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Understanding ADHD

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Believe me, meds was our last resort! Especially because of all the hype surrounding this condition. Unfortunately, diet doesn't replace hormone. For example, a diabetic can eat healthy, cut out processed sugars, cut out starches and even go so far as doing a blood type diet. Sometimes, this works but for most of our diabetic population it doesn't. For this group, the pancreas just isn't producing enough insulin to take sugar from the blood and transfer it into the cells. So diabetics have to take insulin hormone at regular intervals to maintain balance in the body's sugar levels.

Same with thyroid issues. The 2 main thyroid hormones are T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). The amount of thyroid hormones secreted is controlled by another hormone, called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is released from the pituitary gland in your head. Guess what? My thyroid was completely removed over five years ago so I don't even produce the T3 and T4 hormone. So my pituitary gland keeps increasing the signal to a gland that's not even there. In order to calm my pituitary gland and keep my body's temperature relatively regulated, I need to take a thyroid hormone every 24 hours like clockwork.

Now for the ADD folks (Yes, there are adults with this).

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is the large umbrella that houses three types of ADHD.
Type 1 - AD"H"D - Hyper ADD
Type 2 - ADHD - Inattentive ADD
Type 3 - ADHD - Stimulated ADD

My little guy falls into the first type. To fall into this category, symptoms had to start before the age of 7, occur in at least 2 places (school & home), no blood test required, be inherited and in the family history and finally, intelligent.

The Adrenal gland located in the kidney produces a hormone called Norepinephrine (NE). One of the purposes of this hormone is as a neurotransmitter (chauffer's information from one place to another) in the central nervous system and sympathetic nervous system where it is released from noradrenergic neurons which initiates response.


Here's a scenario of a father and his son with normal levels of NE.

It's after school and a boy wants to go outside to play baseball with his friends. Dad says he had to finish his homework first and then he could play. The command was do the homework. The adrenal glands produced the NE which relayed the information to the nervous system which in turn triggered the necessary neurons to initiate a other words, the child took in the command, sat at the table and did his homework. Command: Do your homework. Response: Homework completed.

Sometimes there is a little scuffle about it for a minute but the child still does his homework, and in early elementary years, should only take 15 - 30 minutes.


Here's a scenario of a father with his son who has ADD/AD"H"D:

It's after school and a boy wants to go outside to play baseball with his friends. Dad says he had to finish his homework first and then he could play. The command was do the homework. The adrenal glands produced the NE which relayed the information to the nervous system and the action was started but then....stopped...not enough NE was produced for the brain to stimulate the neurons to initiate a response to the command. NE runs out and the the child is not able to remain other words, the child took in the command, sat at the table to begin but didn't complete his homework. Command: Do your homework. Response: Homework not completed.

In this case homework can take 1 - 2 hrs with the father sitting there constantly telling the child do your homework. It's a battle to get the homework completed. For folks who don't have this issue don't understand that without this hormone, the brain forgets as quickly as the words fall on the ears. There's a disconnect seconds from receiving the instruction to completion of tasks.

For these children parents have to constantly remind, constantly repeat, constantly instruct the same things over and over and over. And no, the kids never gets it. Then we hear the question that why can they remember some things and not others. Because when a child is interested in something, it is easier for them to be engaged. To be fair, that's the way it is with adults. My husband can sit and talk about fishing and hunting all day long and I've checked out.

So what the medication does is it replaces the absent hormone so that the thought can gets transmitted into action. The command: Do your homework results in the homeworking getting done and done quicker.

Plus, the child isn't so frustrated that he can't move on to things he'd like to be doing like playing with his friends or some other activity that isn't chore related. Already in two days, I've seen a big improvement in my little guys self-esteem.

Just like a diabetic needs insulin hormone replacement, an ADHD person needs norepinephrine hormone replacement.

Anyway, I don't know if this makes sense or not but I hope so. It helped me make some pretty important decisions with my little guy.
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  • no profile photo CD13978272
    Wow, great explanation! I really could have used this when we brought our son to see an ADHD specialist years ago. Instead, he basically said since DS had autism he also has ADHD and went on to medicate him (a trial and error experiment).
    2291 days ago
    My son just got a diagnosis of ADHD. He is 23. We are both reading up and figuring it out.
    2291 days ago
  • SKELLEY3440
    What a great description!! It looks like you REALLY did your research and homework on this just like a good, wonderful parent would. I'm so glad that's its been helping him out even in just 2 days!! That's awesome!! I never knew the exact science behind ADHD/ADD so I've learned something today. Thanks for that!!! Good luck and keep up the advocating for your little man. So happy for you!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2292 days ago
    What a great explanation!! You are so right! There is not one thing that works for everyone. And as advocates for our children, we have to research and make decisions that we feel work best for our children and their situation.

    It's so great your little guy is responding so well and doing better. Thanks for sharing your story and experience. I'm certain it will help others too.
    2292 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4300142
    Great explanation, thanks for sharing! I'm so sorry that your family has to go through this. My niece whom I sometimes have stay with me, had some major behavioral issues when she was younger. thankfully, now that she is a teen (14) she seems to have grown out of it. Her issues earlier were uncontrolled rage and suicidal thoughts. She was put on various meds which made her like a zombie and depressed constantly. She stopped smiling and interacting and being active. I don't think she was ever properly diagnosed but I'm thankful the problem seems to have diminished. I was so worried for a very long time. She can now make friends and have normal relationships and she's doing much better in school. (Although unfortunately like her aunt April, is still no fan of homework!) emoticon
    2292 days ago
    This is a great explanation
    2293 days ago
    A clear explanation, thank you! All the best with helping you young man.
    2293 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14402600
    I used to take care of a boy who had ADHD. He had such a hard time concentrating to do anything. He finally got on meds and got straight A's in school! Hard way to have to go, but when our bodies don't make what we need we have to go the chemical route. Hope your boy will adjust well and be able to enjoy his life.
    2293 days ago
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