Physiological Causes of ADHD
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ADD (Attention
Deficit Disorder) are generally described as genetic neurological
disorders. While this may be true in some cases, it is not true for all.
ADD and ADHD are controversial because they are many diverse and
variable conditions with shared symptoms.
Some of these conditions are of a physiological nature. With ADHD the
cause needs to be treated, not the symptom. When we have an infection
we feel tired or low mood we recognise that these are natural
consequences of having an infection. Whatever the cause of the infection
is, the symptoms are exactly the same. ADHD is more complex than a flu
There are over 100 causes of ADHD like behavior, which share a set of
behavior patterns. A person with ADHD type behavior (that is what ADHD
symptoms are) as a result of a physiological disorder can appear to have
ADHD, and if misdiagnosed as ADHD may be given stimulant medication
such as Ritalin. ADHD stimulant drugs are a quick fix to suppress
symptoms; medication by itself is only a support and not the cure. They
have to be taken daily, the effect lasts only a few hours and they have
The list below shows a few of the physiological causes for ADD and ADHD type behavior.
Physiological Causes of ADD or ADHD
- Cysts in the brain.
- Anaemia. Iron supplements may help. A study found serum iron levels were abnormal in 84% of children with ADHD and 18% of controls.
- Low birth weight. Under 1.5 kg or 3.3 lbs
- Absence seizures. Can be misdiagnosed as the daydreaming, inattentive form of ADD.
- Post-traumatic sub-clinical seizure disorder.
- Brain trauma.
- Worms. This usually a problem in preschool and kindergarten children.
- Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The damage done to a child’s brain when the mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the biggest cause of non-genetic mental handicap in the western world and the only one that is 100% preventable.
- Minimal brain damages from birth trauma and low oxygen levels at birth.
- Post-concussion syndrome
The page environmental causes of ADD and ADHD
is about environmental caused disorders with ADD/ADHD symptoms. In our
modern world we are exposed to toxins and other substances which affect
each of us differently. While most people do not react to the sugar
substitute aspartame, there are people who are allergic to this
chemical. If the cause of a child or adult’s ADD/ADHD behavior is
environmental, then covering then suppressing the symptoms with a
stimulant ADHD drug is not going to help. ADHD stimulant drugs are a
quick fix to suppress symptoms; medication by itself is only a support
and not the cure. They have to be taken daily, the effect lasts only a
few hours and they have side effects.
This list is intended to show the complexity of diagnosing attention
deficit syndrome. A good child psychologist who has experience with
treating ADHD children should be consulted before any medicinal
treatment is tried. A doctor should be consulted for screening for
possible physiological causes of the behaviour.
There are some natural supplements which can help the child focus. Among these is Synaptol.