Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic disorder that is estimated to affect nearly 10 percent of all children and 4 percent of adults. This common disorder often presents with hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsivity, which can lead to difficulties in daily life and an increased likelihood of emotional disorders. Using alternative treatments for ADHD, individuals can treat the underlying cause of the disorder, instead of masking the symptoms with medications.
CAUSES OF ADHD
Though the exact cause of ADHD is unclear, various factors have been shown to play a role in influencing the disorder, such as:
- Digestive Issues: Dysbiosis, bowel toxemia from neurotoxins, bacterial or yeast overgrowth, intestinal permeability, lack of stomach acid, or lack of digestive enzymes.
- Environmental Influences: Children whose mothers drank alcohol or smoked cigarettes during pregnancy, as well as children who have been exposed to toxic metals, may have an increased risk of developing ADHD.
- Hormone Imbalances: Adrenal, blood sugar, and thyroid dysregulation can cause ADHD symptoms.
- Inflammation/Immune Imbalances: Recent studies have suggested involvement of cytokine pathways in those with ADHD. Cytokines are key mediators of immune function, and can be either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. Therefore, ADHD may be linked with other systems in the body including the immune system, endocrine system, gastrointestinal system, and biochemical pathways. Effective treatment for ADHD should address one or more of these underlying biochemical components.
- Genetic Factors: Attention disorders have a tendency to run in families; a child with family members who have ADHD are at a greater risk than the general population.
- Neurological Factors and Structural Abnormalities of the Brain: Some evidence indicates that individuals with ADHD produce insufficient quantities of certain neurotransmitters. In addition, there appear to be fewer nerve cell connections in the brain, further impairing the ability of the neurotransmitters to function properly.
- Nutritional Issues: Nutrient deficiencies of amino acids, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins (B6 especially) and the minerals calcium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc have been found to contribute to symptoms of ADHD.
THE ROLE OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS IN ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that help transmit signals from one nerve cell to the next. Evidence shows that individuals with ADHD do not produce adequate levels of key neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are related to the reward system, motivation, attention, and focus.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER TESTING