Fish oil capsules: Best brand? Alternative to medicine?

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    • #40155
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      This discussion was originally started by user kamos in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.

       

      My son does not like taking the prescription medicines dues to the side effects he has with them.  I am trying fish oil vitamins as an alternative but have not found the right one yet.  OmegaBrite gave him fish burps.  Nordic Naturals gave him gas.  SO I’m in search of another option for fish oil.  Any recommendations would be great.

    • #40664
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user cmullen17 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I give my son NatureMade, but not as an alternative. Fish oil alone doesn’t make a difference for him.

    • #40665
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user mjsmom73 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      We have been giving my daughter prescription meds for 3 years and have finally given up on them. We tried to accept the rebound at night and side effects as well as we could but our daughter just does not seem happy on them. They make her irritable and much more sensitive to stimuli. (She has also been diagnosed with developmental coordination disorder and sensory issues). She was having to take medication to help her sleep and medication to make her eat. The ADHD medication was also increasing her anxiety. We finally decided the side effects were not worth the increase in focus for her. The medication also did not do much to help with impulse control.

      We are now giving her fish oil (to help with her focus). We have been giving her Barlean’s liquid fish oil (lemon flavored) but she does not like the taste anymore. Since she is almost 12, we are starting to give her the capsules instead so she does not have to taste them.

      https://www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/fish-oil-softgels-100-barleans.html?afd_number=27141&gclid=CJ_mk5f53dECFYK2wAodJuYExw

      We have also been giving her magnesium to help with anxiety and sleep issues and zinc to help with impulse control (we are giving her a low dose since we know too much zinc can lead to toxicity). She takes a daily vitamin (gummies that do not include iron) so we also give her an iron supplement to help improve behavior.

      We are also trying essential oils. We get ours from Spark Naturals (Jeddy’s Blend for the ADHD/anxiety symptoms—not exactly cheap but cheaper and lasts longer per month than her prescription ADHD medication) and lavender to help with relaxation and sleep.

      Here is an article I found at the ADDitude website regarding helpful supplements for ADHD. You might have already seen it:

      https://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/29/slide-1.html

      Note: We are also implementing mindfulness exercises, employing the sensory diet recommended by her OT, and enjoying having our happy girl back. She still shows definite signs of ADHD/SPD but the supplements, mindfulness exercises, and essential oils seem to be helping while not making her as irritable, agitated, anxious, and best of all they aren’t starving her or interfering with her sleep.

      We have a high deductible health plan also, so the supplements are much more cost effective than the outrageous price of the medication (over $260/per month for the generic for both the stimulant and appetite increasing medications until we reach our deductible). I did a cost-benefit analysis and the new regime we are trying to put into place is around $60/month for the vitamins/supplements/essential oils).

      Good luck to you!

    • #40667
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user kamos in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Thank you for the recommendations. I will definitely check them out and see how they work for him.

      mjsmom73: Do you use the essential oils on her skin or put them in a diffuser?

    • #40668
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user mjsmom73 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      We put the essential oils in a roller bottle and then put them on the soles of the feet and/or back of the neck. The Jeddy’s Blend does have a bit of a distinctive aroma (not necessarily bad, but noticeable) The lavender has to be put in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. It is not supposed to be used full strength. The Jeddy’s oil comes already blended but can be transferred to a roll on bottle with a pipette. They can both be diffused as well.

      Here is the kind of roll on bottle we use:

      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX0JRU8?psc=1

      And here are the pipettes:
      https://www.amazon.com/Piping-Rock-Health-Products-Pipette/dp/B00MYMB2D6/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1485399156&sr=1-4&keywords=pipettes+for+essential+oils

      Take care.

    • #40669
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      The key to fish oil to improve ADHD symptoms is that it requires a high dose, 4-5 times higher than typical children’s fish oil supplement doses.

      I never found an over-the-counter fish oil supplement to help my son (tried many over 8 years). Vayarin didn’t help either. I discovered Equazen Pro several months ago and it actually seems to help some (in conjunction with medication).

      Here’s what ADHD experts have to say about fish oil:

      https://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/23/slide-5.html
      https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10493.html (sidebar).

      You can see the variety of dosage recommendations even among ADHD specialists.

      Penny
      ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #40670
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user Pdxlaura in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Fish oils actually made my son’s symptoms worse. Just an FYI.

    • #40671
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user Dr. Eric in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I use cheap ones, but freeze them.

      It helps with the fish burps.

      I use mine with my meds, not instead of…

    • #40672
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user mjsmom73 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      So far, I have seen the same effect with what we have been using (Magnesium, Fish Oil, Zinc) for focus and calmness that I saw with the ultra expensive medication(s). We went through several different kinds and finally decided the side effects and price are just not worth it. I am sure the medications work well for many kids, but our daughter must be one of the ones that does not tolerate stimulants well.

      My husband hated the fact that we had to give her more medicine (medication to help her sleep and medication to stimulate her appetite) to counteract the effects of the original medicine. It is so nice to see her eating again. We are still working on the sleep issues, but the mindfulness exercises seem to be helping her to recognize her emotions better and how to use her breath to help calm herself.

      When on the medication, she was so rigid that she did not want to even do the mindfulness exercises. Now she sees that they are helpful. She is much more pleasant to be around off the medication than when she was on it. I can finally tell my daughter a joke without her bursting into tears that I am making fun of her. We can go up and give her a hug and she will hug us back instead of getting upset. She is much more fun to be around.

      Perhaps the ADHD is secondary to the anxiety and that is the difference. All I know is that it is nice to have my kid back.

    • #40674
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user RangerRon in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Hi,

      My wife is a naturopathic doctor. She’s had us on Nordic Naturals and more recently a brand by the name of Pharmax called “FINEST PURE FISH OIL”. My wife has researched A LOT of companies. While Nordic is probably the best quality, even with her wholesale price the Pharmax is more sustainable for the doses that we all take and give the kids in a month. I have pretty severe adhd and my 5yo son is the spitting image of me. While I don’t think the fish oil has helped calm him and provide more focus, I do believe that it has helped him with his learning and memory. Both him and his 3yo sister are the most verbose and polite children in their classes. We are constantly being complimented on our kids behavior, manors, and the way they talk at a higher level than most toddlers.

      Every night they get fish oil and probiotics. They take the fish oil straight, not in capsules. They actually come running to the kitchen when I yell for them to come get their “meds”. I swear it’s like an old Ovaltine commercial the way they get excited.

    • #40676
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user Traquy in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      mjsmom73, I was just wondering if you had tried a NON stimulant ADHD med? My 9 yr old daughter was so bad she was in a self contained classroom part time in 2nd and 3rd grade and was not responding to the non-medication interventions. Once I finally decided to talk to her pediatrician about medication he immediately said he would NOT give her stimulants as they would make her anxiety worse and her already small appetite worse, as well as cause more sleeping problems. We put her on a low dose (2mg) time release of Intuniv (generic Guanfacine) which is one pill in the morning and that’s it. No appetite problems, LESS anxiety, better sleep and this year as a 4th grader she is in mainstream class full time. Her teacher said she would never know my daughter was in a self contained classroom if we hadn’t told her. She does still need direction in class and has a hard time staying on task but it is SO.MUCH.BETTER. It’s really changed her life. I’m happy you are having success with your interventions, I just wanted to put it out there that there are other options to stimulants.

    • #40677
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user kamos in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      We have not tried the non stimulant ADHD medicine. I will definitely look into that as an option. Thank you for this information.

    • #40678
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user mjsmom73 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      We have tried a non-stimulant medication (Strattera) and it did not help at all. We were getting frustrated with the stimulant (it did help some but not that much) and then having to give her more medications to offset the side effects. She is more energetic now, but at least she is more pleasant to be around (not irritable, not having to force her to eat, sleeping better, and the stimulant also seemed to increase not only her anxiety but her sensory issues, as well).

      From what I understand, Strattera works well for inattention but our daughter has the combined type. The Strattera was like giving her nothing. Also the stimulants do nothing to help with impulse control. We find the mindfulness to be helping with that and also really decreasing screen time.

      We are fortunate in that we are able to homeschool, so she does not have to deal with all the distractions of public school and she is not a distraction to the other kids while she is learning to cope with her symptoms. I am a former public school teacher so I have experience teaching kids (even though that is not a requirement to homeschool). I can put my own accommodations into place without having to deal with the red tape in the public school system and fighting to make sure they are followed by the school system. I know homeschooling is not for every one and every one has to do what is best in their situation, but it really is what works best for us and our pediatrician agrees.

      Good luck!

    • #40679
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user Traquy in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I know each child is very different in respect to meds working or not, but if trying a non-stimulant might work then really there is nothing to lose. We got lucky and it only took 1 dosage change for my daughter to see a big change. She took the immediate release (regular) 1mg twice a day at first but it was causing her to be sleepy and irritable in the afternoons, however we saw improvement in the morning at school so after a few weeks we decided to try the time release and it’s worked like a charm. She also is hyperactive, but her biggest problem was her “fast brain” and impulse control. That is where we have seen the most improvement, in her ability to think twice about things rather than just pounce and regret it later.

      It may not work, but it could be worth a try. Our generic is $26 for a 60 day supply with insurance, I am not sure what it is without insurance.

    • #40681
      Allison Russo
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user bremom in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I can’t speak to effectiveness vs. other fish oils or meds, etc., but if getting your child to take it at all is an issue, try Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish Oil. It truly tastes like a smoothie. Available in Kids and Adult formulas, it comes in different flavors like Lemonade, Key Lime, and more. It does need to be refrigerated. The Kids version has EPA/DHA 360 per teaspoon, not sure of adult dose but you can check it out at barleans.com. I bought it at a local health food store. Best of luck!

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