ADHD – Alternative Option to Stimulant Medications
New paradigm – chronic exposure to amphetamines promotes earlier mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal death causing neurotoxicity.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized as a psychiatric condition of heightened impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. ADHD is the most common neurodevelopment disorder in children, affecting approximately 11% of children between 4 and 17 years of age in the United States.
The increased prevalence of ADHD is not only due to genetics, but also likely due to environmental factors. Nutritional status, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter and endocrine dysregulation, neurological abnormalities in fronto-striatal and basal ganglia network, history of physical and emotional trauma, and environmental toxicity have all been implicated in ADHD
Medication for ADHD is associated with its own set of problems. Twenty to 35% of patients with ADHD do not respond to medication. In addition, medications have significant adverse effects with the most common side effects including delayed onset of sleep and decreased appetite both known to potentiate symptoms of ADHD.
The numerous “alternative” or “non-medical” treatments that have been proposed for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) over the years include several kinds of dietary interventions, including single nutrient supplements, multi-nutrient supplements and supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, current research is shows that the use of a food restriction or food elimination diet could be beneficial.
Food elimination diets come in different forms; the most restrictive or “few foods” diet eliminates a wide range of foods for a temporary period, adding foods back in one by one in an attempt to identify symptomatic triggers.