Treatments

ADHD


Tackling the lack of concentration and hyperactivity?

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)




Tackling the lack of concentration and hyperactivity? Let us tell you some good news. It is not always impossible to manage hyperactivity in a kid. A kid throwing a tantrum in public places is not exactly ADHD. It takes proper diagnosis before starting treatment. ADHD is considered a mental as well as a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes lack of attention, difficulty to concentrate and hyperactivity in children. In Ayurveda, we have a special approach towards ADHD. It is explained that the body and mind are interconnected and this relationship is implemented in treatment.

ADHD is different from age-appropriate tantrums and other behavioural disorders, being the most prevalent mental disorder in children. It can also affect adults but in lesser numbers. There are many studies with multiple data, but it is estimated with a worldwide pooled prevalence of 5.3%. While the term Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder seems an urban disorder, the truth is that it affects mostly school-going children with boys affected three times more than girls. Hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity are the three features generally attributed to ADHD. Proper diagnosis is crucial as the symptoms are not continuous in most cases. In many cases, it is confused with conditions like mental retardation, motor developmental disorders, ADHD associated with obesity or hypothyroidism.

Ayurvedic way of managing ADHD

OUR UNIQUE APPROACH


Theoretically, every hyperactive disease falls under the category, “unmada” in Ayurveda. Almost all the symptoms of ADHD can be compared with signs of unmada with Vaata-Pitta vitiation. But to our surprise, many formulations like ghrita and treatments like snehapaana do not give the expected results in many children with ADHD. Every case should be evaluated personally by the physician to assess the stage of Doshas affecting both body and mind. This is highly variable and has a lot many permutations and combinations. Even two children showing similar signs like hyperactivity, the vitiated doshas and their measures can be different. Medicines and treatment should be done accordingly, different for certain. This is why a wonder drug is not always working for every child with ADHD. Many cases are found to be associated with toxic metabolic wastes, mentioned as Aama in Ayurvedic classic textbooks. The presence of this Aama causes a different way of pathogenesis and the treatment approach is also different from Vaata-Pitta unmada treatment. It is always important to elicit the presence of Aama in cases of ADHD like:

  • When ADHD is presented as a symptom or aggravation of substance use such as some bronchodilators
  • When ADHD is a part of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
  • ADHD as a result of deranged Agni due to deprived sleep
  • When there are repeated unintentional injuries to the child with ADHD which may lead to mild inflammation, fever or even sepsis
  • When ADHD is a sign of other diseases like Prader Willi syndrome
  • ADHD with recurrent vomiting
  • When the symptoms of ADHD aggravate by the intake of sugar, milk, and sweets

While managing ADHD it is important to assess the presence or absence of Aama. The line of treatment is different in both conditions. At Jeevaniyam, we use Ayurveda medicines, treatment procedures, diet & lifestyle modifications, along with Yoga and other needed therapies. Ayurveda utilises the person’s innate ability to balance its functions naturally. It will be done with medicines and procedure-based therapies during admitted treatment. It is equally important to get hold of the child’s diet habits and lifestyle healthily, too.


Management of ADHD without Aama

OUR UNIQUE APPROACH


Internal Medicines:

These include various formulations like decoctions (kashayam), fermented sweet herbal liquids (arishta or asava), medicated ghee (gritham), herbal powders (churna), and others. Various herbal combinations of each formulation can be used depending upon the individual need. For example, many decoctions like varavisaladi kashayam, guduchyadi kashayam, lodhramsevyadi kashayam, and drakshadi kashayam are indicated in ADHD. But not all these are to be used in a single child together. It depends upon many factors like vitiated dosha, age, season, the strength of the child, place of living, body constitution, digestive power etc. The medicine will not be the same always for the same child. It is decided after a detailed evaluation at the hospital in a customised manner and regular follow up is needed. In most cases, a specially formulated ghee preparation processed with herbs that boost brain functions (medhya ghrtam) is found beneficial.



Procedure based therapies:

these are the treatment procedures done during the admitted course in the hospital. There are many therapies indicated in ADHD like the continuous and rhythmic pouring of medicated liquids on the head or body (dhaara). It can be processed milk or sesame oil. Dhaara gives relaxation and a feeling of contentment. It helps reduce irritability, anger and restlessness. But there are conditions where this procedure is not suitable. In such cases, this may cause mild discomforts like cold, running nose or headache. So, this should be done as in house therapy under the guidance and supervision of a qualified Ayurveda doctor only. There are other therapies like oil massage(abhyangam), oil enema (matra vasti), various modes of application of medicated oils on the head (sirovasti, siropichu etc), leg massage, and therapeutic purgation. Each of them has indications and contraindications. As the child with ADHD may present with a wide range of physical conditions, therapies to be implemented should be done in a customised approach. The combination of internal medicines and treatment procedures to be used for each child can be decided only after proper evaluation and close monitoring.




Management of ADHD with Aama

OUR UNIQUE APPROACH


In most cases with Aama, ADHD shows associated signs of vitiated Kapha. The initial line of treatment should be to remove this Aama or excess & vitiated Kapha that causing obstruction in channels of the body, thus leading to defective circulation. Digestion or Agni will be less or deranged in an irregular way in most of such cases. Toxic metabolic wastes are formed in the GIT as a result of this defective digestion process. Removing this Aama or metabolic waste from the system and preventing its further formation are equally important in the treatment. It is done by internal medicines, procedure-based therapies, diet modifications, lifestyle modifications and other needed therapies like Yoga.

Internal Medicines:

There are decoctions, fermented sweet liquids, herbal powders, tablets and other formulations used as well. But the combination and action are entirely different from those used in cases without Aama. Here medicines target enhancing the digestive fire (Agni) thereby removing Aama or metabolic toxins from the body and by correcting the assimilation process, the build-up of further Aama is prevented. Even medicines like pachanamrutham kashayam for fever with Aama to enhance Agni is beneficial in such cases. Other formulations like Ashtachurnam, rajanyadi churnam, vilwad gulika etc. are also used according to individual needs. In some cases, even detoxification will be needed along with improving digestion.

Procedure based therapies:

The main difference is observed in the application of medicated oils and ghee preparations. On the contrary to ADHD without Aama, here most therapies are drying up (rukshana). Application of herbal paste on head (sirolepa) is found useful in the initial stages. Dhaara is mostly done with medicated buttermilk (takradhara) and not oil or milk. Body massage is done with appropriate herbal powders(udwartana). Also, fumigation of the child’s room and premises with volatile herbs are found beneficial. Frequent therapeutic purgation is done with close monitoring. It is very important to evaluate the child with ADHD in a proper scientific manner to assess the individual condition. Medicines and therapies can be decided only in a customised way. Regular checkups and follow up are needed for long term results under the guidance of an Ayurveda physician. As the disease can be severe even with mild triggers, it takes proper care and the teamwork of the doctor, therapeutics and parents.

Jeevaniyam Ayurveda Hospital and Research Centre is one of the leading Ayurveda hospitals in Kerala. We are specialised in the complete care and treatment of special children and children with developmental disorders. Located in the heart of the city of Cochin, we are easy to reach with your child whenever needed. We do not simply give treatment and medicines but use a holistic approach to get maximum results. We use authentic Ayurveda treatments along with world-class integrated therapies for the best outcome in a special child’s life.

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