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Finding a way through a diagnosis of ADHD

By Melinda Brazier
from Melinda Brazier Naturopath

You have most likely seen a lot of reels, social posts and all sorts of media focus around Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD and to be honest it is really about time! Awareness is growing.

Data suggests that prevalence of ADHD is greater in males than females. Variances range across countries and what males and females experience as symptoms as well varies greatly.

As a practitioner that sees ADHD in clinic and also a mum of a child diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, it is a lot to take in, a lot to navigate and it is something that has a continuous consistent presence.

I see a lot of parents trying to navigate this new found diagnosis, lost in a sea of information online. It can be difficult to know where to start and what to do.

ADHD affects every facet of a life. Physical, mental and emotional health, financial health, education, relationships of all kinds, it is entirely consuming.

It is an incredibly complex issue as not one person I have seen, have exactly the same experiences, there are definitely common threads but lots of different symptoms not to mention other additional issues like OCD or numerous learning difficulties, it is a spectrum.

ADHD is a diagnosis that requires numerous thoughts and processes that are just ongoing. You may need an occupational therapist, a psychologist, counsellor, tutor for math’s and or reading. pediatric opthalmologist, hearing tests and of course pediatrician and GP.

Trying to find out that specific person’s best way to learn and then trying to navigate that with the school, and doing this every year with every teacher, are they on board? do they understand? how much can one teacher do in a class of 30 kids?  Do they qualify for any funding with NDIS, pediatrician appointments, mental healthcare plans, the list goes on and on.

It is very common to suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, self- harm and when they get older and experience a higher rate of incarceration, suicide, addictions, unemployment and ongoing mental health challenges. By the age of 12 a child with ADHD has heard 12,000 negative comments about themselves, it is no wonder they can experience poor self-worth.

I experience parents wanting to go down just the natural path and I also see parents that just want to do medication only.

It is entirely different for every person experiencing it, what I do believe is that every facet of ADHD should be considered and checked out if possible. There are always challenges to navigate that can bring new information to light.

It is the same when you are trying different literacy programs for your child, will Orton and Gillingham method (this is a multisensory literacy method) work or maybe another program like Toe by Toe?

You have most likely heard of working on executive function as a focus, which is needed.

Increasing neuronal circuitry with working on organizing, prioritising and activation of tasks. Focusing, sustaining and shifting attention to tasks, regulating and managing emotions like frustration. Utilising working memory and accessing recall and monitoring self-regulation.

From a natural health focus, I have compiled a list here of things that need to be considered. You can use it as a resource for yourself or your child. Some may not apply to you. Check in with a naturopathic practitioner they will be able to provide guidance on what is appropriate to look at in your situation and presentation.

  1. Finding a great team of practitioners that you can communicate comfortably with.
  2. Checking for basic nutrient deficiencies like Iron, Vitamin D, B6, B9- folate & B12 deficiencies -ADHD can be associated with a wide range of deficiencies. Further to this, Homocysteine levels, looking at the inflammation in the body is likely to be higher in ADHD. Thyroid panel should be done and ruled out as a lot of symptoms can mimic ADHD.
  3. Looking at the persons essential fatty acid profile, good fats like EPA/DHA -omega 3 are particularly important and the research shows this is indeed helpful.
  4. Checking neurotransmitters via testing or questionnaires- this will help to guide you with what needs addressing and with correlations of changes with mood, inflammation, circadian cycles and how healthy the stress responses are.
  5. Checking that a process called methylation is not impaired. This is an enzyme that may be produced in lower quantities which needs to be factored in, it affects a myriad of different processes in the body.
  6. Look at your family history, it is common for a parent to experience similar history.
  7. Look at sleep, do you need help with sleep quality and quantity
  8. Look into heavy metal exposure, this can cause neuroinflammation and present similarly
  9. People with ADHD can experience digestive issues, given the relationship with digestive health and the brain via the vagus nerve, it is imperative to look into this. The microbiome is linked to the brain and can communicate and increase inflammation processes. It is also imperative to look into inflammatory bowel disease and family history.
  10. Check out your basic diet. How much protein are they eating, do they crave a lot of sugar, dairy or bread/pasta? Do we need to look at regulating blood sugars via the diet?
  11. In children and some adults, they can be challenging with what they will and won’t eat. Meal strategies are key
  12. If you are the care provider, you need to prioritise your own health and nervous system. It is really hard to advocate for another person when you are burnt out and have an empty tank. This is an extra load to carry, be kind and gentle with yourself. Seek support for yourself. I often treat parents for maintaining their health and providing tools and strategies for a higher level of stress experienced over a long period of time.

There are some great resources out there. Support groups, face book groups, charities and not for profit groups that are invaluable resources. You do not need to do this alone or at once, it is a marathon not a sprint.

More about the author

Mel Brazier
Melinda Brazier
– Melinda Brazier Naturopath

Melinda Brazier has been a qualified naturopath for over 25years.

Melinda has over the years created corporate and community programs, talks and workshops, currently in private practice and teaching healthcare providers nutrition and herbal medicine. She has a strong focus on complex cases and a passion for mental health, autoimmunity, long covid, digestion & hormonal health. She is also a clinical EFT practitioner. She is a Fellow of ATMS.

Melinda offers in person, one on one naturopathic consultations and telehealth appointments and one on one and group EFT sessions and programs specialising in sleep, chronic pain management, long covid, anxiety ,ADHD and other numerous conditions.

You can contact her on or visit her website at