Stopping ADHD Symptoms in Children with Lithium

Lithium Makes Children Less Irritable

Is your ADHD child or teenager angry at the world all the time? Irritability that escalates into shouting or screaming.  

What is Lithium?

Attention-deficit disorder is also a nutritional deficit disorder. We all know that “we are what we eat,” and rigorous scientific research has shown that the unique brain chemistry of the ADHD child:

  • responds negatively to common environmental toxins that can find their way into our homes and foods, like lead, copper, preservatives and food colorings
  • can’t handle sugars and sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup
  • craves amino acids, iron, protein, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients, probiotics and Omega-3s

Many of my ADHD patients also present with undiagnosed food allergies or sensitivities that make their ADHD symptoms worse. If you are parenting an ADHD child, you already know that to be successful, they need to approach life a little bit differently than the rest of us. Scientific research has shown that they need to eat a little bit differently, too. The best ADHD diet for kids is carefully calibrated to their specific ADHD symptoms and can make a world of difference.

The Finally Focused lifestyle helps ADHD families incorporate healing nutrients and supplements into their child’s daily meals. My recent book, Finally Focused, helps families find the right nutritional balance for their ADHD child through a Plus-Minus program balancing:

  • the miracle mineral of magnesium, which fuels the formation of neurotransmitters, those critical connections that share messages between brain cells and regulate mood-altering hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Many common ADHD medications can lower a child’s magnesium levels, and correcting a magnesium deficiency can make a big difference in brain function at home and at school.
  • boosting zinc, which powers brain waves (especially in boys) and reduces hyperactivity and inattention. Zinc can counteract the negative effects an excess of copper can cause in the ADHD child’s diet, and I help my patients identify the signs of “too many metals” in their water and meals.
  • Probiotics and digestive enzymes, which multiply good bacteria in the bellies of ADHD children, heal HPHPA and yeast imbalances and boost their overall health and brain power.
  • Omega-3s, wonderful fatty acids which studies have shown tend to be lacking in kids with ADHD. In fact, most of us don’t get enough Omega-3s! Our brains thrive on these fantastic fats and I help parents find foods rich in Omega-3s and decide whether or not to add supplements to their ADHD child’s diet.

Move on: regular exercise manages ADHD symptoms naturally

Attention-deficit disorder is also an exercise deficit disorder. I tell my patients what volumes of scientific research have told me—exercise is ADHD medication. The best part? It’s completely natural, and all the side effects of exercise are completely positive.

ADHD children usually have a hard time sitting still. Channel that kinetic energy from fidgeting into physical fitness! The Finally Focused lifestyle encourages regular physical activity at every opportunity. Exercise is a great way to get our bodies to flood our brains with dopamine and serotonin, two mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, and energizes our brain cells. ADHD children who exercise regularly show measurable improvements in concentration, mood, interpersonal relationships, stress levels, and impulse control.

One of the best benefits of regular exercise? The role it plays in facilitating regular deep sleep for ADHD children and teens.

Power down: deep sleep can make a big difference in ADHD symptoms in kids

Attention-deficit disorder is also a sleep deficit disorder. Recent scientific research keeps uncovering how important that time we spend under the covers truly is for our mental and physical health. Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, anxiety, burnout, depression, heart problems, and many more negative outcomes. ADHD children are no different.

In my thirty years of treating ADHD patients, I have yet to find one that did not have had difficulty falling asleep and a rough time waking up in the morning. Some of the medications commonly prescribed for ADHD are stimulants, and children receiving the wrong dosage may be experiencing insomnia as a side effect of their ADHD drugs. Many also have one or more of the following significant sleep disorders:

  • Sleep-disordered breathing, such as chronic mouth breathing, snoring or sleep apnea
  • Sleep movement disorder, like restless legs syndrome
  • Parasomnia, which can manifest as frequent nightmares, night terrors or sleepwalking

The connection between interrupted or inadequate sleep and the symptoms of ADHD is crystal clear. Children and teens who do not get adequate sleep are 85% more likely to be hyperactive, 60% more likely to misbehave, 37% more likely to have difficult relationships with their peers and 65% more likely to have emotional problems. Despite this staggering amount of evidence for the critical role sleep can play in managing ADHD symptoms, doctors don’t emphasize regular sleep nearly enough when they talk to ADHD families about treatment.

My Plus-Minus Plan puts regular, deep sleep right where it belongs: at the heart of holistic ADHD treatments for kids. Finally Focused, my most recent book, reveals successful strategies for getting ADHD children to adopt better bedtime habits. I also discuss the role of the miracle mineral of magnesium in sleep hygiene and share how supplementing your child’s diet with melatonin and tryptophan (both natural ways our bodies lull us into sleep) and specific amino acids can make a big difference at bedtime.

The Plus-Minus program is a powerful tool for ADHD families to find their way of living the Finally Focused lifestyle. To find your own simple, scientifically proven strategies for managing ADHD symptoms in children without medication,  visit the Finally Focused website today

3 replies
  1. Craig Hamilton
    Craig Hamilton says:

    I have seen Dr. Greenblatt for many years. I sense he really cares. However, care alone is not enough. I feel mistakes sometimes occur when doctors care more about their bedside manner than their results. Dr. Greenblatt delivers both care and results. I took a great comment from my wife’s dad who has known me since 4th grade on my wife’s 40th birthday, and he said that with the positive changes in my life that he would never guess the problems I’ve surmounted. That’s results! Also, a more easily discernible trend was that when I was young, I was a careful drive, but I average one car crash a year. Since I have had the GFCF diet I haven’t had a single crash.
    The first time I saw a psychiatrist, I was a junior at Rutgers University. I was told that my condition would only get worse, and it did start to. I was becoming helpless, so helpless that my mom was desperate, and started shopping for alternatives. How can one be helpless at college? Its a puzzle I have yet to figure out.
    I hate to invoke G-d here because some times people react negatively to that, but I believe Hashem led me and my mom to Dr. Greenblatt. It was a miracle. I only came upon it when I had decided that no matter how bad it got, I would choose Hashem, as Deuteronomy says, “I strike, but I heal (chabad.org).” I had really given up on life at that point, and was ready to give up on everything. That’s where she found Dr. Greenblatt. Dr. Greenblatt ran a bunch of tests on me and his changes made all the difference. The things that have worked for me are, GFCF diet, CPAP, Serenaid, a small bottle of manganese (not magnesium,), lithium, and prescription drugs.

    Reply
    • Craig Hamilton
      Craig Hamilton says:

      When I typed “I was a careful drive, but I average one car crash a year.” I meant, “I was a careful driver, but I averaged one car crash a year.”

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *