ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that is typically diagnosed in childhood, but often persists into adulthood. There are a number of factors that contribute to the onset of this condition including genetics, prematurity, a brain injury, or the maternal consumption of harmful substances . Due to its complexity, the distinct cause of ADHD has not been identified.
The most common symptoms of ADHD include: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Although these characteristics may be observed among children in general, those with ADHD have noticeably higher degrees of hyperactivity or inattentiveness that disrupt their behavior at home, school, and social settings.
There are three types of ADHD : Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, or Combined. Diagnosing ADHD involves a medical exam, a vision and hearing test, and questionnaires that are used to obtain a history of the child's behavior from parents, teachers, and the child, in some cases.
ADHD is a long-term condition for which there is no known cure. There are a wide range of factors that influence the severity of symptoms that a child with this condition may experience. Fortunately, a number of strategies have been shown to efficiently address the symptoms of ADHD. Dietary changes and behavioral therapy are among the first line of treatment for young children who are diagnosed with this disorder.
Children with ADHD tend to have a higher incidence of digestive problems (e.g. constipation, cramping), and they may also display restrictive eating that can lead to nutritional deficiencies . A lack of essential nutrients in the diet may worsen cognitive problems, making this a particularly significant issue for children with ADHD. In such cases, the benefits of behavioral therapy may be hindered by digestive difficulties.
Clinical research shows that children with ADHD who incorporate micronutrient supplementation into their daily routine often demonstrate behavioral improvements that include heightened attention, enhanced emotional regulation, less impulsivity, and lower levels of aggression . In particular, a micronutrient supplement that contains essential vitamins and minerals helps target nutritional deficiencies.
This strategy appears to be useful because it enhances the body’s ability to absorb and transport nutrients to the brain. Furthermore, the gut contains a vast network of nerves and healthy bacteria that require proper nourishment in order to transfer important signals to the brain, including those that influence mental performance . Therefore, it is important to consider the impact that nutrition has on ADHD symptom severity when developing a plan of management for this condition.
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