Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, as it is called in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association that provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders, can affect people of all ages 1. Its causes are unknown, but Neuro Assist, the website of NeuroResearch Clinics Inc, points out that many therapies revolve around increasing the neurotransmitters in one’s brain. For adults with ADDs there are ways to counterbalance the effects of the disorder with natural remedies and decrease the need for potentially health-harming drugs.
According to ADD/ADHD Advances, the website of a physician who describes his personal research into ADD, ginkgo biloba has shown proven to increase the blood flow in the brain, which is often known to improve memory and improve the condition of Alzheimer’s patients 2. With ADD, though, the remedy can increase cerebral blood flow, which can help to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. The increase in this neurotransmitter may help reduce the severity of the symptoms of ADD in adults. The website says that to have an effect on the ADD, one should take 120 mg of ginkgo biloba per day, which, although is twice the daily recommended dose, has shown to be effective and not dangerous. But no herbal supplement should be introduced into a treatment regimen without first discussing it with your health care provider.
Tyrosine and its precursor levodopa are two natural amino acids that can be purchased as supplements in health food stores or at a pharmacy, according to Neuro Assist. The compounds are converted into dopamine in the body, helping the brain to recover some of the neurotransmitters lost due to the disorder. Although the two are easily obtainable through health stores, it is ideal to consult a physician first, as consumption of these supplements could deplete the body of teh neurotransmitter serotonin.
One of the most famous diets for those with ADD, according to The University of Maryland Medical Center's (UMMC) public education website, is the Feingold Diet. This diet consists of ensuring one does not eat any additives or salicylates. Since salicylates are present in aspirin, someone on this diet may not take aspirin for pain relief. Generally, this diet prohibits any foods with artificial coloring or artificial flavors. This allows the body to produce dopamine in the brain unhindered, which counteracts the effects of ADD in the brain.
According to UMMC, zinc is a mineral that is crucial in the metabolism of certain neurotransmitters. Those with ADD may have a deficiency of zinc in their bodies, so taking zinc supplements can sometimes help the body with regulating dopamine levels in the brain, but those who take it should be aware that long-term use of zinc often results in anemia. The mineral has also not been medically proven to treat ADD.
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