Can I Treat My ADHD Without Medication?

For dozens of years, our society has heavily relied on medications like Ritalin and Adderall to help treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, while these medications can help improve focus and concentration, they can also have some serious side effects. The most common side effects are nausea, headache, insomnia, and irritability. Followed by increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and palpitations, depression, irregular period.

For some adults, natural treatments may be a way to help supplement your ADHD medication or even eliminate it entirely (with your doctor’s guidance, of course). Here are the best natural remedies for ADHD.

Move with mindfulness

Slow, intentional movements through yoga or tai chi may help your brain learn to slow down and focus on the present moment.

For example, a 2013 study followed boys who practiced yoga regularly in addition to taking their medication. The boys reported significant improvements in hyperactivity, anxiety, and social problems. A similar study found that teenagers with ADHD who practiced tai chi weren’t as anxious or as hyperactive as the control group.

To try this yourself, start with short yoga flows and gradually build up your mental and physical stamina over time. As you flow, focus on the inhale and the exhale of your breath. If your mind starts to wander, gently redirect your attention back to the task at hand.

Spend time outside

It’s no secret that we’re fans of getting outdoors whenever possible. After all, spending time in nature has a ton of benefits, like increased vitamin D, improved stress management, and increased serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine levels.

Research is starting to show that reducing ADHD symptoms might be another benefit of time outdoors. A recent study evidence shows that spending just 20 minutes outside can help children with ADHD improve their concentration. A 2011 study also found that regular exposure to green space can reduce ADHD symptoms in children.

Prioritize outdoor time by getting outside for at least 20 minutes a day. You might break these up into two ten-minute walks to start and end your workday, especially if you work from home and don’t have a “commute” to help with the transition.

Avoid any known allergens

If you’re sensitive to gluten, dairy, or another substance, there’s another reason (besides a stomachache) to make sure you’re avoiding that allergen: it might be worsening your ADHD symptoms. Gluten can be especially disruptive to those with ADHD: one study found that people with celiac disease saw a significant improvement in their ADHD symptoms when sticking to a gluten-free diet. Research has shown that a diet that’s low in preservatives and emphasizes fiber, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids is most effective at reducing ADHD symptoms.

Never explored your own food sensitivities? A precision medicine doctor can help you conduct an elimination diet to better understand your body’s reaction to different foods.

If you’re currently taking medication for your ADHD, it’s not recommended to quit cold turkey (as tempting as these natural remedies for ADHD may be). Instead, turn to an expert like a precision medicine doctor. Not only will they take the time to listen to your concerns and reasons for wanting more natural ways to manage your ADHD, but they’ll also be able to come up with a customized plan for natural remedies to try. These strategies are unique to you and will take into account your food preferences and sensitivities, your current stress levels, your blood test results, your family medical history, your genome, and more. Reach out to learn more about how precision medicine can help you manage your ADHD naturally.