Are Natural Alternatives Right For Me For Treating ADHD?

Man struggling with treating adhd

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most common childhood disorders that can persist on through adolescence and adulthood.

The most common characteristics of ADHD include hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, all behaviors that can be exhibited with varying degrees of severity in a person with this condition.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, boys are more at risk than girls for developing ADHD, however this condition affects children and adults alike.

Approximately 4.1% of American adults are affected by ADHD, and about 9% of children in the United States are impacted by this condition [1].

Treatment Methods for ADHD

Currently, one of the most effective and evidenced-based approaches for ADHD includes the combination of behavioral therapy and medication management.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that a majority of children diagnosed with ADHD will receive either behavioral therapy or medication, but not a combination of both, which is the preferred method of treatment for this condition [2].

Medication treatment for children with ADHD has actually increased in recent years, and the most common types of medications used include stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, and more.

Understanding the Option of Natural Alternatives

As with any medication, there are risks and side effects involved with use of a prescription, and it is always important to discuss what treatment options may be most effective for you or your loved one with ADHD.

A picture of a group of students showing ok signs in the parkParents of children with ADHD may be concerned about putting their child on a prescription medication, and it is crucial to work together with a professional treatment team to decide what medication may be best for the child, including dosage and frequency.

Some alternative and natural options for treating ADHD may help a child dealing with this condition but should be integrated with the approval of a health professional that specializes in this disorder.

This may include options such as dietary changes, avoidance of certain food allergens/preservatives, EEG Biofeedback, massage therapy, and herbal/natural supplements.

If you are interested in exploring these options, be sure to research extensively and have a thorough discussion with your doctor to decide what might be the most effective route for your treatment.


[1]: National Institute of Mental Health, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”,

[2]: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “ADHD – Data and Statistics”,

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About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

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Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 14, 2016
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