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ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

By Dr. Kanchan Harjwani        |  April 29, 2016

ADHD cure

What is ADHD? Is ADHD seen only in kids? What are symptoms of ADHD? What are other ways to help ADHD kids except medication?

These days ADHD has become very common and is very difficult to understand what actually it is and how to deal with ADHD. This article helps you to know ADHD and all the answers you are looking for related to ADHD.

ADHD is an attention deficit syndrome. It is one of the complicated disorder and is often misunderstood with other similar type of disorder called autism which also have similar symptoms like ADHD. 

Only 3-5% were detected with ADHD before and now gradually it is increasing worldwide and now it is no more unknown disease. According to research it is more commonly seen in boys than girls. A parent with ADHD has more chances of having a child with same disorder. 

ADHD child has poor concentrating power and is hyperactive (activity more than normal) till the point of troublesome. Child with ADHD has poor school performance due to poor concentrating skills. There are many research going on for ADHD and some of them have come up with combination of factors which may be responsible for ADHD and specially relation of diet as causative factor for ADHD. Food additives, processed foods, chemicals are strongly related to ADHD. There are also some types of food which aggravates ADHD like caffeine in sodas, metal toxicity allergies of food. In many ADHD cases they have found deficiency of EFA (essential fatty acid).


 ADHD is seen in both children as well as adults. But it is more commonly seen in children. In children it is diagnosed before the age of 7 years. Most diagnoses are made between the age of 3 and 7 years. Commonly symptoms caused by ADHD are poor social interaction with the surrounding, they generally do less than expected in their school. ADHD does not show any physical signs which can be detected by any lab test.

Causes of ADHD

There are many research studies going on to find the exact cause of ADHD. But certain things can be related to ADHD like

1.  Genetic cause:

ADHD can have genetic causes that means if anyone in family maternal or paternal side had this condition can lead to ADHD in child. There are genetic characteristics which may have passed to the child. If one of the parent is suffering from ADHD then there is fifty percent (50%) of chance that child will be ADHD affected. And if child has elder sibling suffering from ADHD then there is thirty percent (30%) of chance that he/she too can be affected by the same.

2.  Pregnancy Issues:

Research shows that pregnant women who have addictions like smoking or drinking alcohol may have high risk of having ADHD child. Exposure to heavy toxic metals like Lead, PCBs, or other chemicals and pesticides and also children born premature or low birth rate or with obstructive labor have high risk of ADHD.

3.  Some studies show that even head injuries like frontal lobe of the brain if injured can also lead to abnormal behavior because that area controls impulses and emotions. Some research studies believe that brain development is restricted with some toxins and that leads to hyperactivity. Some studies shows that certain parts of brain may be less active in ADHD. Brain chemical Dopamine is disturbed which results in abnormality of movements, sleep, mood, learning, and focus.

4.  Nutrition and Food:

Some researchers believe that food additives may worsen ADHD. Certain ingredients in diet like flavored foods, sugar can affect behavior 

Types of ADHD

A child is said to have ADHD when he/she is observed to have inattentiveness, impulsive, overly talkative, excessively irritable and hyperactive till the point of troublesome.

The symptoms of ADHD can be divided into two sets of behavioral problems, first is inattentiveness and second is hyperactivity and impulsiveness. But there are three subtypes of the condition and it is useful to find out which one your child may have:

  • Inattentive
  • Hyperactive-impulsive
  •  Combined

Combined form of ADHD is more common.

In Inattentiveness type of ADHD child may have symptoms of inattentiveness but no other symptoms, like hyperactivity or impulsiveness. This type is also known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This type is more prominent in girls than boys.

ADHD can also cause conditions as follows:

  • Anxiety disorder: In this child is always worried and nervous. Physical symptoms like palpitation sweating can be seen
  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD): There is negative and troublesome behaviors particularly towards elders such as parents, teachers and care takers.
  • Conduct disorder: This is the most dangerous disorder as there is highly anti-social behaviors like destruction of public and private property, fighting with people, causing harm to human and animals
  • Depression: There is mood disorders.
  • Sleep problems: In this condition it is very difficult for hyperactive child to sleep, as sleep pattern is very much disturbed.
  • Epilepsy: In this condition, brain activity is disturbed that causes seizures.
  • Learning difficulties: ADHD child can also suffer from dyslexia
ADHD has no effect on intelligence

Symptoms of ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD in children and adults are well defined and developed.

Symptoms of ADHD in children are described by their types.

1.  Inattentive :

  • Very easily distracted
  • Less attention span
  •  Making silly mistakes with school work
  • Losing thing very easily
  • Unable to continue same task for a longer time
  • Not able to concentrate
  • Unable to follow proper instructions
  • Always changing activities or tasks
  • Difficulty in organizing things

2.  Hyperactive

  • Very restless
  • Unable to sit at one place in calm surroundings
  • Constant movements of hands and feet through nervousness
  • More than normal physical movements
  •  Very talkative 

3.  Impulsive

  • No Sense of danger
  • Breaking rules
  • Action without thinking
  • Interfering conversation
  • Impatient 

Symptoms of ADHD in Adults

ADHD in Adults are difficult to describe because it is very uncertain that ADHD can occur in adults without first appearance in their childhood. By the age of 25, 15% of people are estimated to be diagnosed with childhood ADHD and they still show full range of symptoms.

There is no definite list of adult symptoms, this is because the way in which they affect in adults in very different to the way they affect in children. Following symptoms can be experienced by adults suffering from ADHD

  • Poor attention and carelessness to details
  • Unable to continue old tasks, changing continuously
  • Bad organizational skills
  • Unable to focus
  • Misplacing things very easily
  • Forgetfulness
  • Nervous or irritable with restlessness
  • Unable to keep quiet
  • Revealing responses
  • Often interrupting the surrounding
  • Mood swings and mood disorders
  • Irritable and quick-tempered
  • Unable to deal with stressful situations
  • Impatient
  • Taking risks without thinking about personal safety
  • Poor self-control
  • Prone to more addictions
  • Difficulty in behaving socially
  • Hypersensitive to all type of criticism
  • Have many relationship problems

As like in children, adult ADHD can also be seen in other problems and conditions like


  Personality disorders

  Bipolar disorder

  Obsessive compulsive disorder

Diet in ADHD:

In cases of ADHD, a nourishing diet is always recommended as a poor diet has been aggravating hyperactivity. Ideally a diet that helps the brain to work better and controls the symptoms of restlessness or lack of concentration should be executed.

1)  All processed and fast foods should be avoided, food preservatives, Additives, hydrogenated oils, caffeine and carbonated drinks like sodas are also known as harming ingredients.

2)  Essential fatty acids (EFAs) is known to be beneficial for ADHD child and other fat which is more important is DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid is also considered as one of the important fat. Studies have found an EFA deficiency in children with such hyperactivity disorders. There is neurotransmitter imbalance leading to a miscommunication between brain cells in ADHD child.

3)  Rich sources of EFAs are Fish, flax seeds and nuts. Omega-3 essential fatty acid and DHA are richly found in fish and some algae. Supplements like Fish oils are a resourceful means to help your child. Other good sources are DHA added omega-3 eggs and other foods.

4)  Proteins are said to be building blocks of body, as there is constant hyperactivity and energy is consumed in faster way, kids with ADHD requires good amount of PROTEINS in diet to help them. Some of rich sources of proteins are bananas, organic salmon, eggs, and poultry foods especially meat, cashew and hummus.

5)  Essential minerals: Calcium and magnesium are two essential minerals. Some of rich sources of calcium are milk, banana and yoghurt, green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli helps in strengthen bones and support cell membrane that helps to nervous system of brain which may help in progress of child’s performance. Magnesium also has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, it helps to maintain nerve functions and also normal muscle activity. It elaborates energy metabolism and protein synthesis.  Some rich sources in magnesium are nuts, seeds beans and peas and whole grains.

Studies shows Children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD have responded positively to calcium and magnesium supplements, both of which are richly found naturally in many foods.

6)  Vitamin B : vitamin B1(thiamin) is one of the important mineral which helps in keeping nervous system healthy and some rich source of vitamin B are whole-grain cereals and breads, liver, eggs, meats, fish, fresh and dried fruits, leafy green vegetables and green peas. 

Do's and Don'ts of ADHD

1.  Parents should try and understand their child and recognize their problematic area. Parents should reward good behavior and discourage destructive acts without being much hard on child.

2.  Creating daily routines: make a routine structure for your child like meals time, homework, bedtime, playing time, watching TV, keeping things on its place can help a child a lot.

3.  Breaking tasks according to capability: Use a large wall charts to help child reminding his duties, homework, small lessens, this will help child  from overloading with every day task

4.  Time limitation: Children with ADHD becomes easily accessible to gadgets like Television, computer, mobile phone which encourage their impulsive behavior so parents should regulate it accordingly by encouraging child for more outdoor games and activities and decrease time with gadgets.

5.  Physical activity: Regular exercise burns excess energy in healthy way which in turn decreases their impulsivity which helps to focus their attention. Exercise also increase concentration power and stimulates the pain by decreasing depression and anxiety.

6.  Sleep Patterns: Children with ADHD has problems with sleep patterns due to their hyperactivity of brain they cannot sleep which aggravates their hyperactivity recklessness. Maintaining regular sleep patterns helps the child to get better rest.

7.  Encouraging patience and thinking power by teaching your child how to make sentences, how to talk by gaping in sentences and how to respond on questions. Make conversations more interactive on any topic of his interest. It is important to understand his thought process to control his impulsive behavior.  Help him with reasoning in this way his thought process will improve

8.  Faith and believe: By understanding that this disorder won’t be forever help him by encouraging and positive thoughts. One should praise him for his good things or rightly done things.

9.  Counselling: child also needs professional care with parental help, there are  many specialist and therapist who can assist you well with the condition and can help your child with much better therapies they  can also counsel you with your worries and stress related to ADHD and your child.

10. Controlling self-emotions: ADHD child do not recognize the trouble they cause so one should not lose temper on them, you cannot control his impulsiveness with your anger or short outburst, you have to be calm and relax. Your aggressiveness can increase his impulsiveness. 

some don'ts in ADHD

1.  Do not get discouraged: If  you child have achieved two to three tasks without completing remaining tasks, don’t get discouraged , even small steps are very important for his positive behavior.

2.  Do not be forceful on child: If he is unable to complete his task or follow your instructions do not be angry on him as he is suffering from some disorder and he cannot take your rude behavior which in turn will aggravates his impulsive.

3.  Don’t ignore his misbehavior: When you do not respond his behavior (good or bad) he becomes habitual to that behavior and understand that your silence means acceptance to that behavior, or the feeling of rejection.

4.   Do not be overly talkative or narrative: Do not keep on instructing him all the time or keep on talking when he has done something wrong. When you talk more you lose importance of words and they become less effective after some time. So stop being chatterbox to the child every time.

5.  Don’t shout or scream at child: This shows you have lost control so he in turn won’t be able to take it and respond you in the same way by yelling. So do not lose your temper.

6.  Do not be hard on punishing your child: Give appropriate punishment for his misbehavior like if he has created mess by throwing bits of paper all around, let him clean by himself, no need of hitting him or blaming or yelling. Being hard with punishments may affect him negatively he might become crankier or starts doubting your love.

7.  Do not demand: ADHD children reacts well to praises and positive actions, try to convince him for doing things by praising his past good work rather than demanding or criticizing him for his present work. This will encourage his progress in positive way.

8.  Do not give up: Handling a special child requires tremendous amount of patience and strength. Connecting with other parents who have same difficulties may help you feel less lonely and more strength to withstand the situation, there are many support groups for ADHD which may help you to know better about dealing with child. Try to review your progress regularly.

9.  Do not use big phrases or difficult words: Try and use simple words which he is able to use, especially day to day life things or work.

Therapies for ADHD

Psychotherapy: There are different types of psychotherapy for ADHD, this aims to help and change abnormal behavior of child. In this children are trained for organizing task, completing given work. It helps to recognize oneself, and giving oneself praise, controlling anger or hyperactivity. In this way child can control his behavior and emotions in natural way.


According to research causative factor of ADHD is somewhere related to pregnancy of mother:

Maternal mental health has great impact on both child and mothers health. Several psychiatric disorders are common during pregnancy one of them is depression. Any negative emotion during time of pregnancy may lead to negative impact on child growth and mental development of child. Or this may also results in premature birth, low birth weight or growth retardation of child in womb. Impact of maternal health starts from the time of conception.


Research shows Psychological distress and mental illness including depression and anxiety have great influence on child’s emotional and behavioral development Reflexology.

Reflexology; it is type which helps to improve the mental condition of ADHD child. It works on the nervous system and endocrine systems to help boost a state of calmness and balance in ADHD child. Reflex points on which it works are pituitary, pancreas, adrenals, ascending/transverse colon, liver and entire spine.


Brain Gym

Brain Gym is one of the program of 26 physical movements that boost learning & performance in all areas for ADHD

Magnet therapy

The principle behind the magnet therapy is that one have an invisible energy force constantly flowing through our body.  Blockages in the flow of energies causes disease, disorders and mental imbalances. Magnets are used to modify this energy force and restore the natural balance of energies.