ADHD results from a combination of factors including diet, environmental toxins, genetics, and chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters.
In regards to diet, studies show that people with ADHD are frequently deficient in omega-3s, essential minerals, and B vitamins. Low levels of omega-3s in ADHD patients leads to depressed levels of DHA when compared to those without an attention disorder. Perhaps this is why long-chain omega-3s in the form of EPA and DHA are so beneficial regarding ADD/ADHD support. Resolving an omega-3 deficiency can help restore neurological function and limit ADD/ADHD-related symptoms including behavioral disruptions, reduced cognitive ability, and inattentiveness. Essential nutrients including calcium, magnesium, and zinc also play an important role in proper neurological function. These substances are utilized in the production and regulation of neurotransmitters. Deficiency of these minerals can lead to neurological disruption that promotes the development of ADD/ADHD and worsening of symptoms. Each substance has a unique impact on ADD/ADHD symptoms. Additionally, research has shown that children with ADHD may require additional B vitamins, specifically B6, in order to maintain production of specific neurotransmitters such as serotonin. In addition to supporting neurological function, serotonin helps regulate mood and improves one’s sense of well-being. Because of its positive impact on serotonin levels, B-complex multivitamins are frequently prescribed to ADD/ADHD patients.
Environmental toxins such as heavy metals have also been linked to chemical imbalances and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ADD/ADHD. For proper neurological development, various genes, chemicals, and hormones must be produced at precise amounts and introduced at specific times during the early stages of life. Even minor disruptions in this process can lead to major issues. Unfortunately, there are many toxins present in everyday life that can hinder development and cause imbalances in the brain. Common heavy metals such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury can cause disruption even at minor levels of exposure. Other toxins in the form of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), triclosan, bisphenol A (BPA), and phthalates can also damage neurological function further increasing the risk of developing ADD/ADHD. Learning of the connection between neurological dysfunction and toxicity and utilizing safe detoxification methods may help alleviate symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
ADHD tends to run in families, suggesting there is a genetic component. In most cases, the genes you inherit from your parents are considered a significant factor in developing the condition. In fact, research shows that if an immediate family member has ADHD, you are more likely to have the condition yourself.
Regardless of the cause, ADD and ADHD cause various forms of dysfunction that can make everyday life difficult. ADHD symptoms vary from patient to patient, depending on the specific cause of the disorder. General indicators of ADD and ADHD include aggression, hyperactivity, difficulty focusing, anger, anxiety, depression, excessive talking, and more.
Ideally, treating ADD/ADHD involves a comprehensive individualized approach. If a patient has not been diagnosed, or if they are already on prescriptions from another provider and/or counseling, Holtorf Medical Group can help.