Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects mainly children, but can also be diagnosed in adults. Signs of ADHD include difficulty focusing, staying organized, and sitting still. It is not easy to diagnose ADHD because some of the symptoms can occur in children even if they do not have ADHD. We’re covering the facts about ADHD in children and adults.
Fact About ADHD in Children
Signs of ADHD in children include lack of attention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior. Usually, these symptoms start before age 10; they can be mild, moderate, or severe, and in some cases, they continue into adulthood.
Many healthy children are inattentive or hyperactive without suffering from ADHD, so it is crucial to look for medical evaluation to establish if the difficulties that the child is experiencing are connected to ADHD.
ADHD treatment for children includes medications and counseling. Parents are urged to be patient because it may take some time to determine what works best and to see results.
Stimulant drugs are often prescribed to balance levels of brain chemicals. Children’s bodies are more delicate than adult bodies, so it is important to talk to your doctor about side effects.
Children with ADHD may benefit from behavior therapy and counseling, which can also help to treat other conditions such as anxiety disorder or depression. Therapies are effective when the people in the lives of children with ADHD, such as parents and teachers, work together with the same approach. It is essential to find a natural remedy that can help the child in the long term and to create an environment that stimulates creativity and learning.
Tips for Children Living with ADHD
Children who live with ADHD need to be reassured often to make sure they do not feel that they are “bad.” Experts recommend that parents respond to positive behavior, because reacting only to negative behavior can lead to a more pronounced negative attitude. Experts recommend providing children who have ADHD with opportunities to succeed and celebrate their creativity.
Parents can help children with ADHD find methods of organization to support them during everyday activities, such as notebooks with checklists or automatic reminders using phone apps. These tools can help children understand the importance of daily tasks and prioritization.
Children with ADHD have extra energy that they need to burn. Outdoor activities like running or throwing the ball are great, and you can organize events with other children so they can learn healthy competition and socialize.
ADHD in Adults
ADHD in adults can affect relationships, work performance, and self-esteem. Symptoms usually start during childhood and continue into adulthood—it is rare that people develop ADHD in adult life. Signs of ADHD in adults include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Trouble multitasking
- Mood swings
- Low tolerance
- Outbursts of anger
- Unstable relationships
- Risk of addiction
Many adults with ADHD are not aware that they have it—they usually feel that everyday tasks are challenging, and they find it difficult to concentrate. The exact causes of ADHD are not clear, but some factors might play a role in the development of ADHD. The disorder can run in families, environmental factors such as lead exposure may increase the risk, and issues with the central nervous system during childhood may also trigger ADHD.
ADHD treatment for adults involves medication and psychological support. It is crucial to talk with your doctor to know the benefits and risks of drugs. Stimulants are usually prescribed to promote and balance levels of brain chemicals. Other medications used include non-stimulant atomoxetine antidepressants. Psychological support is usually focused on improving time management, organizational skills, self-esteem, and relationships, and reducing impulsiveness. Common types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral and family therapy.
Tips for Adults Living with ADHD
Organization: There are many tools that can help you organize tasks and prioritize. You can write down a checklist with a pen, or you can use apps that have automatic reminders and help you create to-do lists.
Exercise: Regular exercise is essential for physical and mental health. You can join a gym if you like working out surrounded by people or purchase a home bike to exercise at home. Whatever works for you, create a routine.
Sleep: Some adults with ADHD suffer from insomnia, a disorder that can profoundly affect the quality of life. Create a bedtime routine that promotes sleep and relaxation—a couple minutes of meditation before going to sleep can release accumulated stress. Try to go bed at the same time every day and turn off your phone at least 30 minutes before going to sleep.
Diet for ADHD
Eat Foods High in Vitamin B
Foods high in vitamin B, such as green leafy vegetables, promote a healthy nervous system.
Studies conducted on rats concluded that vitamin B-6 deficiency produces the loss of dopamine, an essential brain chemical. Foods rich in vitamin B-6 include wild tuna, bananas, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef.
Eat Foods High in Omega-3
Wild salmon is not just packed with vitamin B-6; it is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Several studies, conducted during 15 years to evaluate possible beneficial effects of omega-3 in the treatment of behavioral issues of children with ADHD, demonstrated that foods high in omega-3 can be used as a therapy.
Avoid Processed Foods
Additives such as artificial sweeteners and preservatives can be toxic, so experts recommend that people with ADHD avoid processed foods.
Amino Acids for ADHD
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and the precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a significant role in mood, sleep, and emotional balance. A study that included 85 patients with ADHD, aged 4–18 years, treated with an amino acid precursor protocol, showed that more than half of the participants achieved significant improvements. It’s always best to take a complete essential amino acid formula to keep the blood concentration of amino acids stable.