Restlessness, aggressiveness, impulsive activity, nervous tension and anxiety, low stress tolerance, emotional instability, anger, destructive behavior, short attention span, distractedness, confusion, and occasionally awkwardness and poor coordination.
What is Hyperactivity in Children?
From Modern Western Medicine
The cause of hyperactivity is unknown, though many theories abound. Most children have periods when they appear hyperactive, but the diagnosis is not applied unless the child chronically exhibits hyperactive symptoms past the age of 4. The disorder may run in families; hyperactive children often have fathers who were also hyperactive.
Drugs that stimulate the nervous system, paradoxically, have a calming affect on hyperactive children and therefore are used as a treatment. The common effect of stimulants has given rise to the theory that hyperactivity may be the result of an under-arousal of the mid-brain, which may fail to control movements and effectively filter sensations in the affected child. This may cause to the child to experience too much stimuli. Stimulant drugs may arouse the mid-brain sufficiently to suppress the extra activity. Professional counseling and behavior modification for all family members have been helpful. Restriction of artificial coloring, additives, or foods is very popular, the research so far has been inconclusive.
From Traditional Medicine
Traditional medicine, such as naturopathy, has treated hyperactivity by eliminating all refined foods, artificial ingredients, pesticides, and herbicides from the diets of hyperactive children, meaning the sensitive child must be placed on 100% organically grown diet. Rarely is there one food that triggers the condition. Rather, hyperactive children may be sensitive to a wide array of foods; also two hyperactive children may have sensitivities to very different sets of foods. In general, traditional medicine recommends that hyperactive children eat organically grown foods that contain no artificial additives, color, preservative, pesticides, herbicides, or any chemical additive. Adherence to such a diet is important. Also important is physical exercise, which promotes the elimination of toxins through the skin in exhalation; regular hours; adequate sleep; avoidance of hunger by eating many little meals, including vegetables and fruit snacks (such as raw carrots or celery); daily intake of whole grains, such as brown rice. Whole grains boost the production of serotonin, a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain that promotes a sense of well-being, clarity of thought, the ability to concentrate, and enhance the sleep.
Hyperactive children may have an over-abundance of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which causes heightened states of arousal, alertness, and aggression. It also creates restlessness and a greater need for activity. Dopamine is boosted in the brain by eating protein foods, especially those composed of animal tissue. Serotonin balances dopamine and creates greater feeling so calm and relaxation. Serotonin is increased in the brain by eating carbohydrates, especially whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Foods to Eat
All foods must be organically grown. Labels must be read carefully.
- Whole grains, especially brown rice, wheat, barley, oats, and corn
- Green and root vegetables
Foods to Avoid
- Dairy products
- Non-organic soy sauce
- Commercial baked goods
- Restaurant foods
- Canned foods
- Frozen foods
- Processed foods
Herbs to Treat Hyperactivity
- Chamomile tea: drink regularly to calm, relax, and promote better sleep
- Michael Tierra’s Formula 5 is especially designed for hyperactivity in children. It is a soothing, calming, gentle, and nourishing nerve tonic. Purchased or ordered through your health food store. Take 1 or 2 tablets, three times daily. It may be crushed and mixed with maple syrup or honey.
- Sauna: one or two times per week
- Massage once or twice a week along the spine with cocoa butter
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin C
- Essential fatty acids
Any aerobic exercise is beneficial, especially those sports that require individualized effort and skill development, such as tennis, swimming, bicycling, and martial arts.