Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition characterized by hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, and impulsive behavior. These persistent problems can lead to unstable relationships, poor work and school performance, financial problems, poor self-image, substance abuse, and other issues. Every adult who has ADHD had it as a child. However, they may not have been diagnosed until they reached adulthood. Approximately 60% of children with ADHD will continue to have the condition as adults, while the rest will outgrow it. It’s estimated that 4% or 5% of adults have ADHD in the United States.
If you have ADHD, you might find that you have trouble following directions, remembering information, and concentrating. While hyperactivity may decrease with age, you might find it difficult to organize tasks, prioritize, complete projects, or be on time. You may often feel restless, impatient, and bored. Many patients with ADHD will also have at least one other mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression. However these are natural ways to ease ADHD symptoms for adults.
Underlying Causes and Risk Factors of ADHD
While the exact cause of ADHD is unknown, in most cases, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder has a strong genetic component. ADHD can run in families, and genetics seems to play an important role. Your risk may increase if you have blood relatives with this disorder.
However, a small percentage of cases may be caused by early problems during development, such as:
Smoking or drinking during pregnancy
Environment factors can also increase a person’s risk of developing ADHD, including:
Exposure to lead/toxins
Natural Treatments for ADHD Symptoms
ADHD is a complex disorder, and the science isn’t quite settled on the benefits of cannabis on ADHD. However, some research suggests that it may help reduce symptoms by affecting dopamine availability in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with learning, motivation, and attention — all tasks that patients with ADHD often struggle with. By increasing the availability of dopamine in the brain, THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, may help alleviate ADHD symptoms. This randomized-controlled study of cannabis use among ADHD patients provided preliminary evidence suggesting cannabis may help manage symptoms, and that further research on cannabis and ADHD is warranted.
ADHD is a qualifying condition for medical cannabis in many states. If you’re interested in trying this natural treatment, book an appointment with Heally and we’ll connect you with a doctor in your state to determine your eligibility.
A Healthy Diet
Healthy habits can help you focus and concentrate more effectively. Commit to eating more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed and hemp seed, as well as antioxidant-rich foods like berries, green tea, and leafy greens to boost concentration. Certain herbs and extracts, like ginseng, rosemary, and curcumin may also naturally improve focus and brain function.
If ADHD symptoms are making it difficult for you to complete day-to-day tasks or reducing your performance at school or work, being proactive about lifestyle changes can help reduce the impact of the condition on your daily life.
For example, make it a routine to write down a list of tasks you need to accomplish every day, and prioritize the items, without trying to do too much at once. Use sticky notes liberally to write down information you need to remember, such as appointment reminders and due dates. Using the calendar on your phone to set reminders can also help you stay on track at school or work.
Following the same routine every day, from what you do and where you keep items, can also help you focus on completing necessary daily tasks. This can include putting your keys in the same place every day, feeding your dog right after your shower every morning, and writing your daily task list during breakfast each morning. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with organization and prioritization to get started.
Studies indicate that mindfulness meditation may be able to help improve focus and mood in adult patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Just five minutes of meditation a day might help you recover from distractions and better control stress.
Interested in more natural remedies that can help manage symptoms of ADD/ADHD in adults? Book a telehealth appointment to talk to a functional medicine doctor online.