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When your child has ADHD

By Angella Wali | October 5th 2016

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly referred to as ADHD, is a complex mental disorder that affects the behaviour of a child or a person.

It is characterised by poor concentration, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. The exact cause of ADHD remains a mystery, but genetics, family history and an unfriendly environment are factors that have been implicated.

Treatment involves drugs and behavioural therapy and for some people, ADHD symptoms reduce with age.

There is enough evidence that nutrition plays a key role in managing these behavioural and mental disorders and diet changes are considered an important component. As such, micronutrient and multivitamin supplementation might be essential in managing ADHD symptoms.

Poor iron and zinc status affects cognitive development and function. Low levels of zinc, calcium and phosphorus have also been found in children with ADHD, compared to children without ADHD, and thus supplementing them with these nutrients might be very beneficial to these children.

Secondly, some drugs used to treat ADHD affect a child's appetite and might contribute to poor dietary habits. When a child's appetite is low, their dietary intake reduces, thus putting them at risk of malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies.

Using creative ways to boost such a child's appetite will therefore be very helpful. One can use strategies like increasing fruit intake and giving small frequent meals.

Omega 3 fatty acid supplements have been found to be helpful as they play major roles in brain health.

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