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August 22, 2011 at 10:58 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Treating ADHD Before Medication

By Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, MD More Blogs by This Author

Dr. Jeff Chamberlain talks about some of the steps that can be taken to treat ADHD before relying on traditional prescription medications.
Hey what's up? Barnaby here, in this HelloLife moment we are going to be talking about alternative treatments for ADHD, with Dr. Chamberlain family medicine specialist.  I think every parent's nightmare scenario is my child is going to be snowed by medication, going to be a different person, I don't want to change the child, I just want to modify the behavior.  And so naturally they go for alternative means, maybe seeking a better way.  What would you suggest in that realm?
Medications can help, but they are usually the last step, because if we can do something else without medications to manage ADHD, we are better off that way. So the first thing is trying to organize your life with calendars, or schedules, or doing things that make the ADHD more manageable.  Having simple tasks instead of having your kid wake up, put everything on, brush your teeth, do this, do that, get ready to go to school maybe just breaking it down into one task at a time.  Do this, do this.
Kind of stair step them through it.
Yeah stair step them through this so that can help a lot, so manage it that way. 
Will they learn to string tasks together over time if you just give them incremental tasks?
And that's exactly what they do, maybe they won't do them in the order that you want them to do it in, but they get everything done you know that's good and they can string it together however they want to string it together.  So that is an important first step.  A lot of people try to use elimination diets trying to figure out is food an aspect or is what we are putting in our body an aspect that's making ADHD worse.  And they're actually a lot of people who's diet actually plays a huge role and so usually an elimination diet, you can read more about these, but you back off of pretty much a lot of the foods you eat and a lot of the things you put in your body and slowly put one thing back at a time to see if there was any trigger that caused the ADHD.
Would there be any usual suspects? Sugar among them?
Sugar is a huge one, processed foods is a big one, a loot of dyes that are in the food can make ADHD worse.  Caffeine is a big one and for adults smoking cigarettes is a big one too.
So if you were to subtract one would you see great results or do you have to start really maybe taking all of the things that are perceived to be noxious, eradicate them and then start with a whole and natural sort of a diet and build up from there and just see if that takes care of it?

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