Nutrition and ADHD: Alternatives to Focalin and Other ADD/ADHD Drugs

By Dietitian, Wellness Educator and eHow Contributor, Elizabeth Kahn

Focalin or dexmethylphenidate, is a psychostimulant drug commonly prescribed for A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder) and A.D.H.D. (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).  Focalin is a milder version of Ritalin (methylphenidate). As an alternative to such stimulants, there are many successful natural remedies that include nutrient and allergy testing and diet therapy (2: Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Balch 2004).

Primary Treatment

  • Currently the primary course of treatment for sufferers of ADD and ADHD is stimulant treatment. The other more commonly prescribed drugs for these disorders are Adderal and Ritalin.

Nutrition and ADD

  • Nutritional imbalances can cause ADD symptoms. For example, symptoms of hypoglycemia often resemble ADD symptoms. Blood sugar irregularities can mimic ADD symptoms and can be caused by a diet high in refined, processed foods. Food allergies, vitamin, mineral, amino acid and other nutrient imbalances and food additives can cause ADD symptoms.

Nutrition Research

  • There are many nutritional implications in ADD. More and more people are looking for alternative treatments and are turning to nutritional remedies.  In “The ADD Answer,” Dr. Frank Lawlis shows that according to many studies, nutritional remedies such as diet modification and food allergy testing were successful in 70 percent of cases.


  • Stimulants are being prescribed to many children, including preschoolers.  These medications are often chopped up and inhaled through the nose and can act as gateway drugs for these children.