Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)What is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

ADD and ADHD are considered as behavioral disorders that can affect both adult and children, although most cases occur in school-aged kids. An estimate of 8% – 10% of children suffers from this condition. Boys are more susceptible to suffer from the condition than girls, the reason for which has not yet been fully explained. Some children affected by ADHD are able to overcome it when they reach puberty, but there are a number who continue to suffer from such even in adulthood. These children are inattentive and overactive. They are also impulsive and find it hard to concentrate or focus on a certain subject.

 

What Causes ADD/ADHD?

Various factors contribute to the development of ADD and ADHD. Children and adults alike may experience the condition as brought about by a number of causes.

The following are the most common causes:

  • Brain dysfunction. When the brain is not functioning properly, information may not be processed correctly and the brain would also have a hard time sending signals to various parts of the body that would bring the right behavior or response to certain stimuli.
  • Frequent ear infections. A child who always suffers from ear infection is most likely to develop ADD or ADHD due to a partial hearing loss brought about by complications in the middle ear. The child is misses verbal cues and lacks the ability to develop the proper response to an adult voice.
  • Brain trauma. When the brain experiences severe bumps or trauma, some areas often get affected and no longer function properly, which could lead to the manifestations of symptoms of ADD or ADHD.
  • Food allergies. Studies have shown that when one is allergic to certain foods, it creates a response on the body such as irritability and hyperactivity.
  • Genetic influences could lead to ADD and ADHD as well. Children whose families have a history of ADHD are likely to develop the same.
  • Exposure to drugs while inside the mother’s womb. Drugs could affect the formation of the baby, which could later create problems in behavior.
  • Environmental toxins like lead and food additives accumulate in the vital organs of the body, which could disrupt their normal functions and could cause learning disability, impaired intelligence, and hyperactivity.
  • Erratic blood sugar levels. Swings in blood sugar levels could lead to erratic behavior and confusion.
  • Nutrient depletion. This is the most important factor that could cause ADD or ADHD. In fact, in various treatment methods for the condition, nutritional supplementation has been very promising.

Even in the mother’s womb, a baby needs adequate nutrients in order for her brain to develop properly. Essential fatty acids are needed such as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Children who lack these nutrients often develop ADD or ADHD. In fact, studies have shown that children who were supplemented with DHA have higher IQ levels and have stronger learning abilities compared to their counterparts.

 

Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of ADHD and ADD

A health professional must diagnose ADD and ADHD properly. It mainly affects the behavior of the person and must be treated at the earliest possible time.

Some of the common signs and symptoms are:

  • Knocking one’s head repeatedly
  • Manifests behavior that could destroy oneself
  • Tantrums, impatience, and emotional instability
  • Easily distracted, forgetful, and absentminded
  • Cannot sit still even for a short period of time
  • Extremely clumsy
  • Easily disturbed in sleep
  • Has an average or above average intelligence yet fails school

 

Remedies, Treatment and Cure for ADHD

Nutrition

Good nutrition is one of the things that you can do in order to combat ADHD. An intake of essential fatty acids like Omega 3 found in fish oils could help a lot. Flax oil can be a good source of Omega 3 as well. Vitamin E and oil found in lecithin or soy must be included in the daily diet.

Nutritional Suggestions

  • Identify foods that could cause allergies. Some common foods that cause allergies are chocolate, dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, oranges.
  • Check for heavy metal toxicity.
  • Dairy-free diets can improve ADD and ADHD conditions
  • Eat 5-6 times a day to avoid low blood sugar, which actually causes aggressive and hyperactive behavior. Combine protein and carbohydrates, and as much as possible, look for fresh organic produce. Prefer whole grains like brown rice and oats.
  • Do not indulge in foods and drinks that have artificial colorings or sweeteners. Avoid anything with preservatives since these could worsen ADD and ADHD
  • Remove gluten and dairy products from diet since these could aggravate food allergies that could eventually lead to ADD and ADHD.
  • Caffeine and other stimulants must be avoided, along with alcoholic beverages.

 

Diet for ADD and ADHD

Diet plays a very important role in helping overcome the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

Here are some highly recommended foods to include in your diet:

  • Eat plenty of fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna. They have high amounts of fish oil and could provide you with DHA and EPA.
  • Have some well-boiled legumes and beans. Peas, lentils, soya, fish, and all types of shellfish can be good. Dairy can be included as long as there is no sensitivity to it.
  • Make soya products as substitute for dairy. If there is sensitivity to soya, nut, goat’s milk or rice milk could be substitutes as well.
  • Choose cereals and grains. Make sure they are gluten-free like cereals, flours, millet, buckwheat, cornmeal, maize, potato, soy, and rice.
  • Opt for low salicylate fruits like apple, banana, pomegranates, and peeled pear. Moderate salicylate fruits include red delicious apple, lemon, fresh figs, mango, loquat, banana, persimmon, and tamarillo.
  • Eat low salicylate vegetables like cabbages, choko, celery, bamboo shoots, lettuces, and Swedes. Mushroom, fresh asparagus, fresh or boiled beetroot, cauliflower, carrots, corns, onion, marrows, turnip, kumara, cooked unpeeled potatoes, pumpkin, rhubarb, yams, and spinach are good too.
  • Have more of fish and flax oils, borage oil, safflower, evening primrose oil, and cold pressed unheated oil. When stir frying, use a small amount only of olive oil.
  • Eat white cheese and cottage cheese. Have rice milk, goat’s milk, and yogurt.

Foods to Avoid

  • Cheese and other processed meats must be avoided since they are high in phosphates.
  • Avoid oats, pasta, barley, wheat, and rye because they are rich in gluten. Test for gluten sensitivity just to be sure.
  • Sugar should also be avoided since there is a relationship between hyperactivity behavior and its consumption. It could also result to intestinal candida, which has symptoms like that of ADD and ADHD.
  • Avoid processed carbohydrates like desserts, cakes, sweets, and biscuits. Use alternative sweeteners such as honey, palm sugar, and beet sugar. You can use molasses as well.
  • Minimize intake of these fruits: avoicado, Granny Smith and Jonathan apples, watermelon, kiwifruit, berries, passionfruit, guava, grapefruit, grapes, oranges, mandarins, and tomatoes.
  • Vinegar should be avoided too as this is high is salicylates and may result to an aggressive behavior.
  • Steer clear of olives, radishes, chillies, pickled vegetables, especially cucumber, broad beans, eggplant, canned asparagus, and watercress.
  • Avoid peanuts like almonds and water chestnuts.
  • Steer clear of other vinegars, Worcestershire sauce, Marmite, tomato sauce, curry, and mustard.
  • Avoid sodas, canned and processed meats, instant soups and puddings.

 

Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs for ADD and ADHD

  • Take magnesium, zinc or iron supplements since deficiencies of these minerals can trigger symptoms of ADD or ADHD.
  • Take 100IU-200IU of Vitamin E daily. It aids in the metabolism of essential fatty acids and can help in preventing neurological problems like visual defects and muscle weakness.
  • Take about 50mg – 150mg of phosphatidylserine daily. It is derived from lecithin. It aids in nerve and brain functions like memory, cognition, concentration, cognition and behavior.
  • Take in a lot of fish oils, about 3,000mg daily, to meet the body’s requirements for essential fatty acids – DHA and EPA. These help in making sure that the nervous system functions properly for effective cell communication.
  • Use flax oil to derive Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It would be great for salad dressings. 1 tbsp – 2 tbsp daily will be sufficient.
  • 1 tsp – 3 tsp of spirulina a day will help boost nutrition since it is a good source of nutrients, especially iron and zinc, and other B vitamins.
  • Take 4g of colostrums daily in order to strengthen and heal the gut. This minimizes allergic reactions, fights infections, thereby strengthening immunity.
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) can help reduce anxiety and insomnia. 150mg – 300mg daily is recommended only for children above 12 years old, and not below.
  • Mag Phos, Schuessler Tissue Salts Kali Phos, and Silica helps improve memory, and thinking. It also aids in relaxation and reduces irritability. When symptoms are manifesting, dissolving 1 tablet in the mouth for every half hour can help reduce the symptoms. For maintenance, 4 tablets daily will do.

Herbs

Candida and parasites in the body are often linked to ADD and ADHD since they cause irritation, chronic inflammation, brain fog, and food sensitivities. The following shall be the remedy to get rid of parasites:

  • Two 3-week courses, 1800mg daily of Cloves
  • 2,000mg daily of Wormwood
  • 2,000mg daily of Black Walnut

Children above 6 years old shall take ½ of the adult dose.

  • Herbal detoxing can be done to get rid of heavy metal  toxicity caused by lead, cadmium, mercury, copper, and aluminum.
  • Bach flower can help relieve anger, tension, stress, and anxiety. This can be take 4 times daily.
  • Valerian, Hops, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Wood Betony, Passionflower, and Skullcap could help in relaxation. Children aged between 6-12 shall take ½ of the recommended dosage found on the bottles.
  • Herbal teas can help soothe the nervous system. Chamomile, Skullcap, Lemon Balm, Oatstraw, and Nettle could be used to aid sleep.
  • Lavender, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, or Vanilla (2-3 drops of each) mixed in 100ml of olive oil or any massage oil can be used for massaging the body to aid in relaxation.
  • 2 – 3 drops of essential oils could be added to a basin of hot water and inhale the vapor deeply.

Other Treatments

There are some children and adults who respond positively to osteopathic treatment. This is a natural type of non-invasive treatment that involves self-healing.

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