People think of ADD as a childhood disorder, but some adults can also be diagnosed with ADD. ADD ties in with ADHD: ADD is attention deficit disorder while ADHD means Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
ADD / ADHD is a biological disorder that starts in the brain related to irregularities in neurotransmitter activity. But what's the difference between the two? The official name of the disorder is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the recognized acronym being ADHD. ADHD is of three types: (a) combined (b) predominately inattentive and (c) predominately hyperactive-impulsive type.
The misbehavior of children or their poor academic performance were thought to be just “growing up” pain or related to the awkwardness of youth, but it appears that ADD / ADHD could explain poor grades and erratic behavior.
Statistics indicate that 4% -6% of Americans have some form of ADD / ADHD. This disorder can not last a lifetime if it is not detected and treated immediately.
Common Symptoms of ADHD
Before an ADHD diagnosis is made, symptoms must exhibit three elements: they must be predominant or pervasive, they must be excess or frequent, and they must be long term. These symptoms include (but not limited to):
o Lack of concentration
o Inability to perform simple tasks
o Losing things and forgetfulness
o Habit of interrupting others
Contrary to popular belief, ADD / ADHD is not caused by an over-consumption of sugar (although people with ADD / ADHD may be allergic to some foods), too much television, a brain tumor, bad parenting or ineffective teachers.
If your child shows signs of AD / HD, ask the following questions, bearing in mind that the degree and intensity of symptoms vary from one person to another:
o Does your child's behavioral patterns evident in more than one setting; that is, does your child have that way way only in school, or also at home and in social gatherings?
o Is your child's behavior NOT typical of other children's behaviors? Do the symptoms seem highly unusually?
o Have your child symptoms symptoms more than six months?
If you answered yes to all these questions, you may want to see your doctor who will refer your child to a specialist.
ADD / ADHD: Treatment
Because there is no identifiable cause of ADHD, the decision to choose one treatment over another is a decision that your doctor can recommend after your child has been examined. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be offered: medication and behavioral therapy; or a third option – counseling or psychotherapy – may also be considered. The purpose of medication is to regularize brain activity and must be taken under the supervision of your doctor. Behavior therapy, on the other hand, is intended to help children and adults cope with the emotional effects of their disorder. It may interest you to know that the federal government classifies AD / HD as an allowable disability.
ADD / ADHD: Preference for Natural Treatments
Millions of parents have wondered if AD / HD can be treated naturally. This is because of controversial reports that have generated interviews among health professionals and concerned parents regarding the consequences of the long term use of certain drugs. Numerous natural remedies are available for the treatment of AD / HD but again, the decision to take natural treatments must be discussed with your doctor.
As for treating ADHD with diet adjustments, we have seen diets that promote abstinence from sugar, dairy and fried foods. The evidence, however, is inconclusive that such absence will cure your child's ADHD.