Over the past decade and a half there has been a drastic increase in children being diagnosed with ADHD. Lack of focus and trouble paying attention at school are the telltale signs of this neurobehavioral condition. Currently it is estimated that 11% of children age 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD.
In 2012 approximately 237,000 aged 2-5 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Up from 7.8% in 2005 and 9.5% in 2007. The number of children diagnosed increased by more than 50% from 2007-2008. About 44% of children with ADHD were taking medication for ADHD in 2012. The CDC estimates that 75% of children age 2-5 were treated with medication and fewer than half received behavioral services. [LINK] With it being 2017 we can safely assume that these numbers have increased.
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF ADHD
If behavioral problems are not addressed early in childhood they could manifest in adulthood. There is a direct link between childhood ADHD and criminal activity as an adult.[LINK] It has also been shown that children with ADHD have a significantly lower graduation rate and earning potential as an adult.[LINK]
The most common treatments for ADHD include medication and behavioral therapy. Unfortunately, these stimulants are not without side effects. The most common side effects are weight/appetite loss, abdominal pain and sleeping problems. These types of neurobehavioral medications also carry addictive traits and that’s why they are classified as a schedule II drug. Over time, those habitually using ADHD medication develop a tolerance to the drug and are unable to function normally without it. [LINK]
NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES ARE LINKED TO ADHD
Currently there isn’t a precise cause for ADHD, but researchers are linking behavioral problems to epigenetic (environmental) factors such as allergies, pollutants and nutritional deficiencies. [link] Numerous studies have shown a link between nutritional deficiencies, ADHD and other behavioral conditions. Specific nutrients are needed for brain growth and development. Researchers continue to find correlations between the diets of pregnant and lactating women as well as the children themselves pertaining to brain, eye and nervous system development.
Chronic deficiencies in Omega-3’s, magnesium and zinc have been observed in children with attention and behavioral problems.
500 children and adolescents that were supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids showed clinical improvements in focus and attention. More specifically with high concentrations of DHA and EPA. [LINK] A multitude of studies have found that a deficiency in Vitamin D, zinc, ferritin and magnesium are linked to attention and behavior problems. [LINK]
TESTING FOR NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES
Testing for these deficiencies isn’t difficult at all. In order to find out if you are omega-3 deficient a blood test can be done.
A mineral hair analysis is performed to check for zinc, magnesium and many other minerals. Toxic metals should also be checked because they bind to mineral attachment a sites on the cells, therefore preventing uptake of that mineral.
In order for your body to have an optimal mineral levels…to have the ability to optimally utilize what you eat…and to optimize your body in such a way that it performs like a Cadillac instead of a Malibu, you need your internal electrical system to be at 100%.
Without your nervous system functioning at 100%, you are likely to absorb and process a fraction of what you digest. It would be the equivalent of a 100 watt light bulb only getting enough electricity for 50% of light.