A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a vulnerable blog about my own journey with ADHD and how taking the medication, Adderall, affected me. You can read about my experience HERE. Last week, I wrote about five ways to help combat ADHD that you can begin immediately, and which helped me out! You can read that post HERE.
This week, I wanted to write a follow up piece on natural ways I’ve been able to be cured of ADHD symptoms. Before I get into those, I wanted to write as a parent and say that my hope and goal in writing is to help you by sharing from my own experiences. I am not an expert on this topic. I just have lived my own story. And I deeply desire to help others. I don’t intend to judge anyone, but I am passionate about helping others so they don’t have to suffer in ways that I did.
There Is A Direct Correlation Between the Gut & the Brain
First, one thing I’ve learned I’d like to share is that new science reveals that there is a link between our gut and our brain. So oftentimes, when the brain is inflamed, there are actually issues going on in the gut. Here are a couple of excerpts from my husband’s article on ADHD:
“There has been a tremendous amount of research linking the gut microbiome and neurological health. Research has indicated that low levels of healthy lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are linked with increased brain exciteability and neurological inflammation.”
“Gut motility is a critical factor in the development and maintenance of a healthy microbiome. Children with ADHD most often have slow motility and a proliferation of microbes that secrete neurotoxic compounds such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS).”
My husband is a lot more scientific than I am. But what he’s written here is explaining that oftentimes the brain is directly affected by what is going on in one’s gut. So sometimes the symptoms being addressed can be combated by healing one’s gut. There is a cool MD physiatrist out there who is passionate about educating people on this topic. She’s helped many people overcome depression, anxiety, and ADHD by helping them learn how to heal their gut, which is turn, has healed their brains. Check her out HERE.
Before I met my husband, I was very hesitant to trust anything a chiropractor said. In fact, I was so disappointed when I learned that David was only a chiropractor and not a medical doctor! I had no idea at the time that chiropractors undergo similar education with the main difference being: chiropractors train in nutrition; whereas, medical doctors are experts in pharmaceuticals. As far as human anatomy goes, courses are very similar. Anyways, I am just sharing that I was a skeptic! I had no understanding of natural health care or how it works. I didn’t’ believe anything that I am now passionate about when it comes to the body’s innate ability to heal itself when given the proper tools.
That was a tangent. 🙂 If you or someone you love suffers from ADHD, I’d encourage you to try chiropractic care. I learned that there’s a direct connection between being subluxated (not being in alignment) and brain fog. When I first started getting chiropractic care, I learned that my nervous system works best when my joints are aligned as they are intended to be. I noticed a huge difference with my brain fog dissipating when my spin was aligned.
Finding the diet that works well for your body is important. Many people have noticed that getting off of gluten has helped symptoms of ADHD. The reason for this is because anything that causes inflammation in the gut is also going to cause some inflammation in one’s brain. For me, dairy causes inflammation in my body; so I don’t eat it much anymore, either. Cutting down on grains and sugars is also a powerful way to help the body fight off inflammation. Another helpful dietary idea is to increase healthy fats, such as avocados, olives, and coconut products. Healthy fats are great for fighting inflammation in the brain!
I’d encourage you to work with a functional nutritionist or health coach and figure out what (if anything) your body is lacking as far as nutrients go.
There are some natural supplements that I’ve found to be helpful for me in my focusing abilities. I learned that I was deficient in some vitamins, including B12. Taking THIS supplement helped my brain tremendously when I was deficient in this vitamin. It gave me much greater mental clarity. One of the side effects of my having taken Adderall was a depletion in this vitamin. And I’ve learned that it’s a common vitamin for people to be deficient in.
THIS supplement, called Dopamine Plus, helps my mind with focusing. Again, please consult with someone who knows more than I do about supplements. I just know what works for me, and I get great advice from my husband, Dr. Jockers. But be sure to get expert advice. These suggestions are there to give you ideas to talk to your health care practitioner about. My husband has a great TEAM of people who can help you if you’re interested.
Coffee is not a supplement, but I’ll stick it in this category. I’ve found that for those whose brains are like mine, caffeine does not get us hyper. It actually calms us down. It helps us focus. With coffee, you’ll want to purchase organic coffee, as sometimes coffee has yucky stuff sprayed on it that is bad for your body. (HERE is a recipe of a way I love to drink coffee. It can serve as a meal replacement, too, as it is satiating!) Believe it or not, I know of a young child who benefits from taking a small amount of coffee in the morning with his breakfast. His teachers also noticed a difference in his focusing abilities. As with most other things, this can’t be abused or over-used. But in moderation, it can work wonders! (STEVIA works great in coffee, so you get the yummy taste without the sugar crash and inflammation.)
I call THIS drink my “magic drink,” haha! Named Energy Charge, for someone like me, it actually helps my brain to calm itself and focus better. This in turn gives me the motivation to get tasks done! It helps me to focus and clear my head. It’s made out of natural ingredients and tastes yummy. It contains electrolytes, antioxidants, B vitamins, and a small amount of caffeine from green tea extract.
Sometimes my mind races. It doesn’t do this often anymore, but when it does, it can be difficult to sleep or be kind toward others. I can get irritable and feel like I need a bit of helping slowing down my thoughts. (Again, those with ADHD do NOT lack intelligence. They oftentimes just have over-excited brains.) A supplement called Mood Protect can be very helpful for calming one’s brain down. It’s helped me in the past!
Another nutrient many are lacking is magnesium. Many times when people think of magnesium, they get the kind that helps with constipation. While this is great, my husband has some that crosses the blood brain barrier and helps to calm the brain. It’s called Brain Calm Magnesium.
Other Miscellaneous Ideas
Again, I’m not a health expert. I’m married to a genius and by default, have grown to know a lot. But mainly, I just know what’s worked for me. I’ll list a few other ideas that may prove helpful, besides what I’ve written about in this blog post or my previous one HERE.
Exercise can help clear one’s brain.
Accepting oneself is so important. We are all wired and gifted differently.
White noise machines can be helpful to block out background noise.
Being in a room with one conversation going on in the background is the worst! Try getting into a totally quiet room or a room with a bunch or background noises and conversations (such as a local coffee shop)!
Baroque classical music helps me to focus sometimes.
Wholetones looks like a little hockey puck and is easily transportable. It plays a musical frequency that has scientific studies backing its helpfulness in calming the brain.
Yoga and also deep breathing techniques are cool to help clear one’s mind!
Thank you for joining me in my journey by reading my blogs. If you have it in your budget, I’d highly encourage you to work with a nutrition coach to help you figure out if you have any gut issues or nutrient deficiencies going on that are causing symptoms of ADHD. HERE is my husband’s team if you are needing some help!
I’d love to support you in your journey if you ever have any questions. I’m not an expert. I’ve just lived with ADHD symptoms for many years, took a prescription drug for it many years, and now have learned how to do life without it! Continue to pray through what is best for you and your child, and trust that God will lead you as you open yourself up to truth and seek answers for you and your family.