It’s no secret that much of the population in the United States, both children, and adults, are having a difficult time concentrating. Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD and ADHD) are said to affect 10% of children ages 4 to 17 and almost 5% of adults are reported to have an attention disorder. The exact number of unreported cases is unknown, but studies show that attention disorders across all ages are on the rise.
And, while the amount of people suffering from attention disorders is on the rise, conventional medical practices, treating these disorders with medication such as amphetamines like Ritalin and Adderall, is on the decline. This is due mainly to the fact that long term use of these medications has serious negative side effects.
Many people are not choosing to medicate these disorders in a conventional manner anymore and are opting for more natural, wellness-focused approaches like integrative medicine. An integrative medicine approach to treating attention disorders such as ADD and ADHD allows the patient to not have to be a slave to medications that “numb them out”. Vitality Family health’s treatment for attention disorders in Oak Brook, IL allows our patients to find out what is REALLY going on and the steps required to help them improve their personal relationships, their health, and their quality of life overall.
If you believe you believe you are experiencing signs of an attention disorder (see below) or have noticed a decrease or loss of focus, it’s time to take your health back into your own hands. Continue reading to learn more about the signs of attention disorders, possible triggers and causes of these conditions, and how integrative treatment can help you.
Attention Disorder Signs
The following signs of an attention disorder are primarily focused on adults. If you believe that your child may be showing signs of ADD or ADHD, it is critical to speak with a medical practitioner before assuming an attention disorder (this is also true for adults):
- Forgetting names and dates
- Missing deadlines and leaving projects unfinished
- Extreme emotionality and rejection sensitivity
- Becoming easily distracted and disorganized
- Suffering generalized anxiety disorder and depression
- Low frustration tolerance
- Trouble multitasking
- Excessive activity or restlessness
- Relationship problems
- Substance misuse
- Poor self-image
It’s important to realize that even if you are showing one or more of these signs, it may not necessarily mean you have an attention disorder. In either case, there is an underlying health issue(s) that needs to be found and taken care of with the help of an integrative treatment program.
Attention Disorders: Triggers & Treatment
When it comes to attention disorders, they are not a one-size-fits-all condition. According to Integrative Psychiatrist, James M. Greenblatt, M.D., attention disorders, like ADHD and Adult ADD, for example, are more than just a genetic and biological disorder (though both of these factors play a large role in attention disorders), but rather “a medical disorder in which genetic, neurological, nutritional, and environmental factors create an imbalance in the brain.” So, aside from biological and genetic factors, there are certain environmental and nutritional “triggers” that also play a large role in attention disorders. These triggers include, but are not limited to:
- Stress: If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. Stress has an impact on every single aspect of our lives, physically, mentally, and emotionally. While some stress is necessary and a part of life, chronic stress can weigh heavily on a person causing things like work, their relationships, and their health to fall apart. That is why stress management such as engaging in relaxing activities, yoga, meditation, breathwork, etc., is an integral part of a holistic approach to treating people who may just have difficulty concentrating, or are suffering from ADD or ADHD.
- Technology: Technology, with all of its benefits for the modern world, can be overwhelming to people with attention disorders (and pretty much everyone). Even if you just spend five-minutes scrolling on any social media platform, you are bombarded with news articles, music videos, memes, ads, your best friend’s opinion about oranges, etc., and that doesn’t even take into account the different apps on our phones, podcasts we subscribe to, emails and text messages from friends and family. No wonder people don’t answer the phone anymore! Humans were never designed to take in this amount of information in such a small amount of time. So imagine how a person who may already be overstimulated by outside stimuli, might be affected. If you feel like too much screen time (be it on your phone, laptop, or television) is having an impact on your concentration, our integrative medicine providers can help you to create boundaries around social media, news, and screen time so that technology enhances your life, not diminishes it.
- Diet: For people who suffer from attention disorders, their diets have a huge (if not the largest) impact on how their symptoms manifest. With Vitality Family Health’s help, we will help to discover which foods and drinks might be exacerbating your symptoms and, on the other side of the spectrum, which foods can help to reduce them. You may need to consider following a short term elimination diet, which removes all foods shown to aggravate attention disorder markers, such as gluten, sugar, additives, etc. and then slowly, in a controlled setting, reintroduce these foods back into your diet to see which cause your symptoms to be triggered and which have no or a positive effect on your mental and physical health.
Biological, neurological, nutritional, and environmental factors should all be taken into consideration when diagnosing and treating a person for any type of attention disorder. At our integrative medical practice in Oak Brook, IL you can rest assured that no stone will be left unturned to help you get you the answers you need. The ultimate goal is to provide you with an effective treatment plan that will help you get and remain on the road to total health and wellness. Contact us today, to get started.