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ADHD ADD - Alternative Therapies and the Doctor

Abstract: It is important to inform your doctor of all alternative therapies going on for the patient with ADHD and ADD.

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ADHD ADD - Alternative Therapies and the Doctor

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Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 24 Jul 2008.

Should I inform my doctor that we use complementary therapy (alternative therapies) for ADD/ADHD treatment?


In a recent study parents of ADHD children were asked to speak about the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). We know, that a lot of parents will try them to make every possible attempt to avoid psychopharmacological treatment with psychostimulants or other forms of multimodal treatment. 62 of 114 (54%) of the parents had experiences with this kind of treatment. Reasons to make a trial of this type of treatment were mainly:
  • a "natural" alternative
  • having more control over the treatment
One important result of the study was that only 14 % of the parents talked about their treatment approach with their doctor. This might cause severe problems for the children because even "natural" approaches like nutritional supplements or dietary manipulations or even high-dose vitamins can cause severe problems or interactions with medicine.

While scientific results of these "alternatives" are mainly disappointing, doctors usually will accept these trials of the parents. But they might also offer more reliable information about the advantages and possible negative consequences of these treatment approaches.

Up to this point of research there is no alternative or complementary treatment for ADHD that proved any lasting positive results. You should be very careful if advertisements or laymen recommend this type of treatment and promise a "cure" for ADHD symptoms.

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