To be frank, there is no solid evidence that natural remedies will successfully treat ADHD (the name of the condition, even when hyperactivity is not present - such a child displays Inattentive-type ADHD). It would be irresponsible of me to guide you toward treatments that are not supported by empirical evidence.
Dr. Kennedy - I thought that supplements such as Omegas, Vitamin B complex, magnesium and zinc have shown to help ADD/ADHD. I agree that, these supplements will not eliminate the symptoms. I think that research ahs shown that these supplements help to reduce the symptoms and also reduce the amount of medicine needed, assuming the parent decides to use medication. I would appreciate your comments.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid (supplied as supplement via fish oil) increases the flexibility of the cell walls of neurons, and this is useful. However, as you noted, such a supplement is not a direct treatment of ADHD and would not be expected to reduce or ameliorate symptoms of ADHD.
I neglected to remark on your question about other supplements. It is true that B-vitamins, zinc and iron contribute to the development of a neurotrasmitter, dopamine, that is implicated in ADHD. So, to the extent that those supplements enhance dopamine functioning, they have something to offer. But it is important to recognize that they have not been substantiated as treatments for ADHD and should only be given under the guidance of the PCP. Often we think that otc preparations are safe when in fact casual and unsupervised use of supplements can be harmful.
So, what you are saying is that the most effective way to treat ADHD would be to use medicines like Strattera, Ritalin etc.... and how safe are these drugs?
The class of drugs called psychostimulants (active ingredient either methylphenidate or dextroamphetamine) remains the front line treatment of ADHD. We now have the benefit (since people who are now adults have used these medications as children) of seeing the impact of such drugs over many years. The evidence is overwhelming that the treatments are safe. Now, does this mean that there are no possible side effects? No. It is more a question of weighing the possible benefits of the treatment against the possible side effects. The most probable (vs possible) side effect of the stimulant medications is appetite suppression, particularly during the middle of the day. If you consider the use of these treatmenmts, be sure to talk about the side effect profile with the prescribing clinician.
Strattera is not a psychostimulant. Ritalin, Metadate Anderall are. Strattera is anothr type of medicine for ADD that doctors usually use when the stimulants do not work. Strattera rate of working is not as high as stimulants.
I have a child that has ADHD. I though that going only with vitamins and diet was going to just be our thing. I made my child suffer :( After a year of bad grades in school (no behavior problems) I did put him on medication. WOW what a difference. It took a few tries and yes it was a little frustrating, but seeing him make A B honor roll again was wonderful. He is like a different person. He can concentrate and is able to finish is work where as before no matter how much time he had it wasn't enough. He is making friend and keeping them. I would tell you to talk to your doctor and talk to other parents of children with ADD. A great place to meet the would be at any CHADD meeting. I really found that they both offered me great support and really helped me to stop doing what I thought was best and do what was best for my child with regard to the medication.