Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex mental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is most commonly diagnosed in children around six to 12, especially in boys that affects the behavior of a child often into adulthood.
Although the exact cause of ADHD is unknown, genetics, family history and environmental factors are all potential contributors. The disorder is diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation of behavior tests.
ADHD symptoms in children
Most common behaviors of kids with ADHD include:
- Inability to recognize other people’s needs and desires
- Frequent emotional outbursts
- Inability to sit still; constantly fidgeting
- Lack of focus or trouble paying attention
- Inability to complete tasks, always getting distracted in the middle of something.
Diet in children with ADHD
Nutrition is foundational in overall health, but especially in the development of children. We are what we eat. Diet can also play a critical function in managing ADHD and behavioural outbursts. Focusing on a diet that promotes high nutrition not only teaches children good eating habits, but can also help with overall brain function, even lessening symptoms of distraction and hyperactivity.
Elimination diets are now trending as more parents want to shift away from medication and seek natural alternatives. This involves avoiding foods or ingredients that might trigger certain behaviors or worsen symptoms. Pick a particular food or food type that may be contributing to symptoms and remove it from your child’s diet for a week. If symptoms improve or go away, then your child can continue leaving that food out of their meals and snacks.
Example of a balanced diet for a child with ADHD include:
- Vegetables and fruits
- Good fats and oils: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, butter, palm oil
- Organic meats and seafood
- Diversified protein: quinoa, beans, eggs, nuts, soy, yogurt, cheese
The damaging effects of sugar
Parents should avoid feeding children too much sugar as it triggers many symptoms and is highly addictive. Candy, corn syrup, honey, sugar, products made from white flour and white rice also have sugar-like symptom-triggering properties. Diets high in nutritional value have shown promising results for reducing ADHD symptoms.
While here is no cure for ADHD in some cases, symptoms will reduce with age. Treatment for most cases of ADHD involves a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Parents with children with ADHD have their hands full, but can find helpful partnerships with child psychologists or developmental pediatricians.
Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?
One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.
But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.