The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1107: How to Manage ADHD Naturally

In this show for broadcast on Jan. 27, 2018, Dr. Greenblatt describes the approaches that can be used to manage ADHD naturally, including sleep, exercise, diet and supplements.
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How to Manage ADHD Naturally

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When a child is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), many parents are faced with a difficult dilemma. They want their child to be able to focus in school and at home, but they may be uneasy about the medications the doctor is prescribing. While stimulant medicines can sometimes be very helpful for people with ADHD, they do have side effects that must be weighed. Are there alternatives that would allow parents to manage their children’s ADHD naturally?

How Can You Treat ADHD Naturally?

Dr. James Greenblatt treats both children and adults with ADHD, and he has developed a number of ways to manage ADHD naturally. Learn about nutritional supplements, including magnesium and low-dose lithium, that help some individuals.

Sleep and exercise are critical components of a program to manage ADHD. Time spent outside in nature can be very helpful. Some people also benefit from changes in diet. Dr. Greenblatt explains why.

This Week’s Guest:

Dr. James M. Greenblatt, MD, is an integrative psychiatrist and leading expert in behavioral and medical disorders such as ADHD, OCD and eating disorders as well as depression and anxiety. Dr. Greenblatt currently serves as chief medical officer and vice president of medical services at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, Massachusetts, and is on the clinical faculty at Tufts Medical School and Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine.

His book, written in collaboration with Bill Gottlieb, is Finally Focused: The Breakthrough Natural Treatment Plan for ADHD That Restores Attention, Minimizes Hyperactivity and Helps Eliminate Drug Side Effects. 

www.jamesgreenblattmd.com

www.finallyfocusedbook.com

www.facebook.com/jamesgreenblattmd

www.twitter.com/FocusedFinally

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Buy the CD

Download the MP3

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I have always had a short attention span. As a small child I used to go from project to project with homework and later work projects, never finishing anything on time. Even now, at 79, I hesitate to start uncluttering projects since I never finish but go do something else that catches my eye or mind. By watching an ADD series on PBS during pledge week, I noticed
I had at least five of the seven symptoms.

I am now taking 500 units of pure DHA, and when my mood gets very bad, increase it
to 2×500 units, plus some EPA DHA fish oil mix. WHAT A DIFFERENCE, no drugs ever, even though my doctor prescribed
Trazodone which at half a pill of lowest dose gave me bad dry mouth. I recommended it to young parents whose five year old all of a sudden got very unruly and had to be take out of school. Parents were amazed and sooo happy at the results. I think we also added DHEA, and this was 17 years ago!

I am on my second year with BC/BS medicare advantage and it is great. I no longer have to pay large monthly supplement premiums, Chris in WI I hope you look into it.

Dear Graedons: #1107 was a really good program and I listened intently. I have the luxury of being on your podcast list so I can hear it again. My great granddaughter came IMMEDIATELY to mind, but her grandparents told me she has lots of friends at school. She was in kindergarten a year ago but her parents (and teacher) thought it best for her to repeat. She had major trauma while in the womb and has had to endure many surgeries. I hope to pass this info along (carefully) to the family. Fortunately she does attend a private school. Thank you.
Sandra B. VA

This discussion rounded out what I have learned about ADHD nicely. Another factor that has strong evidence as playing a role in causing ADHD is trauma. Many of the symptoms of ADHD are the same as some symptoms of PTSD. If a parent is thinking,”but my child hasn’t had trauma.” I would ask “Did you see the heart monitor dip during contractions in labor?” That’s a stress reaction. Was it a forceps delivery? Was the cord wrapped around his or her neck? Did you let your babies cry themselves to sleep? Did you frequently wear your babies in a front pack or sling and later a backpack? Were medical procedures done as an infant? Was your boy circumcised? Doctors used to think babies couldn’t feel pain and didn’t use anesthesia, only paralytics. I saw a boy being circumcised when I was in nursing school 25 years ago. That boy was experiencing trauma. Dr. Greenblatt did mention mindfulness-based therapy as a treatment, which would help heal the effects of trauma. Another is biofeedback which trains the brain to have more attentive brain frequencies.

I meant to say neurofeedback.

I LOVED DR. GREENBLATT’S INFORMATION GIVEN DURING YOUR INTERVIEW!!! I am on behavior meds, for mental health, sleeping and physical (fibromyalgia mostly) problems. I live in WI. Would love to have a face-to-face apptmt with Dr. Greenblatt but can’t afford to pay for the distance to see him … and likely not for the appointment. I’m on Soc. Sec. Dis. Income now, after a semi-truck slammed into me while I was driving my car. I am having to drop my Medicare Supplement Insurance because of expensive monthly premium cost. Can’t really afford my meds … and barely any vitamin and mineral supplements … which is why I want him to prioritize for me. I will be writing to him, if he can possibly offer suggestions for supplements at adult levels/mg’s.

Anyway, his information is so, so good!!! But, I wish more behavioral health providers/doctors would have a more “whole body” approach like Dr. Greenblatt. And, they would actually read and incorporate his understanding/info into their practices!!!

Anyone know how we can get providers/doctors in the behavioral health field to incorporate Dr. Greenblatt’s approach to medicine/treatment practices??? If I could afford to purchase his book for my provider (who I very much admire), I doubt that he would read it! Who knows.

Suggestions, please. I will join in on movements to do the above. Thanks!!! (I love People’s Pharmacy info!!!)

Have you looked into a Medicare Advantage plan which many have 0 premiums since the your Medicare premium goes to the insurer ? Also the plans include a drug plan. Besure your doctors are in their net work and your drugs are in the plan.

Very helpful, even for general inattentions in our everyday lives.

(Maybe a youth would drink green tea if it were in a smoothy, the powdered form.)

The show scarcely discussed ridlin type drugs’ use in an integrated medicine approach; they work miracles.

While there are undoubtedly children who benefit from medication, I have always thought that ADHD was an opportunity wildly exploited by Big Pharma, and I continue to think that.

This is not science. Lithium is a mineral but can be toxic to kidneys and Thyroid. See a Child Psychiatrist who studies ADHD scientifically.

Fish oil, krill oil has been known to help with ADHD.

Great timing! I belong to a Facebook Group called “ADHD ReWired,” and it’s a wonderful support group. I just finished posting a link to “ADDitude Magazine” on ADHD symptoms, which I promptly followed up by posting a link to this article.

I think everyone in my family had some form of ADHD, and let me say that childhood was pretty intense and unpredictable. It’s been wonderful, as an adult, to finally recognize it and find the support I needed.

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^