ADHD & ADD - Symptoms, Treatments, and Natural Alternatives

ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) also known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is defined as a syndrome that is usually characterized by a short attention span, inattentiveness, poor concentration, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination of these things. Symptoms appear to begin in early childhood and can persist into adulthood.
While ADHD is often genetic, the root cause is not fully known or understood. Whatever the specific cause, it seems to appear early in life as the brain is developing. Studies have suggested that the brains of children diagnosed with ADHD are significantly different from those of other children. Neurotransmitters such as adrenalin, dopamine, and seratonin seem to be handled differently in the brains of ADHD children.
Many children are misdiagnosed with ADHD every year. This is why every child suspected of having ADD or ADHD should be carefully evaluated to determine exactly what is contributing to the suspected behaviors. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association divides the symptoms of ADD and ADHD into three categories: Inattentiveness, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity. Some of the symptoms in each category include:
Symptoms of Inattentiveness:
* Failure to give close attention to details
* Careless mistakes in schoolwork
* Difficulty sustaining attention
* Appears not to be listening when spoken to directly
* Difficulty organizing tasks
* Easily distracted and often forgetful
Symptoms of Hyperactivity:
* Fidgets with feet and hands or squirms in seat
* Runs around or climbs on things inappropriately
* Difficulty playing quietly
* Excessive talking
Symptoms of Impulsivity:
* Interrupts others
* Blurts out answers before questions are completed
ADHD is a frustrating problem for parents as well as the sufferer, and unfortunately many parents are very quick to jump on the pharmaceutical bandwagon in an attempt to "cure" their child. Positive effects of these drugs include a calming of the central nervous system, while the negatives include possible addiction, and all of the other fine print that you always hear in the disclaimers of pharmaceutical commercials. In addition, some ADHD drugs have been linked to sudden death in children with heart problems. This is why it is so important to get all the facts before implementing any type of treatment for ADD or ADHD.
Natural treatments and remedies for ADHD include a change in lifestyle with a healthier diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, the elimination of unhealthy items such as soft drinks and processed foods, and of course plenty of exercise. An added benefit would include the introduction of yoga and meditation into the daily routine. All of these things together will most likely cause a reduction in the ADHD symptoms. Of course, as with anything, please consult a healthcare professional before beginning any type of treatment.
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