Diet and Medical Resources: ADD/ADHD Information

Healthy living is not just about eating healthy, but is rather about knowing as much as possible about some common conditions with which we will likely have contact.  Knowing all we can about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can help if you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed.  To promote healthy living and education, we have created the resource below.

What Is ADD/ADHD

ADHD affects a significant amount of the population, and is closely tied with lifestyle early in life. While there is no single cause of ADHD many things can contribute. Apathetic parenting has been known to lead to ADHD like symptoms. Several biological causes have been identified, especially during pregnancy and breast feeding. Even today however there is no one-size-fits all way to describe what causes individuals to exhibit this order, nor a specific treatment that works for all those who suffer from it.

Symptoms

As the name may indicate, hyperactivity, and attention deficit are leading indicators of who suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. That said there are different ways individuals may exhibit this condition. Some individuals mainly suffer from short attention spans, which result in lesser understanding of topics, and lower test scores. Others may seem generally hyper active but appear to, or even be able to, pay attention for certain periods, making it difficult to diagnose.

  • ADHD Symptoms – How to see what symptoms might exhibit ADHD from healthy kids.
  • The Symptoms of ADHD – A list of symptoms of ADHD from the CDC.
  • ADHD – A list of the symptoms from NIMH.
  • Kids and ADHD – What to look for in children that may exhibit ADHD.
  • ADHD & Diet – How some symptoms of ADHD may be brought upon by diet.

Causes

There is no specific cause of ADHD. That said there are many things that seem to contribute to ADHD. Smoking, or doing other illicit drugs, while pregnant is a known factor in increasing the likely hood of ADHD. Environmental causes are definitely a factor. Children who are raised in unstable environments are far more prone to suffer from ADHD. Television, and video game uses, in part because of the frequent pausing of or changing of subject matter, are also a known factor.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis ADHD is not an easy decision. Youth in general do not necessarily have high attention spans and that is quite natural. Learning how to pay attention is a part of growing up. Misdiagnosis is increasingly a problem both for those diagnosed inappropriately, their acquaintances and family, as well as physicians who are unsure where exactly to draw the line and begin treatment. In general the current consensus is that non-prescription treatments should be started early, and that ADHD medication is probably over prescribed.

Treatments

The most common treatment for ADHD is, ironically, stimulants. Individuals who have ADHD frequently are able to better focus, and exhibit far less hyperactivity when administered stimulants, especially Ritalin. In some cases different parenting styles, and behavioral correction have shown some success. In many cases also making dietary changes has great decreased ADHD symptoms.

Effects From Different Diets

As mentioned diet can have a great deal of impact on ADHD. Certainly many have heard their grandmothers caution against too much sugar or caffeine, especially late in the day, but that’s more than just a folk tale when it comes to ADHD. There are actually a number of diets that work to curb ADHD symptoms. Some of these seem to work better for different cultures.

Risk Factors

As there is no one single cause of ADHD, there’s also not a specific thing that puts people at risk for ADHD. Too much television can bring about ADHD, but many children and adults who arguably watch far too much television do not exhibit ADHD symptoms. There are bad diets that seem to increase the risk of ADHD, but not everyone who eats like this exhibits ADHD. Smoking during pregnancy definitely increases ADHD risk, but not all mothers who do so give birth to children with ADHD. These factors are controllable and especially in families with a history of the disorder should be avoided.

  • ADHD & Television – Ways that excess television induces ADHD in children.
  • Prenatal Smoking – How smoking during pregnancy increases children’s risk of ADHD.
  • Do pesticides cause ADHD? – Science links some pesticides with areas that have a higher incidence of ADHD.
  • At Risk for ADHD – What makes kids more susceptible to ADHD onset?
  • Beyond ADHD – Other health and social problems that can affect persons coping with ADHD.

How ADD/ADHD Affects Normal Life

ADHD affects the whole life of an individual. A conversation with a new acquaintance can seem interesting at one moment, and aloof the next. Learning is severely impacted as those with ADHD often do now pay attention to a topic long enough to digest its importance. Further learning instructions can be quickly forgotten or ignored by ADHD sufferers. For the same reasons ADHD can affect job performance.

ADD/ADHD Support

When it began to be diagnosed many people were skeptical of ADHD. Even today this skepticism prevails in many places, but today there are also groups to help those with ADHD cope. Further there are support groups that help the families and friends of those with ADHD recognize symptoms, and help ADHD sufferers live more normal lives.