Fish Oil and Other Homeopathic Treatments for ADHD
September is National ADHD Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to step back and look at the “big picture” as it relates to this disability. Today we focus on some non-prescription treatments available to treat ADHD.
by Dr. Scott Saunders
Katie’s story –
Katie was an active seven-year-old girl with flaming red hair and lots of freckles. Her mother brought her to my office because her teacher was complaining that Katie was hitting other students and wouldn’t stay in her chair during reading time. The teacher told Katie’s mother to take Katie to a doctor to get medication for ADD. Her mother wanted to see if anything else could be done; she didn’t like the idea of using amphetamines to calm her little girl.
During our exam, we discovered that Katie seemed to act up when she was anxious. She was started on supplements, including fish oil, choline and phosphatidyl serine, which help treat anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, and can calm children. We also changed her diet so she ate only organic foods, specifically fresh fruit, vegetables, organic eggs and meats.
Two weeks later, Katie was a changed little girl. She was sleeping better, and her teachers thought she had been put on medication.
Understanding ADD and ADHD
How, exactly, did the above homeopathic method change Katie’s life? To understand the answer to that question, we first need to understand more about ADD.
There are two pieces of information every person should have about ADD/ADHD:
ADD and ADHD are not illnesses; they are, rather, a set of symptoms.
ADD is normal for infants. The immature brain is unable to focus well. If it did, we would expect young children to sit quietly for long periods of time. We understand that young children need stimulation to grow and develop, as well as to stay occupied.
As children grow, most develop the ability to focus. Some, however, develop the ability more slowly than others or not at all. This condition has come to be known as ADD or ADHD. Children with ADD are often referred to as “easily distractible” while those who cannot sit still are labeled as ADHD.
Traditional treatments for ADD/ADHD
Often, ADD/ADHD is treated by stimulating the brain with amphetamines. Although these stimulants affect the area of the brain that initiates focus, they are also toxic to nerves because they have the ability to stimulate nerve cells until they exhaust their energy reserves and die. In some cases, these stimulants impair growth and maturity, as well as inhibit the normal development of attention span, leading to adults with attention deficit problems. For these reasons, I often agree with parents who hesitate to medicate their children to treat ADD/ADHD. Instead, I advocate a holistic approach.
The homeopathic approach to ADD/ADHD
Treating ADD/ADHD holistically is a multi-step process. To start, completely avoid the toxins contributing to the situation. Since it’s difficult to know which toxins might be to blame, I suggest avoiding them all. Common toxins include:
Allergenic foods (milk, wheat, GMO foods, etc.)
Once a child is toxin-free, it’s time to make sure he or she is properly nourished. A diet of natural and organic foods is best. Once a baseline diet is put in place, I work with the parent to supplement specifically for attention. Usually, these supplements include choline, inositol, cod liver oil and phosphatidyl serine, which help to naturally calm the brain.