ADHD Causes

Learn What Causes ADHD


Genetic Factors

Among ADHD causes, this one is most clearly defined. There is a preponderance of research that demonstrates that ADHD tends to run in families.

That is, if one member of a family has ADHD, the greater the likelihood of another family member having ADHD.



More evidence suggesting genetic factors in the etiology of ADHD comes from comparing brains scans of those with ADHD to those who do not suffer from the condition.

The brains scans of those with ADHD showed that the frontal lobes of ADHD sufferers are smaller compared to non-ADHD brains.

The frontal lobes are responsible for executive functioning and regulate concentration, short-term memory, task planning, motivation, and more. It is no coincidence that those with ADHD tend to have challenges in all of these areas.

Environment Specific Hazards/Poisons

Studies suggest a link between ADHD and exposure to cigarette smoke and alcohol during pregnancy. In addition, lead exposure, often found in older buildings, has been linked to an increased risk of developing ADHD.

Possible ADHD Causes: Artificial Food Colors And Preservatives

The Food And Drug Administration and the Mayo Clinic both report that while there's no definitive evidence that food additives cause ADHD, they have acknowledged that food dyes may affect children "in a limited way" with respect to hyperactivity.

In fact, there is an increasing amount of research that suggests certain food colorings and preservatives may cause or worsen hyperactive behavior in some children. Specifically, the most common culprits are Yellow Number 5, Yellow Number 6, Yellow Number 10, Red Number 40, sodium benzoate, and others.

So which foods contain these culprits? Mostly junk foods such as Dorito's, Cheetos, Pop tarts, sugary cereals (Lucky Charms), candy bars (Butterfingers), and much more.

In order to protect yourself and your family, be sure to check all food labels. You may be surprised (and horrified) to discover that these additives are a frequent part of your family's diet.

Does Sugar Cause ADHD?

adhd causes

Among ADHD causes, the ADHD-sugar connection is a widely held belief. To date, however, there is no definitive evidence that proves sugar causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

However, judging by my own anecdotal evidence, my son's ADHD symptoms were more evident after he consumed sugar. As a result, sugar was restricted and his behavior improved. My experience also mirrors that of my fellow parents of children with ADHD, and clients with ADHD.

It makes sense why people believe sugar causes ADHD. While sugar is not a stimulant, it causes the body to produce insulin which regulates the body's energy levels. This is why you see professional athletes consume glucose gels or chewables prior to physical activity as they feel it gives them a temporary boost.

The fact is that this boost is only temporary and sugar actually is more of a sedative. Sugar releases tryptophan in the brain which makes one sleepy. The tryptophan is then converted into serotonin, which has calming properties and acts as an antidepressant.

This may explain the reason why people consume chocolate and other sugary food during times of depression or stress.

This also explains the nasty "sugar crash" one experiences as the temporary sugar boost fades. This crash is often characterized by fatigue, "brain fog", etc.

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