Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the fastest growing disorders to affect young people today. The condition is hallmarked by symptoms such as inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity and has been diagnosed in 11 percent of children ages 4-17 as of 2011. According to the CDC, ADHD diagnoses have increased steadily at a rate of 5 percent per year and are showing no signs of slowing down.
The suspected reasons for the upswing in ADHD cases are numerous and not greatly understood. While depictions of the disorder in literature date back hundreds of years, diagnosis and treatment is relatively new. Furthermore, the fact that the direct cause of many cases is unknown only adds to the confusion and frustrations of sufferers and parents alike. Among the many contributing factors believed to impact ADHD are genetics, lead exposure, prenatal exposure to toxins such as nicotine or alcohol, brain injuries, and food additives such as artificial coloring. These factors contribute to the brain’s decreased ability to filter out extraneous sights, sounds, thoughts, and emotions, and when combined with an overactive nervous system, ADHD may often be the result. These factors contribute to the brain’s decreased ability to filter out extraneous sights, sounds, thoughts, and emotions, and when combined with an overactive nervous system, ADHD may often be the result.
Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin are currently the medication of choice for controlling ADHD symptoms. While these may reduce impulsiveness and increase attentiveness, the list of side effects is long and frightening, and the long-term effects are largely unknown. For this reason, many parents have begun to search out natural alternatives; yet finding a medical professional to help in this search may prove difficult. Typically, it will be a physician such as a chiropractor who will be best suited to guiding patients toward holistic healing practices. Here are some ways that a chiropractor can help:
- Adjustments – Spinal adjustments are not only safe for children, but they are one of the most effective ways to increase performance of the nervous system. Nerves located throughout the spinal column communicate signals to and from the brain with other areas of the body. When misalignments occur along this pathway, communication can be hindered and wellbeing affected.
- Nutrition – Chiropractors frequently give dietary advice to their patients to improve their overall health. In the case of ADHD patients, proper nutritional counseling, when followed correctly, may be able to improve attentiveness, impulsiveness, and many other symptoms.
While the exact cause of ADHD may be difficult to determine for each patient, there are some steps that concerned parents can take in lieu of turning to stimulants to treat their child’s disorder. Outside influences and even changes within the body can all impact the nervous system, brain, and, ultimately, behavior.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, or you believe that they may have it, contact Principled Chiropractic and request a consultation with one of our physicians. Our doctors can help develop a treatment plan specific to your child’s needs in an effort to improve their ADHD symptoms naturally. Simply click our “contact us” link on our web page or give one of our offices a call to schedule an appointment right away!