For millions of parents across America, this will come as welcome news. A fish oil ADHD treatment may indeed be a better option than prescription drugs like Ritalin. But before we talk about why its so, let’s first take a closer look at what really is ADHD and how do these drugs work?
What is ADHD
ADHD is characterized by the inability of a child or even an adult to focus on any one task for a significant amount of time. A child suffering from it would typically be hyperactive and wouldn’t stay still at one place, would be disruptive in the class room and may engage in impulsive behavior. She would have trouble focusing on studies which then results in poor academic performance.
Why does it happen
The real cause for this disorder is not yet known, though there are suggestions it could be because of myriad factors like subtle fetal brain damage during pregnancy and genetic factors – studies have shown more often than not children with ADHD have parents suffering from ADHD too. Social factors also play a role as sometimes children living in orphanages who were showing signs of ADHD, seemed to be much better when they were adopted and got the emotional support they were craving for.
The most common ADHD treatment is to take prescription drugs like Ritalin, Dexidrine, Straterra and Cylert. These drugs are in fact brain stimulants that increase the levels of chemicals like dopamine in the brain, which helps in reducing the ADHD symptoms for a few hours. The dosage is administered usually to have maximum effect during school hours so that the child can focus on her studies and cause minimum disruption in school.
The downside is – there have been a lot of side effects reported with these drugs. Hallucinations, headaches, stomach aches, aggressive behavior, nausea and even heart problems can develop as their side effects. The FDA has also issued an advisory about the danger of increased suicidal thoughts in children taking drugs like Straterra for ADHD.
Fish oil ADHD benefit
As you can see, medicines like Ritalin are really not a long term solution. The best they can do is to hide the signs of the problem for a few hours at a time, while carrying the risk of dangerous side effects. A more effective and safer alternative is the need of the hour.
The good news is – multiple studies have shown that taking essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA through a fish oil supplement can naturally help improve the attention span of children suffering from ADHD.
Australian scientist Natalie Sinn conducted a research in which children were given a combination of EPA rich fish oil and primrose oil for 15 weeks. Another group of children were given placebos. It was reported that children from the first group had reduced inattention and hyperactivity while no changes were observed in the placebo group. Next, children in the placebo group were also given the fish oil ADHD treatment and were found to have similar improvements in behavior and attention spans.
While it’s still not clear how exactly does fish oil work on ADHD signs, it does seem to have benefits that are too significant to be ignored. In fact, it’s highly recommended to eat fish or take fish oil supplements on a regular basis because of their benefits for the brain and the heart.
Now, a couple of things to take care of when choosing a fish oil supplement for your child – It should contain at least 1000 mg omega 3 fatty acids in a day’s dosage, and it should also have been properly purified with techniques like Molecular Distillation. This will make sure the fish oil ADHD treatment will work as expected, without any side effects.