Caffeine As An ADHD Treatment: Combat Hyperactivity Without Medication
It’s been proven that caffeine can help reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some people, but it is an experimental treatment for ADHD and isn’t for everyone. However, you can still give it a try and increase your caffeine intake to see if you see any difference. Even though it’s a natural ADHD treatment, you should still talk to your doctor before making any changes to your normal routine.
Some psychologists believe that using medication to treat ADHD shouldn’t be the first option, as psychologist Imnaculada Moreno states. She believes that treating ADHD with prescription drugs should first be subject to recommendations of the Clinical Guidelines on ADHD. She also says that these drugs should not be used on children under the age of 5.
Just like the different medications for ADHD, caffeine has its pros and cons, which we’ll talk about below.
Pros of using caffeine as an ADHD treatment
-It calms people with ADHD: We all know that caffeine is a stimulant, but it affects people with ADHD differently. Rather than giving them energy, it has an opposite affect. This is why coffee has a calming effect on people with ADHD.
-It reduces blood flow to the brain: Which may seem like a negative, but for ADHD patients it’s helpful, and most medications to treat ADHD cause the same effect. Blood flow to the brain affects our ability to pay attention and process information.
-You can use it along with medication: Ingesting small amounts of caffeine, combined with drugs to treat ADHD may greatly reduce the symptoms of ADHD. However, if your caffeine levels are too high, it may counteract the effects of the medication.
Cons of using caffeine as an ADHD treatment
-Its efficiency isn’t completely proven: In some patients, caffeine had overwhelmingly positive effects, while it showed no benefit for others. This means that its efficacy hasn’t been proven, while ADHD medication has been proven to be effective.
-Side effects: Caffeine has reduced hyperactive behavior in some children with ADHD, but it caused restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, and irritability in others. It’s important to try caffeine as ADHD medication in small quantities so the adverse effects may be less.
-Possibility of addiction: It’s shown that caffeine can be quite addictive long-term. People who use caffeine as an ADHD treatment continuously have the possibility of becoming addicted to it. If they later decide to stop using caffeine as an ADHD treatment, they may suffer from withdrawal symptoms like migraines. Prolonged consumption of caffeine may also cause tremors and a higher possibility of suffering from heart attacks than other people. Caffeine can only help someone with ADHD if it is used moderately.