One in ten school children are affected by the topic of this brief and informative read.*
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According to the Center for Disease Control, 11% of American school children have been diagnosed with ADHD.** This rate, which has increased steadily over recent years, is 6% higher than the American Psychiatric Association’s estimated occurrence of the disorder.
Symptoms are more obvious in school settings, where children are required to sit still and focus. This may explain why the average age of diagnosis is 7 years old.
If your child has trouble with focus or sitting still, they might have ADHD. Teachers are a good resource for gauging whether or not your child’s behavior is typical for their age group, and can tell you if they’ve noticed anything out of the ordinary.
Signs of ADHD may include:
- Difficulty focusing or staying on task
- Frustration or trouble during class activities
- Appearance of depression, comments indicating low self-esteem
- Trouble staying seated or quiet
- Rowdiness in inappropriate situations
ADHD isn’t always ADHD
Symptoms, which are generally caused by irregular dopamine function in the brain, can appear in other instances and disorders as well. This makes diagnosis tricky and sometimes incorrect.
Other issues that can be misdiagnosed as ADHD: (click to follow links for more information)
- Sleep Apnea or interrupted sleep patterns
- Learning disorders such as Dyslexia
- Depression or anxiety disorders
- Oppositional-Defiant Disorder
- Sensory Processing Disorder
Food Sensitivity and ADHD
Studies on food sensitivity support the idea that diet can contribute to ADHD symptoms. It has been estimated that 64% of diagnosed ADHD cases could be food sensitivity instead.*** Pesticides and certain food additives are also known to cause symptoms.
This means diet can trigger ADHD symptoms. It also implies that many people who are diagnosed with ADHD could attempt a specialized diet instead of medication.
This does not imply that people with “true” ADHD (underlying biological factors beyond food sensitivity) won’t also benefit from natural treatments.
Natural ADHD Treatment
Natural treatment methods may be attractive to parents who are concerned about misdiagnosis and/or the use of ADHD medication. Your doctor will be able to asses your situation to make sure natural treatment is safe for your child.
Natural methods include a specialized diet (mentioned above) and involve strategies such as getting good sleep, taking certain supplements and implementing daily organization.
If you find yourself considering the use of natural ADHD treatment with or without medication, these resources may help:
What is Natural ADHD Treatment? – an outline of available natural ADHD treatment methods
A Snapshot of ADHD Diagnosis – a look into how ADHD can be tested
How to Find Your Food Sensitivities – blood testing and specialized diet
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Follow ADHD Natural Mamma on Pinterest for more information, studies, resources and helpful recipes
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*Disclaimer: this post is not to be used as personal medical advice. Always talk to your doctor before proceeding with any kind of treatment.
**CDC Data & Statistics: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html
ADHD Symptoms: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-symptoms
What is Dopamine?: http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Dopamine.aspx
Southampton Study: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2007/sep/07_99.shtml
More information on sleep and ADHD: http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/adhd-sleep-disorders?page=2