How to Treat ADHD Without Medication: Top 8 Ways


Conventional medication has been a godsend, helping humanity get over epidemics and pandemics. However, certain situations, such as allergies, adverse side effects, or the patient’s age make it impossible to take advantage of medication.

For instance, when using medication to treat ADD vs ADHD, how long does Adderall last? You’d be surprised that the medications last anywhere from 7 to 10 hours, not ideal for a child.

In such events, the best course of action is to look for alternative means. Take Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it is a neurobehavioral disorder affecting children and can last into adulthood. The CDC recommends that you try behavior therapy before you attempt treatment with medicines.

If you are looking for ways to treat ADHD, here are some techniques you can try that do not involve medication.

Why would you treat ADHD without medication?

80-85% of patients who use stimulant medication will show a positive response, so why would you ignore medication to treat ADHD? That’s because they can potentially cause serious side effects such as:

  • Heart problems
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts

Further, there are no studies that chart the long-term effects of ADHD medication. With that in mind, here are the top 8 ways to treat ADHD without using medication.

Medication-free ways to manage ADHD

Avoid allergens

Try to follow a diet that restricts taking in allergens as they can affect a child’s behavior. These are some of the foods you should avoid as they might cause allergies:

  • Chocolate
  • Eggs and milk

Foods containing salicylates, a common ingredient in pain medication, such as chili powder, apples, grapes, oranges, plums, tomatoes, and berries

Preservatives or chemical additives including butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) found in products like chewing gum, cereal, potato chips, instant mashed potatoes, and dry cake mixes

Consult your doctor if you suspect your child has allergies.

Healthy Diet

You are what you eat, so you may want to stick to a diet full of Proteins, Iron, Zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamins C and B6 to manage ADHD.

It is crucial to include Omega-3 fatty acids because it improves brain and nerve cell functioning. Since your body does not produce it naturally, you have to consume it through vitamins, supplements, and food. One of the best sources is fish oil, which has two types of Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.

Including proteins is a great way of managing ADHD symptoms as they induce alertness by triggering neurotransmitters. Additionally, proteins prevent spikes in sugar levels that lead to hyperactivity, while high-fiber foods like veggies, legumes, and whole grains, stabilize energy levels.

Zinc, Iron, and Vitamins B6 and C are some of the key minerals for managing ADHD. They can help out if an adult has deficiencies in producing and regulating neurotransmitter levels. Vitamin B6 and Iron increase dopamine levels while Zinc regulates it and may help alleviate ADHD symptoms if used with conventional treatment and medication. On the other hand, Vitamin C is one of the building blocks for neurotransmitters.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The therapist aims to get the patient to change their perception by examining the evidence. If you are undergoing CBT, the therapy aims to change your negative or irrational thought patterns, helping you overcome obstacles and ensure you get tasks done.

For instance, if you have ADHD, you’re thinking, “I can’t do this task as it has to be completed perfectly,” when the truth is you just have to try your best. This type of therapy seems to work best in adults, with a 2016 study showing adults who underwent a 12-course study had better ADHD symptom ratings.

Behavioral or parental therapy

Behavior therapy can prove beneficial for children with severe forms of ADHD. If anything, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends behavioral therapy as the first step in ADHD treatment among young children. Behavioral therapy works on changing certain behaviors and providing solutions that prevent problematic behavior.

Parental therapy equips guardians with the necessary tools to help their child successfully battle ADHD, a sound recipe for long-term ADHD treatment. This great complementary therapy works best if combined with medication.


What exercises do is increase endorphin production, helping your brain run more effectively, efficiently, and improves mood. Moreover, it increases norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin levels, leading to improved attention and focus.

Short aerobic exercises positively affect hyperactivity, attention, executive function, and other ADHD symptoms. Try walking for at least 30 minutes, four times a week to reap the benefits, while other skillful activities like ballet can prove useful for ADHD patients.


Another complementary therapy involves relaxation techniques such as yoga and Tai Chi. According to research, people with ADHD reported significant improvement in their anxiety, hyperactivity, and social problems when practicing yoga regularly alongside their daily medication.

As for tai chi, a study found that teenagers dealing with ADHD found they were less hyperactive or anxious when practicing the relaxation technique. Further, they displayed fewer inappropriate emotions and daydreamed less after taking bi-weekly tai chi classes for at least five weeks.

Spend Time Outdoors

It may not seem like much, but it can be of great benefit to children living with ADHD. Research shows that even 20 minutes can be enough to record significant concentration improvements. A natural setting with greenery has proved the most beneficial for managing ADHD.

Further research proved that exposing children to green spaces and the outdoors is a safe and natural means of treating people with ADHD.

EED Feedback

Electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback is a form of Neurotherapy that measures a patient’s brain waves, intending to maintain their concentration levels.

During a session, a child would be encouraged to play a game with a specific in-game task. For instance, they might be told to keep a character running, otherwise, the screen will go blank. That encourages the child to avoid distractions and develop focusing techniques.

To sum up, even though medication is the best way to treat ADHD, it might not always be the best option in your circumstance. In that case, you should try alternative methods such as meditation, following a healthy diet, and trying out behavioral therapies like CBT.

Originally posted 2021-04-14 18:16:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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