Ask Nurse Patsy

Integrative and Wholistic Medicine and Its Impact on ADD

May 15, 2019

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is diagnosed in approximately 9.4% of U.S. children and 5% of adults, as reported by the CDC. It encompasses three subsets: predominantly inattentive type, predominantly hyperactive type, and combined type. ADD is not a diagnosis that can be considered cured, but as a person matures and learns skills to minimize the symptoms, the impact on a person’s life, over time, can be greatly reduced.

The DSM-V diagnosis guidelines for mental health illness states that the symptoms of attention disorder must be present at home/work and at school and cannot be better explained by another diagnosis such as anxiety. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends treatment for this disorder with therapy for organization, prioritization, and impulse control combined with medication when appropriate.

Medications are a viable option for some children and adults with focus disorder. However, as with any medication, it is common that a patient will need to trial more than one due to a lack of effectiveness or side effects.

At Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care, we take an approach beyond medication for a person diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. We assess for underlying nutritional deficiencies such as iron, zinc, vitamin D, and specific B vitamins. Additionally, we screen thyroid function, other hormonal dysfunction and genetic variants that may affect focus such as MTHFR and MTRR. MTHFR and MTRR are the genes responsible for activating folate and B12, respectively. If these genetic variants are identified, it indicates a need for activated versions of these supplements to optimize health.

After a thorough assessment of nutrition, current supplements, and lab results, our providers may recommend dietary adjustments, increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and the addition of certain amino acids.

If you are interested in an integrative approach for the treatment of attention deficit disorder for yourself or your child, please contact Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care for additional information or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers.