Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

“There are many positives with ADD, including a surplus of ideas, creativity, excitement, and interest which accompany this kind of mind.” Sari Solden

Condition and Causes

Children who are prone to hyperactivity, are easily distracted and have poor concentration levels could have ADHD. Hyperactivity stands for the behavioural problems whilst attention deficit is about the learning problems. ADHD can start being a problem with children at a very young age. Affected children will be restless, constantly on the go, often clumsy and always seeking attention. They find it hard to sit still or concentrate on one task, so learn is often a challenge. The cause for this condition is unknown, there are different factors that can influence, such as genetics, stress, and diet.

Although ADHD is primarily a childhood disorder it can be found in adults as well. There is however a significant decline in ADHD as a person ages. In adults it is a more complex disorder, it manifests as a problem of self regulation rather than inability to pay attention or impulse control. Without this self control the adults inability to do tasks is impaired. The condition can learn to addiction in gambling, drinking, and infidelity.

Signs and symptoms

  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Clumsiness
  • Spontaneous behaviour
  • A need to be the centre of attention

Inattention symptoms

  • Does not pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes.
  • Has trouble keeping attention on activities
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to.
  • Does not follow though on instructions and fails to finish tasks.
  • Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to do tasks requiring sustain mental effort.
  • Loses things necessary to do tasks or activities.
  • Is easily distracted
  • Is forgetful in daily activities

Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour

  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in his or her seat.
  • Leaves his or her seat at times when remaining seated is necessary.
  • Feels restless or, as a child, inappropriately runs about or climbs excessively
  • Has difficulty taking part in leisure activities or quiet play.
  • Is on the go or acts as if driven
  • Talks excessively
  • Has difficulty awaiting his or her turn
  • Interrupts conversations or intrudes on other’s actions.

Medical Approach and Treatment

The type of medications used to treat ADHD are psycho-stimulants, the first choice is methyphenidate, which accounts for 90% of medications used for hyperactivity in children. These stimulants act on the parts of the brain involved in self-control. This helps focus attention and may also help filer out unnecessary information. They greatly improve concentration, impulse control and overactivity in 8 of every 10 children with ADHD. The common name for it is Ritalin. These medications are regulated and can only be prescribe by paediatrician, psychiatrists and neurologists.

Methyphenidate is related to amphetamines, so is addictive, and has side effects such as appetite suppression, insomnia and slowing growth. Less common side effects include stomach aches, headaches and dizziness and difficulty failing asleep. Occasionally a child treated with stimulant medication becomes irritable withdrawn or highly emotional.

Atomoxetine is a non-addictive medication that is also available, and in general it has less severe side effects. It can only be prescribe by specialist physicians.

Nutrition Approach and Treatment

Diet

Including in diet all fruits and vegetables (expect for those containing salicylates).

Include cold water fish such as tuna, salmon, herring in the diet. These are all good sources of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential fatty acid that is thought to be vital for brain development and is often deficient in those with ADHD.

Follow a high protein diet, similar to the one prescribed for hypoglycemia. Proteins are needed to supply the body with amino acids. There are some similarities between hypoglycemia and ADHD. A low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet, particularly at breakfast, should assist in reducing symptoms.

Use more complex carbohydrates rather than simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are found in fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, beans and natural whole grains. They provide dietary fiber and have only a third of the calories found in fats and simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates, such as glucose, fructose, and galactose are found in all forms of sugar, juices and refined grains.

Limit dairy products if there are behavioral changes once they are consumed. Dairy foods have been known to cause behavioral a problem in some ADHD suffers.

Remove all forms of refined sugar from the diet, and any products that contain it. Eliminate junk food and all foods that contain artificial colours, flavours, MSG, yeast, or preservatives; processed and manufactured foods. Remove all foods that contain salicylates such as almonds, apples, apricots, all berries, cherries, cucumbers, currants oranges, peaches, peppers, plums, prunes and tomatoes.

Don’t consume the following: apple cider vinegar, bacon, butter, candy, catsup, chocolate, colored cheeses, chili sauce, corn ham, hot dogs, luncheon meat, margarine, meat loaf, milk, mustard, pork, salami, salt, sausage, tea, wheat.

Avoid carbonated beverages, which contain large amounts of phosphates. Phosphate additives are responsible for hyperkinesis (exaggerated muscle activity).

Nutrients

Calcium and Magnesium has a calm effect and is essential to brain function.

Gamma-amino-butyric-acid (GABA) helps calms the body much in the same away as tranquilizers, without side effects or danger of addiction.

Multivitamin and mineral complex are needed for equilibrium within the body. Use a liquid form.

S-Adenosylmethiomine (SAMe) aids in relieving stress and depression, it is useful for ADHD

Lifestyle

Meditation and relaxation techniques to increase focus and concentration. Gentle exercises such as Yoga and Qi Gong can help balance the mind and body to allow calmness and stillness.

Herbs

Ginkgo biloba is helpful for brain function and concentration. It helps bring blood and oxygen to the brain.

Ginseng or mullein oil may be helpful for memory

Valerian root is helpful for this disorder with dramatic results and has no side effects. Mix alcohol free extract with fruit juice and drink two to three times a day.

Other herbs that are beneficial for hyperactivity include catnip, chamomile, gotu kola, hops, kava kava, lemon balm, licorice, lobelia, oats, passionflower, skullcap, St. John’s wort, thyme and wood betony.

Chamomile tea will help relax nerves.

Kava kava has been traditionally used as a nervine, a substance that balances the nervous system.

Lemon balm has a calming effect on nerves.

Kinesiology

Amygdala balance are the over activity in the brain could be related to primitive emotions.

Brain function balance can improve the way the nervous system works; focus on reasoning and clarity of thinking. It will balance the brain, mind and spirit.

Chakra hologram on crown and third eye chakras as imbalance in them causes problems with focus, concentration and mental function.

Cranial and Pelvic reflexes are important in integrating the head and pelvis which is crucial for survival and movement. This has a correlation with mental survival issues that could case ADHD.

Tonic Labyrinth reflexes can help because primitive reflex movements are important for brain development. If a reflex isn’t developed properly it will cause major brain integration problems. This in turn could cause ADHD.

Ghost points can be used to treat ADHD since it treats mental instability. See Appendix.

Homeopathy

Gelsenium can relieve symptoms of ADHD.

Ignatia can help alleviate anger or temper tantrums

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