What is ADD / ADHD?
ADHD is a disorder that is diagnosed based on a presentation of symptoms. ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder and is now formally known as ADHD/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Although ADHD occurs most often in children, it can also present in adulthood.
The CDC reports over 6 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, 6% of children are being treated for ADHD with medication, and that ADHD has increased by 42% in the past 8 years.
Symptoms – How do I know if I have ADD / ADHD?
There are many other conditions having similar presentations to ADHD such as hypoglycemia, adrenal fatigue, and hormone imbalances. The following symptoms are used to help determine the diagnosis of ADHD.
Inattention: careless mistakes, difficulty listening, easily distracted, forgetful, unorganized, trouble following through
Hyperactivity and impulsivity: restlessness, difficulty sitting still, interrupts, difficulty waiting, difficulty participating quietly, always on the go
Like all presentations in the complex interconnected working systems of the body there are usually multiple causes. Here are the major contributors to ADHD from a functional medicine perspective:
- Metal metabolism abnormalities
- Mineral imbalances
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Pyrrole disorder
- Over or under methylation
- Yeast or dysbiosis in the gut
- Nutrient deficiencies or excess contributing to neurotransmitter imbalance
Treatment: How Does Functional Medicine Help?
In general, functional medicine looks at the individual as a whole to determine the safest and most natural way to improve quality of life. We do this by listening to the patient’s story, performing a thorough and comprehensive examination, and ordering and assessing specialty testing such as stool analysis, neurotransmitters, micronutrients, heavy metals, and more.
Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids play a large role in behavior since they provide the raw materials for neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that relay information to keep your heart beating, lungs breathing, stomach digesting, while also influencing mood, sleep, concentration, even weight! All of which contribute to symptoms experienced in ADHD.
Though some patients respond well to medication, others may not. This is because when it comes to chemical imbalances, there is no one size fits all approach, especially when it comes to children. We are all biochemically unique and functional medicine provides the means to address and support that. Fill out the form to schedule an appointment today.