CONDITIONS HEALTH AT T E N T I O N D E F I C I T H Y P E R AC T I V I T Y D I S O R D E R VERSION 1.0 What is it? Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder. It interferes with a person's ability to stay on a task and to exercise age-appropriate behaviour. There are three types of ADHD: an inattentive type (generally referred to as just ADD), a hyperactive-impulsive type and a combined type. Diagnosis is usually made in childhood and symptoms may continue into adulthood. Symptoms Hyperactive-impulsive type – the person is very active and often acts without thinking, even in dangerous situations. Signs and symptoms to look out for include: • Fidget and wriggle • Run around or climb constantly. They cannot sit for long periods and will just get out of their chair Inattentive type – signs and symptoms to look out for even when they must remain seated. include: • Always talking even when asked to play quietly • difficulty paying attention and staying focused an or will interrupt others while talking a task • Impatient – will often push ahead of the line and • rarely finishes school work or chores interrupts games or classes. • poor organisation skills ....continued over Did you know? • All children can be impulsive, hyperactive or will not pay attention. If they are constantly like this, see your healthcare professional to get a proper diagnosis • Due to their behaviour many children experience problems at home, school or maintaining friends. This can lead them to feel anxious, depressed or have low self esteem. Be open to counselling for yourself and your child. It can help you cope with the challenges of raising a child with AD/HD and help your child’s self esteem • Build up your child’s strengths and offer praise and recognition with their achievements • Discipline is important. Set clear and concise rules for your child. Explain what will happen if your child is good or reaches set goals and when they misbehave • Keep in touch with your child’s teacher by discussing how your child is doing at home and at school. Try to stick to the same recognition and discipline plan and home and school • Diet – certain foods have been noted to exacerbate different behaviours. Start a food diary for 1 to 2 weeks, including everything your child eats. Record all physical, mental and emotional symptoms and how long after eating they occur. Give this information to your healthcare professional to help determine if any foods or bever- ages are aggravating the symptoms • Generally following a good healthy diet is good start. Limit or avoid over-processed foods, artificial preserva- tives, colourings and flavours, sugar, soft drinks, cakes and sweets. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO TREAT OR DIAGNOSE. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE TAKING NUTRITIONAL OR HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS. CONDITIONS HEALTH AT T E N T I O N D E F I C I T H Y P E R AC T I V I T Y DISORDER continued VERSION 1.0 • easily distracted • always losing items such as toys, school work, and books. Combined type – the person is inattentive, impulsive and too active. Children exhibit symptoms of the two types. Difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness are the main symptoms. Why it happens? Factors that may cause ADHD include: • Imbalance in brain chemicals – low dopamine levels have been noted, which affects, attention and motivation. Alcohol and drug use during pregnancy may decrease reduce the activity of nerve cells that produce dopamine • Genetic tendency • Childhood exposure to lead and industrial chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) • New research suggests an inability to convert fatty acids into longer chain fatty acids may be a contributing factor for some ADHD children. What natural therapies can help? Fish oil – improvements have been noted while taking a combination of fish and evening primrose oils. Zinc and magnesium – low magnesium and zinc levels have been reported in children with ADHD. B group vitamins support the nervous system. Bacopa and ginkgo – helps with memory and learning, though more research is needed on the correct dose of these herbs. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO TREAT OR DIAGNOSE. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE TAKING NUTRITIONAL OR HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS.