Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavior problem characterized by a short attention span, low frustration tolerance, impulsivity, distractibility, and usually, hyperactivity. This can result in poor school performance, difficulty in peer relationships, and conflict between parent and child.
Recent research indicates neurotransmitter abnormalities, e.g., decreased activity or stimulation in upper brainstem and frontal-midbrain tracts. Toxins, neurologic immaturity, and environmental problems have also been hypothesized.
Many factors generate symptoms that closely resemble ADHD, including sensitivities to food additives (artificial food colors, flavorings, and preservatives), intolerances to foods (corn, wheat, milk, soy, oranges, eggs, or chocolate), nutrient deficiencies and imbalances, heavy metal intoxication, and toxic pollutant burden. Also, evidence is mounting that abnormal thyroid responsiveness, perhaps engendered perinatally by environmental pollutants, is on the rise and predisposes to ADHD.
Sugar intake makes a marked contribution to hyperactive, aggressive, and destructive behavior. A large study found that 74 percent of hyperactive children manifested abnormal glucose tolerance in response to a sucrose meal.
Children exposed acutely or chronically to lead, arsenic, aluminum, mercury, or cadmium are often left with permanent neurological sequelae that include attentional deficits, emotional lability, and behavioral reactivity.
ADHD is associated with poor prenatal health (preeclampsia, drug and alcohol use, smoking). ADHD is associated with, but not caused by: Learning disabilities, Tourette's, Mood disorders, Oppositional defiant disorder, and Conduct disorder.
Lead poisoning and Medication reactions (decongestant, antihistamine, theophylline, phenobarbital) may cause similar symptoms.
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