Can Chiropractic Care & Nutrition Help Children With ADHD?

The words "ADHD" are written in different colors using crayon. There are orange, blue, red, and green crayons laying on top of the paper.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has recently been labeled as one of the most common brain disorders of childhood. The most recent data from the CDC reports that as of 2019, an estimated 9.8% of children (ages 3 to 17 years) have been diagnosed with ADHD. That is approximately 6 million children in the U.S. This represents a drastic increase from the estimated 7.8% of children diagnosed with this condition in 2003.

What Causes ADHD?

A specific cause of ADHD has yet to be determined, but scientists believe that genetics may be a strong component. Additional contributing factors may include:

  • Exposure to cigarette smoke and alcohol while in the womb
  • Exposure to lead and other heavy metals in early childhood
  • Sensitivity to food dyes, artificial sweeteners/flavorings, preservatives, and other food additives

Research with brain imaging has also revealed that children with ADHD mature in a normal pattern but at a delayed rate of approximately three years when compared to a child without the condition.

Diagnosing ADHD

Although the key symptoms of this disorder are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, there are other symptoms that can vary from child to child, making accurate diagnosis difficult. Additionally, since there is no specific test for ADHD, it can often be confused with other conditions and misdiagnosed. Diagnosis is usually made based on information and physical examination/observation of the child by the parents, pediatrician, and/or mental health professional.

Common Treatments for ADHD

A young boy draws with crayon while a female therapist watches. The therapist is holding a pen and clipboard to take notes.

Behavioral therapy is generally the first treatment step for children with ADHD. In addition to behavioral therapy, pharmacological treatments may be used to manage symptoms of the condition. However, pharmaceuticals do not cure the condition and often have side effects that can differ from child to child.

With the incidence of this condition continuing to rise, many parents are becoming frustrated and seeking additional non-medicine-based treatment options. Because there are more ADHD cases now than ever before, there has been an increased focus on chiropractic care, nutrition, and other natural treatments.

Chiropractic Care, Nutrition, & ADHD

Some research has been done on the impact of chiropractic care and nutritional supplementation in the treatment of ADHD.

Case studies published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research in 2006 and 2007 showed a correlation between chiropractic adjustments, along with dietary changes/nutritional supplementation, and improvements in language skills, behavior, and overall academic performance during the treatment of two children.

Additionally, in a 2023 Current Nutrition Reports review, it was noted that there is ever-emerging evidence discussing the role that nutrition plays in the development and functioning of the brain.

Furthermore, various nutrient deficiencies from poor diet quality have been linked to behavioral, cognitive, and affective functions and the prevalence of mental disorders. Many other case studies with similar results exist. However, more extensive research and clinical trials are needed on the subject.

Schedule Chiropractic Care for Your Child

If behavioral therapy and medication aren’t effective in treating your child’s ADHD, get help from Total Health Systems. Our chiropractors and medical team can work with your primary care physicians to provide alternative care treatments, including chiropractic adjustments, dietary recommendations, and nutritional supplementation to help manage ADHD.

Please contact us today to schedule your child’s chiropractic evaluation and/or nutritional consultation.

  1. Antoinette Young, DC. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ September 6, 2007. Pages 1-4.
  2. Lisa Lovett, D.C. and Charles Blum, D.C. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ October 4, 2006. Pages 1-6.
  3. Nutrition in the Management of ADHD: A Review of Recent Research. Klaus W. Lange, Katharina M. Lange, Yukiko Nakamura, and Andreas Reissmann Curr Nutr Rep. 2023; 12(3): 383–394. Published online 2023 Jul 28. doi: 10.1007/s13668-023-00487-8

Rose Dubay's Bio

Dr. Rose Dubay received her Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. She is a Michigan native and grew up in Mount Clemens. Dr. Dubay received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2003 from Oakland University in Rochester. She then pursued her dream of becoming a chiropractor and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Palmer College in October of 2007.