Tania Melnyczuk

Study notes

My Study Notes record what I am learning. They're mostly about molecular and cell biology. They reflect my knowledge and understanding at the time, and are subject to extensive revision.

What do you take for ADHD?

What do you take for ADHD?

Someone recently asked this, and there’s no short answer, really; and it’s not just about what you take. But for what it’s worth, here goes:

I have ADHD and I am no longer able to take methylphenidate (typical tradenames: Ritalin, Concerta). Also, ADHD used to have a fantastic wonderful spontaneous and hyperactive fun side for me, but that has now turned to lethargic sludge.

Besides a low carbohydrate diet, some of the most important things for me are Vitamin D (I was extremely deficient a year ago, in spite of daily supplementation) and B vitamins — especially biotin, folate (not folic acid) and methylcobalamin. Phosphatidylcholine is essential for me, and so is taurine. These things keep me employed. Obviously, I do try to get them in through diet too.

I take quite an expensive Omega 3 supplement which my doctor insists on for improving membrane health in the long term.

Sometimes I also take acetyl-l-carnitine (essential also for depression, although I don’t have that) and phosphatidylserine.

These are all typical deficiencies in many people with ADHD.

I’m postmenopausal and I have an oestrogen deficiency for which I get treatment, and I am mildly intolerant to salicylates/phenols — that’s also typical in some cases of ADHD.

I also try to drink more coffee. I realise that people with too much cortisol may need to take caffeine in combination with theanine for a less jittery effect, but I don’t have high cortisol.

Magnesium is super important for sleep, sensory issues and a bunch of other things. Because of poor gut health, I become deficient quite quickly, so I regularly supplement with magnesium glycinate and also do several things to improve intestinal absorption.

Phosphatidylcholine is actually one of my favourite things, but it’s obviously not just a one-step fix. ADHD is an umbrella term for a variety of things and several of the abovementioned measures may or may not be relevant in your case.


In bed with ADHD