Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric conditions affecting children. According to the centers for disease control, an estimated 4.4 million youth between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with this condition, with over half receiving prescription drug treatment. Prolonged symptoms, such as chronic inattention and constant hyperactivity, can be treated with prescription medication or complementary therapy. David Villareal, manager at Pharmaca’s Monterey store, and practitioners Julie McGinnis and Erin Stokes from the South Boulder store share both options.
David Villareal: The two most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD are Concerta and Adderall XR. These drugs help people gain focus although classified as stimulants. The side effects depend on the individual, but can include agitation, insomnia, and loss of appetite. These two formulas can be addictive, so some physicians prescribe Strattera because of its lower abuse potential. Treating someone affected by ADHD properly is like giving a new pair of glasses to someone who really needs them.
Julie McGinnis: Fish oils, especially DHA omega-3 fatty acids, can help promote brain health in those affected by this condition. We carry a high potency, flavored liquid supplement by Pharmax, as well as chewable options by Nordic Naturals, that are both great for children. It is best to get between 1,000 and 1,500 mg of fish oil per day.
Erin Stokes: Good nutrition can also help children affected by ADHD. By consuming enough protein during the day, blood glucose levels can be kept stable. Try making protein powder shakes as an after school snack. I also recommend L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea plants, to increase the production of alpha brain waves for improved mental focus and concentration.