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A Holistic look at Attention Deficit Disorder

29 Sep

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are symptoms emphasized in the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. These criteria best describe presentation in children; symptoms are often more subtle in adults.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was originally believed to be primarily a pediatric condition. However, the available data suggest that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms in adulthood. It is estimated that between 1 and 7 percent of the adult population experiences ADHD symptoms. There is no gold standard diagnostic test for ADHD in adults. Diagnosis is based on the clinical interview by a qualified practitioner; assessment of mental status, memory, and cognitive testing with distraction; and medical evaluation including neurologic examination and thyroid function studies.

Pharmaceutical medications, behavioral therapy (such as certain types of counseling), and changes in school for children are the main treatments offered.  However, it is important to consider the following when looking at ADHA/ADD holistically.

  • Insufficiencies of certain essential fatty acids, vitamins, or minerals are common among children with ADD/ADHD.
  • Exposure to toxic metals such as lead can affect the nervous system, possibly triggering hyperactivity.
  • Amino acids are the body’s building blocks for brain neurotransmitters and may be low in ADD/ADHD individuals.
  • Certain studies of children with ADHD have shown improvements in ADD/ADHD when they were placed on an allergen-free diet.
  • Intestinal flora imbalances (bacteria, parasites, or yeast) may lead to nutrient insufficiencies that predispose to ADD/ADHD.
  • Consider pre-conception care to learn about the effects of prenatal exposure to environmental toxins and how to minimize those exposures
  • and more….
The beauty of Naturopathic Care is that it can address each of these possible contributors to ADD/ADHD.   Working with Dr. Naumes to create an individualized approach using nutrition, exercise, individualized laboratory testing (via appropriate avenues), botanical remedies, and supplementation to replete or correct imbalances, the body can function at a more optimal level.   Making appropriate lifestyle changes is often of upmost importance.   Dr. Naumes encourages her clients to work closely with a qualified counselor/therapist.