View Full Version : "Natural" ADHD treatments for kids

07-12-09, 02:05 AM

I'm from the Sunshine Coast Qld and my 8 year old son has just been diagnosed with ADHD. My ex-husband has refused allowing medical treatment for my son and I'm at a loss as to now best help him.

Does anybody know of where I can find ADHD diets, (details of artificial colours and flavours and foods to avoid), behavioural programs and general support for families of ADHD kids. I'm pulling my hair out and this condition is affecting all the members of our family. I wants something that may help us all, in particular my son who is so frustrated.


08-08-09, 08:35 AM
Unfortunately there is no natural alternative that I know of that makes your brain work properly. I know of a lot of parents that use fish oil but the soon take their kids off it after they end up with an upset stomach.

With regard to food we try to keep things natural as much as possible. Mias bread doesn't have preservative 282 which I find helps me. Excessive amounts of sugar and food colourings are things to avoid. Also heavily flavoured corn chips or shapes are not so good either.

There is a book called 'fed up with ADHD'

I've never read it but it might be a place to start


08-08-09, 10:08 AM
most confused

There has been a lot of discussion on the forum on natural treatments and such.

Go to the search function
go to advanced search
put in the word natural
pick search titles only
pick show results as threads
click on search now

get ready to read, lots of good stuff.

Good luck


09-10-09, 12:47 PM

In a lot of cases, ADHD can be successfully managed with natural interventions. In 2005, the Journal of Paediatric and Children Health published a paper regarding parents used of alternative medicine. Of interest was the fact that they asked parents whether they though that the alternative they had used what useful. Here are the results:

Therapy % who though it was helpful
Chiropractic 61 %
Vitamins 51%
Behavioral optometry 51%
Elimination diet 45%
Acupuncture 42%
Omega 3 supplements 34%

I suggest you find a holistic chiropractor or medical doctor trained in nutrition to serve on your "team".

In my clinic, we have a specialty program for children with ADHD. We used natural brain rehab techniques combined with nutrition. Here are some of the suggestions (this is the sequence we follow for our patients):

1. Try a gluten-free, casein-free diet for at least one month (symptoms can increase in the first few days!)
2. Eliminate or reduce simple sugar and food additives (check out Feingold Diet, (
3. Supplement with vitamin B6 and magnesium (magnesium should be 6mg per kilo of bodyweight)
4. Supplement with omega 3 fatty acids. Try to find a product with a high EPA to DHA ratio. Supplement 500mg to 1000mg per day.
5. Get your child tested for zinc deficiencies and iron deficiencies. Those two have been shown to be dieficient and correlated to symptoms.

There are more things that can be done but this is already a good start on your own.

Also get your child to go "green", meaning going outside and playing sports. That is very helpful.

I don't know if it is appropriate on this forum, but I have a website about ADHD and natural approaches. Usually, by joigning for free you get access to an ebook that has 7 tips about getting started, as well as a 72 minutes video about natural management of ADHD. I will gladly send it to you if you request it via PM.

(This is my personal email. I do not want to give the website address because I do not know if this is appropriate to do so. As a disclaimer, I want you to know we offer an ebook for sale on that website.)

Again, I want to help you out, and I hope this is within guidelines of this forum. If not, please let me know and accept my apologies.

10-03-09, 07:04 AM
they asked parents whether they though that the alternative they had used what useful

What an interesting way to measure treatment outcomes.

If you want treatments that actually work, try parent management training. You'll understand what makes your kid tick and the better understanding reduces stress and conflict for both of you.
Also you're probably going to need to provide a strong external framework that compensates for your kids lack of ability to internalise organisation.

Trooper Keith
10-03-09, 08:29 AM
Chiropractic 61 %

I don't find it surprising that people who have wasted a considerable amount of money on a joke medical practice like chiropractic would report that it was useful on some level or another. That doesn't mean it is useful whatsoever.

By what mechanism do you believe that imaginary "subluxation of the spine" causes ADHD?

Chiropractors are pretty good at manipulating the spine. They make decent physical therapists in this regard, so long as the problem is back pain. Other than that, they're about as useful as homeopaths.

But I bet some homeopathic patients probably report that's useful too. Must be the case! :rolleyes:

10-03-09, 09:06 AM
While they may work for some, "natural interventions" do not have scientific evidence showing them as a valid therapy for treatment of ADHD. The only one I know of is Omega3 and the jury is still out on that.

There is a good article on the current state of alternative treatments at:
"Complementary and alternative treatments, how to judge."

This is part of the National Resource Center on ADHD and is science based and quite reliable.


10-03-09, 09:24 AM
For the person who said fish oil upsets the stomach, this is NOT true for my daughter. Decided to give her fish oil because there are not any serious side effects and it is good for you anyway. Before we started fish oil, she complained of upset stomach frequently. After 2 months of fish oil, she complains no more or no less. What has seemed to help is the probiotics she has been taking lately, but its only been week so we will have to see if her tummy feels good long term with this. I also give her Magnesium and B6, but just started this with her. A study I read say these supplements take 2-3 months to see effects. I do think the fish oil helped her mood. In 2nd grade my daughter used to cry several nights a week saying she was weird, no one liked her, etc. Now in 3rd grade, she handles disappointment better and is more confident and likes herself better. Hasn't cried about not liking herself in a long time. Maybe she just matured, or maybe it's the fish oil. She takes 2 MorEPA's fish oil capsules every night.

10-03-09, 10:03 AM
I've heard very few reports of fish oil causing upset tummy - or "fishy burps". It has helped me immensely but didn't help my granddaughter and we eventually put her on Concerta.

To the OP, it's a hassle and it's costly, but if you get a reccomendation from your doctor, especially with backup from a therapist and/or the school, you can ask the judge to allow your son to be treated medically for this very real diagnosis and he can overrule your ex.

My daughter is also divorced and her ex also thought ADHD was nonsense and resisted putting his daughter on meds, but our family therapist went a long ways towards showing him a better way of thinking and of seeing how this is affecting his daughter. He is working to stop blaming her for being "lazy" or "making excuses" and to understand how much she struggles to do things that most kids don't think twice about.

Or you could go back to court and ask for full custody so you can made medical decisions for your children without his permission. Unfortunately, that often makes the father fade out of the picture completely.

I wish you good luck in working this out to the benefit of your son.

10-03-09, 10:28 AM
My ex-husband has refused allowing medical treatment for my son and I'm at a loss as to now best help him.

I am assuming that telling your ex-husband to stick his head in a bucket of water twice but pull it out once is not an option - ok

You were actually looking for a diet thing for ADD. I guess that focusing on the kids diet would help family members take their mind of the ADD thing {shrug} differnt strokes

I have never tried it because don’t have the attention span required to eliminate a single food that doesn’t make me itch never mind remember not to eat a boat laod of stuff but the lady who does their public awareness stuff is good at debating

Feingold (

Naturally one would want to work with a professional to make sure your childs nutritional needs are being met especially during the elimination phases where they encourage the removal of several fruits and vegetables

10-03-09, 10:59 AM

On the Feingold Diet from the National Information Resource Center on ADHD

"Elimination Diets

One of the most publicized of the diet elimination approaches is the Feingold Diet.2 This diet is based on the theory that many children are sensitive to dietary salicylates and artificially added colors, flavors, and preservatives, and that eliminating the offending substances from the diet could improve learning and behavioral problems, including AD/HD. Despite a few positive studies, most controlled studies do not support this hypothesis.3 At least eight controlled studies since 1982, the latest being 1997, have found validity to elimination diets in only a small subset of children "with sensitivity to foods."4 While the proportion of children with AD/HD who have food sensitivities has not been empirically established, experts believe that the percentage is small.5, 6, 7 Parents who are concerned about diet sensitivity should have their children examined by a medical doctor for food allergies.
Research has also shown that the simple elimination of sugar or candy does not affect AD/HD symptoms, despite a few encouraging reports.8, 9"

So with the cautions mentioned by Meadd, it might be worth a try as it seems to help some if not many. Yours might be one of those.

I do feel that Meadd's suggestion for your husband has some real merit but I guess it is not practical.

One question that sometimes has an impact in this type of bone headed mate problems: Would your husband deny glasses to as child who has vision problems, hearing aids to hearing impaired children, insulin for a diabetic child or a wheel chair to a child who cannot walk? If not, why deny help for an ADHD child?

If you can get him to read, then this transcript of a workshop by Russell Barkley might be useful to helping him understand. It is considered by most to be by far the top person in the field of ADHD. Many, including myself, consider this transcript to be the best write up on ADHD available on the internet. It is dated 2000 but most of the data is still basically pretty good. I do warn however that this is forty pages long and Barkley is information dense. It can be a bit of a struggle to work though but it is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, very much worth the effort. I am going to suggest you start with this overview and then download or read the article from there.

Who knows, it might help.


03-24-10, 06:53 AM
Try em all, use what works for you. Personally I found the diets way too expensive & ineffective, we already limit sugar etc, we already exercise outside a lot, chiro's can be helpful IF you can find the right one & if you have the money to keep going.
At the end of the day, it's a problem with neurotransmitter levels in the brain, if it was fixed this easily we all would have changed our diets.
Meds work for a lot of people, it's the stigma attached to them that creates the most problems, easy solution to that is don't tell anyone!!
If you had high blood pressure then you'd take the meds to fix it wouldnt you?
I think most parents start with the alternative, natural route, but in most cases (not all) they don't make a significant difference.
Not treating ADHD (whatever type of treatment, I'm not suggesting any in particular) results in bigger problems than dealing with ignorant people's ungrounded opinions.
If you don't medicate, then get yourself a good behaviour therapist, actually do that even if you do medicate! They are worth their weight in gold!

07-09-10, 11:52 PM
Exercise is it. See: