyperactive behavior and can aid in improving concentration. Alternative treatments for ADD and ADHD in the field of nutrition also include reducing sugars and refined carbohydrates, which can lead to blood sugar imbalances. After consuming these foods, blood sugar spikes and falls rapidly, resulting in irritability, mood swings and the inability to concentrate.
A link exists between spending time in nature and reducing ADD symptoms in children, making nature a possible alternative treatment. Exercising and increasing physical activity while in natural surroundings can also be helpful by stabilizing blood sugar as well as increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Since serotonin is responsible for mood support, and ADD is commonly associated with mood instability, it is suggested that it is important to raise these levels naturally. Another component to natural and alternative treatments include reducing pesticide exposure in the home and from food, as pesticides have been linked to ADD in some studies.
Meditation and hypnosis have been shown to be beneficial in some individuals suffering from ADD symptoms such as concentration problems and irritability. This is partly because both therapies help relax the mind and body, creating a serene state that an individual can return to with various relaxation techniques. Herbal supplements are popular in alternative treatments for ADD, and include using chamomile and ginkgo biloba. Supplements should still be treated with caution alongside proper medical advice, especially if an individual is taking prescription medications.