Attention deficit - hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children.It often persists into adulthood and is marked by difficulty focusing attention, controlling impulsive actions and or excess activity.
While many of these behaviors are normal for children, as they continue to persist they can become problematic for the child and their school and home environments.With regular development a child will outgrow many of these symptoms but in many cases ADHD symptoms will accompany them into adulthood.
Common Signs of ADHD
Forget things often
Lose things often
Difficulty resisting temptation and impulsive behavior
Continuous movement, fidgeting
Difficulty getting along with others
Causes of ADHD
The exact causes of ADHD aren’t well understood.Genetics, or family history, tend to play a role.Other possible areas include brain injuries, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, low birth weight and other environmental exposures during pregnancy or infancy.
While a direct link between commonly held notions that cause ADHD (too much sugar, poor family environment, poor parenting, too much screen time) have not been established, there is no doubt that these factors worsen ADHD greatly.
ADHD symptoms will worsen in an environment (physical and nutritional) that doesn’t completely support efficient cognitive (brain) functioning.Sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep and poor nutrition will worsen ADHD.Given the proper support, a person with ADHD can function at a higher level and may be able to bridge some of their symptoms over time.
Physical activity should be done daily; it causes the brain to release dopamine; amounts of dopamine are lower in the brains of people with ADHD; additionally the medication for ADHD also stimulates more dopamine release. Exercise will have an eventual calming and focusing effect for people with ADHD.
Environment:A clean, calm and orderly environment are helpful so that the person with ADHD doesn’t have to engage as deeply to find lost items, or to remember to do certain things. Clutter and chaos don’t have a calming effect for anyone!
Sleep is notoriously difficult in people with ADHD.Pulling out all the stops to ensure a good night’s sleep are important so the brain can reset and function the next day as smoothly as possible.Poor sleep will greatly worsen ADHD.Sleep Easyand Melatonin P.Rare both safe, non-habit forming sleep options for people of all ages.
Screen time volume is associated with greater incidence of ADHD.While the relationship is difficult to understand, researchers do know that kids with ADHD will tend to spend more time in front of screens.It goes without saying that limiting screen time is beneficial for every single one of us.
While a healthy diet is considered important for all aspects of health, we often find that the brain is neglected as part of the overall health picture.The brain consumes nearly 30% of the calories we consume, making it directly susceptible to the type and quality of foods that are eaten.A high protein & fat diet with complex carbohydrates (vegetables) will keep blood sugars balanced and diminish the negative effects of processed foods on cognition.An important place to look into for optimal diet are food sensitivities; foods that set off an immune response may further drive anxiety, insomnia, inattention and hyperactivity.
Forgetfulness is a common symptom of ADHD.Memory formula provides 11 of the top clinically effective botanical medicines and nutrients for enhancing memory naturally.Here’s how it works.
Zinc is a nutrient that tends to be lower in children with ADHD; supplementation with zinc has been shown to be helpful in reducing hyperactivity and impulsivity, but not necessarily inattentiveness.
Essential fatty acids (omega-3 fats) have shown promise in a number of studies to have beneficial effects on several ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity, visual learning, attention, working/short term memory and impulsivity.
Taking the above steps has been shown to be extremely helpful for the patients we’ve seen in clinic and our own children.Prescription medications can be helpful but not everyone tolerates them well.Using the above is a good foundational approach to try first before going right to medication; these modalities may decrease or even eliminate the need for prescription medications in many people with ADHD.