Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Said to be among the most common of disorders that affect most people during childhood, the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, is a disorder that causes a child to either be hyperactive, inattentive, move on impulse or in other cases, it is a combination of the three. For a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, the signs mentioned must be out of the normal behavior expected for that child's age as there is an age in children where such behaviors are said be expected and normal.
ADHD is said to affect about three percent to a maximum of five percent of children around the world and two percent to sixteen percent of those children diagnosed are said to be of a school going age. Not only does it affect most people when in their childhood age, but about half of those diagnosed with ADHD in childhood continue to have those same symptoms even when in their adulthood. But the difference is that when during their adulthood, they tend to create mechanisms that enable them to cope with it unlike in childhood. ADHD is also diagnosed more in boys that girls and its management includes modifying of ones behavior, taking medication, changing ones lifestyle and also attending counseling sessions all at the same time.
Causes of ADHD
Although there is yet to be a specific cause of ADHD, there are about three or so causes that have been concluded to bring about ADHD they are:
Genetic Causes: ADHD is said to have been hereditary and this is a fact in about three quarter of the cases of children diagnosed with it. According to research, when the transporters in the brain, known as dopamine, are affected due to a combination of several genes, then ADHD arises. One of the genes, known as LPHN3, is primarily more dominant than the rest is the major cause of most of the ADHD cases. The LPHN3 is said to respond well to medication that is stimulant.
Environmental Causes: According to the twin research study, about nine to twenty percent of the ADHD symptoms have been brought about by some environmental factors, such as exposure to tobacco smoke or alcohol exposure to women who are expectant, and these factors are thus non-genetic and non-shared. Exposure to lead compounds during a person’s early life has also been termed as one of the environmental factors that have led to the ADHD symptoms. Tobacco smoke's relation to ADHD symptoms is due to hypoxia, which is caused by nicotine that makes the fetus in the utero not have enough oxygen supply. Another cause would be because most women that suffer from ADHD tend to have a smoking habit so the component of genes is stronger thus transferring it to their children. Those children that have had infections and viruses like varicella, enterovirus 71, measles and rubella, during and before birth, also in their childhood, are said to be at a higher risk of developing the ADHD symptoms hence ending up being diagnosed with it.
In the year two thousand and seven, a study was done and it was concluded that an insecticide, called chlorpyrifos, which is used in various fruits causes reduction in a person's coordination physically and leads to some behavioural changes/problems found in children with ADHD.
Another study that was done in the year two thousand and seven found out that children who are exposed to pesticides are at a higher risk of getting ADHD. In the analyzation of this study, the urine of over a thousand children was taken for lab testing, and it was found that the urine of the children that had high incidences associated with ADHD contained the phosphates known as dialkyl, which is a product breakdown of a pesticide known as Organophosphate. In conclusion it was found out that there was a thirty five percent possibility of the other children, who had no symptoms of ADHD, contracting it due to the presence of the same pesticide concentration in their urinary residue. This was seen to be possible in even those children that had the lowest level of the pesticide concentration in their urine.
There were three studies that were longitudinal and funded by the government in the year 2010-2011 to examine the exposure of children in grade school to the pesticides known as Organophosphate from pregnancy. Although there were different techniques that were used in determining the amount of exposure the children had had, the conclusions that were reached were all the same. The conclusion was that those children that had been exposed during pregnancy, showed signs of having low intelligence quotient, and also found difficulty in focusing and solving problems. One of those studies indicated that although the exposure to these pesticides contributes to the ADHD symptoms, genetics was still the core cause of ADHD in children. The other two studies showed that children that had been diagnosed with a high ADHD rate were those that had been exposed to high Organophosphate levels.
Diet Related Causes: The Lancet, published a study that had been done and it was found that there was a link between the ingestion of artificial colours for food, sodium benzoate preservative and hyperactivity. In light of this discovery, the Government of Britain took immediate action like making the end of the year 2009 the deadline for manufacturers of artificial colours for food to stop their making. Following this action, food colours that contained Carmoisine (E122), Yellow FCF (E110), Allura red (E129), Ponceau 4R (E124), Tartrazine (E102) AND Quinoline yellow (E104), should all contain labels of warning on top of the packaging. This was a rule that was put in place by the European commission. In the month of march, the year 2011, the US FDA did an evaluation of possible evidence of a scientific link between ADHD and dyes and the final result was that there was no link.
The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of the US has a requirement that artificial colours for food should have received an FD&C number from the FDA before they are used for consumption/ before they are sold. This act also requires an indication of the use of any colours for food.
There are several symptoms that are related to ADHD and usually, when an individual is found with these symptoms, a diagnosis of ADHD follows. These symptoms are:
1. Ability to get distracted easily, forgetfulness, inattentiveness.
2. Finding tasks to be boring when doing them for a few minutes unless its something fun.
3. Finding difficulty in giving focus when it come s to learning, organizing or finishing a task.
4. Loosing things like pencils, homework and toys often
5. Not paying attention when being addressed/ spoken to.
6. Slow information processing.
7. Constant straining when following given instructions.
There are also those symptoms of hyperactive impulses which are predominant and they are:
1. Continuous talking.
2. Touching anything within their sight and always moving around.
3. Squirming and fidgeting when sitting in their sits.
4. Finding it hard to sit still.
5. Finding it hard to do those activities or tasks that require silence.
There are also those habits that are an early signs of ADHD manifestation. They are:
2. Constant blurting out of comments that are deemed inappropriate.
3. Emotional busts without restraints.
4. Doing things without considering their consequences.
ADHD Home Remedies
Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Supplements such as Vitamin B6, Magnesium Chloride, Zinc and Trymethylglycine and in some minor cases one would consider to add Probiotics for the syndromes of ''leaky gut'' which causes an interference of ADHD nutrient absorption, and Selenium for mercury detoxification.
- Ginkgo biloba– this is an effective treatment and acts as an antioxidant. It helps to protect nerve cells and treats ADHD by enhancing blood flow to the brain. As a result, it helps to increase brain performance.
- Maritine pine Bark– it has the best anti oxidant properties. It is also rich in vitamin C which is good for normal functioning of the brain and helps to prevent formation of toxins. The herb treats the condition by repairing damaged cells and protects them from free radicals.
- Passion flower– this is a highly recommended treatment for ADHD. It improves a patient's concentration, enhances blood flow to the brain and helps to prevent mood swings.
- Primrose oil– a gentle massage with primrose oil helps to improve concentration power as well as brain functions. It also helps to relieve stress, depression and restlessness.
- Gantella Asiatica– this is one of the most effective herbal treatment for ADHD. It improves concentration power, boosts brain function, relieves stress and prevents both memory loss and fatigue.
- Boron– is an incredible element that helps in treatment of the condition. It promotes normal functioning of the brain and offers a tranquil effect of nerves. Include boron in your diet to restore normalcy and to prevent the disorder. It also relieves stress and improves concentration.
- Fresh lemon balm– it works effectively by neutralizing symptoms of the disorder. It also prevents restlessness, reduces fatigue, stress and irritation of nerves.
- Panax Ginseng- is a Chinese herbal. It works by reducing restlessness of nerves, fatigue & stress and improves concentration.
- Water– water helps to alleviate symptoms of ADHD. Therefore, instead of taking carbonated drinks, milk and juices, consider water in plenty. It eliminates toxins in the body and brain and offers positive results within a short span of time.
1. Reduce your child's intake of drinks made of fruits, sugar and fructose to prevent the ADHD condition from becoming worse.
2. Foods that are environmentally toxic such as vegetable oils (exception of coconut oil), pastries, Ritalin, Coke, Milo and Potato chips should be avoided so that the Vitamin B6 and Magnesium could work properly.
3. Intake of Omega 3 and also the fatty acids that are essential are quite advisable in most cases. Also, drinking water that is dechlorinated using Sodium thiosulfate aids in the speedy recovery.
Intake of Green oats, Brahmi, Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola and Siberian Ginseng in children that have got ADHD has been found to increase the level of alertness in the children.
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