How to Treat ADHD With Caffeine – 6 Steps With Pictures (WikiHow)

The use of caffeine to control ADHD is still an experimental therapy option. While caffeine as a treatment for ADHD has been proven to work with some people living with ADHD[citation needed], it is not proven to the point to be a widespread treatment used by doctors. The positive effects of caffeine for ADHD still do not equal the results of prescribed medications. Like medications, too, caffeine has proven side effects. If you are seeking a home remedy for ADHD or if you control ADHD with diet, try using caffeine to keep the ADHD under control. The only way to know is to give it a try. It is recommended that you speak to your physician about it first.


Method 1 of 2: Pros of using caffeine as an ADHD treatment

  1. Treat ADHD With Caffeine Step 1
    Stimulate away. Caffeine is a stimulant, just like many of the prescription medications those with ADHD use to tame their symptoms. Because of caffeine’s effect on the brain, when some consumes it, the levels of a key brain chemical (dopamine) are increased, and thus someone with ADHD who consumes caffeine is better able to process information, and will feel more calm and focused. Excess intake may still cause the stimulant side effects however, which may include anxiety.
  2. Treat ADHD With Caffeine Step 2
    Decrease the brain’s blood flow. No, this one is not mis-categorized. Yes, it does say decrease the brain’s blood flow. Apparently in those with ADHD, this is a good thing. This is the exact effect ADHD medications like Ritalin have. The blood flow affects how well the person processes information and pays attention.
  3. Treat ADHD With Caffeine Step 3
    Combine low-dose Ritalin or other methylphenidate medication with caffeine intake for a high level of success at controlling ADHD. Studies have shown that when used in conjunction with each other, at low doses, the 2 treatments compliment each other very well. In combination with higher levels of caffeine, however, the prescription proved to be the equivalent of no medication at all.


Method 2 of 2: Cons of caffeine as a treatment to control ADHD

  1. Treat ADHD With Caffeine Step 4
    Expect inconsistent results. In research studies, results of caffeine as a medication for ADHD have not provided as consistent results as prescribed medications. At times, using caffeine had the same effect as no medication or treatment at all.
  2. Treat ADHD With Caffeine Step 5
    Prepare for side effects. Though caffeine greatly reduced hyperactive behavior in children when administered prior to academic testing, the change in behavior was not without side effects. Restlessness, heart palpitations, insomnia, irritability and increased anxiety are a few.
  3. Treat ADHD With Caffeine Step 6
    Risk addiction. Studies of long term use of caffeine show that it is quite addictive. People who are ADHD and use caffeine as a treatment risk becoming addicted. In the event one decides to reduce intake or stop using caffeine, there are risks. Headaches are one of the withdraw symptoms. However, those who intake a lot of caffeine run the risk of having the shakes and the increased possibility of a heart attack. A reminder though that large amounts of caffeine have been proven to be ineffective. It is in limited quantities that caffeine can help manage ADHD.

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