ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition characterized by impulsivity, excessive activity, inattention and agitation. The condition affects millions of people, both children and adults, and often requires medication and lifestyle changes to manage. In this article, we outline the causes and treatments for ADHD and highlight how improving overall health can help those living with it.
ADHD: What are the Causes and Risk Factors?
The exact cause of ADHD is unclear, but some factors may increase one’s risk, including:
- Genetics: Some genetic components have been found in those with ADHD, including abnormalities in certain brain structures.
- Environment: Environmental factors, like lead poisoning and exposure to toxins, have been linked to ADHD.
- Brain Injury: A history of brain injury may increase risk for ADHD.
- Substance Abuse: A history of alcohol, tobacco, or drug abuse can increase a person’s risk for developing ADHD.
How Can ADHD be Treated?
There are a variety of treatments available to help manage symptoms of ADHD. Some of these include:
- Medication: Stimulants, non-stimulants and antidepressants are often prescribed to help manage symptoms.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Frequent, targeted talk therapy can help those with ADHD modify behaviors.
- Parent Training: Parents can learn how to best support their child with ADHD and manage behavior.
- Stress Management: Relaxation techniques, like yoga and meditation, can help reduce stress and improve focus.
Improving Health to Help Manage ADHD
In addition to medical treatments, making healthy lifestyle changes can greatly benefit those living with ADHD.
- Get Enough Sleep: Sleep deprivation has been linked to ADHD, so be sure to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep each night.
- Eat Well-Balanced Meals: Eating nutrient-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, can help improve focus and overall energy.
- Get Regular Exercise: Exercise can help reduce stress and improve thinking and organization skills.
- Limit Caffeine: Caffeine can worsen symptoms, so try to limit intake.
- Manage Stress: Stress can worsen symptoms, so take time each day for things that bring joy and relaxation.
The Bottom Line
Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its causes and treatments is key to managing the condition. A variety of treatments, including medication, cognitive behavioral therapy and parent training, as well as lifestyle changes, like eating healthy and managing stress, can help lessen symptoms and improve quality of life.
If you are living with ADHD, or know someone who is, it is important to see a healthcare provider to discuss your options.
ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, causes, risk factors, treatments, medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, parent training, lifestyle changes, nutrition, sleep, stress management.