I am posting this because there has to be someone else out there this may help. I have hope right now for my teen and I want to share this. I can't tell you how happy I am right now. We still have a long road I'm sure, and we have had a tremendous number of ups and downs over the years. We tried everything, stims, non stims with stims, sensory integration therapy, speech therapy, etc., etc.
My teen has been on various ADHD medication for his confirmed ADHD since around age 9. They would work for a little while, then he'd have problems with side effects. He was on Vyvanse the longest and we took him off at the end of middle school due to severe weight loss, severe mood swings, and other side effects. He has struggled in 9th grade with both disruptive behavior and grades, so we decided to try a new stimulant (evekeo)). Worked well for first two months, got a positive email from one of his teachers instead of the usual negative ones. His grades improved. Things were looking up. After around two months, however, my son became very moody. Depressed one minute then very angry the next. Very easily irritated. Yelling profanity at the slightest thing, slamming his fists on a desk or kicking the wall. You could see the anger, the stress in his face. We walked on eggshells. Very unhappy household, breaking me down, very depressing to see him struggle so. Ready to stop the stim med and take him off for good, didn't care if grades plummeted.
My son used to take Epsom salt baths for the magnesium but had stopped months before. I decided to pick up some whole food magnesium powder (Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods, Mother's, Amazon) and bought Epsom Salt. I gave him a teaspoon of the powder in his juice every morning. I have never used the magnesium powder before. Within days, his mood improved. Ten days later, I asked him how he was feeling. He said, "Happy. I feel happy." I had to hold it together to not burst out in tears. He's not angry. He's not yelling. He's acting like he's happy...he's smiling... he seems relaxed, he's easy to be around. Please keep in mind that although it looks like I am saying the magnesium powder is a magic bullet, I am not. What I am saying is that is was the one thing he was missing--it is my understanding that the stimulant medication (bear with my layman terms descriptions of this, I don't know the correct way to put the terminology together) can deplete serotonin and dopamine. The synthesis of dopamine requires magnesium. The body needs magnesium to create neurotransmitters. ADHD is a breakdown in that neurotransmitter communication. Deficiencies need to be balanced and corrected as well in order for it all to work together to help your child be the best they can be.
Take in consideration the following. Those with ADHD and ADD all have some metabolic differences, nutritional deficiencies, oxidative stress, and neurotransmitter disruption. My son has the MTHFR gene mutation. His labs show high levels of oxidative stress, previous anemia, previously low vitamin D levels, and hypoglycemia. He takes a carnitine supplement for low carnitine and supplements to correct low glutathione. So, we still have a lot of work to do with antioxidants and balancing amino acids. He had sensory issues very early in life and in turn we battle over his desire for a refined diet. On the weekend, I barter video games with smoothies filled with greens, berries, and more. I have supplemented him since he was 2 with fish oil.
My bottom line is, if your child/teen is having mood swings or any of the behavior I described whether on a stimulant medication or not, consider magnesium. Try Epsom Salt baths, one cup a day. Or the magnesium powder. I did both. Now, just the powder. Nutritional deficiencies typically seen in ADHD/ADD need to be corrected to prevent a breakdown in the neurotransmitter communication and that means: fish oil, vitamin D3, testing for low iron, adding zinc, methylated B vitamins, specifically B6 and B12, methyl folate (not folic acid) and correcting gut microbiome. There are recommendations all over this board for methylated multi-vitamins. My son takes fish oil twice a day. DHA and EPA and Krill oil.
I hope that if some parent out there recognizes their child in my story that this will be helpful to you. I can't tell you the relief and happiness we feel right now to see my son in better spirits, and to even see him be more confident on the field in sports. We all just want them to be the best they can be. Something clicked and it appears for him, after everything I was doing, the stim med is now benefiting him as long as he is being supplemented with magnesium to keep those neurotransmitters communicating they way they should.