While medication may be part of a successful treatment plan, individuals often do better when medication is combined with additional integrative care. 

From an integrative point of view, there are two main underlying mechanisms believed to be contributing to ADHD: 

1.) neurotransmitter imbalances (low dopamine and norepinephrine)

 2.) neuroinflammation.

When exploring the root of these two imbalances, it's important to examine:

Genetics & Epigenetics

The development of ADHD is a complex interplay between genetics and the environment. A child with a parent who has ADHD has more than a 50% chance of developing ADHD and a 30% chance of developing ADHD if an older sibling has it. However, genetics is not the only factor. EPIGENETICS is the concept that our environment influences the functionality of our genes, and where we place most of our focus. 


Micronutrients are the building blocks for our neurotransmitters. When imbalanced, these micronutrients can further contribute to neurotransmitter imbalances found in ADHD. Nutrients most well recognized in the treatment of ADHD include: zinc, copper, magnesium, vitamin D, B6, iron, and omega 3’s. 


There is increasing evidence that inflammation plays a role in the development of ADHD. This risk begins as early as pregnancy, with maternal inflammation from infection, autoimmunity, asthma, obesity, stress, and other factors increasing the risk for ADHD in the offspring. Other studies have found increased cytokines (inflammatory molecules) in those with ADHD and have shown that neuroinflammation impacts the dopaminergic system (the main neurotransmitter system involved in the pathogenesis of ADHD). 

Gut Health

There is a clear connection between the gut and the brain. The gut has actually been found to have its own nervous system, which creates neurotransmitters and communicates information to the brain along the vagus nerve. The nervous system within the gut is highly affected by the bacteria within the gut (aka the microbiome), and there is increasing evidence to support poor gut health as a contributing factor to psychiatric and behavioral disorders. 

Environmental Toxicity

Children are much more susceptible to the damage of environmental toxins than adults, and brain injury can occur at much lower doses. The following toxins have been linked to increased risk of ADHD when exposed in utero or during early childhood.


Our modern-day Western diet is full of inflammatory oils, sugar, and artificial colorings, all of which have been implicated in the aggravation of ADHD symptoms. We recommend a whole foods-based diet with ample amounts of protein and fat and low to moderate intake of carbohydrates in order to regulate blood sugar throughout the day. Food sensitivities can also aggravate ADHD symptoms, especially in the case of gluten sensitivity. Food sensitivities are different than allergies and can be tested with a simple finger prick in office. 


Exercise can be an extremely powerful tool to improve focus, behavior, social interactions, cognitive function, and mood in children with ADHD. These effects can be realized immediately after an episode of exercise, but are amplified when long-term consistent exercise is put into practice. 

Screen Time

Increased screen-time is associated with worse problems with inattentiveness. Media viewed on screens bombards the nervous system with signals, and individuals with ADHD are sensitive to this overstimulation. 

It’s important to remember…

ADHD is not due to a deficiency of medication. 

Diet, micronutrients, sleep, inflammation, and lifestyle factors all play a pivotal role in attention and impulse control.