May 01, 2012

alternative-treatment-adhdIt may look appealing, but most research does not alternative treatments for ADHD.(ISTOCKPHOTO)

Alarming news reports about teenagers getting high off drugs meant for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may make respectable adults a bit leery about taking those same drugs day in and day out. Natural treatments for ADHD might seem like an attractive alternative, but theres only one problem: They probably wont work.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments have been shown to help an array of health conditions, ranging from depression to arthritis. Experimenting with alternative medicine practices such as biofeedback and acupuncture may bring you personal relief from your symptoms, but its important to realize that the effectiveness of CAM for ADHD remains unproven; some of the more unconventional treatments may even be harmful.

One exception may be exercise: Feelings of restlessness and hyperactivity are hallmarks of ADHD, and experts suggest that exercise may help manage those symptoms in adults. Even so, exercise and other nondrug treatments should be used as complements, rather than alternatives, to medication.