Hyperactivity, simply put, is defined as a state where a child (or adult) is just too active. It is important to not confuse hyperactivity with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) because the hyperactive person does not display all of the additional symptoms associated with it.
This person just cannot sit still and talks too much. Otherwise, the hyperactive person functions just fine as far as maintaining an attention span, focusing, and concentrating. Hyperactivity mostly affects kids and as a parent it is important to recognize the symptoms and what natural remedies are at your disposal to calm your child down.
The Symptoms of Hyperactivity
The basic symptom of a hyperactive child is a display of too much energy. However, because of this abnormally high energy, other problems arise which could be characterized as symptoms due to observations.
As previously mentioned, the hyperactive child has an attention span but what was not mentioned is that it is typically short. Due to the excessive energy, a hyperactive child wants to move on to something else of interest quite frequently throughout the day.
If there is an activity that requires a child to sit in one place, the hyperactive child will have difficulty with it. The high level of energy just does not allow sitting still. This can lead to further problems such as an inability to do homework because it requires sitting for a span.
Naturally, participants in a group activity where attention and sitting still are required will tend to be frustrated with the hyperactive child who should be part of the team. This gives rise to another symptom of an inability on the part of the hyperactive to connect with others. Furthermore, this lack of connection with peers can make the hyperactive child a target for bullying in school.
Causes of Hyperactivity
Several causes are attributed to hyperactivity in children. Plus, age and gender seem to determine the level of hyperactivity. For instance, young children tend to have short attention spans and become hyperactive much more quickly than older children. Boys tend to be more hyperactive than girls. Furthermore, teenagers going through puberty show more hyperactive behaviors.
Other causes include caffeine and sugar, issues in the home, sexual abuse, learning difficulties, anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, and prescription medications. Sugar as a cause is debatable as you will see in one of the studies described below.
There is one cause that has been the subject of hyperactivity studies that has to do with food additives. In the past, doctors have routinely advised the parents of hyperactive children to avoid giving them food with a lot of artificial additives that add color, sugar, and caffeine. However, this study set out to establish the link.
The study, published in 2007, took place at England’s University of Southampton by a team of researchers led by Professor Jim Stevenson. The team’s objective was to prove a link between foods with several artificial food dyes and hyperactivity. Along with the dyes, a preservative used in many processed foods known as sodium benzoate was tested as well. Many juices that are popular with children contain sodium benzoate.
The subjects of the study were two children’s age groups: 3 years and 8-9 years. The children spent a week drinking beverages in three forms: 1) with full additives, 2) with reduced additives, and 3) with no additives. Parents and teachers who were part of the team to study the children’s behavior after drinking these beverages had no knowledge about the levels of additives.
The parents and teachers administered certain tests after the children drank the beverages. These tests were designed to check levels of hyperactivity. The findings showed that the children were significantly more hyperactive after consuming beverages with the various additives.
In contrast, sugar is oftentimes listed as a cause of hyperactivity but studies have shown that this may not be true.
One such finding was published in the November 22, 1995 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The finding was the result of several studies that had taken place since 1973 when Dr. Benjamin Feingold published the Feingold Diet. His diet promoted the eating of additive-free foods such as those without artificial food coloring and sugar.
The finding published in JAMA found that sugar did not directly cause hyperactivity. Subjects in the studies were given foods with various levels of sugar unknown to them. Testers were unaware of the levels as well. The results showed no signs of hyperactivity although sugar seemed to have a slight effect on smaller children.
Natural Remedies for Hyperactivity
Natural remedies for hyperactivity are somewhat similar to those for attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Just as with ADHD, remedies that act as natural stimulants have shown to calm hyperactive children down. Gingko Biloba is one such remedy that stimulates blood flow in the brain.
Green oats also act as a stimulant. When the brain is stimulated, it helps with cognition which is important for getting a hyperactive child to calm down.
In fact, just about all of the natural and herbal remedies for hyperactivity promote relaxation while helping with mental alertness and stability. Other remedies include skullcap, chamomile, gotu kola, passion flower, lemon balm, rooibus, and lavender. Getting enough and the proper sleep is one requirement for controlling hyperactivity in children and these same remedies do just that by acting as sedatives.
Other conditions that play a part in causing hyperactivity are nervousness, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. For these there is lavender, lemon balm, rooibus, passion flower, and skullcap. Rooibus is usually ingested in tea form and adds minerals to a child’s diet because it is loaded with potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and zinc. These minerals are important for proper brain function because they help with the neurotransmitters.
As with any herbal or natural remedy, it is best to check for interactions with any other medications your child may be taking. Furthermore, some herbal remedies interact with others. In other words, don’t try to give your hyperactive child all of these remedies with a mindset that together they will solve the problem. This is because even the natural remedies could interact with each other. Speak with your doctor to be sure.
Check out Reviews & Testimonials on Focus ADHD the all natural remedy for Hyperactivity & ADHD.