Caffeine may be used in ADHD Treatment!
We’re always looking for ways to help ADHD without using prescription drugs or even traditional behavior therapy-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-CBT. Many parents agree with our efforts, as they often wish to avoid using stimulant medications for their child’s ADHD treatment. They usually tell me they just don’t want their child to suffer all the side-effects of ADHD drugs-headache, stomachache, nausea, loss of appetite with weight loss, and rapid pulse rate or tachycardia.
When it comes to ADHD treatment, my philosophy is that the fewer the drugs a child or adult has to take to improve their ADHD, the better the short-term and long-term outcome. As a rule of thumb, the more medications a child or adult with ADHD has to take, the more chances exist for drug side-effects and the more likely they will stop taking the medicines.
Caffeine may be a good choice for improving the mildest symptoms of ADHD!
In an on-line article (see below) published on fyi Living on June 14, 2011; a medical hypothesis (not supported by research) proposed by a group of Chengdu, China researchers discussed drinking non-herbal teas to use caffeine to treat mild ADHD symptoms. This article tends to validate what many ADHD experts have known for years-drinking or eating small amounts of caffeine can improve an ADHD child’s or adult’s attention span, ability to focus, concentration, mood, and memory.
For several years, many of my student-patients have gulped down a caffeine drink or something with chocolate before going to school and particularly before taking tests and exams. Many discovered that they could think more clearly and made better grades in the 2-3 hours after their caffeine levels were raised.
How does caffeine help ADHD?
Caffeine is a mild stimulant-it stimulates areas in our brain that raise our levels of consciousness and what is called “executive thought processing”. As a result, any drink or food that contains caffeine helps us process or understand what we hear, see and sense; figure out what to do with that information; and then remember what we have learned-all in a manner similar to ADHD medications.
This just might mean that your ADHD son, daughter, husband or wife will improve when drinking small amounts of caffeine containing teas, coffee, soda, and eating foods like chocolate. It’s possible you may give your child an edge in school by including a little caffeine in their breakfast menu.
P.S. Don’t forget: Excessive amounts of caffeine can actually cause the symptoms of ADHD and lead to ADHD misdiagnosis; as well as cause ADHD symptoms (especially impulsivity and hyperactivity) to worsen. So you must walk a fine line in using caffeine to treat ADHD symptoms.
How Tea May Help with Adult ADHD