Friday, March 11, 2022


What is ADD and symptoms

Nutritional Intervention For ADD

One of the most overlooked factors in managing the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is that of dietary intervention.   The ‘food piece’ can play a significant role in the manifestation of symptoms for this commonly diagnosed disorder in both children and adults.   Addressing the foods in the diet that may be contributing to symptoms can be very beneficial in managing inattention.   Knowing which foods to minimize and which foods to include in the diet can be very helpful for those who suffer from ADD.   Here are some key dietary practices to consider for optimizing attention:

Eliminate artificial colors and flavors

Today’s food supply is filled with fake colors and flavors.   Products are specifically marketed to appeal to our children, and as parents we often fall victim to these marketing tactics.   Our bodies simply were not designed to break down these artificial ingredients and in the world of ADD, these chemical additives can contribute to learning and behavior problems, including inattentiveness. Opting for products that are free of artificial colors and flavors is an important part of managing ADD symptoms.

Eliminate preservatives

Other food additives include preservatives that serve the purpose of increasing the shelf life of food products.   Unfortunately, many of these preservatives have been linked to various health conditions including that of ADD.   Refraining from unnatural ingredients used to preserve food products is another healthy practice for everyone, especially those with ADD.

Include healthy fats

Contrary to what some people believe, we need fats in our diet.   However, getting the right kind of fats is crucial.   Processed foods often contain unhealthy fats or trans fats, scientifically linked to disease states and certainly not helpful in promoting brain function.   Including healthy fats like fish oils, flax seed, avocado and olive oil in the diet is an important way to support the brain and optimize attention.

Watch refined sugar intake

Often those with ADD tend to gravitate towards carbohydrates and sugary foods.   These food choices are definitely not ‘thinker helpers’ but quite the opposite.   Sugar, and particularly refined sugars, should be minimized in the diet to promote optimal health, learning, and behavior.

Eat more whole foods

It is a good idea to focus on eating foods in their natural state as much as possible.   These whole foods provide optimal amounts of nutrients necessary for optimal brain and body function.   Eating lean protein from quality sources along with a variety of fruits and vegetables promotes overall health and wellness, including attention.

Additional Considerations

Food allergies are common among those with ADD.   It is important to identify any food allergies or intolerances and omit problem foods from the diet.   Daily exercise is also an important component of managing ADD symptoms as physical movement helps to promote concentration and regulate activity level.

In addition to diet, there are nutritional supplements that target brain function and attention.   Commonly used supplements include B vitamins, zinc, fish oil, digestive enzymes, probiotics, amino acids and various herbs.   Be sure to check with your qualified health care practitioner about any medications and supplements taken to manage ADD symptoms.



By Kelli Miller

 Medically Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on October 22, 2021

Your child daydreams a lot at school and is easily distracted when they are doing homework or chores. Maybe they fidget constantly. You might wonder if they have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Or is it attention deficit disorder (ADD)?

Is there a difference?

Not anymore. In 1994, doctors decided all forms of attention-deficit disorder would be called "attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder," or ADHD, even if the person wasn't hyperactive. Now it's called , inattentive type, or ADHD, hyperactive/impulsive type, or ADHD, combined type.

Which term is right for your family to use depends on your child's specific symptoms and diagnosis. It's important to talk with an experienced mental health provider to make sure your child gets the right diagnosis.

Daydreamer or Fidgeter?

ADHD is a brain-based disorder. It can interfere with your child's everyday activities at home and at school. Kids who have it have trouble paying attention and controlling their behavior, and are sometimes hyperactive.

Before they are diagnosed, you will want to note your child's symptoms. The CDC offers an ADHD checklist for children that may help you keep track of them.

Here are the signs to look for:

  • Inattention: Includes disorganization, problems staying on task, constant daydreaming, and not paying attention when spoken to directly.
  • Impulsivity: Includes spur-of-the-moment decisions without thinking about the chance of harm or long-term effects. They act quickly to get an immediate reward. They may regularly interrupt teachers, friends, and family.
  • Hyperactivity: Involves squirming, fidgeting, tapping, talking, and constant movement, especially in situations where it's not appropriate.

Mental health professionals in the United States use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose all psychiatric conditions, including ADHD. The latest version divides it into three types:

  • ADHD predominantly inattentive presentation (what used to be called ADD)
  • ADHD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation 
  • ADHD combined presentation (both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms)

Your child's diagnosis will depend on their specific symptoms.

ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Presentation

Kids with this condition aren't hyperactive. They don't have the high energy level seen in others with ADHD. In fact, children with this form may seem shy or "in their own world."

ADD is diagnosed if a child under age 16 has 6 or more symptoms of inattention (5 or more for older teens) for at least 6 consecutive months but no signs of hyperactivity/impulsivity.

The symptoms include:

  • Trouble paying attention (easily sidetracked)
  • Doesn't like or avoids long mental tasks (such as homework)
  • Trouble staying on task during school, at home, or even at play
  • Disorganized and seems forgetful
  • Doesn't appear to listen when directly spoken to
  • Doesn't pay close attention to details
  • Loses things often
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Struggles to follow through with instructions

Children with this subtype of ADHD may go undiagnosed because the symptoms may be chalked up to daydreaming.

ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation

Children with this form of ADHD have tons of energy and are constantly moving in a way that causes problems. It's diagnosed if a child under age 16 has 6 or more hyperactive/impulsive symptoms for at least 6 months (5 or more for older teens). This form is more noticeable than the inattentive type.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurting out answers before a question is finished
  • Constantly interrupting others
  • Trouble waiting for their turn
  • Talks too much
  • Fidgeting, tapping, and squirming
  • Gets up when it's not appropriate (such as when the teacher is talking or in the middle of dinner)
  • Running or climbing in inappropriate situations
  • Unable to play quietly
  • Always "on the go"

ADHD Combined Presentation

A child with this type has symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.

10 3 2022

Gabor Mate on How We Become Who We Are ?

Dr Gabor mate ADD



Part 2: General Principles of Brain Development

Part 3: The Impact of the Environment

Part 4: How to Promote Development

Part 5: Long Term Goals of Development

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