Dr. Greger Agrees – A Drug-Free Remedy For ADHD

Dr. Greger Agrees – A Drug-Free Remedy For ADHD

I am against routine drugging of children diagnosed with ADHD as a first course of action. This can seem unusual. After all, the big money and the advertising campaigns are on the other side. The medical schools are teaching the drug-remedy philosophy. Insurance doesn’t pay for the full diagnosis and testing required to truly determine the source of ADHD symptoms.

When I find another practitioner who looks beyond the idea that a diagnosis of ADHD means giving the child one of the ADHD drugs, I feel that I should share.

I came across an article from Michael Greger, M.D. on the website Care2.com. He’s in favor of exercise for a young person who’s received an ADHD diagnosis. He said it works immediately to create beneficial effects, while the drugs take an hour or longer to work. He points out that the drugs have severe – even life-threatening side effects. Well, exercise has side effects too – but they are all beneficial. Exercise also improves mood, immunity, one’s ability to think and learn and of course, one’s fitness.

As far as I know, these drugs don’t have any beneficial side effects.

Instead, they have effects like these (a combined list from Ritalin and Adderall):


  • Increased heart rate

  • Chest pain

  • Fever

  • Joint pain

  • Blood in urine or stool

  • Blurred vision

  • Convulsions

  • Dry, flaking skin

  • Muscle cramps

  • Confusion

  • Uncontrolled vocal outbursts or tics

  • Swelling of the skin

  • Depression

  • Hives

  • Diarrhea

  • Low back pain

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Dizziness

  • Inability to move the arms, legs or facial muscles

  • Hallucinations

  • Shortness of breathDr. Greger Agrees - Wellness Chiropractic

  • Bladder pain

  • Weight loss

  • Stomach pain

  • Yellow skin or eyes

  • Tiredness or weakness

  • Muscle spasms or jerking of all extremities

  • Unusual behavior (that one is frighteningly vague)


That’s not even the whole list. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I would not give my child a drug with these side effects unless he or she was almost certain to die without it. The risks are far too high.

So I’m back to Dr. Greger’s recommendation. Exercise helps almost everyone. School physical fitness programs are not as common as they used to be and many teachers and parents feel they are not being taught effectively. Changing the school system is not an immediate solution, so families need to take up the slack. Plan family outings where your kids have to get active – hiking, ice skating, running 5K races, swimming at the beach. Make it a priority. If you build this consciousness into your daily life, your children will get an education on exercise without even noticing.

If you start this early in your children’s lives, you may eliminate the possibility of a future ADHD diagnosis. And if doctors or teachers are already telling you your child suffers from ADHD symptoms, you may be able to prevent the drugging of your child by getting him or her exercising frequently.

While I endorse exercise in this situation, I have found many times that there are also other factors present in an ADHD diagnosis. By addressing problems like nutritional deficiencies, allergies or hidden health conditions, you may see the end of any problem with behavior or attention in the classroom. Contact me to learn more.





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Wellness Chiropractic
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Ballwin, MO 63011
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