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Monday, November 28, 2011

medication side effects

Whether you have ADHD, depression, bipolar, anxiety, and/or any other medical/psychiatric condition you've probably had to deal with side effects. Sometimes these side effects can be remedied by self-care strategies. For instance, if the side effect is increased thirst can be helped by drinking more water. I found this side effect actually useful because it forces me to drink more water everyday. Most of us with various diagnoses tend to not practice good self care strategies anyways. Most of us tend to not drink enough water, eat enough [alternatively overeat] and/or healthily, lack sleep or get too much sleep, lack exercise, get enough down time, or listen to our bodies. We often have lives that are out of balance, relationship issues and too much stress.

When we finally get treatment for our diagnoses, we start to obtain the tools to start fixing this lack of self-care. So if you have been drinking 1 or 2 glasses of water a day for years and all of a sudden the meds you're taking makes you thirsty...Maybe that's a good thing. You will need to eat foods to provide the meds and your brain the substrates to make the neurotransmitters. Considering neurotransmitters are primarily made of amino acids the building blocks of proteins, it makes since to get enough protein in your diet. Fish oil or other omega-3 fatty acid supplements are useful because the myelin sheathes that insulate your neurons are made from omega-3 fatty acids. These myelin sheathes have gaps called nodes of Ranveir, which allows the electrical impulses to travel down the axon of the neurons at a reasonable speed. Multivitamin/mineral provides your brain with the various materials that your body needs to allow your enzymes and other biological processes to occur. Also make sure you eat a well balanced diet with enough healthy carbs, vitamins, minerals and an assortment of other good stuff. All of these things can help the meds work better and reduce the side effects.

Then there are things like sleep, exercise, stress management and other good things to remember. Even people without a diagnosis have trouble functioning when they don't get enough sleep. If you don't get enough sleep when you have a diagnosis or more, you can't expect yourself to function any better. If you have sleep issues, find out what they are and get them treated. Exercise helps clean body out and gets your blood moving. It is said to be one of the best stimulants and antidepressants around, so if you can exercise. This will make your meds more effective and make it possible to reduce the amount you need to take.  Stress management can take on many different forms including meditation, therapy, life/ADHD coaching, strategies, support groups, managing your other medical conditions, getting support, focusing on the positive and your strengths, and so forth. Lastly, other good things to remember include staying hydrated, don't get overheated, don't get too cold, getting as much rest as possible when sick, know allergies can make your condition worse and effect the effectiveness of the meds, when hypoxic [low oxygen] or hypoglycemic/hyperglycemic [low blood sugar/high blood sugar] your conditions/symptoms will be worse.

You can develop strategies and systems to reduce the side effects/symptoms that involve good self-care. An ADD/ADHD or life coach can help with this. If you'd to find out more about ADD/ADHD coaching, feel free to email me at sarah.gogstetter@gmail.com. I can help you even if you have additional diagnoses to ADD/ADHD. Email me and we can set up a free, complementary session.

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