For years it was thought in the medical community that ADD/ADHD is purely a pediatric diagnosis, typically seen in school age children. The medical community was under impression that most children grow out of this disorder later in life.
More recently it has become evident that some children never grow out of ADD/ADHD, furthermore there are adults who are diagnosed with this condition without history of attention and hyperactivity issues in childhood.
The prevalence of ADD/ADHD in the US pediatric population is about 9% and 4.4% of adults carry this diagnosis. These numbers are steadily increasing.
Typically this is a clinical diagnosis made by school, family and healthcare providers. An easy way to assess someone for ADD/ADHD is to have them answer the following questions:
Do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?
Do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?
Do you have trouble remembering appointments or obligations?
Do you delay getting started on a task that requires a lot of thought?
Do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you have to sit down for a long time?
Do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?
If the answer to most of these questions is YES and OFTEN, a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD should be explored in you.
It is unclear why the prevalence of this disorder is increasing, environmental factors may be a contributing cause.
This summer I saw a young man who for two years required stimulant medications for concentration issues. His concentration improved somewhat on the stimulants however he did not understand why he developed this problem as he never had problems with memory, focus and concentration prior; which is why he came to see me.
After a thorough work up which included an MRI of the head, an electroencephalogram (EEG) and extensive blood work, we discovered that he has Lyme disease. He had no other complaints other than his issues with concentration.
Two weeks after starting proper treatment, patient discontinued his stimulants as he no longer required them. Here is a good list of natural remedies one may try in combination to a proper medical treatment.
Elena Frid MD
Pediatric and Adult Autoimmune Neurology Specialist