Brain Function and Disorders

What is ADHD? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common condition affecting children and adults. It causes problems with attention, focus, and behavior.

ADHD affects about 5% of school-aged children and 3% of adults. Sometimes, symptoms persist throughout life. ADHD is diagnosed based on behavioral observations by a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a kind of mental disorder of children. It is the most commonly diagnosed disease in children and teens and that can continue into adulthood. Children diagnosed with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable to control their impulses. In addition, they may experience trouble in paying attention. ADHD is more commonly found in boys than in girls and usually discovered in early school years, when a child experiences problems while paying attention in school. During adulthood, a person with ADHD finds it difficult to manage time, become organized, set goals, and hold down a job.

ADHD Symptoms

There are several distinct signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but those have been divided into three groups:

  • Inattention: There are some of the commonly noticed features come under Inattention group such as Lack of focus, a tendency to make careless mistakes, having difficulty in paying attention to details, constant distractions while talking on a topic, not listening to others, be forgetful about daily activities, and get easily distracted by things like trivial noises and even with the events that are usually ignored by others.
  • Hyperactivity: Children with hyperactivity may show up some weird activities, getting up frequently to walk or run around, have trouble playing quietly or doing quiet hobbies, and talk excessively.
  • Impulsivity: A person with impulsivity may be impatient, blurt out answers before someone finishes asking them a question, and frequently interrupt others.
  • Self-focusing behavior where the child is more focused on himself or herself.
  • Interrupting others while speaking or before the completion of their talk.
  • Inability to focus on one activity, thus jumping from one task to another. They get easily distracted.
  • Getting bored easily and thus requiring new toys, new things and asking continuously for new or more things
  • Blurting out comments whenever unnecessary and thus murmuring to unnecessary things
  • Having difficulty controlling their emotions, showing emotions whenever they feel. Throwing the toys and demanding for newer ones, crying unnecessary, etc.
  • Lack of caution with strangers and thus exhibiting less fear
  • More bold behavior and exhibiting overconfidence
  • Problems playing quietly to attract the attention of others.

ADHD Causes

The major causes of ADHD are:

  • Genetic factors: ADHD has found to be genetically inherited and thus runs in families. It’s thought the genes inherited from the parents are a significant factor in developing the condition.
  • Brain structure: Research has displayed the fact that certain areas of the brain may be smaller in people with ADHD, whereas other areas may be larger.
  • Children who are born prematurely or with a low birth weight are at more risk of ADHD.
  • Persons suffering from epilepsy are at risk of ADHD.
  • Persons with brain damage because of injury or in the womb may have ADHD.
  • Environmental factors also impact triggering ADHD conditions.

ADHD Precautions

Some precautions necessary while suffering from ADHD disorder are:

  • Maintain a regular healthy routine, a diet chart, and exercise routine. This shall help in keeping things at pace and help in controlling aggression.
  • Maintain a daily activity plan and regularly monitor the plan.
  • Eliminate the diet that targets artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives.
  • Processed sugars and carbohydrates are found to affect a child’s activity level by rapidly raising blood sugar levels. The raised blood sugar increases the adrenaline rush, making the child more active, and when the adrenaline comes down, the mood changes. So keep the sugar and carbohydrate level monitored. Ensure a balanced diet.
  • Don’t indulge in unnecessary fights and discussions.
  • Try to make a healthy and happy environment and avoid arguments.
  • Stop usage of drugs, alcohol, and smoking.
  • Encourage the person suffering from the disorder to be more social and friendly.

ADHD Diagnosis

The diagnosis of ADHD can be done by parents while parenting. The doctor may go in for assessments to diagnose the ADHD conditions. The assessment may include a physical examination, a series of interviews with the child or the patient, interviews, or reports from other significant people, such as partners, parents, and teachers, etc. to gain insights on the patient’s behavior.

The diagnosis of ADHD is done only if the child is displaying the same conduct and behavior for over 6 months, having symptoms before the age of 12, and these conditions are making his or her life complex at social and academic levels. For adults, alertness, attentiveness, the impulsiveness is assessed by the doctor, and based on the social life, the diagnosis is done.

ADHD Treatment

  • Medication: Various studies have shown that Stimulant medication is the most effective ADHD treatment.
  • Therapy: Behavior therapy is aimed at addressing the specific behavioral problems and increasing positive attention.
  • Nutrition: Researches and studies worldwide have established that nutritional changes can bring about a drastic change in the condition of some patients with ADHD.
  • Supplements: There are many vitamins, herbs, and supplements like Omega-3s, Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Valerian, Melatonin, Ginkgo, and ginseng, which may lessen ADHD symptoms in some individuals.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise helps the brain to release several important chemicals and boosts the brain’s neurotransmitters chemicals that many individuals with ADHD run short on.
ADHD Therapy

Along with medicines, certain treatments can be valuable in treating ADHD in children, teenagers, and grown-ups. Therapy is helpful in treating other problems as well. For example, anxiety or nervousness issues that may show up with ADHD. The therapies that might be used are as follows.

  • Psycho-education: Psycho-education implies that you or your kid will be urged to understand ADHD and how it affects you. It can help children, adolescents and grown-ups understand why they have been diagnosed with ADHD. It can also help you adapt and manage the condition.
    • Behavioral treatment: Behavioral treatment gives support to the caretakers of the people with ADHD, and may include teachers and guardians. The treatment includes behavior administration, which uses a group of prizes to encourage your child to control their ADHD.
    • Social skills training: Social skills training includes children or youngsters taking part in role-plays or pretending to be in certain situations. This intends to show them how to carry on in social circumstances by figuring out how their behavior influences or affects others.
  • Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT): Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you deal with your issues by changing the way you think and behave. A CBT advisor would attempt to change how your kid feels about a situation, which would thus change their conduct.
  • Eat fewer carbs: Individuals with ADHD need to eat a healthy diet. A few people may see a connection between types of foods and declining ADHD side effects. For instance, sugar, food colorings, added sugars, and caffeine are frequently blamed for increasing hyperactivity.
ADHD Home Remedies

Some of the home remedies to overcome the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are:

  1. Yoga and aerobics: The Yoga, meditation therapy, and aerobics shall help the patient calm down their energies and regulate the blood supply properly. This shall help them control their emotions and help them focus on the subjects.
  2. Omega-3: Fish oils are thought to help the patients from ADHD, though the effect appears to be very little.
  3. Supplements like Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin–B6 are found to improve ADHD disorder to some extent.
  4. Behavioral therapy: good parenting, cooperating, and controlling of emotions shall help the patient overcome the disorder naturally.
What Foods Should be Avoided with ADHD?
  • Candy: Candy has a large amount of sugar and artificial colors which are undoubtedly a poor combination for children suffering from ADHD.
  • Sodas, Caffeine, and High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Such drinks have often loaded the sugar and sweeteners. That’s why it should not be included in doesn’t of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Frozen Fruits and Vegetables: All fruits and vegetables are not necessarily healthy diet options for ADHD. There are some frozen brands that have artificial colors in it. So it should be checked carefully.
  • Energy Drinks: Most of the energy drinks contain ingredients such as sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, caffeine, and other stimulants which can worsen the ADHD symptoms.
  • Nix Cake Mixes and Frostings: Cake mix and frosting contain the high amounts of sugar and artificial colors that can provoke ADHD symptoms.
ADHD and Stress

Stress is universally known to be the stimulant factor for various mental problems. With ADHD, stress is the factor that aggravates the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, especially in adults who find it hard to focus and filter out excess stimuli, which increases stress levels.

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Conclusion

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity issue (ADHD) is a mental condition that is marked by a continuous example of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity that meddles with the working or advancement of that person. Inattention implies that a person gets distracted from tasks, lacks focus, and is not concentrating on the task at hand. Hyperactivity implies that a person moves around continuously, especially in situations in which it is not needed. Impulsivity implies that a person makes hurried decisions without thinking about them and that may have negative outcomes or risky consequences.

According to experts, ADHD is a lifelong condition. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, sometimes, may not be diagnosed until adulthood. And, the fact is that, in most cases, the condition of ADHD doesn’t go away into adulthood.

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