Integrative Medicine for ADHD

Causes, Symptoms, & Effective Management Strategies

Introduction

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

At Heal MD, we explore the causes, symptoms, home remedies, treatment options, and our specialized approach to managing ADHD effectively with functional and integrative medicine.

A visual of ADHD, with a mannequin head having many springs looking like they're coming out of the head.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a common mental health condition that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that interfere with daily functioning and social interactions.

Individuals with ADHD may struggle with staying focused, organizing tasks, controlling impulses, and managing time effectively.

Causes of ADHD:

The exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood, but it is believed to be influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. This is why functional and integrative medicine for ADHD is so effective – it looks at all these factors!

Common factors that may contribute to the development of ADHD include:

 

  • Genetics: ADHD tends to run in families, suggesting a strong genetic component. Children with a family history of ADHD are more likely to develop the condition themselves.
  • Brain chemistry and structure: Differences in brain structure and neurotransmitter function, particularly involving dopamine and norepinephrine, may play a role in the development of ADHD.
  • Environmental factors: Prenatal exposure to toxins, maternal smoking, alcohol use during pregnancy, low birth weight, premature birth, and early childhood exposure to lead or environmental pollutants may increase the risk of developing ADHD.
  • Brain injury or trauma: Traumatic brain injury, brain infections, or other neurological conditions may increase the risk of developing ADHD or exacerbate existing symptoms.

Symptoms of ADHD:

ADHD symptoms can vary in severity and presentation among individuals, but they generally fall into three main categories:

1. Inattention:

  • Difficulty paying attention to details and sustaining attention on tasks
  • Easily distracted by external stimuli
  • Forgetfulness, especially with routine tasks or instructions
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and managing time effectively
  • Frequently losing or misplacing items necessary for tasks

2. Hyperactivity:

  • Excessive fidgeting or restlessnessInability to sit still, especially in situations where sitting quietly is expected
  • Difficulty engaging in quiet activities or leisurely tasks
  • Excessive talking or interrupting others

3. Impulsivity:

  • Acting without considering consequences
  • Difficulty waiting for turns or delaying gratification
  • Blurting out answers or interrupting conversations
  • Impulsive decision-making, such as spending money impulsively or engaging in risky behaviors

What should I try at home before seeing a provider for ADHD?

Before seeking medical advice for ADHD, individuals can try several strategies and lifestyle modifications to help manage symptoms and improve functioning.

These may include:

 

  • Establishing routines: Creating structured routines and schedules can help individuals with ADHD stay organized, manage time effectively, and reduce forgetfulness.
  • Breaking tasks into smaller steps: Breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps can make them less overwhelming and easier to complete for individuals with ADHD.
  • Using visual aids: Visual aids such as calendars, to-do lists, planners, and reminders can help individuals with ADHD stay organized and remember important tasks and deadlines.
  • Limiting distractions: Minimizing distractions in the environment, such as noise, clutter, or electronic devices, can help improve focus and concentration for individuals with ADHD.
  • Regular exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, can help reduce hyperactivity, improve mood, and increase attention span.

Best Treatment Options for ADHD:

Treatment for ADHD aims to reduce symptoms, improve functioning, and enhance quality of life.

Treatment options may include:

 

  • Medications: Stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and amphetamine-based medications (Adderall, Vyvanse) are commonly prescribed to help improve attention, focus, and impulse control in individuals with ADHD. Non-stimulant medications such as atomoxetine (Strattera) and guanfacine (Intuniv) may also be prescribed as alternatives or adjuncts to stimulants.
  • Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapy techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), behavioral parent training (BPT), and social skills training can help individuals with ADHD develop coping strategies, improve self-regulation, and manage symptoms effectively.
  • Education and support: Psychoeducation, support groups, and individual or family counseling can provide valuable information, guidance, and emotional support for individuals with ADHD and their families.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, stress management, and effective time management techniques can help individuals with ADHD manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Our Process for Treating ADHD:

We specialize in the comprehensive evaluation and management of ADHD to help individuals achieve improved functioning and quality of life.

Our functional medicine and integrative approach involves a thorough assessment, including a comprehensive medical history, physical examination, neuropsychological testing, and evaluation of symptoms and impairments in various domains of functioning. Based on the results, we develop personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific needs, goals, and preferences.

Our team of experienced healthcare professionals led by Dr. Kayla Milano is made up of psychiatrists, psychologists, behavioral therapists, and educational specialists, and each collaborates closely with each patient and their family to implement evidence-based treatment strategies, monitor progress, and provide ongoing support and guidance.

We prioritize patient education, empowerment, and holistic care to ensure the best possible outcomes and long-term success in managing ADHD.

Functional & Integrative Medicine for ADHD: Treat The Cause

ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can significantly impact daily functioning and quality of life, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals can learn to manage symptoms effectively and lead fulfilling lives.

By understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment options, individuals with ADHD can take proactive steps to address their challenges and maximize their potential.

With our comprehensive approach to treatment, we are dedicated to helping individuals with ADHD achieve improved functioning, self-regulation, and overall well-being.

We are currently accepting patients worldwide.