ADHD: The Importance of Nutrition
Does this sound familiar?
You can’t focus on the task at hand.
You have trouble waking in the morning.
You get upset with little reason.
You are slow to memorize or learn something new.
Your mind is racing when you try to go to sleep.
You are a “Chatty Cathy” much of the time.
You are easily depressed or get anxiety.
You feel like you just can’t keep up with the rest of the world.
These are the descriptions I get from most of my ADHD patients, whether they are adults or children. It’s a common feeling, and it’s easily noticed. In the past decade or so, we’ve been quick to label people as ADHD if enough of these symptoms are present. We have pills for these symptoms, after all. Feeling anxious, take Xanax. Can’t concentrate, try some Focalin. Can’t sleep, there’s a pill for that, too.
Unfortunately, as many people as there are that deal with these feelings, we’ve been too quick to label and give medication for it rather than look for the root cause of the problem. Is it really a lack of opiates that our body has? Doubtful, so why do we throw neurotoxic drugs at the situation? In reality, nature gives us exactly what we need to correct the root cause of the problem most of the time. We just have to be willing to use it and work hard.
In my practice, I focus on nutritional solutions for immune, gut, and brain health. ADHD is something I see on a daily basis. While many of my patients, especially children, need the diagnosis to get proper accommodations in school or work, they may not necessarily need medication to get through the day. In fact, I see tremendous results when we simply work on proper nutrition.
Though I could go on and on about various options that work, I’d like to highlight a few things that are crucial for anyone living with ADHD.
- Nutritional deficiencies are at the root cause of the problem. Most of my patients either have an underlying immune response that is keeping them from producing the right amount of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), or they have a dysfunctional gastrointestinal tract. When we test for deficiencies and organ function, we can correct the problem.
- Stress management has a lot to do with brain health. Kids (and adults) are far too stressed in school. Our system is constantly trying to mold each child into the same person, with the same expectation. This leaves little room for expression and growth. There are various learning styles, and children have to figure out what compensation methods work for them in order to exist in the current system. This stress, however, leads to inflammation throughout the body; thus, nutritional options for lowering inflammation and handling stress are important.
- “Bugs” — viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi — are wreaking havoc on your system. We need to see what co-infections are present to truly correct neurotransmitter production. Nutritional options exist to help the body rid itself of these infections.
- Toxins are ever increasing in our world. Whether it’s the air we breathe, the food we eat, or the medications we take, toxins are everywhere. Some kids and adults may not be able to detox these toxins as easily as others. They may have specific genetic differences that make this difficult. In this case, we can optimize nutrition to help the body work as efficiently as it can.
ADHD should not be something at which we simply throw a pill. We need to recognize that there may be an underlying nutritional component that we need to address.
So what can you do today?
Get tested! Find a functional nutrition/medicine provider in your area that uses specific lab testing to look for the root cause of dysfunction. If you need help with this, you can always contact us here. Feel free to e-mail me, Dr. Hailey Heard, with any questions about this topic: firstname.lastname@example.org.