Home remedies and alternative treatments for ADHD in teenagers
Alternative treatments for ADHD in teenagers include:
- dietary interventions
- vitamins, minerals and other health supplements
- interactive metronome training
- other home or natural remedies
While many research and studies have focused on ADHD in children, the benefits of alternative treatments listed on this page apply equally to teenagers with ADHD.
Dietary interventions for ADHD in teenagers
Some research have shown evidence of the effect of refined sugars and carbohydrates on activity levels of children. The sugars can produce a spike in blood sugar levels causing an “adrenalin rush” in the child. However, there is no proof at this stage that this affects teenagers or that a diet high in sugar is a cause of ADHD.
Many nutritionists and health care providers recommend eating balanced meals or adding more fiber to the diet to help manage blood sugar levels.
Some proponents of the Feingold diet (an elimination diet) further suggest eliminating artificial coloring, flavorings and preservatives in the diet to reduce symptoms of hyperactivity.
Although there have been doubts as to whether the elimination diet actually reduced such symptoms or whether improved interaction between parents and child in turn improved behavior in the child, many parents who have used the Feingold diet have provided favorable reviews on the diet.
Vitamins, minerals and other health supplements
Some studies have reported a link between vitamin or mineral deficiency and the presence of ADHD symptoms. Key findings include:
- low levels of zinc in children with ADHD and improvements of hyperactive and impulsive behavior after taking zinc supplements. However, there is no evidence of improvements of inattentive behavior.
- suggestions of improvements of behavior and mental skills in children with ADHD after taking fish oil supplements. In some studies, fish oil supplements were taken with evening primrose oil supplements.
- evidence that herbal supplements such as ginseng and Ginkgo leaf improved symptoms of ADHD in teenagers. However, recent studies of St John’s Wort have shown to have no effect on relieving or improving ADHD symptoms in children or in teenagers.
Interactive metronome training
Interactive metronome training involves mimicking of a computerized rhythmic beat by the child with ADHD. There is some evidence that the interactive metronome training method may improve symptoms of ADHD in children although there is no evidence of such improvements in teens.
The aim of interactive metronome training is to allow the child to focus on their physical and mental actions as they occur and filter out all other sounds and distractions.
Neurofeedback training is a training method allowing a person to alter their own brain waves through practice and repetition. It is an expensive alternative treatment option with promising results.
Other options for treating ADHD in teenagers
Other options include chiropractic medicine and other natural remedies including stress relaxation techniques and exercise.