Saturday, October 15, 2011

Truths About ADD/ADHD

I wanted to address this article for several weeks now. This is from an article entitled "The Top 10 Myths About ADHD" by the Editors at RealAge, on 18 August 2011, which appeared on Shine by Yahoo,...which I sometimes call "shine you on"......just kidding.

Just-released government statistics confirm that ADHD (attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) is more prevalent than ever before, increasing over the past decade from 6.9% to 9% among children ages 5 to 17. With nearly 1 in 10 kids being diagnosed with ADHD, and more adults learning they have it, too, it's become commonplace to blame it for everything from bad behavior to a messy house.

Everyone, from friends and neighbors to Hollywood celebrities, has something to say about it, much of it with no basis in science. Here to help you get your facts straight, the top 10 misconceptions about ADHD:

Myth #1: Only kids have ADHD.

Although about 10% of kids 5 to 17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD, at least 4% of adults have it, too -- and probably many more, since adult ADHD is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. That's partly because people think only kids get it.

Myth #2: All kids "outgrow" ADHD.

Not nearly always. Up to 70% of children with ADHD continue to have trouble with it in adulthood, which can create relationship problems, money troubles, work strife, and a rocky family life.

Myth #3: Medication is the only treatment for ADHD.

Medication can be useful in managing ADHD symptoms, but it's not a cure. And it's not the only treatment. Lifestyle changes, counseling, and behavior modification can significantly improve symptoms as well. Several studies suggest that a combination of ADHD treatments works best.

MyAchingKnees comment: Medication should be the last choice in my book unless you readily accept the risks of many side effects. The hands down best treatment for what may be termed ADD or ADHD is nutrition. We have had several parents who once they reduced high glycemic foods and put their children on high doses of nutritional supplements, they have seen remarkable changes in weeks. Omega 3 Fatty Acids isn't just a joint health supplement. Lack of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and/or a high ratio between Omega 6 Fatty Acids to Omega 3 Fatty Acids are thought by a increasing number of nutritionists and Medical professionals to be a major contributing factor in ADD/ADHD. Why wouldn't any parent, who has a so -called ADD/ADHD child, try a low cost, lower risk experiment of placing their child on high quality nutrients and an Omega 3 supplement to see if it will help?

Myth #4: People who have ADHD are lazy and lack intelligence and willpower.

This is totally not true. In fact, ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence or determination. It's a neurobehavioral disorder caused by changes in brain chemicals and the way the brain works. It presents unique challenges, but they can be overcome -- which many successful people have done.

MyAchingKnees comment: It is outside the realm of belief to think that a lack of nutrients, including Omega 3 Fatty Acids, has something to do with a neurobehavioral disorder? Everything from energy transfer to absorption of micro nutrients by the cells has to be effected by a lack of nutrients provided.

Myth #5: ADHD isn't a real disorder.

Not so. Doctors and mental-health professionals agree that ADHD is a biological disorder that can significantly impair functioning. An imbalance in brain chemicals affects brain areas that regulate behavior and emotion. This is what produces ADHD symptoms.

MyAchingKnees comment: In my opinion, ADD or ADHD is by and large a nutritional disease. However, I am sure that there are some causes of ADD or ADHD that cannot be effectively managed through lifestyle change and a solid nutritional plan. In one particular case a friend of mine put her 11 years old son on a high quality nutritional supplement and an Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement. I also had her change from white bread and orange juice from concentrate in the mornings before school to a multi-grain bread and fresh or organic juice and within 3 weeks she told me her son's teacher and her noticed a big change in the boy's behavior and attention span. And this is a boy who when I was visiting the family one day, he came crashing out of the ceiling into the living room! He had been up in the attic jumping on the insulation and sheet rock ceiling!

Myth #6: Bad parenting causes ADHD.

Absolutely not! ADHD symptoms are caused by brain-chemical imbalances (see #4 and #5) that make it hard to pay attention and control impulses. Good parenting skills help children deal with their symptoms.

MyAchingKnees comment: Of course bad parenting does not cause ADD or ADHD. But what kind of parent pumps ritalin or whatever into their kids without first trying less risker protocols? Boy, writing that is going to get me some hate mail!!

Myth #7: Kids with ADHD are always hyper.

Not always. ADHD comes in three "flavors": predominantly inattentive; predominantly hyperactive-impulsive; and combined, which is a mix of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. Although kids with hyperactive-impulsive or combined ADHD may be fidgety and restless, kids with inattentive ADHD are not hyper.

Myth #8: Too much TV time causes ADHD.

Not really. But spending excessive amounts of time watching TV or playing video games could trigger the condition in susceptible individuals. And in kids and teens who already have ADHD, spending hours staring at electronic screens may make symptoms worse.

Myth #9: If you can focus on certain things, you don't have ADHD.

It's not that simple. Although it's true that people with ADHD have trouble focusing on things that don't interest them, there's a flip side to the disorder. Some people with ADHD get overly absorbed in activities they enjoy. This symptom is called hyperfocus. It can help you be more productive in activities that you like, but you can become so focused that you ignore responsibilities you don't like.

Myth #10: ADHD is overdiagnosed.

Nope. If anything, ADHD is under diagnosed and under treated. Many children with ADHD grow up to be adults with ADHD. The pressures and responsibilities of adulthood often exacerbate ADHD symptoms, leading adults to seek evaluation and help for the first time. Also, parents who have children with ADHD may seek treatment only after recognizing similar symptoms in themselves. For people with severe small intestine inflammation, doctors sometimes prescribe steroids.

MyAchingKnees comment: Over diagnosed? No, I agree probably not. But over medicated? For sure.

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