What Is ADD and ADHD, and What Causes It?
ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder, and ADHD is the acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The term ADD has become outdated. ADD now falls under the same umbrella as ADHD but is referenced as “Inattentive ADHD.” Other classifications are Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type or Combined hyperactive-impulsive and Inattentive type. ADHD is a neurological and behaviour-related condition that causes difficulty in concentrating, impulsiveness and
excessive energy. ADHD includes hyperactivity or extreme restlessness. People can have ADD and be calm and serene, not hyperactive or disruptive as in ADHD. It is usually diagnosed early on with children. Adults with ADD or ADHD have typically had the disorder since childhood, but it may not be diagnosed until later in life. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on a person’s unique physiology and environment. Some people are mildly inattentive or hyperactive. You or your child may have trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks. You may be forgetful about completing tasks, easily distracted, and impatient with people. You may have difficulty sitting still, are fidgety, or interrupt people while they’re talking, and you may also experience emotional turmoil. Others may experience more severe symptoms, causing more combative behaviour. The causes of ADHD are often misunderstood and considered a result of bad parenting. Parenting a child with ADHD comes with a unique set of challenges and behaviours that have to be managed, but it is not the root cause. Some research indicates you may be genetically predisposed to the disorder or have a possible link to decreased neurotransmitters in the brain (dopamine). Additional research suggests that exposure to toxins and chemicals may increase a child’s risk of having ADHD. As does early childhood trauma such as low birth weight, premature birth, head trauma or if a woman smokes and drinks during pregnancy. Exposure to toxic chemicals such as lead, PCBs, pesticides and food additives may also play a role.
The Role of Supplements in Adult ADHD
It was once thought that children outgrow these disorders as they mature and age (their prefrontal cortex grows) and while some kids seem to no longer have symptoms, in most cases, they grow up to be adults with a more managed illness. In adulthood, the symptoms of ADHD can manifest as many things: Lack of attention, hyper-focused, disorganized, time-management problems, forgetfulness, impulse control, emotional problems, poor self-image, restlessness, lack of motivation, substance abuse and relationship issues. As an adult, the best way to manage the disorder is to help manage the brain’s response. Certain supplements have been shown to
improve symptoms of ADHD, such as Omega 3. Omega 3 can reduce inflammation in the brain, protecting delicate neurons. It also may help to boost the body’s synthesis of dopamine, the primary neurotransmitter that seems to be lower in people with ADHD. There are many Omega 3 options for children and adults. SeaLicous has a line of liquids or Natural Factors RX Omega 3 capsules. L-Theanine is an amino acid that is found in the leaves of green tea. It promotes relaxation and calms an excited mind by contributing to several changes in the brain. L-Theanine boosts levels of brain calming GABA, serotonin and dopamine. The neurotransmitters help to regulate emotion, mood, concentration, alertness, sleep, energy and other cognitive skills. L-Theanine also helps to lower excited brain chemicals and brain chemicals that are linked to stress and anxiety. It can bring about a state of calmness, take the edge off and provide relaxation. L-Theanine has such a positive effect on calming the mind that it is now being used to help with addiction. Natural Factors has a product called Stress Relax Mental Calmness, a chewable L-Theanine and L-Theanine in capsule form. Note: If you are prone to low blood pressure, Theanine may lower blood pressure. It may also interact with high blood pressure medication. Children can take L-Theanine in smaller doses.
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