It was with interest I read an article in The Cairns Post, April 4 2013, titled “ADHD Frenzy, Australia “not overprescribing”.  At various times this topic is aired in the news as medication for ADHD children is always a concern. The news article quoted Dr Daryl Effron, a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne who said that Australia’s rate of prescribing is vastly different from the US, and the data here shows we are not overprescribing in Australia. Compared to the US maybe not, but the statistics show Australia is increasing its prescribing.

Statistics reported by the Herald Sun May 2012, indicated that in 2002 there were 245,791 scripts written and in 2011 the figure was 507,168 scripts for ADHD medications. The article warned that ADHD was being over diagnosed because it’s easier to prescribe hyperactive children drugs rather than address the real reason for the behaviour. I suspect this would be the case.

Let’s look at what is available as an alternative to medication:

  • Exercise is important. Running and playing a competitive sport helps to quench aggressive urges, stimulates feel good brain neurotransmitters.
  • An elimination diet is an excellent method of determining which foods adversely activate the nervous system. A program was devised by Dr Feingold who proved that artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives were directly related to learning and behaviour disorders.  Eliminating these chemicals is an excellent first step to take.
  • Eliminating the three best known allergens: gluten (especially wheat gluten) soy and commercial milk products, is another option of the elimination dietary process. Protein is very important, and to send a child off to school after eating a bowel of boxed cereal with hormonal milk plus sugar, is priming the nervous system to hyperactivity. 
  • Essential nutrition is needed. Omega 3 essential fatty acids from fish oils for brain health and magnesium supplements for the central nervous system are basic for all.  A quality multivitamin will also have B vitamins and zinc, all necessary for nerves, gut and overall health.
  • Protein powder shakes at breakfast or after school will super nutritionalise the nerves and brain and stabilise blood sugars. Make with pea, rice or whey powders along with fruits, ground up nuts and seeds and add flaxseed, olive oil or coconut oil for healthy fats.   

Are any of these suggestions all that difficult or costly?  By implementing just a few of these initiatives you may see the change you want to see for your child and yourself.