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Understanding ADHD: Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Treatments

These days, it seems that ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a growing epidemic among both children and adults. ADHD diagnoses have been on the rise for many years now and it’s estimated that around 11 percent of American children ages four to 17 have the disorder – representing a 42 percent increase in a recent eight-year period. Meanwhile, estimates for adult ADHD is about 4.4 percent of the American population, although less than 20 percent of these adults actually seek treatment for it.

If you suspect that you or someone you love has an ADHD-related disorder, here’s what you should know about ADHD’s causes, symptoms, and natural treatment recommendations.

Photo credit: PlusLexia via Flickr

What Causes ADHD?

There is a genetic component to ADHD, and research suggests that you may be more likely to have the condition if your parents did too. Research also points out a link between ADHD and pesticides, which is one of the many reasons why Seagate adheres to strict organic farming methods that steer clear of these harmful chemicals. Meanwhile, other studies connect the prevalence of ADHD to alcohol and tobacco exposure during pregnancy, lead exposure in children, and food additives like artificial colorings. Other possible causes of ADHD, or at least factors that make an existing condition worse, include sugary foods, the constant stimulation of screen time from an early age, and certain parenting styles. However, there is no one definitive ADHD test, so there is some debate among physicians and researchers that ADHD is over-diagnosed, especially among young children.

The Various Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD presents itself differently in different people and include, mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. Predominately inattentive ADHD causes individuals to have trouble paying attention, while predominantly hyperactive ADHD results in high-energy and impulsive behavior. Often, these subtypes of ADHD are combined and present a mix of symptoms. Children and adults with the condition may be in constant motion, have very little self-control, have low levels of patience, and fidget often. However, people with ADHD may also find themselves daydreaming often, not listening well, losing personal items, or forgetting to do things throughout the day.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Natural Treatment Suggestions for ADHD

Many people believe that ADHD prescription medications are over-prescribed by doctors these days, and there’s no doubt that these medications cause side effects. Common ADHD medication side effects are mood swings, sleepless nights, appetite changes, and heart issues. Fortunately, there are safer and more natural ways to address ADHD symptoms as well, especially if the symptoms are mild.

First, it is highly recommended to avoid non-organic foods that are grown using pesticides, as well as foods made with preservatives and food coloring. Also, get yourself or your loved one tested for food allergies to determine whether an allergic reaction is to blame for ADHD-type behaviors. Some people have found success with electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback treatments that involve measuring brain waves.

Meanwhile, simple activities you can do at home, such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi, can help you bring focus to your days and reduce ADHD-type symptoms. Studies show that eating certain foods can also help you focus and pay attention throughout the day when you need to. Good foods to eat on an ADHD diet include lean proteins with omega-3s, like fish, and fiber-rich foods, like brown rice. Dietary minerals, including zinc, iron, and magnesium, have shown promise in people with ADHD, as well as herbal remedies that include ginseng, gingko, and rhodiola rosea. Maintaining a consistent exercise and sleep schedule can complement dietary adjustments too without immediately resorting to prescription medications for ADHD.

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