UNDERSTANDING THE LINK BETWEEN MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY AND THE OCCURRENCE OF ADHD IN CHILDREN
The number of children being diagnosed with ADHD has increased tremendously in recent years. Physicians are inclined to treat the condition with medicines, and parents and children are advised to accept the situation; however, many parents are not satisfied with this approach so are seeking more natural forms of treatment. A crucial factor in naturally treating ADHD is to find out if your child suffers from magnesium deficiency and correcting that deficiency if it does exist.
ROLE OF MAGNESIUM IN CALMING HYPERACTIVITY
Magnesium is utilized to facilitate the movement of messages and nerve signals throughout the body. It also assists in the relaxation of the mind and body and calming of the nervous system, an important function in those suffering from hyperactivity disorders. Children with hyperactivity disorder tend to behave calmly if their bodies are calm and relaxed. When the levels are optimal, thinking is clear and concentration is better. When magnesium levels are low, a person may experience muscle twitches and spasms.
Magnesium also plays an important role in the synthesis of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter responsible for providing a feeling of calmness and well-being. When the levels of serotonin are low, a person may feel symptoms of moodiness, irritability and depression.
CHILDREN ARE AT AN INCREASED RISK OF DEVELOPING MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY
There are a number of factors that make today’s children more prone to develop a magnesium deficiency. The two important factors are stress, and poor diet and nutrition.
Stress as a factor of magnesium deficiency: The stressors in a child’s life can range from maintaining body image to doing well in school to facing peer pressure to performing well in athletic competitions. The capability to deal with stress is decreased in children with ADHD. Stress brings with it adrenaline rushes, and stress and adrenaline both force the body to utilize magnesium. This happens because hormones, such as adrenaline, require magnesium. Moreover, because magnesium is also used to calm and relax the nervous system, the more stressed a child is, the more magnesium the body uses.
Poor diet and nutrition: Compared to earlier generations, today’s children eat more processed, sugary and additive-filled refined foods that lack a sufficient amount of magnesium. In addition, such foods stress and tire the nervous system, thereby requiring more magnesium to relax it. Changing your child’s diet to a healthier and more balanced one as a means to ensure that it contains a sufficient quantity of magnesium and does not deprive the body of this important mineral is something to consider.
Talk with your child’s physician and other health professionals to determine if magnesium deficiency could be playing a role in your child’s ADHD symptoms.
By Dr. Ritu Goel