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ADHD: Diagnosis And Treatment. The Power Of Comprehensive Support

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects the behaviour and attention of children and adolescents.

In recent decades, cases of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have significantly increased, making it one of the most prevalent childhood psychiatric disorders today. This article aims to explore what ADHD is, its signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment methods, and how parents can provide support to children dealing with this condition.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that affects attention regulation, activity levels, and behaviour in children and adolescents. Children with ADHD may experience difficulties in concentration, self-regulation, and organization, impacting their ability to function effectively in daily life and at school.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

The signs of ADHD can manifest differently in each child, and not all symptoms occur simultaneously. Here are some common signs to be aware of:

  • Attention Difficulties: Children with ADHD may struggle to focus on tasks and games, easily get distracted, lose items, or forget to complete assignments.
  • Hyperactivity: Children with ADHD often display increased activity levels, moving more than other children of their age. They may be fidgety, restless, and constantly on the move.
  • Impulsivity: Children with ADHD may act without thinking, and reacting impulsively without considering the consequences of their actions.

Diagnosing ADHD

Diagnosing ADHD is a complex and comprehensive process. It involves observing the child’s behaviour, assessing family medical history, and gathering information from parents and teachers. Standardized tests and questionnaires may also be used in the diagnostic process.

It’s important to understand that there is no definitive test to confirm ADHD. Other potential issues that share similar symptoms must be ruled out before considering ADHD as a possible diagnosis. The process requires careful evaluation to ensure an accurate assessment.

Health problems that can be mistaken for ADHD

In early childhood, a number of medical conditions can exhibit symptoms resembling hyperactivity. Some of these problems may manifest differently in adults. Here are some of them: Sleep disorders, including insomnia.

Thyroid disorders – hypo- or hyperthyroidism, which can affect a child’s energy and behaviour. Low thyroid hormone levels in childhood can cause symptoms similar to ADHD.

Some allergic reactions, atopic issues, and food allergies – some children may display hyperactivity or nervousness in response to specific allergens.

Screen time syndrome and excessive use of electronic devices.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) is quite common in children and can present as hyperactivity.

Diabetes mellitus can also lead to decreased blood sugar levels.

PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) – some children may exhibit hyperactivity and neurological symptoms after a streptococcal infection. It is important to note that PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) has similar symptoms but is not associated with streptococcal infection.

Excess weight and other metabolic disorders. Excess weight can cause various physiological changes and impact the functioning of neurotransmitters, which in turn can affect a child’s behaviour and mental state.

Intoxication with heavy metals or other toxic substances.

  1. Lead: It is known that lead can impact the central nervous system and have a negative influence on attention and behaviour.
  2. Mercury: Some studies have suggested a link between mercury exposure and ADHD symptoms.
  3. Cadmium: This metal may be associated with negative effects on the nervous system.

Porphyria disorders – disturbances in porphyrin metabolism, which can lead to neurological and psychiatric symptoms, including hyperactivity. Porphyria disorders can also be caused by intoxication with heavy metals.

Epilepsy – some forms of epilepsy can manifest as hyperactivity and uncontrolled movements.

Metabolic disorders, such as phenylketonuria or galactosemia. In most developed countries, screening for inherited diseases, including phenylketonuria and galactosemia, is now mandatory for all newborns. This screening is usually conducted shortly after birth or within the first few days of a baby’s life.

Some brain and central nervous system disorders, such as brain tumours or brain lesions.

Head injuries or other medical problems that can affect brain function, such as micro-strokes.

Any problems related to an insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain tissues can lead to hyperactivity:

  • Respiratory system problems that can lead to a lack of oxygen in the blood, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, obstructive lung diseases, and others.
  • Allergic rhinitis, which can worsen breathing and impede the flow of oxygen.
  • Cardiovascular diseases, such as congenital heart defects or arrhythmias, which can affect the oxygen transport to the brain tissues.
  • Hypercoagulation (increased blood clotting).

Nutritional Deficiencies and Hyperactivity

Hyperactivity and behavioural problems in children can also be associated with various deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. Here are some of them:

  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): The deficiency of this vitamin can lead to disturbances in nervous system function and increased excitability.
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): Its deficiency can affect the normal functioning of the nervous system and lead to irritability.
  • Iron: Iron deficiency can cause anemia, which may be associated with increased activity and irritability in children.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency can affect the normal function of the nervous system and stress levels.
  • Zinc: Zinc deficiency may be linked to behavioural problems and reduced concentration.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids can impact brain function and behaviour.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with certain behavioural problems in children.

This is not an exhaustive list, and each child may have a unique combination of factors influencing their hyperactivity symptoms. When diagnosing hyperactivity in children, it is important to conduct a thorough examination and differential diagnosis to identify and treat underlying problems and causes of the symptoms. In cases where medical negligence is suspected, consulting medical malpractice lawyers can provide guidance on legal options.

Treatment of ADHD

If any of the above problems are found, you need to provide treatment for that issue. If nothing was found, then you can use the principles of ADHD treatment. Usually, a combination of different methods is used, including medication therapy, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes for the child.


Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy or family therapy, can help children with ADHD develop strategies for managing their behaviour and emotions.

Support and Parenting

One of the key aspects of successful ADHD management is the support of parents, teachers, and other close individuals in the child’s life. Here are some recommendations that can help create a supportive environment for children with ADHD:

  • Parent Education: Getting information about ADHD and its characteristics will help parents and teachers better understand the child’s needs and provide more effective support.
  • Consistent Routine: Consistency and structure in the child’s daily life will help them cope with ADHD better. It is especially important to establish a regular sleep routine and reduce screen time. To create a supportive environment, consider occasionally giving the child enjoyable and fun gifts.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Support positive behaviour in the child through praise and encouragement. This will help reinforce desired behaviour.
  • School Support: Collaborating with teachers and school staff will allow for an individualized approach to the child’s education.

Medication Treatment

Medications such as stimulants or non-stimulant drugs can help improve attention and behaviour control in children with ADHD, along with considering options like rehab for addiction. Additionally, exploring treatment options like inpatient alcohol rehab for the parents may be necessary to create a supportive home environment. However, the use of medication should be carefully considered and supervised by a doctor as they have serious side effects.

The decision to use medication should be made consciously by parents, who should be informed about alternative methods and possible side effects. Pressure from schools or doctors should not be allowed. These medications have several serious contraindications, and the child should be evaluated before they are applied. In certain conditions, stimulants, for example, can cause sudden cardiac arrest.

Also, don’t forget that some medications, such as stimulants, antidepressants, or antiepileptic drugs, can also cause hyperactivity in children.

Improving a Child’s Behavior

The diet for children with ADHD can have some impact on hyperactivity and attention deficit symptoms. Here are some dietary recommendations that can help improve the condition of children with ADHD. Quite often, these recommendations can be used without medication.

  1. Increase Protein Intake: Including protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products in the child’s diet can help improve concentration and reduce hyperactivity.
  2. Decrease Sugar and Simple Carbohydrates: Avoiding large amounts of sweets, sugary drinks, and high-sugar foods can reduce mood swings and improve energy levels.
  3. Enrich the Diet with Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, walnuts, and avocados, may promote better cognitive function and reduce brain inflammation.
  4. Vitamins and Minerals: Some studies suggest that additional intake of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc can have a positive impact on ADHD symptoms.
  5. Limit Artificial Colors and Preservatives: Some children with ADHD may react to artificial colours and preservatives, so their consumption should be minimized.
  6. Regular Meal Times: Regular and balanced meals help maintain stable blood glucose levels, contributing to reduced mood swings and improved concentration.
  7. Individual Approach: Each child is unique, and their response to diet may vary. It is essential to pay attention to the child’s reaction to different foods and create a diet that best suits their needs.

Before making changes to a child’s diet, it is always recommended to consult with a doctor. The child’s diet should not be simply restricted without considering their specific needs. It should be balanced to ensure their normal growth and development.

If children restrict their diet, such behaviour also requires attention from specialists. There are a variety of issues that can lead to such behaviour, and it can also affect the child’s behaviour and lead to hyperactivity and attention problems.


ADHD is a serious neurological disorder that can significantly impact a child’s life and their family. Timely diagnosis, a comprehensive treatment approach, and understanding support from parents and society can help children with ADHD cope with problems successfully and develop to their fullest potential. Proper diagnosis and comprehensive treatment are the keys to success in treating the child.