ADHD medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall, do not put kids’ hearts at risk for other cardiovascular problems. According to the CNN report, “children and teens who take medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are no more likely to die from severe heart problems than those who do not take the medications, new research has found.” Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine think if a child is responding to the ADHD medications, there is no point to discontinuing them. Of course, for many parents giving a child medication is a tough decision. Although the news probably made some parents feel more at ease, some parents may still be hesitant to give their child medications.
There may be a diet to help children with ADHD sleep better. And though the elimination diet can not cure ADHD, some research suggests it may help your child get much-needed sleep. The symptoms of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which include high levels of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, are most effectively controlled with pharmacotherapy and behavior management. These methods, however, do little to address the early morning and late evening symptoms that children with ADHD commonly experience: headaches, belly aches, “growing pains,” and trouble with sleep initiation and maintenance. To address these deficiencies of traditional ADHD treatment, researchers in the Netherlands studied the effect of an elimination diet on a number of physical complaints and sleep problems in children with ADHD. Their findings show promise in alleviating pain and improving sleep for these children. Please consult your child’s pediatrician before trying any diet or discontinuing any medication.
The 15 children who followed the elimination diet showed an overall 4.6 times greater reduction than the other 12 children in all physical and sleep problems; overall complaints were reduced by 77 percent in the elimination diet group, versus only 17 percent in the control group. These results show that hypersensitivity to a variety of foods may cause a higher incidence of physical and sleep problems in children with ADHD.
For more information on ADHD check out this article on The 5 Surprising Causes of ADHD.