Monday, March 27, 2017

10 Conditions That Look Like ADHD, but Are Actually Something Else

Article on ADHD from the Cheat Sheet. Which goes on to say: Can’t seem to stay focused at work? You could have ADHD. Or, perhaps it’s something else. While ADHD is often associated with an inability to pay attention, it’s possible this behavior could signal a variety of conditions. If you need a quick refresher on what adult ADHD looks like, check out our list of symptoms here. And if it’s not this disorder, consider the alternatives. Here are 10 conditions that bear an uncanny resemblance.

1. Bipolar disorder

It’s no surprise bipolar disorder and ADHD are sometimes confused with one another, as there are many similarities between the two. According to Healthline, ADHD and bipolar disorder share a handful of symptoms, including mood instability, restlessness, and impatience.

An important distinction between the two, though, is the age at which symptoms begin. ADHD starts during childhood, whereas bipolar disorder typically develops after the age of 18. Additionally, mood swings can come and go within 20 to 30 minutes for a person with ADHD. People with bipolar disorder, however, can experience shifts in mood lasting for hours, even days.

2. Epilepsy

It may seem like epilepsy would be easy to spot, as some people with the condition experience extreme seizures. Others, however, experience epilepsy in a different, less severe manner. For instance, absence seizures, short periods of blanking out due to abnormal brain activity, can sometimes go undetected. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, a person who experiences absence seizures often stares into space for less than a minute, which can appear as nothing more than daydreaming.

Because absence seizures don’t necessarily raise a huge red flag, a person can live with them for years without knowing. At times, they won’t realize someone is talking to them. This unawareness of what’s going on around them can be confused with a lack of focus or inability to pay attention, similar to what those with ADHD experience.

3. Anxiety

Surprisingly, an anxiety disorder can easily present itself as ADHD. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, common symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Excessive worrying can also disrupt social activities and interfere with work or family matters, much like ADHD.

4. Thyroid conditions

Your thyroid has a big job to do, as it’s responsible for keeping your body working properly. And if you’re familiar with the common signs of an over- or underactive thyroid, it’s clear to see how easy it’d be to mistake a thyroid condition for ADHD. For instance, EndocrineWeb lists the following as symptoms of hyperthyroidism: anxiety, moodiness, and hyperactivity. Symptoms of hypothyroidism, on the other hand, include difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and depression. All of these are symptoms are also seen in those with ADHD.

5. Sensory processing disorder

According to the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, when a person has the condition, his or her sensory signals are not detected or don’t organize into appropriate responses. Neuroscientist and occupational therapist pioneer A. Jean Ayres gave the best description of sensory processing disorder, saying it can be described as a neurological “traffic jam.”

While more common in children, it’s possible adults can have the condition, as well. The STAR Institute says adults with SPD “may have difficulty performing routines and activities involved in work, close relationships, and recreation.” Additionally, they may report struggles with depression, underachievement, and social isolation. Sounds strikingly like ADHD, doesn’t it?

6. Sleep conditions

A lack of proper sleep can really throw a wrench in your overall productivity for the day. Just think about the morning following a night of restless sleep: It’s likely you’re overly tired and unable to pay attention to the task at hand. According to Verywell, sleep disturbances, which can include sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, can result in hyperactivity, irritability, and impaired learning.

In the case of restless leg syndrome, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports people with the condition often have trouble with their job, personal relations, and other daily activities. Once again, it’s easy to see how this could be mistaken for ADHD.

7. Central auditory processing disorder

While this condition may coincide with ADHD, ADDitude says some evidence suggests central auditory processing disorder can also occur separately from ADHD. A person with CADP misinterprets what and how another person says something. And no, this doesn’t give you an excuse to ignore your partner when he or she interrupts you during a big game.

Interestingly enough, one school of thought suggests whether or not someone receives either diagnosis could depend on the type of specialist they saw. An audiologist may be more likely to diagnose CAPD, while a psychologist may be more familiar with ADHD. Symptoms the two share, include trouble remembering information presented orally, difficulty following directions, and poor listening skills.

8. Asperger syndrome

People with Asperger syndrome are often considered high functioning, and tend to have more difficulty socially than professionally. According to Autism Speaks, a person who has Asperger’s may struggle with social interactions or exhibit a restricted range of interest.

Although the two conditions may initially seem fairy different, it turns out they’re not always so far apart. True, people with Asperger’s may demonstrate awkward behavior in social situations, whereas those with ADHD may be overly active, but Autism Speaks says the symptoms are often confused. “Indeed, many persons affected by Asperger syndrome are initially diagnosed with ADHD until it becomes clear that their difficulties stem more from an inability to socialize than an inability to focus their attention,” the organization explains.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Really? Aspergers? You had to go there? There are less than 200,000 cases per year in the United States.

9. Obsessive compulsive disorder

Even though OCD and ADHD are different from one another, they can appear quite similar in some cases. The International OCD Foundation notes that, although they’re associated with different patterns of brain activity, the symptoms can overlap. In particular, cognitive effects for both include response inhibition, switching tasks, and working memory.

There are, however, important distinctions between the two. For starters, ADHD affects how a person outwardly relates to his or her environment. OCD, on the other hand, affects a person internally, as their response to anxiety is to turn inward. Hallmark signs of ADHD include inattention, lack of impulse control, and risky behaviors. Hallmark signs of OCD, in contrast, include obsessive thoughts, a more inhibited temperament, and avoidance of risky situations.

10. Depression

By now, you’re familiar with common signs of ADHD. So, you won’t be too surprised to hear the condition is sometimes mistaken for depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression include feeling helpless, restless, and finding it difficult to concentrate. Sounds awfully familiar.

As with any medical condition, it’s important to discuss all symptoms with your doctor, along with family history. A misdiagnosis could be more common than you think.

MyAchingKnees Comment: I would think that if anybody has been diagnosed with ADHD, before you would accept being prescribed the common ADHD medications such as in the Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, Atomoxetine or Guanfacine classes (they just sound bad right?) and the possible side effects of taking those, that a person would try to see if changing their lifestyle as it pertains to nutrition would help. Although I would recommend a quality daily nutritional supplement, Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, and a Vitamin D booster, the other half of the equation has to be eliminating or greatly reducing the intake of high glycemic foods. Several Moms I know have had good results with this approach - 1 - not accepting the ADHD label on their kid; 2 - putting them on quality daily nutritional and Omega 3 supplements, and 3 - stop feeding them pop tarts, bagel with cream cheese and sweetened orange juice and instead giving them whole cereal or steel cut oats and an organic juice not from concentrate.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Unhealthy Eating Is Linked to 400,000 US Deaths per Year

This is an article that was published by AFP-Reuters and I was surprised to see it. Numerous studies have found that a healthy diet was not only a matter of choice but also income and education. Unhealthy eating habits can be blamed for more than 400,000 U.S. deaths a year due to heart disease and related illnesses, researchers said Thursday.

The problem is twofold: U.S. people are eating too much salty, fatty and sugary fare, and not enough fruit, vegetables and whole grains, experts said at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Portland, Oregon. "Low intake of healthy foods such as nuts, vegetables, whole grains and fruits combined with higher intake of unhealthy dietary components, such as salt and trans fat, is a major contributor to deaths from cardiovascular disease in the United States," said lead study author Ashkan Afshin, assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Trans fat has been largely phased out of the food supply, but can still be found in some margarines, biscuits, cookies, frosting and other processed foods.

The study was based on data from a variety of sources going back to the 1990s, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. By examining data on U.S. cardiovascular deaths in 2015, researchers found that dietary habits played a role in the deaths of an estimated 222,100 men and 193,400 women.

If people were to alter their eating habits, many lives could be saved, Afshin said, yet overlooking numerous studies that have found that a healthy diet was not only a matter of choice but also income and education. "Our results show that nearly half of cardiovascular disease deaths in the United States can be prevented by improving diet."

Obesity reaches higher rates in correlation with poverty, which is associated with lower availability of healthy foods and fewer safe neighborhoods where people can walk and children can play for exercise. For instance, more than 75 percent of African Americans are overweight or obese, compared with 67.2 percent of whites.

That pattern affects children, too. In 2012, just over 8 percent of African-American children ages 2 to 19 were severely obese, with a BMI above 40, compared with 3.9 percent of white children. About 38 percent of African American children live below the poverty line, while 12 percent of white children do.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Years ago when my daughter was around 8 or 10 years old, we were driving up a road when my daughter said "I know what you would tell that lady, Daddy." I looked to see who she was talking about and saw a very heavy woman walking up a sidewlk. I asked my daughter "What do you think I would tell her sweetpea?" and my daughter exclaimed "Lady,..two things, and exercise!" I was chagrined and felt my daughter may be getting a perception that I was prejuidiced against heavy people so I had to explain: "I do not dislike heavy people, be sure I get mad at them when we I see a 20 something fat Mom with a obese 8 year old - it's the Mom's fault and she is putting major obstacles not to mention the very health of that child in jeopardy. But heavy people (and I'm talking about the obsese) have a greatly reduced quality of life and it's not rocket science to do better. I constantly stress to people the four legged chir of health:

  • Minimize the high glycemic foods, maximize the intake of whole, low gylcemic foods.
  • Take quality nutritional supplements because you just cannot get the nutrients you need by eating
  • Live a Physical life,...walk, jog, play sports, stretch, do something!
  • Avoid Toxins - from household cleaners to consumable toxins like alcohol and tobacco.

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