By Barbara J. Novad
What do food, exercise, certain essential oils and vitamins have in common? The answer is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). All of these things can help a person with ADHD focus better on work, homework, and their daily activities.
Everything you put in your body affects your brain. When the levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine that flow through our bodies are too low or too high, that’s when ADHD or ADD comes to life.
You might be wondering how I know this. As a mom of three boys, two of which have ADHD, I have studied it for 15 years to be able to help our sons get through their school years. My studies and experience have resulted in so much success, our school has asked me to speak with other parents, and share what I do and have learned about ADHD.
It has become my mission to help other families find peace in the chaotic life of ADHD. So I created “The ADHD Family Advocate” to teach people how to use food, exercise, essential oils and vitamins to help their kids focus and to better understand how ADHD works.
Let’s start with food. It’s more important to know what not to choose, than what to choose. Of course sugars and red dyes, but also preservatives. This is huge, because there are preservatives in so many foods. If you shop on the outer edges of your favorite store, you are safer because most of the food with preservatives is in the middle. Also remember there are preservatives in fast food products. I know life is busy, but when you choose fast food, there’s a price to pay. My crockpot is my bestie.
Exercise is another important element. When you walk, run, or play hard for 20 to 30 minutes you not only get endorphins which make you happy, but your dopamine levels rise and you focus better. So before study time, go for a walk or play ball for a while and then sit down and focus on the task at hand. Staying physically fit is a great way to keep your brain healthy. Take little breaks when needed to help recharge with a walk or some kind of activity.
We did this with our boys. Our middle son, who was first diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4, has really taken to being physical fit. He sees a difference in his focus when he exercises. Trust me when I say it was no easy task to keep him focused when he was young. Now he plays basketball in college and has been doing well in his studies.
Essential oils and natural medications have really been lifesavers for us. We only use doTERRA essential oil products. I did my research and found them to be one of the top essential oils out there. That’s why I became an advocate for them as well. They have a blend called Intune, which is a focus blend. I use it personally, as do the boys to help with balance and focus. I also use Vetiver every night in my diffuser. You get a restful night’s sleep, and wake up refreshed and alert. Other oils you should look into are Frankincense (it’s the king of oils for a reason), Lavender (very calming), and Lemon (helps with moody outbursts). DoTERRA Kids Collection is a “whole body” essential oil toolbox designed to help families with ADHD kids.
Vitamins support your body and reduce impulsivity, inattentiveness and hyperactivity. Specific vitamins and minerals that can help include iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. We also use doTERRA’s vitamins which contain Omega threes and are easy for kids to take. There’s so much that goes into vitamins, I could talk for hours about them. Remember doses are computed by the weight of each person. Also, know that some of these vitamins can upset stomachs and should be taken with food.
Our boys try to maintain a good diet, daily workouts, vitamins, essential oils and some naturopathic medication. Over the years we tried some prescription drugs for ADHD, but they seemed to cause more issues than we were ready for. Our oldest was able to take prescription drugs for ADHD, but the side effects got to be too great. Now he’s out of school and doesn’t take any medication, but some essential oils from time to time and he works full time as an automotive tech. Remember, there are natural things you can intertwine with medications that will work with ADHD kids.
I know how busy life is these days. Trust me we had all three of our boys involved in school activities at once, so I totally understand what it takes to get through the day and stay sane. Try to find simplicity when possible. Find one-on-one time with your kids, even if it’s a drive in the car, and really talk to them. Make sure they have their feet on the ground and are going in the right direction. And remember what you put into their mind, body and soul really does make a difference.
For more information on The ADHD Family Advocate, visit my website www.theadhdfamilyadvocate.com. I hope my years of research, these tips and information on the website will help you find new ways for you and your child to live and grow with ADHD.
The ADHD Family Advocate