January 23, 2017

ADHD is well known to most Americans as it has become one of the most common diagnosed conditions of childhood. The most common medical therapy is stimulant medication that works for many but often has unwelcome side effects like weight loss, change in mood/behavior, motor tics, and more. These side effects are often dose dependent and increase in frequency with increased stimulant dosage.

Assuming that the ADHD diagnosis is correct, the need to treat should be based on disease severity and the absence of resolution with other modalities like diet, exercise, behavior modification and biofeedback. I also highly recommend a full learning neuropsych workup to assure that there is not a learning disability masquerading as ADHD.

Another option is to try a caffeine beverage like coffee or tea which has dramatically less drug effect with little to no side effect potential at regular dosing. That low stimulant dose may be enough to right the ship for a child or young adult.

A few key points worth mentioning. 1) caffeinated sugar based beverages like energy drinks and soda are never an option as they are bad on all levels metabolically 2) caffeine dosage in coffee and tea is variable making outcomes variable as well 3) Always discuss this treatment option with your child's medical provider before use

Dr. M