Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity disorder is defined as a disorder that makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control impulsive behavior. ADHD in kids has become more prevalent over the last few years. According to the CDC, 11% of American children ages 4 to 17 have ADHD (1). Current research suggests that ADHD is caused by interactions between genes and environmental or non-genetic factors. Different risk factors can contribute to the development of ADHD.
A study published in European Child Adolescent Psychiatry found that maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with the development of ADHD (2). They study also showed that smoking by either parent after a child is born may also be linked to ADHD in children.
2. Diet & Gut Health
Research has shown that gut heath is directly related to brain health. Chemical food additives, wheat, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and food allergies are linked to ADHD. A diet full of grains, sugar, processed foods and GMO’s may cause worse attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms.
3. Brain Injury
Brain injury may also be one of the ADHD causes. Traumatic brain injury can cause a variety of symptoms (3). Symptoms linked to brain injury can include include memory and attention deficits and impulsive behavior.
Researchers believe that genetics is also an ADHD cause. If a parent or grandparent has ADHD, a child is more likely to develop the symptoms. Studies show that genetics may be a major risk factor in developing the disorder.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms often appear in children around the age of seven. The symptoms can continue throughout adolescence and adulthood. The severity of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms vary. But people with ADHD usually show an ongoing pattern of symptoms that include: difficulty paying attention, being overactive and acting without thinking. Symptoms of ADHD include:
- Inability to sit still
- Being easily bored or distracted
- Difficulty listening or understanding
- Difficulty following even basic instructions
- Poor memory
- Prone to losing items
- Talking quickly and incessantly
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Ineffective organizational skills
- Large and frequent emotional swings
- Emotional Outbursts
- Low tolerance of people, situations and surroundings
- Prone to anger
ADHD vs ADD
You’ve probably heard the term “ADD” associated with ADHD (4). So, what’s the difference? The ADHD definition includes the term “hyperactive.” ADD is a somewhat outdated term that is typically used to describe an inattentive type of ADHD. This type of ADHD would cause symptoms such as disorganization, lack of focus and forgetfulness. The main difference is that “hyperactive” term. People with inattentive-type ADHD (or ADD) are not hyper or impulsive.