What Makes ADHD Worse in Children?
Only children who struggle with inattention and hyperactive or impulsive behaviors around the clock are deemed to have ADHD and, if not dealt with properly, the symptoms can continue well into adulthood. So if the symptoms appear at school but not at home or vice versa, then ADHD is not the problem.Many parents are coerced into putting their children on anti-ADHD drugs as a solution instead of trying to find out what might have caused the condition in the first place or what is contributing to making the ADHD worse.
What is ADHD and how widespread is it?It is said that 1 in 10 U.S. children now has ADHD – with the numbers increasing every year. ADHD (or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) makes it hard for children to pay attention and control impulsive behavior. When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 73,000 children, they found the number of U.S. children with the disorder to be over 5 million. The huge concern is that at least two-thirds of the children diagnosed with ADHD have been prescribed with pharmaceutical drugs - with all that that entails.
There is no blood test or brain-imaging exam for diagnosing ADHDThis may surprise you. It is almost a question of perception on the part of teachers, parents and health care workers. For example, sometimes reading disabilities or other problems in the classroom can cause a teacher or others to mistakenly think a child has ADHD. The maturity of the child in question is also important as the youngest children in a class are 60% more likely to exhibit such so called symptoms of ADHD (like fidgeting and being unable to concentrate) when compared to older children in the class. It could be that a diagnosis of ADHD is a convenient label for any child who does not behave well – for whatever reason.
Why is the diagnosis of ADHD becoming more common?There have been many studies carried out on this subject and what is behind the increasing numbers.
- Top of the list must surely be diet. Many adults make very poor food choices and these are mirrored in their children who might have no say. Any child will be less likely to perform well on a diet of processed foods high in chemicals, sugars, high fructose corn syrup chemicals and other GMO ingredients while drinking sugary juices and sodas instead of pure water. The brain would be starved of the necessary nutrients for optimum function.
- On the subject of diet, and according to greenmedinfo, a zinc deficiency could be contributing. Zinc supplementation is safe and effective in treating patients with ADHD.
- Although organic whole grains are superior to processed ones, many children with ADHD do not respond well to most grains, especially wheat. So much so that the presence of Celiac disease is markedly high in those children presenting with ADHD.
- There are a number of food additives that experts think may worsen the symptoms of ADHD. They include: Blue #1 and #2 food coloring; Green #3; Orange B; Red #3 and #40; Yellow #5 and #6; and Sodium benzoate, a preservative
- Research is being carried out to find out whether there are some genes that run in families that might make a child more susceptible to ADHD – the genetic link.
- A 2006 study found that a mother's use of cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy could increase the risk for ADHD. In the same way, environmental toxins such as lead and mercury may also cause ADHD symptoms while pesticides and the industrial chemicals polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have also been named as potential culprits.
- The number of chemically-sensitive people is increasing. Children may exhibit ADHD symptoms when exposed to clothing washed with perfumed and chemical-laden soap. Artificial fragrances, laundry and cleaning products, flame retardant or stain-resistant products are all full of chemicals that can initiate ADHD-like reactions in sensitive individuals.
- A team of scientists from the University of Montreal and Harvard University have discovered that exposure to organophosphate pesticides is associated with increased risk of (ADHD) in children. Another study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that the children of pregnant women exposed to organophosphate pesticides also had an increased risk of developing ADHD.
- The huge concern of many parents today - vaccines - could be another reason for increased ADHD in children. One 2007 survey found a strong correlation between rates of neurological disorders, such as ADHD, and childhood vaccinations. In addition, vaccine adjuvants have also been associated with ADHD-type neurological problems.
- Fluoridated water is toxic and used by many water supplying authorities.
- Stress is another contributing factor. If there is stress in the family home, this could all too easily be another reason behind worsening ADHD figures in children.
- Even the type of birth a child has could be a factor. Any birth trauma or lack of oxygen in the newborn could increase the risk of developmental delay.