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Toronto ADHDNpathturoa:What isADHD?
What is ADHD? Author: Dr Joseph Steyr, ND (Toronto Ontario)
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Attention deficient and Hyperactive disorder, or ADHD, is consider a life-long concern and is something a person is born with, it is a behavior disordered characterized by impulsivity and poor attention span. Symptoms for this disorder commonly start to appear in a person before the age of 7. However, most people tend to be diagnosed by either the first few years of elementary school, or when they first enter university. There are currently three recognized types of ADHD which are i) the inattentive and not hyper; ii) hyper; and iii) mixed hyper and inattentive. What I want to point out from these three recognized types is that a person with ADHD doesn’t always have hyperactivi ty. In my practice the most common type of ADHD that I see is the mixed type, because children that are not fully hyper but fidget a lot tend to be put into this category.
At the moment there is no set biological definition of what causes ADHD. However, research does show that there is a 25% chance of inheritability of ADHD. The dominant theory for ADHD suggests tha t there is poor dopamine production (dopamine is like a hormone but only works within the very small space between nerve cells in the brain) in people with ADHD. This assertion is mostly based on the fact that stimulant medications like Concerta and Ritalin help the brain better utilize the dopamine that is present, but they don’t actually make more dopamine. These medications just stop the breakdown of the dopamine that is present. These medications also help produce more Norepin ephrine (which is similar to adrenalin) and what actually causes the stimulation effect. More recent medications have focused only on the Norepinephrine production and seem to indicate that dopamine may not be the key player causing ADHD.
New imaging technology now allows us to look at the functioning of brains to compare the difference in functioning of an ADHD brains to non-ADHD brains. Research now shows us the ADHD brains function differently than the non-ADHD brains. How ever, this doesn’t state a cause or reason, just simply that there is a difference.
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Dietary and Lifestyle Impacts on ADHD Some research shows that many people with ADHD have low Iron (or ferritin) levels, which shows us there can be many contributing factors to ADHD and each individual is different. Other research suggests that some people with ADHD have improv ement in symptoms with a hypoallergenic diet - this type of diet consists o f identifying food items that a person may be hypersensitive and react to, not just removing food colouring or sugar. A hypersensitive reaction produces an antibody with an IgG reaction and there are tests that can identify these allergenic food items to reduce a guessing game of trial and error. These tests can be ordered through a Naturopathic Doctor. Many people with ADHD experience digestive problems which may be an indication of this hypersensitivity problem. In my practice, with food adjustments alone I have seen a child’s behaviour change drastically, and other conditions like rashes improve too. Another potential issue people with ADHD tend to have is high levels of heavy metals. While this is something I can screen for as a naturopath, I don’t see this in all of my patients with ADHD typically wait to screen until other symptoms are have improved.
Poor sleep and the lack of exercise can be key contributing factors. Many children and adults with AD HD have sleep disorders, which either leads to the person having less sleep or poor quality sleep. In my practice I have noticed that people with ADHD tend to need more sleep than most people As well, many people don’t realize that school aged children need more sleep than adults, such as 9-11 hours sleeper night. It is my personal suggestion that children with ADHD get 10.5 hours of sleep per night in order to have a complete sleep cycle. Exercise has many benefits besides the ability to burn off extra steam. Its real benefit comes from bringing blood and nutrition to the brain by improving circulation. With all the stress of academic performance today many children don’t get the suggested 100 minutes of daily play that is nee ded for health.
ADHD is a real condition that affects many people. Although there is no set cure or clear cause for A DHD there are many ways to support people with ADHD. Although it is common to focus only on the attention issue and/or hyperactivity, most peop le with ADHD have a host of concerns such as social interactions, sleep issues and digestive disorders. Focusing on just one symptom, I would s uggest is not the best treatment practice for people with ADHD. ADHD treatment, like all medical conditions, should be tailored to the individual to address all of his or her needs. Talk to ADHD focused NaturopathDr Joseph Steyr, ND. tel:905-822-2046 Be Sociable, Share!
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